Mission and History


At Momentum, we employ mixed-methods approaches to conduct cutting-edge research on efforts to diversify computing and technology fields. We are particularly interested in efforts to recruit women and people of color into computing education pathways and retain them into technology fields. We are social scientists with a pragmatic lens to our work. As such, we collaborate with other key players working on these issues to generate knowledge that informs policy and practice.


Housed at UCLA’s School of Education & Information Studies, Momentum represents an expansion of the work we have conducted since 2014 under the auspices of BRAID Research (Building, Recruiting, and Inclusion for Diversity). Our mixed-methods longitudinal research with BRAID institutions has examined diversity efforts and progress among computing departments committed to increasing gender and racial/ethnic diversity in their undergraduate computing programs. Our origins with the BRAID project are important, as they catalyzed our relationships with a vast network of partners and collaborators all committed to supporting research and translating findings to educational policy and practice.

Our research has been generously supported by the National Science Foundation, the Computing Research Association, AnitaB.org, the Kapor Center, and Pivotal Ventures. This extramural support enabled our research team to grow from just two researchers in 2014 to the full Momentum team, that includes Dr. Linda Sax as Founding Director, Dr. Kate Lehman as Associate Director, and a talented team of over a dozen graduate and undergraduate student researchers, as well as affiliated scholars from institutions across the country. Momentum continues its partnership with the BRAID project, while also expanding our research on diversity efforts within computing to other institutions and consortia (e.g., Center for Inclusive Computing), other educational databases (e.g., Higher Education Research Institute Freshman Survey), as well as to the development of an expansive literature database to support new NSF initiatives to engage computer science Principal Investigators in their BPC (broadening participation in computing) efforts. See the Research page for more information on our projects.

A photo of ten members of the Momentum team standing in front of a stand and repeat backdrop at the 2019 Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California

The Momentum Research Team at the 2019 Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California, Skirball Center, Los Angeles, CA

A photo of five members of the Momentum team in front of a marina. It is a mostly cloudy blue sky with palm trees in the background.

2019 ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing



Support for Momentum and its research projects has been provided by: AnitaB.org, the National Science Foundation (NSF #1525737), the Computing Research Association (CRA), Kapor Center, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Intel, Qualcomm, and Pivotal Ventures.