Booming Enrollments in Computer Science

At the Computing Research Association (CRA) Snowbird conference in 2014, Jim Kurose (then at University of Massachusetts-Amherst) and Ed Lazowska (University of Washington) presented a session on burgeoning enrollments in U.S. computing courses. In response, CRA’s Board formed a committee to further study enrollment-related issues, chaired by CRA board member Tracy Camp.

A panel on the upsurge in undergraduate computer science (CS) enrollments in the U.S. took place at the ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education Technical Symposium last year (SIGCSE 2015); shortly thereafter, the full committee went to work with the goal of measuring, assessing, and better understanding enrollment trends and their impact, with a special focus on diversity.

Explained Susan B. Davidson, CRA Board Chair and a member of the CRA enrollments committee, “Over the past few years, computing departments across the country have faced huge increases in course enrollments. To understand the extent and nature of these ‘booming enrollments,’ CRA has undertaken a study that surveys both CRA-member doctoral departments as well as ACM non-doctoral departments.”

In addition to attempting to identify the extent of the “boom” in CS enrollments, Davison said, “We are trying to understand which students are making up this boom: CS majors? Students from other fields seeking to minor in CS? Students in other fields taking a course or two in CS? And why are they doing so; what is driving them?”

Source: Booming Enrollments | July 2016 | Communications of the ACM

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