When a professor posted a Twitter thread about how Cornell University improved diversity in its computer-science PhD program, it quickly went viral.
“[W]e made a big step in improving diversity of the program. Let me tell you about it,” wrote David Bindel, the PhD admissions chair for Cornell University’s Computer Science department, earlier this month.
It’s clearly an issue that other higher ed leaders are interested in hearing about—the tweet has been shared more than 750 times and drew nearly 2,000 likes.
Computer science is “not just white dudes slinging code, and we all suffer for it when the world thinks that’s what it is,” Bindel wrote.
So how did Cornell do it? Bindel tells EdSurge that last year, Cornell had one Native American applicant, four African American and 17 hispanic applicants to its computer science PhD program, out of a pool of about 850 people. To encourage greater diversity in the next class. Bindel reached out to coordinators of the McNair Scholars Program, an organization that seeks to get undergraduate students—many of whom are underrepresented in graduate education—ready for graduate studies across the United States.