Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Manfred Keil

Reader 2

Serkan Ozbeklik

Rights Information

© 2016 Eliana Keinan


Though women’s participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields has greatly increased over the past 60 years, women’s participation in computer science peaked in the 1980s. The paper searches for key motivators for women entering computer science at the peak in order to isolate factors for the subsequent steep decline. A major finding of the paper is that having a computer at home is (weakly) statistically significant as a determinant for female students choosing to pursue computer science. This relationship is insignificant for students in other STEM and non-STEM fields. A final section of the paper examines employment in computing. There is some support to suggest that early exposure to computing is correlated with individuals, both male and female, subsequently using a computer at work.