I'd like to encourage some speculation about one of the world's great incongruities.
Computer Science is a great field. It's supremely creative. It's changing our lives, driving our economy, and transforming the conduct of science, engineering, and many other fields. It's projected to be the source of 70% of the jobs in all fields of science and engineering between now and 2012. It's open to everyone.
In the US and Canada (and in many other parts of the world) the image of computing careers and computing professionals discourages many talented young people, especially women and minorities, from choosing to study computer science. For at least the last decade the computing profession has been widely viewed by high school students, parents, teachers, and counselors as being for individuals who have been obsessed with computers since puberty and want to program sixteen hours a day.