At the University of Chicago Department of Computer Science, we welcome students of all backgrounds and identities. In order to achieve our educational and research missions, it is essential to establish and maintain a community of diverse voices. As University of Chicago President Robert J. Zimmer wrote, "We have an obligation to see that the greatest variety of perspectives is brought to bear on the issues before us as scholars and citizens. We therefore celebrate our tradition of inclusion and recognize that our success as an institution depends on its ongoing renewal."

UChicago CS manages and participates in a number of programs and initiatives that support students from groups underrepresented in the field. You can read about some examples below.

CS BPC Plan 

We recently released our departmental Broadening Participation in Computing (BPC) plan, which has been verified by  It aims to foster an inclusive environment where students from all backgrounds can achieve their highest potential. 

The departmental BPC plan builds on existing strengths and collaborations, while fostering new efforts.  It will grow and evolve based on community engagement, stakeholder feedback, and impact assessment.  Community input is vital, it can be provided here, and when normal operations resume via town halls and topical meetings.

Useful references: is a national clearinghouse to learn about and engage with ongoing projects to address underrepresentation in computing. Also here is a helpful article from CACM on BPC.  


The UChicago chapter of the ACM-W is a hub for women in computer science at the university. We hold biweekly study breaks for women in CS and allies on Tuesdays from 6pm-8pm in Ryerson 255.

The group is open to anyone who identifies as a woman and has an interest in computer science. It's meant to be a safe space for discussion, meeting other UChicago women in CS, and supporting women in the department. In addition to study breaks, we hold various panels, workshops, and speaker events throughout the year. We also run the following departmental initiatives focused on fostering diversity in the Computer Science department.

Graduate Women in CS (GWiCS)

Graduate Women in Computer Science (GWiCS) is an organization that builds a community of support for female-identifying graduate students in the Computer Science department. Our activities include monthly Sounding Board Socials, recruitment, and advocacy.  GWiCS is also part of the Women in Graduate Science organization within the Physical Sciences Division.  For more information, please contact Ashka Shah and Sophia Lin

Diversity Initiatives

Grace Hopper Scholarship

Over the years, ACM-W received funding from the Women’s Board and Division of Physical Sciences to send  women to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration for Women in Computing. The Grace Hopper Conference (known as GHC) is the world’s largest gathering of women technologists - it consists of 3 packed days of keynote speakers, technical workshops, panels, and networking events hosted by top tech companies. GHC is instrumental to fostering diversity in the tech industry - it provides both career and professional growth opportunities to women in tech.


CS Dept Mentorship Program

The CS Dept Mentorship Program provides underclassmen interested in the CS major or minor with the opportunity to be paired with an upperclassmen or graduate student that can provide them with guidance through the beginning of their time at UChicago. There is great diversity in the experiences and technical backgrounds of students entering the introductory sequence. The Computer Science Department recognizes that even with two separate series, they cannot perfectly accommodate students' needs. Getting to know students who have succeeded in order to learn they are not alone in their struggles and to find out strategies for success are two of the many benefits of the mentoring program.


compileHer is a student-led organization at the University of Chicago whose mission is to enable young girls to succeed in Technology through curriculum-based activities and direct mentorship programs. compileHer believes that technology should be build to address the problems of all people and that the knowledge of Computer Science should be made accessible to everyone. compileHer runs a major capstone event each year in addition to an annual hackathon for middle school girls, both of which are open to sponsorship (for more details, see this recap of their 2018 capstone)

Additional Campus Diversity and Inclusion Resources 

  • Graduate Recruitment Initiative Team (GRIT):

    • GRIT’s main goal is enhancing diversity and inclusion across STEM graduate programs. To achieve this goal, the team focuses on three central components: recruitment, retention, and sustainability.

    • Originally piloted in BSD, GRIT expanded to PSD in the 2018-19 academic year.

    • For more information, please contact Jasmine Lu.

  • UChicago SACNAS

    • Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science

    • Not exclusive to only Chicanos and Native Americans; any STEM graduate student who identifies as an underrepresented minority can join.

    • They have a diversity speaker series and an annual SACNAS research conference.

    • For more information, please contact Christina Roman.

  • UChicago Resource Groups

    • These resource groups are from BSD, but are open to all STEM graduate students.

    • Resource Groups include: Black Men Engaged, Hispanic/Latinx, UC Moms, LGBTQ+ and many others.

  • UChicago Bias Education and Support Team

    • Students who experience such an incident can seek assistance from the Bias Education & Support Team (BEST). BEST's mission is to educate and support students affected by bias incidents and empower them to respond effectively.

  • UChicago Center for Identity + Inclusion

    • The Center for Identity + Inclusion creates intentionally diverse and inclusive communities, serving as a bridge builder by engaging students and members of the University community of all backgrounds to ensure personal, academic, and professional growth and success.

  • Race and Pedagogy Working Group

    • The Race and Pedagogy Working Group at the University of Chicago is a community of scholars and teachers interested in exploring the intersection of pedagogy and racial justice across disciplines.  Our aim is to foster a community of scholars and teachers committed to addressing race as a subject of both practical and theoretical interest in our classrooms.

  • UChicago International House

    • The mission of International House is to enable students and scholars from around the world to live and learn together in community that builds lifelong qualities of leadership, respect, and friendship


Departmental BPC Leadership /BPC Working Group:

·   David Cash (CS Faculty)

·   Mike Franklin (CS Chair)

·   Hank Hoffmann  (PSD Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Coordination Team Member)

·   Randall Landsberg (BPC Lead)

·   Julia Lane  (Executive Director, CDAC)

Graduate Women in Computer Science (GWiCS)


  • Isha Mehrotra, President
  • Laya Gollapudi, Board Member
  • Briana Mendoza, Board Member
  • Rose Pierce, Board Member

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