Dr. Nicki Washington

Professor of the Practice, Computer Science

Role: Professor of the Practice, Duke University

Location: Durham, NC

Pronouns: she/her

Race/Ethnicity: Black

Education: B.S. Computer Science, Johnson C. Smith University; M.S. Computer Science, North Carolina State University; PhD Computer Science, North Carolina State University

Fun Facts: She was previously the captain of an award-winning competitive karaoke team.

About Her Work: Dr. Nicki Washington is a woman on a mission: As a professor of the practice of computer science at Duke, she teaches a course called Race, Gender, Class & Computing, which explores the diversity challenges in computer science and the effects that this lack of inclusion has on technology.

Watch & Discuss

STEM Spotlight Episode 4 features Dr. Nicki Washington - a professor of the practice of computer science at Duke University and the author of Unapologetically Dope: Lessons for Black Women and Girls on Surviving and Thriving in the Tech Field.

  • Dr. Washington argues that computer science needs a stronger dose of social sciences as part of its curriculum - what does she mean by this statement?

  • Research other classes that are offered throughout the country- what similarities/differences exist with them and that which Dr. Washington has created?

Extension Activities

The course developed by Dr. Washington explores the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) challenges in computing through an introduction to and analysis of various social constructs and their impact on not only computing departments and organizations, but also the technologies developed. This course also introduces students to cultural competence in the context of computing.