What Stanford is Doing is Amazing

Scott Francis
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John Lilly posted this Stanford Computer Science in 2 Charts article on Medium and I just find it fascinating.  John was CS198 coordinator back in my day at Stanford, and has maintained great connections to the school ever since.

Those of us who have stayed even marginally connected to Stanford’s CS program are aware that Mehran Sahami is doing a fantastic job running the undergraduate curriculum. But sometimes you have to see the charts to fully appreciate what’s going on:

“But this is amazing. Nearly 350 CS majors last year, compared to just under 1,700 that matriculated starting 2014.” – John Lilly

The raw numbers are awesome. Clearly, undergraduates increasingly view computer science as a major that provides a career path, not just a curiosity for nerds. I was in that class of ’94  that consisted of a mere 84 graduates.  After seeing this chart, I’m also curious how many people are majoring in what I considered satellite majors – CSE, Symbolic Systems, and the like.

But the chart also tells a second story:

“We are heading towards 100 female CS majors (and already are at more women majors than total majors when I was there). That’s huge progress, and due to tons of effort by many in & around the program. 25% is good, but not enough, certainly.”

This is a story of growing gender diversity as well as growth in raw numbers.  Stanford has found many ways to amaze me over the years, so maybe I shouldn’t be surprised.  These achievements run so counter to the tone of more sensationalist news media coverage of Stanford students and entrepreneurs.  But again, I shouldn’t be surprised.

Thanks to John Lilly for sharing the news!