UCD staff and students recently won the best poster award for their work "Exploring Sense of Belonging in Computer Science Students" <https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/3341525.3393974> at the 25th Annual ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education <https://iticse.acm.org/>. This poster was presented virtually by UCD CS assistant professors Dr. Catherine Mooney and Dr. Brett Becker and was co-authored by UCD CS PhD students Anna Antoniadi and Ioannis Karvelas along with UCD Physics PhD student Lana Salmon. The work explored the relationship between sense of belonging in CS and participation in networking, outreach and mentoring activities.

Student sense of belonging has been shown to be associated with many attributes such as motivation and persistence. However, sense of belonging can show variations according to many factors such as gender. In this study, the authors examined the relationship between undergraduate Computer Science students' participation in networking, outreach, and mentoring activities and their sense of belonging. Results revealed lower levels of sense of belonging in women and self-identified minorities. However, the authors observed a higher sense of belonging in female students who participated in networking, outreach, and mentoring activities.

Overall the results presented will help us towards understanding what makes CS students feel included and what can be done to help those that don't.

The ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE) is an A-ranked conference and was held virtually on June 17th/18th. In addition to the work which received the best poster award, Dr. Becker presented 5 papers at the conference, one of which was a best paper award finalist.