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Neal G. Moore
School of Informatics

Last modified: Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Informatics professorís book receives Outstanding Academic Title distinction

Feb. 26, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- William Aspray, Rudy Professor of Informatics at the Indiana University School of Informatics, has co-edited a book selected by Choice Magazine as one of its Outstanding Academic Titles. Women and Information Technology: Research on Underrepresentation (MIT Press), was co-edited with Joanne Cohoon, senior research scientist at the National Center for Women & IT, and a professor of science, technology and society at the University of Virginia.

Women and Information Technology

Women and Information Technology focuses on the declining participation of women in computer science since the late 1980s, in contrast to all other science and technology disciplines. The authors argue that it is important to change this situation, not only for the purposes of fairness and equity, but also to have a strong supply of qualified IT workers and improve the quality of work carried out by U.S. companies by encouraging them to utilize diverse workforces.

Ironically, IT jobs are among the best compensated, are rapidly growing occupations, and represent some of the most interesting work in the American workforce.

"Many efforts have been made to correct this situation, but the problem continues to get worse," Aspray said. "Thus, it was time to take a close examination of the underlying causes for the under-representation of women in IT in the U.S. using well-crafted social science research methodologies."

The authors explain that the underlying reasons for the under-representation of women in IT are complex. Reasons range from gender differences in family and community support for boys and girls to K-12 educational policy and the climate in classrooms. Reasons also include gender differences in self-confidence, the nature of the college computer science curriculum, company hiring practices, and the image of computing.

Choice publishes more than 7,000 book reviews each year to assist academic librarians and higher education faculty in choosing materials for their libraries. Only about 10 percent of all books reviewed receive the Outstanding Academic Title distinction. The listing of Outstanding Academic Titles reflects the best in scholarly titles reviewed by Choice, and is published every year in January.