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Lisa Herrmann
IU Bloomington School of Informatics and Computing

Steve Chaplin
University Communications

Last modified: Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Informatics school sees number of women with tech majors nearly double since 2009

Women majoring in computer science, informatics at IU Bloomington rises from 75 to 148 in 18 months

Oct. 26, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Bloomington's School of Informatics and Computing (SOIC) has witnessed a near doubling of the number of women enrolled in computing-related majors over the past 18 months.

The announcement comes six months ahead of a self-imposed two-year deadline the School had put in place for doubling women in technology majors. In November 2009 the school joined a group of universities and corporations as founding members of the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) Pacesetters group. At that time, Pacesetters were asked to lock in a two-year self-determined goal to increase net new women in computing, and SOIC's goal was an unprecedented doubling of the number of undergraduate women in programs on the Bloomington campus from 75 to 150 students.


"We are excited to see the numbers of women growing so quickly at the school," said Maureen Biggers, assistant dean for diversity and education. "We were not only able to meet the goal we set for ourselves, but were able to do it in only 18 months instead of two years. Our strategy involved research-based initiatives in the areas of pedagogy, curriculum, community development, promoting student success, along with targeted marketing strategies. Thanks to the guidance of our Pacesetter leadership team that includes Dean Bobby Schnabel, Dennis Groth and myself we've experienced success in all these areas, and we've set an ambitious goal to double that number once again."

Pacesetter organizations have a goal of developing and celebrating national exemplar corporate and educational organizations for women in IT. They work to recruit previously untapped talent pools of technical women and to retain women who are at risk of leaving, resulting in "net new" women for the computing and IT workforce.

Maureen Biggers

Informatics Assistant Dean for Diversity and Education Maureen Biggers

Print-Quality Photo

"As of August 2011, we have 148 women majoring in either informatics or computer science. In addition, last year the number of women in our introductory courses doubled, with women majors increasing at a rate of 41 percent, while males increased 16 percent over the same time," Biggers added.

Founded in 2000 as the first school of its kind in the United States, the Indiana University School of Informatics is dedicated to research and teaching across a broad range of computing and information technology, with emphases on science, applications, and societal implications. The school includes the School of Informatics at IUPUI and the School of Informatics and Computing at Bloomington, where programs include computer science and informatics. The school administers a variety of bachelor's and master's degree programs in computer science and informatics, as well as Ph.D. programs in computer science and the first-ever Ph.D. in informatics. The school is dedicated to excellence in education and research, to partnerships that bolster economic development and entrepreneurship, and to increasing opportunities for women and underrepresented minorities in computing and technology. For more information, visit

For more information, please contact SOIC's Lisa Herrmann at 812-855-4125 or