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Microsoft Announces Winners of Computing Higher Education Seed Fund


$50,000 awarded to pilot programs that increase participation of women

(February 15, 2013 – Boulder, Colo.) The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) and Microsoft Research today announced the winners of the NCWIT Academic Alliance Seed Fund, which provides U.S. academic institutions with start-up funds to develop and implement initiatives that recruit and retain women in computing and technology fields of study. Since 2007, NCWIT and Microsoft Research have awarded $415,450 in funding to 34 universities and colleges over nine funding rounds. The NCWIT Academic Alliance Seed Fund will provide $10,000 each to the following five U.S. institutions:

Auburn University (Dr. Daniela Marghitu): Computer Science for All Girls

Auburn University will implement Computer Science for All Girls (CS4ALL-G), a collaboration project that builds upon successful joint efforts between Auburn University and Southern Union State Community College (SUSCC) that works to recruit and retain female and special-needs students in computing disciplines.

Columbia University (Dr. Tal Malkin): The Artemis Project

The Artemis Project provides 20 rising 9th-grade girls from local schools with a five-week, full-day computer science summer program, pairing them with female computer science and engineering undergraduate coordinators and a faculty mentor.

Livingstone College (Dr. Kathryn Moland): Bridge Program in Technology

The Livingstone College Bridge Program in Technology provides students whose grades or SAT scores may not have earned them acceptance at other colleges and universities an introduction to technology, via a course that focuses on engaging, project-driven, hands-on activities.

Southern Illinois University (Dr. Nancy Martin): Android Development Camp for Middle School Girls

The Southern Illinois University’s Android Development Camp for Middle School Girls will create a female-friendly learning environment by building a community in which female students actively engage in learning, research, and service activities.

University of California at Berkeley (Dr. Amy Tsai): CS KickStart

CS KickStart builds upon the best practices in computer science education research to inspire, empower, inform, connect, and mentor women who may pursue computer science. The program recruits UC Berkeley students who have expressed an interest in computer science and have not declared a major.
“Evaluation of the Seed Fund initiative has shown us that these programs are effectively recruiting and retaining more women,” said Rane Johnson-Stempson, Principal Research Director for Education and Scholarly Communications Programs at Microsoft Research Connections. “Increasing the number of women choosing to study computing disciplines is critical to increasing women’s participation in the technical workforce, and Microsoft is fully committed to this goal.”
Women currently earn more than half of all undergraduate degrees in the U.S., including 45% of math degrees and 38% of chemical engineering degrees, but nationwide they earn only 18% of computing and information sciences degrees. High school women account for 47% of all Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus test-takers, but only 19% of those who take the Computer Science AP test are women.


NCWIT is a national coalition of over 350 prominent corporations, academic institutions, government agencies, and non-profits working to increase the participation of women in technology and computing. NCWIT’s work connects efforts to increase women’s participation in technology along the entire pipeline, from K-12 and higher education through industry, academic, and entrepreneurial careers.
The NCWIT Academic Alliance brings together more than 600 representatives from computer science and IT departments at colleges and universities across the country – spanning research universities, community colleges, women’s colleges, and minority-serving institutions – to work towards gender equity, diversity, and institutional change in computing higher education. Find out more at