Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Famous CS majors

This semester six of my sixteen students (38%) in intro to programming are female. That's probably the highest percentage of females I've ever had in 10+ years of teaching this class. Maybe we have bottomed-out. Unfortunately, several of these females are engineering majors (mechanical or electrical), so I'm doing my best to change their minds and get them to switch to computer science. wink

I've spent the last couple of days in class recounting the brief history of computing, and it occurred to me that CS is the major you really want to have these days if you are looking to make a big splash. Here are just a few examples of guys who at one time or another majored in computer science or something related:
  1. Founders of Yahoo - David Filo (CE, Tulane & Stanford) and Jerry Yang (EE, Stanford)

  2. Founders of Google - Larry Page and Sergey Brin (they dropped out of their CS Ph.D. work at Stanford before graduating)

  3. Founder of Facebook - Mark Zuckerberg (CS, Harvard University)

  4. Founder of Microsoft - Bill Gates (he dropped out of Harvard without declaring a major, but my guess is he would have been CS)

  5. Founder of Napster - Shawn Fanning (CS major before he dropped out of Northwestern University)

  6. Co-Founder of Apple - Steve Wozniak (EECS, UC Berkeley)

I'm sure I've missed a number of famous CS majors (and a number of females), but my point is that CS is the place to be. Or at least it's the major to have before you drop out of school and become disgustingly wealthy.