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College President Skateboards for Women in Technology

Harvey Mudd College President Maria Klawe has been credited with tripling the number of women seeking Computer Science degrees during her 5 year tenure.

President Klawe “connects” with her students by riding a skateboard around the campus.   One of her first moves was to force the CS department to replace teaching JAVA programming language with the Python programming language which is simpler to understand by new students.

After earning her Ph.D in Mathematics at the University of Alberta and a second Ph.D in Computer Science at the University of Toronto, President Klawe started her administrative career by heading the Computer Science department in 1988 at the University of British Columbia.   From 1988-1995 she served UBC as VP of Student and Academic Services, and then spent her last 4 years in British Colombia as Dean of Science.  Before she came to Harvey Mudd in 2006 she also served at Princeton as Dean of Engineering and Computer Science.

One of our Associate Professors of Digital Media had a suggestion.   She said “perhaps we could get the Greg(g)s to ride around campus and Kehoe to promote technology?”   I like the idea.  What do you think?

Here is a “Diamond in the Mudd” newsletter on Maria Klawe.

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