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comment by lil

Hi Am. I was asking bec my CS class is 38 grad students from all over the world. After reading the article I wondered whether I should insist on diversity in their project teams or let it evolve as they go on their internships.

am_Unition  ·  1907 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think there are creative ways to force it, but you definitely have to be careful about them realizing that you're doing it intentionally. Maybe let them pick their own primary team, but design groups of various combinations that intermittently give status updates to each other once a week or something. Different groups every week, and each group has only one member from each primary team, at max. Good question, I'll be thinking about it more.

WanderingEng  ·  1908 days ago  ·  link  ·  

My experience is much like that of am_Unition. I work with a lot of white males but do/have worked with people from around the world. My experiences all feel like anecdotes.

Working with someone non-white doesn't seem to change my world view, at least not so simply. For example, one China-born coworker is a poor engineer. A couple others are superb engineers. That alone doesn't change my worldview much. What stands out to me is working with not just someone born in a different country of a different ethnicity but also working with someone with a similar background to me: white, male, grew up a hundred or so miles of here and went to university in state. And then they're a lousy engineer. Others are great engineers.

I'm not sure what that means for you. I guess, it's just as useful to me to work with "peers" that are terrible as it is to work with someone "different" who is really good.

Do your students do report outs or presentations to the class? As a white person, I think working with a group of white people but seeing a group of Indian or Chinese or Middle Eastern classmates give a good presentation would expand my experience more than a more diverse project team. In a project team, the dominant personality, regardless of ethnicity, will dominate.

lil  ·  1907 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yes, they do presentations to the class, individual and team. Everyone is gradually growing in compassion and awareness of similarities and differences. However, in the fall I had them form teams to do a group presentation for March (now) and I'm noticing that all the Chinese girls formed a group together and two south Asian guys formed a group. After reading the NYT article about diversity, I was wondering if I should insist on diverse teams in the future.