Newswise — Linda Ott, PhD, is a professor of computer science and former chair of the Computer Science Department at Michigan Technological University.  She has been instrumental in attracting more women to computing fields.  Commenting on President Trump's call for funding for computer science and coding education in K-12 schools, she points out:

  • Students very often choose their future careers based on what courses they like in school.  If they never have an opportunity to experience a computer science course and discover the thrill that can be experienced programming, they are unlikely to consider a career in computer science. 
  • More young women are taking computer science and coding classes.  But it is when computer science courses are required and taught by engaging, qualified teachers, that schools have noticed that they are attracting a greater diversity of students to more advanced computer science courses. I've heard many young women say they went into their required computer science course dreading it, only to discover they love programming.
  • Computing has now permeated all aspects of our lives.  Computing is  how a business is run; it's how information is gathered in order to understand the costumer, the competition, the future; it's how communication takes place.  It is through custom software that an industry is able to differentiate itself.  And custom software requires developers.

Linda Ott is available for interviews at [email protected].