The Tufts Department of Computer Science encourages every student at the university to explore our discipline, regardless of previous exposure to the subject. Our introductory courses require no previous background. We strive to create an environment in which all students can fully explore their interests in computer science, whether that be by taking a course or two, minoring in the subject, majoring in it, or getting a master’s or Ph.D. We seek to prepare our students for impactful and rewarding careers in computer science as well as the many other fields that can benefit from computer science expertise.
The Tufts Department of Computer Science is engaging and inclusive, built on finding strength through diversity. Our department is diverse in race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, ability/disability, age, socioeconomic background, academic experience, veteran status, and many more dimensions than we can list here. We recognize that a diverse student body is vital to producing future leaders, creating innovative technologies, and serving society.
Our partnership with the Building, Recruiting, and Inclusion for Diversity (BRAID) initiative underscores this commitment. The department was honored to be a 2018 BRAID Affiliate. The initiative, co-led by AnitaB.org and Harvey Mudd College, was created in 2014 in the hopes of ultimately improving diversity and representation in computer science. Affiliates commit to increasing the diversity of their computing departments and learn best practices from other BRAID schools.
In 2019, an enterprising group of nine sophomores created a new CS student group: Black Students in Computer Science (BSCS). The charter of the group is the following:
BSCS is dedicated to fostering a sense of community for Black students who are studying computer science and related fields such as data science and cognitive brain science. Representing one of Tufts' most underrepresented groups in CS, BSCS exists to provide professional development, technical training, solidarity, and equitable opportunity for all students among the African diaspora. BSCS provides a welcoming, collaborative space for students to connect and form meaningful relationships while also growing as future leaders in the tech industry.
In 2021, department faculty voted to adopt the following statement:
The CS faculty promotes the use of inclusive and non-offensive language in our field. Many historical terms rely on outdated and often harmful metaphors. We seek to increase the precision and inclusivity of our language by striving on an ongoing basis to use better and more modern terms.
As always, you are encouraged to discuss course matters with your professor if you are comfortable doing so. We also remind students that the CS department has a committee on Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI). The committee invites dialogue with anyone who has concerns relating to these topics. You can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to working to build an inclusive community at Tufts, we support students from underrepresented groups by sending them to conferences at which they can experience being in the majority. In the past, we have sent students to the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, the ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing, National Society of Black Engineers conventions and conferences, the Lesbians Who Tech Conference, and oSTEM’s annual conference.
The Tufts Department of Computer Science strives to foster diversity, inclusion, and belonging in the context of a School of Engineering and a university that shares these goals. To support these efforts, Tufts University established a Center for STEM Diversity in 2008 that works in partnership with the School of Engineering and the School of Arts and Sciences to foster a diverse and inclusive science and engineering learning environment.