The Maryland Center for Women in Computing

Mission and Goals


The Maryland Center for Women in Computing (MCWIC) works to increase diversity in all fields of computing by providing opportunities for individuals who identify as women to engage and contribute to the technical community through research, education, outreach, and partnerships. MCWIC envisions a vibrant community of scholars, researchers, students and others coming together to increase the involvement—and success—of all women interested in earning or currently pursuing a computing degree.

Why support Women in Computing?

  • While women have been at the forefront of many exciting moments in the history of computing only three women have ever won the prestigious Turing Award.
  • According to NCWIT, 57% of all 2014 bachelor's degree recipients were women. Only 17% of all computer and information science bachelor’s degree students went to women. (NCWIT- By the Numbers 2016)
  • There has been a 21% increase in the number of first-year undergraduate women interested in majoring in Computer Science between 2000-2015.  (NCWIT- By the Numbers 2016)
  • At the University of Maryland, 18% of our undergraduate students are women majoring in computer science. Currently, 46.1% of the undergraduate students at the university are women.

How Are We Bringing More Extraordinary Women Into Computing?

The Maryland Center of Women in Computing 

  • supports, educates and mentors women majoring in computing fields at the University of Maryland
  • collaborates with the K-12 community in order to to encourage all students especially those from underrepresented populations to participate in computing
  • sustains a vibrant community of scholars, researchers, students and educators working together to increase the involvement—and success—of women interested in earning a computer science and other technical degrees
  • fosters a supportive, collaborative community for current undergraduate and graduate women studying computing at the university through a dedicated learning and meeting space


The Center is supported by the University of Maryland’s Department of Computer Science, the University’s Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS), and the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences (CMNS). Additional support comes from our corporate sponsors.

Learn more about our specific programs here and by reviewing our news and events tab.

View the MCWIC Flyer 



Today’s world demands that we interact with computers and technology. This interaction involves education, employment, finance, entertainment and health care.  It is important for all members of society to be included in the new discoveries, innovations, and revolutions that come at the result of work in computer science.  As founding members of the field, women should continue to play an important role in computing and technology-related fields. However, as of 2014,the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT)  reports that only 17 percent of undergraduate computing and information science degrees were awarded to women in 2014, down from 37 percent in 1985. The aim of MCWIC is to increase the number of women and underrepresented minority majoring in computer science.

Our History

For over 20 years, efforts to support women in computing were apparent at the University of Maryland. Many of these programs centered around the formation of the Association for Women in Computing (AWC), Computer Science Women, and later our outreach programs. As each of these programs grew and expanded, it was clear a unified center was needed to capture the effort to bring more women into the field of computing and further grow the computing pipeline. As a way to formalize the important work being done by these organizations the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences (CNMS), The Department of Computer Science, and the University’s Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS), worked together to form the Maryland Center for Women in Computing (MCWIC) in 2014.

Our Approach

We offer a series of outreach programs for K–12 girls aimed to spark an interest in computer science at an early age, showing them that it is both fun and accessible. These programs include an immersive multi-year curriculum for middle school girls, designed to catalyze and sustain their interest in technology. University of Maryland undergraduates  serve as student ambassadors and aspirational peers. Participants learn the mechanics behind social media, the importance of cybersecurity, and why computer science is essential to almost any career that demands critical thinking and decision-­‐making skills.

Retention programs specific to the University of Maryland that support female computer science majors throughout their undergraduate and graduate experience. This includes scholarships, mentoring and peer networking opportunities, along with workshops that allow female computer science majors to see firsthand the breadth and options available to them in industry and academia. The center also works to build community. The MCWIC lounge is availible for female computing students to gather, share ideas, and interact with peers and mentors.

MCWIC Launch

Fall and Spring Semester Outreach Programs

STEM/Robotics K-12 Outreach

Throughout the year, MCWIC Ambassadors take our curriculum on the road to visit local organizations and schools (ex. local Girl Scout troops) with a fun STEM activity. Activities last approximately 2 hours.  STEM options include LEGO Mindstorm Robots, cryptology activities and programming that provide an introduction to computing principles.  If your group is interested in learning more about these options, please complete this form to tell us more about your group and your interest. 

Weekly Elementary & Middle School Outreach

In a weekly after-school program, MCWIC Ambassadors provide weekly after-school programs in the local community to expose more students to computing through hands-on activities and real world problems. Much of the curriculum is adapted from CompSciConnect.  Schools can only be added to our current program between June- August and December- January. If your school is interested in this program, please complete this form.

Ladies Navigate Computer Science- High School Recruitment Event for Women interested in computing

October 6th, 2019, from 11:00am - 4:00pm

Are you interested in virtual reality, cyber security, game development, or programming?  Come learn about Computer Science and all of the opportunities for women in computing at the University of Maryland. This event is open to all students who identify as females in high school. Information will be geared towards Juniors and Seniors. 1 Parent/Guardian is welcome to attend, but must register in advance (on the same form) and will attend a different program.

RSVP here:

Please view our flyer here.

JumpStart Computing Workshop at UMD

December 7th, 2019. 

RSVP link coming soon.

Elementary students are invited to the University of Maryland for an interactive learning experience  in computing, robotics, and cybersecurity! Undergraduate students lead workshops in topics such as Python Art, Robotic Challenge, and Cryptography. This event provides students with the opportunity to explore computing topics, and learn about additional resources to continue their learning. Audience: Current 3rd- 5th Graders.

Date: May 5th, 2018

Date: December 8th, 2018

High School Computing Workshops at UMD

October 19th, 2019. 

RSVP link coming soon.

Each semester, MCWIC hosts 1-3 one-day workshops geared toward exposing students to different types of computing early in their careers. Workshops tend to focus on one main topic for the day and are opened to all students from 8th-12th grade. Registration is opened to current 8th-12th graders. 

Note: There is a $20 fee for each student participating. Scholarships are available.
You will be contacted to confirm your participation, receive logistical information, and pay your registration fee.

Past workshops include:

Intro to Programming

Virtual Reality Programming

Find Your Niche: Creating Animations with Alice Programming

Find Your Niche: Intro to Python

Find Your Niche: Introduction to Interactive Web Development

Intro to Web Development

Girls Who Code - UMD Chapter

By 2020, there will be 1.4 million jobs available in computing related fields. US graduates are on track to fill 29% of those jobs. Women are on track to fill just 3%. Girls Who Code was founded with a single mission: to close the gender gap in technology. Join us on Sundays from 1-3pm at the University of Maryland to have fun, learn computer science, and meet awesome friends! TGWC recruits at the beginning of each semester. To receive more information about the UMD GWC chapter email

Register here:

Rise-Up 4 CS - Maryland

Project Rise Up 4 CS helps underrepresented (Hispanic, African American, American Indian) women pass the Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science A course and exam. You must be enrolled in an AP CS A (Java) during the 2019-2020 school year to apply.

Program Components:
- Kick-Off Event October 6th 4:00pm-7:00pm Located in the Brendan Iribe Center room 1207
- Remote one-hour help sessions twice a week (only need access to a computer with an internet connection)
- In-person help sessions with free food at the University of Maryland every month
- One-on-one online sessions taught by UMD CS Students

Program Benefits:
- Deepen your knowledge of computer science and do well in your AP CS A course
- Meet other high school students who are passionate about computing
- Chance to win a prize if you send your AP score by the end of July

To become involved, please fill out this form:

NCWIT Aspirations

In collaboration with National Center for Women In Technology (NCWIT), Maryland-Delaware Affiliate Chapter, the Center recognizes young women in high school who pursue their passion in computing in an award ceremony each Spring. Both local and national award winners are invited to attend the event on campus. In the past, women from companies including Northrop Grumman serve as table hosts to encourage these young women to pursue a career in computing. Applications open every year on September 1st. Applications are typically due early November. View past winners and events here.

Updated Aspirations flyer coming soon

Cyber Girls Ambassadors

In partnership with WIT (the local professional Women in Technology), UMD Computer Science students go into the high schools to coach high school students to participate in the CyberPatriot competition through after school programs in local schools. This program is managed by the ACES Honors Program.

CompSciConnect Curriculum in a Box

Computer Science Connect “Curriculum-In-A-Box” is a series of hands-on curriculum modules, video lectures and other resources that will be available for free, online. The Curriculum-In-A-Box enables educators, parents, and universities interested in creating outreach programs to do so easily, with pre-packaged, pre-tested curriculum. This project is supported by the Association of Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education Special Projects Grant.


Girl Scout STEM Outreach

Current Students

Tech + Research

Tech + Research

Save the Date: November 8 - 10, 2019

In tandem with Technica, the Maryland Center for Women in Computing (MCWIC) will be hosting it's second year of Tech + Research. This event is for undergraduate women interested in getting experience and information surrounding the field of research in computer science. This three-day event occurs at the same time as Technica, from November 8th-10th, and will be primarily run through MCWIC, with the help of faculty and graduate students.

During this workshop, student teams will come together and collaboratively work together to use technology to solve pressing issues. Students are expected to be with Tech + Research for the entirety of the weekend, and to participate in scheduled events. Along with providing hands-on research experience in a dynamic hackathon setting, the weekend workshop will include sessions introducing attendees to the basics of computer science research (CSR) and highlight the exciting opportunities that come with pursuing a graduate degree in computer science.

To fill out the interest form, please use this link:

Student Organization Support

Student organizations that have a mission and purpose related to diversity and inclusion are supported through the Iribe Initiative for Inclusion and Diversity in Computing. If your organization can be classified as such, please email for next steps.

Student Organizations supported through the Iribe Initiative for Inclusion and Diversity in Computing:


Apply to be a tutor today!

Applications for the tutor position for Fall 2019 are officially open. Please apply using the link below:

You will need to upload a copy of your transcript and your Fall 2019 class schedule.

Applications are due August 5th, 2019.


Tutors offer support on general concepts, practice problems, and theories in the computer science intro classes for ALL students. Tutors do not offer support on specific project or homework questions. To register for tutoring, please complete this form:

The form will give you access to a Google Calendar to sign-up for 1:1 appointments. Guided Study Sessions are group tutoring opportunities for each class. They are held twice a week for 1 hour in IRB 1104. Spring 2019 Guided Study Session times for each class are listed below:

CMSC 131:
Tues 9:30am & Wed 5:30pm
CMSC 132:
Mon 6pm & Wed 11am
CMSC 216:
Mon 5pm & Thur 6:30pm
CMSC 250:
Mon 3:30pm & Tues 5pm
CMSC 330:
Mon 1pm & Thur 5:30 pm
CMSC 351:
Tues 4pm & Wed 3:30pm

Spring 2019 tutoring starts February 11 and runs through May 15.

Peer Mentoring Program

The mission of the Iribe Initiative for Inclusion and Diversity in Computing’s Peer Mentoring program is to facilitate community building, support academic success, and provide professional development for all students in computing. The program will foster peer-to-peer connections within the Department of Computer Science as well as involvement in the larger University of Maryland community.

Peer Mentoring is open to all students interested in computing and attending the University of Maryland.

The Peer Mentoring Program includes:

  • 1 on 1 mentor/mentee relationships
  • Monthly mentoring meetings
  • Technical workshops
  • Resources on professional, social, and academic events

Join us on September 3rd (at 5pm) or September 4th (at 4pm) in IRB 1104 for an informational session. 

Peer Mentoring Program flyer available here

Sign up for Peer Mentoring Program here.


Relevant Organizations

Organizations are a great way to build community and gain professional development. Many organizations offer scholarships, conferences, and additional resources to help women succeed professionally. 

UMD Student Organizations

Partners in Promoting Diversity in Computing

NCWIT - National Center for Women in Technology

WIT - Women in Technology

WSC - Women's Society of Cyberjutsu

Sonya Kovalevsky Day

Girl Scouts of Central Maryland STEM 

Cornerstone  - Technology Training for Immigrant Women

Additional DC based organizations are listed in this collection by WomenWhoTech

Professional Organizations

  • Association for Computing Machinary- Women (ACM-W)

    ACM-W is the ACM committee on Women in Computing. It celebrates, informs and supports women in computing, and works with the ACM-W community of computer scientists, educators, employers and policymakers to improve working and learning environments for women.

  • Anita Borg Institute

    The Anita Borg Institute seeks to increase the impact of women on all aspects of technology, and increase the positive impact of technology on the world's women.

  • AWIS

    AWIS is the Association for Women in Science. They are a non-profit association that works to promote women's activities in all scientific fields, from mentoring to scholarships to job listings.

  • CRA-W

    The goal of the CRA Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W) is to take positive action to increase the number of women participating in Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) research and education at all levels.

  • EdTechWomen

    EdTechWomen is a network of educators, technologists, and business experts focused on leadership development for women in education technology. Its mission is to create an inclusive community of women and their supporters from all aspects of the education technology industry in order to build and enhance the leadership capacity of women.

  • IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE)

    WIE mission: Inspire, engage, encourage, and empower IEEE women worldwide. WIE vision: A vibrant community of IEEE women and men innovating the world of tomorrow.

  • National Center for Women in Technology (NCWIT)

    NCWIT helps organizations recruit, retain, and advance women from K-12 and higher education through industry and entrepreneurial careers by providing support, evidence, and action. NCWIT is the only national organization focused on women's participation in computing across the entire ecosystem: K-12 through college education, and academic to corporate and entrepreneurial careers.

  • The Society of Women Engineers (SWE)

    SWE is a not-for-profit educational and service organization that empowers women to succeed and advance in the field of engineering, and to be recognized for their life-changing contributions as engineers and leaders. Founded in 1950, SWE is the driving force that establishes engineering as a highly desirable career for women through an exciting array of training and development programs, networking opportunities, scholarships, outreach and advocacy activities, and much more.

  • Women in Technology International (WITI)

    WITI is the premiere global organization empowering women in business and technology to achieve unimagined possibilities.

Topics for Inclusion in Computing

Below are resources and hot topics to encourage discussion and further support women in computing. 


    • NCWIT- What makes electronic mentoring effective?- a review and case study of how and why to use electronic mentoring
    • MentorNet- the award-winning nonprofit e-mentoring network that addresses the retention and success of those in engineering, science and mathematics, particularly but not exclusively women and other underrepresented groups.
    • Systers- a technical forum by the Anita Borg Institute( ABI) used to build community across all women in computing. 
    • ABI Curriculum Series- explore modules in these series to grow professionally as a women in computing

    Imposter Syndrome

    Workplace Culture

    Building the Pipeline

    • Engage CSEdu- NCWIT's effective ways to teach computer science
    • CSMatters- initiative to develop computer science curriculum and train teachers
    • CS for All- initiative of the White House to encourage all students to explore computer science

    Facts and Figures on Women in Computing

    Women Faculty in Computing at UMD

    UMD is proud to support female faculty in computing. Faculty represented here come from a variety of disciplines including Computer Science, Computer Engineering and Information Studies. Female faculty and graduate students often meet and collaborate through the group CS Women. 

    Women faculty listed below represents faculty at the University of Maryland Computing from the Department of Computer Science, UMIACS, Computer Engineering, and the iSchool.


    Dr. Jan Plane (CMSC & UMIACS)
    Director, Center for Women in Computing
    Associate Director of ACES
    Principal Lecturer

    Dr. Ming Lin (CMSC & UMIACS)
    Elizabeth Stevinson Iribe Chair of Computer Science

    Dr. Marine Carpuat (CMSC & UMIACS)
    Assistant Professor, Artificial Intelligence & Data Science

    Dr. Michelle Hugue (CMSC)


    Dr. Michelle Mazurek (CMSC & UMIACS)
    Assistant Professor

    Dr. Leilani Battle (CMNS)
    Assistant Professor

    Furong Huang (CMNS)
    Assistant Professor

    Dr. Bonnie Dorr (CMSC & UMIACS)
    Professor Emerita

    Dr. Dianne O’Leary (CMSC & UMIACS)
    Professor Emerita
    Distinguished University Professor

    Dr. Marshini Chetty (iSchool & UMIACS)
    Assistant Professor

    Dr. Dana Dachman-Soled (UMIACS)
    Assistant Professor

    Dr. Rita Colwell (UMIACS)
    Distinguished University Professor

    Dr. Marie desJardins (UMIACS)
    Professor, Computer Science & Electrical Engineering

    Dr. Vibha Sazawal (CMNS)

    Dr. Allison Druin (iSchool & UMIACS)
    Professor Human-Computer Interaction Lab

    Dr. Naomi Feldman (UMIACS)
    Assistant Professor, Department of Linguistics

    Dr. Cornelia Fermüller (UMIACS)
    Associate Research Scientist, CfAR & CVL

    Dr. Leila De Floriani (UMIACS)

    Dr. Leah Findlater (iSchool, UMIACS, & CMSC)
    Assistant Professor, iSchool
    Affiliate Professor, CMSC

    Dr. Catherine Plaisant (UMIACS)
    Senior Research Assistant, UMIACS
    Associate Director, HCIL

    Dr. Louiqa Raschid (UMIACS)
    Professor, Smith School of Business

    Dr. Min Wu (UMIACS)
    Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Dr. Vanessa Frias-Martinez (iSchool)
    Assistant Professor

    Dr. Jennifer Goldbeck (iSchool)
    Associate Professor

    Dr. Kari Kraus (iSchool)
    Associate Professor

    Dr. Katy Newton Lawley (iSchool)
    Doctoral Program Coordinator


    Dr. Jennifer J. Preece (iSchool)
    Dean Emerita

    Dr. Jessica Vitak (iSchool)
    Assistant Professor