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Annotated Reference List

Women and Computing

Gender equity in computing is part of a larger issue of gender equity in all disciplines and fields.

"If women are to do the same work as men, we must teach them the same things." Plato (428-347 B.C.)

The References for this Webpage provide a number of useful sources of information. A thought provoking starting point is the article:

Oram, Andy (Jan. 26, 2004). Globalization and women, copyright infringement in open source, and other news from LinuxWorld: How globalization could promote the role of women in computing. Accessed 1/28/04: http://www.onlamp.com/pub/wlg/4291#women.

The article also includes links to useful resources. Quoting from the article:

Readers interested in learning about and working on such issues can consult:

• Computing Research Association's Committee on the Status of Women in Computing.

The Institute for Women and Technology founded by Dr. Anita Borg.

The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (a good conference for men to attend in order to find out what it's like to be almost the only one of your gender in the room).

• Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility's gender pages.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a four-year, $3.25
million grant to the University of Colorado Boulder (CU-Boulder) to
support the development of a National Center for Women and Information
Technology. The grant represents the largest workforce grant ever
awarded by the NSF's Computer and Information Science and Engineering
directorate. Current data indicate that women represent just
one-quarter of IT professionals and that the numbers of women pursuing
IT degrees continue to decline. The goal of the new center, according
to CU-Boulder Chancellor Richard Byyny, is "to achieve workforce parity
within 20 years, by making a concerted national effort that connects
primary and higher education with careers in the IT industry and
academia." The center will be located primarily at CU-Boulder's new
Alliance for Technology, Learning, and Society (ATLAS) building and
will work to bring together universities, industry, government, and
nonprofit organizations.
Colorado Daily, 18 October 2004

See also:

Frauenheim, Ed and Gilbert, Alorie (February 7, 2005). Opening doors for women in computing. CNET News.com. Accessed 2/a/05: http://news.com.com/Opening+


Achieving Gender Equity in Science Classrooms [Online]. Accessed 2/13/02: http://www.brown.edu/Administration/
equity/Equity_handbook.html. Quoting from the Website:

The idea for this handbook originated in a Group Independent Study Project (GISP) on gender distinctions in science education at Brown University. The GISP, organized by students concerned about the under-representation of women in science, was designed to examine the role that science education plays in that under-representation. The GISP's goals were to determine the causes of high attrition rates in the undergraduate "pipeline" in science, math, and engineering for women, and to find solutions to decrease the number of students leaving these fields. The GISP's work included case studies of introductory science classes at Brown, surveys of syllabi and textbooks used in science classrooms, a survey of literature on the history of women in science and current research on gender and science education, and interviews with male and female science faculty.

Ada Lovelace [Online]. Accessed 7/1/01: http://www.awc-hq.org/lovelace/whowas.htm.

An Ada Lovelace Biography. Ada: The Enchantress of Numbers by Betty Alexandra Toole, Ed.D.

Association for Women in Computing (AWC) [Online]. Accessed 7/1/01: http://www.awc-hq.org/.

The Association for Women in Computing was founded in 1978. One of its activities is to sponsor an annual Augusta Ada Lovelace award. The award winners are women who have played prominent roles in the IT field. Quoting from the Website:
The Association for Women in Computing (AWC) is a not-for-profit, professional organization for individuals with an interest in information technology. AWC is dedicated to the advancement of women in the computing fields, in business, industry, science, education, government, and the military.

Associates for Women in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics (AWSAEM) [Online]. Accessed 4/8/01: http://www.awsem.com/. Quoting from the Website:

History: Begun in 1994 as a project of the Saturday Academy in Portland, Oregon, Advocates for Women in Science, Engineering and Mathematics, or AWSEM, brings together parents, educators and women professionals in science-related fields to kindle and support young women's interest in science, engineering, mathematics and technology (SEMT).

Facts: Research shows that although girls are as talented as boys in math and science, and although most girls are excited about science in childhood, these same girls begin to lose interest in math and science around the age of twelve. These girls then drop out of math and science classes, often forever closing the doors on a vast and diverse array of career opportunities. (For more information, statistics and resources about women and girls in the sciences, check out our Gender Equity Information pages.)

Purpose: Believing that this loss of talent is not only a personal but also a national tragedy, AWSEM has developed a model of advocacy, as well as a variety of products, designed to encourage girls to pursue their early interests in the sciences.

Center for Gender Equity [Online]. Accessed 4/16/01: http://www.wri-edu.org/equity/. Quoting from the Website:

The goal of the Center for Gender Equity is to promote technology, science, and mathematics as careers and as areas of civic literacy among girls and women, primarily by strengthening the gender equity knowledge and skills of K-12 teachers and teacher-educators.

CyberSisters [Online]. Accessed 6/12/01: http://www.cyber-sisters.org/.

This middle school-level mentoring program has been run through the Willamette Science and Technology Center, located in Eugene, Oregon, for a number of years. In June 2001 the people running this program announced that they are splitting off from WISTEC and have started a new non-profit organization to continue this work. The Website for their new program is: Accessed 6/12/01: http://www.girlspring.org/.

Feminist Majority Foundation:Feminist Internet Gateway [Online. Accessed 2/13/02: http://www.feminist.org/gateway/science.html.

Contains a briefly annotated bibliography of links to 15 important Websites.

Gannon, Joyce (8/21/05). Talking with Lenore Blum: Professor tries to instill passion for math, science. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Accessed 8/29/05: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05233/557060.stm.

Gender Equity in Education : A List of Sites Related to Gender Equity [Online]. Accessed 3/14/03: http://teachertech.rice.edu/Participants/mborrow/GenderEquity/geeqlist.html

A very large collection of links!

Gender, Science and Technology Gateway [Online]. Accessed 2/13/02: http://gstgateway.wigsat.org/gw.html.

The Gender Advisory Board for the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development (UNCSTD) was established in 1995 to provide advice to UNCSTD. The board consists of six international gender experts, appointed by the Secretary General. The Website contains links to a wide variety of gender equity information and issues with a worldwide perspective.

Girls in Technology Committee. Accessed 1/28/05: www.girlsintechnology.org. An article on this is available, accessed 1/28/05: http://www.womenintechnology.org/
. This committee is part of Women in Technology, a non-profit organizatoin. Quoting from the WIT Website:

The GIT committee supports and initiates programs to foster technology, math and science, interest in elementary, middle and high school girls (particularly in underserved communities).  We hope to raise funding to create tangible programs to support these efforts, which would include, but not be limited t scholarships, mentoring, hands on computer training, speakers and other types of support.

Goldberg, Adele [Online]. Accessed 12/3/01: http://www0.mercurycenter.com/archives/
womenhistory/agoldberg12.htm. Quoting from the Website:

In 1973 Goldberg landed the job of her dreams at Xerox PARC, where she influenced several early innovations, including the ``NoteTaker,'' a precursor to the hand-held personal assistants of today, as well as Smalltalk, the software that ran on it.

Goldberg co-wrote the first books that explained Smalltalk and helped evangelize it. And when PARC wasn't interested in doing anything commercial with the software, she raised money and launched ParcPlace Systems in 1988, which she led as chair until 1996. Last year she co-founded Neometron, with the goal of changing the way teams of programmers work together.

A brilliant and exuberant technologist, Goldberg is highly driven, former colleagues said. ``She's an incredible leader,'' said Larry Tesler, a PARC alum, formerly chief scientist at Apple and now president of Stagecast Software. ``She set the vision and kept us motivated.''

Hooper, Grace Murray [Online]. Accessed 6/13/01: http://www.agnesscott.edu/lriddle/
women/hopper.htm. Quoting from the Website:

Hopper's first [naval] assignment was under Commander Howard Aiken at the Bureau of Ordinance Computation at Harvard University. There she became the third programmer of the Mark I, the world's first large-scale automatically sequenced digital computer. The computer was used to calculate aiming angles for Naval guns in varying weather conditions. Because the numbers were so pertinent, Hopper and her assistants were often required to run and monitor the system twenty-four hours a day. They spent countless hours transcribing and inputting codes for Mark I and its successors, Mark II and III. Hopper received the Naval Ordnance Development Award in 1946 for her work on the Mark series.

During her work with Mark II, Hopper was credited with coining the term "bug" in reference to a glitch in the machinery. This story is apparently a bit of computer folk-lore, however, as the term had already been used by Harvard personnel for several years to describe problems with their computers. It is the case that she and her team of programmers did find a moth which flew through an open window and into one of Mark II's relays, temporarily shutting down the system. The moth was removed and pasted into a logbook [Photo of that bug]. At that time the use of the word "bug" referred to problems with the hardware. In the mid 1950's, Hopper extended the meaning of the term "debug" to include removing programming errors.

Institute for Women and Technology [Online]. Accessed 2/13/02: http://www.iwt.org/home.html. Quoting from the Website:

The Institute for Women and Technology (IWT) was founded in 1997 by Dr. Anita Borg and is led by Executive Director, Dr. Sara B. Hart. IWT's constituency includes, women in technology as professionals, students and policy makers, girls, older women who missed the 'information revolution' and women in underserved communities throughout the world.

IWT accomplishes its mission through four specific programs: The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference, The Systers online community, The Senior Women's Summit, and the Virtual Development Center (VDC). Each program address's the IWT mission in a unique way and focuses on specific communities within IWT's constituency.

Koller, Daphne. In 2004 she was awarded a $500,000 MacArthur "genius" award. She works in the field of AI. Quoting from (Accessed 10/20/04): http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,65357,00.html.

In fact, Koller's work will contribute to computer systems that truly understand natural language and answer questions based on all the world's information -- unlike search engines, "which simply provide all the world's information and wish you luck in finding the answer," said Koller's UC-Berkeley post-doctorate adviser,

Kosa, Martha (1998). Reflections on Women in Computing [Online]. Accessed 4/8/01: http://www.tntech.edu/www/acad/whet/

This brief introduction to women and computing contains links to a number of important sites. Among these are:

Making Computer Science More Open to Women. (Chronicle of Higher Education Online, 25 January 2002) (Edupage, January 25, 2002)

Jane Margolis of UCLA and Carnegie Mellon University's Allan Fisher propose ways that high schools and colleges can encourage more women to take computer science courses in their new book, "Unlocking the Clubhouse: Women in Computing." The authors contend that society discourages women from taking an interest in computer science as early as childhood, while a prevailing "geek culture" further estranges them. Margolis and Fisher conducted a four-year study of female Carnegie Mellon students as the university retooled its school of computer science, instituting new admissions policies, community groups, and interdisciplinary courses. These programs, along with a "ferocious attention to the quality of student experience," have yielded positive results, according to the professors. Between 1995 and 2000, the percentage of female computer science majors leapt from just 7 percent to roughly 40 percent. Furthermore, the concluding surveys indicated that female students were no more likely than their male counterparts to leave the major, whereas they were twice as likely to do so in 1995.

Sanders, Jo. Director, Center for Gender Equity [Online]. Accessed 2/13/02: http://www.wri-edu.org/equity/sanders.html. Quoting from the Website:

Jo Sanders has directed nationwide projects on gender equity in science, technology, and mathematics careers since 1979. She is currently the Principal Investigator in the three-year Washington State Gender Equity Project, funded by the National Science Foundation, Hewlett-Packard, and Microsoft. This project is a collaborative project throughout the State of Washington. Its goal is to transform the teacher education establishment by incorporating gender equity into existing instruction, policy, and procedures.

Terry, Jennifer and Melodie Calvert (1997). Processed Lives: Gender and Technology in Everyday Life New York: Routledge.

This is a collection of articles and essays dealing with the issue of gender and technology. It has several detailed discussions of how women have a special kind of relation to technology by virtue of their social role and how it has been defined relative to science and women's embodiment. It also helps to explain why women (and girls for that matter) may have different attitudes toward technology. As a teacher, it seems extremely important to know some of the reasons that may be the basis for that attitude.

Women and Gender Studies Science and Technology Web Sites [Online]. Accessed 2/13/02: http://libraries.mit.edu/humanities/

Science and Technology Pages developed and maintained by the Women's Studies Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries.

Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering [Online]. Accessed 2/13/02: http://www.mills.edu/ACAD_INFO/MCS/

Contains a very large number of links to organizations and projects that address gender equity issues. The overall site appears to have not been updated in recent years, so some links are broken.

Women in Technology, a non-profit organization. Accessed 1/19/05: http://www.womenintechnology.org/. Quoting the Website:

Women in Technology is a not for profit organization serving the Washington, DC metropolitan region and nearly 900 members in the technology community with a networking and professional growth environment to develop relationships and create new opportunities.


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