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It is the policy of the United States government to encourage the progress of women and underrepresented minorities in science and engineering, including information technology (IT). For over a decade the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate (CISE) of NSF has been supporting projects designed to improve opportunities for women and minorities in computing. From an initial emphasis on increasing the numbers in graduate school studying computer science and engineering, CISE's emphasis broadened to include research. Studies examining the underlying reasons why women and minorities are underrepresented in IT.