BRAID: Building, Recruiting And Inclusion for Diversity

The BRAID initiative launched in September 2014 in partnership with universities across the nation to  increase the percentage of women and students of color majoring in computer science. Each university committed to a set of approaches to increase diversity within their computer science departments. Each department also committed to providing data for a research study that will document the progress made over the course of three years. This project is led by Maria Klawe, President of Harvey Mudd College and Telle Whitney, CEO of the Anita Borg Institute. Linda Sax, a UCLA professor, and Kate Lehman, a third-year Ph.D. student at UCLA lead the research study.

The BRAID initiative is led by the Anita Borg Institute and Harvey Mudd College, and funded by Facebook, Google, Intel, Microsoft, CRA and NSF.

The National Center for Women & Information Technology is a partner organization on the BRAID Initiative. They are providing consultation to BRAID institutions through their Extension Services program.

BEACON Institutions are model institutions that have set a precedent for the BRAID schools. These schools have made an intentional effort to change their programs in order to promote diversity in their computer science departments. These schools includeHarvey Mudd College, University of British Columbia, University of Washington, California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo, Carnegie Mellon University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

BRAID School Affiliates are other institutions that have made the same commitments as the BRAID institutions, however, are not currently receiving funding. These schools include Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rice University, Simon Fraser and Texas A&M.

BRAID Institutions

Arizona State University
Missouri University of Science and Technology
New Jersey Institute of Technology
University of California, Irvine
University of Illinois at Chicago
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
University of Maryland, College Park
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
University of North Texas
University of Rochester
University of South Carolina
University of Texas at El Paso
University of Vermont
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Villanova University

BRAID Research

UCLA researchers Dr. Linda J. Sax and Kate Lehman will lead a mixed-methods research project to investigate the effectiveness of various departmental efforts to recruit and retain more women and underrepresented minority students in the computer science major at BRAID institutions. Qualitative components will include interviews and focus groups with department chairs, faculty, administrators, and students. Quantitative elements will involve surveys of students taking introductory computer science courses and of faculty who teach those courses. By tracking the 15 BRAID institutions, the project will provide a rich description of the change process and outcomes at each institution while also examining the effectiveness of varying initiatives across the institutions.