The Allen School demonstrates its commitment to diversity and inclusion through a number of ongoing programs and events designed to increase participation in computing and cultivate a welcoming and inclusive environment for all. Our work spans the the pipeline, from K-12 to industry, offering a variety of student- and educator-focused activities augmented by cross-campus and external partnerships that enable us to provide a pathway into computer science education and careers for more students from underrepresented groups. We also provide multiple opportunities for our students and faculty to connect and learn with others in the computing field who share our commitment to diversity and inclusion.

K-12 Education

  • DawgBytes Summer Camps: Our one- and two-week summer camps introduce middle and high school students to computer science through programming projects, robotics, web design, and more. Since 2012, our summer camps have served more than 900 students; roughly half of our camp participants are girls.
  • CS4Teachers: This three-day workshop teaches computer science basics to middle and high school teachers. Our goal is to help teachers incorporate a little fun CS content into their non-CS classes, exposing a broader range of students to computer science.
  • CSE Ambassadors: The Allen School’s CSE Ambassadors program provides a way for our undergraduate majors to share their enthusiasm for technology with the younger generation through workshops, demos, and classroom and campus visits.
  • Inspirational Teachers Banquet: We invite our students' most inspirational teachers to campus for a banquet to celebrate their impact in the classroom and to reconnect with their former students who are now Allen School undergraduates.
  • AccessComputing Alliance: AccessComputing activities help students with disabilities reach critical junctures on a path toward college studies and careers in computing. Most efforts of AccessComputing serve individuals with a wide variety of disabilities; some activities are specially designed for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • AccessCSforAll: AccessCSforAll works to increase the participation of students with disabilities in computer science education by providing professional development, accessible materials, and individualized support for K-12 teachers in Exploring Computer Science and Computer Science Principles — two courses designed to introduce students to big ideas in computer science and to inspire students from diverse backgrounds to consider computing as part of their career plans.
  • Computing Open House: Every December, our CS open house coincides with Computer Science Education Week. The Allen School invites middle and high school students and their families to tour our research labs and participate in hands-on activities. Our faculty and current students introduce visitors to the broad range of problems computing can address, while representatives from local technology companies share demos and discuss why they love working in the computing field.
  • Engineering Discovery Days: We participate in this annual event organized by the UW College of Engineering to highlight engineering and STEM education for K-12 students.
  • MESA, Upward Bound, and CAMP: We collaborate with pre-college programs such as these as a complement to Allen School and UW outreach programs in order to introduce computer science to even more local students from underserved and underrepresented backgrounds.

Higher Education

  • Allen School Scholars Program: Incoming Computer Science and Computer Engineering majors can take this one-month course prior to starting Autumn quarter. Open to anyone but designed to benefit students from underrepresented backgrounds, this course teaching fun introductory CS concepts as well as introducing general college skills, UW and Allen School resources, career ideas, and helping students form a strong community.
  • Women in CSE seminar: Designed for women taking CSE 142, Introductory Programming I, our Women In CSE seminar provides a supportive environment in which students begin to build community and learn more about our department and the field of computer science.
  • Women’s Research Day: Each year, the Allen School organizes an event to celebrate the work of our faculty and student researchers and connects students with women in industry.
  • Washington State Academic RedShirt (STARS) Program: We contribute to the STARS Program administered by the UW College of Engineering that helps potential engineering and computer science majors from low-income backgrounds to successfully make the transition to college-level work.
  • Student networking and professional development: We provide a variety of opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to connect with peers and leaders in our field by sponsoring travel to national conferences focused on diversity in computing, such as the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) conference, the Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing, and the Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (oSTEM) conference. At these events, students connect with and learn from computing professionals representing diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, abilities, and gender identities.
  • Diversity Allies: This moderated, opt-in email list that was originally created by graduate students is intended to foster the sharing of data and perspectives on diversity and inclusion that may be of interest to the Allen School community.
  • Ability, ACM, ACM-W, Gen1, Minorities in Tech (MiT), Q++ (, and Student Advisory Council: These student-led organizations provide our students with community, peer guidance, and personal and professional resources while offering leadership opportunities to undergraduates. They also serve as valued sources of input to School leadership on how we can better support students representing diverse backgrounds and experiences.
  • Women’s lunches and teas: The Allen School periodically hosts social events to foster community and support for women in computing.
  • We partner with a number of external organizations that support greater access to computing education and careers, such as the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship, which supports low- and moderate-income Washington residents pursuing degrees in STEM fields.
  • We work closely with Washington's community and technical colleges and develop online course materials, course equivalency certification, email boards to foster interaction, and transfer information.

National Partnerships

  • Hopper-Dean Foundation Collaboration: The Allen School is one of 8 computer science programs (UW, Berkeley, CMU, MIT, and Stanford, joined later by Cornell, Georgia Tech, and Howard) working together with sponsorship from the Hopper-Dean Foundation to increase undergraduate diversity, equity, inclusion, and success. At UW, the specific focus is economically disadvantaged and underrepresented minority students.
  • LEAP Alliance: The Allen School is one of 11 leading computer science programs that comprise the LEAP Alliance: Diversifying Leadership in the Professoriate. The program is funded by an INCLUDES grant from the National Science Foundation awarded in 2017 to launch and demonstrate the effectiveness of strategies focused on recruiting and retaining diverse doctoral students at the LEAP institutions. The end goal is to increase the amount of underrepresented minorities and persons with disabilities pursuing faculty positions in computer science, thus serving as role models for a diverse student body and bringing new perspectives to research projects and program policies.
  • NCWIT: The Allen School is an active member of the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), a coalition of more than 100 prominent corporations, academic institutions, government agencies, and non-profits working to increase women's participation in information technology. In 2015, we earned the inaugural NCWIT NEXT Award grand prize for our success in recruiting and retaining women in undergraduate computer science.
  • BRAID: The Building, Recruiting, And Inclusion for Diversity initiative (BRAID), which was established by Harvey Mudd College President Maria Klawe, seeks to help computer science programs increase the percentage of women in their undergraduate populations by following specific steps that have proven useful at more successful schools. The Allen School has been one of four original BRAID “Beacon Schools” — schools who have demonstrated success at increasing the percentage of women in their programs.