News about women in science and engineering.
With support from the Computer Science Department, Dartmouth Students recently attended the 2012 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in Baltimore, MD. To learn more visit:
Diverse-IT: Examining the Sex of Information Technology - Panel Discussion
Thursday, April 12 - 4:30 PM Haldeman 041
Join us for an exciting panel exploring the role of gender in the development and use of information technologies, and the implications for ensuring vibrancy in the fields of computer science and engineering. Sponsored by the Institute for Security, Technology and Society (ISTS) in collaboration with the Women and Gender Studies Program, the Women in Science Project (WISP), the Computer Science Department, and the Thayer School of Engineering. Although more women than men now enroll in college "by graduation, men outnumber women in nearly every science and engineering field, and in some, such as physics, engineering, and computer science, the difference is dramatic, with women earning only 20% of bachelor's degrees."* This panel seeks to confront the low numbers of women in information technology fields by examining the "sex of information technology" including trainingas well as celebrating successful women in IT and learning from their personal experiences. For more information please go to: http://www.ists.dartmouth.edu/events/diverse-it.html
*Why so few? Women in Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics" 2010, American Association of University Women
WISP Sponsors at CRREL
Army Engineer Research and Development Center researchers at CRREL in Hanover will mentor five Dartmouth students through the WISP internship project during the 2012 winter and spring terms. (L-R) are Jay Clausen, Maggie Knuth, Susan Taylor, and Carrie Vuyovich. Intern projects include: utility of field x-ray fluorescence, testing of an extraterrestrial wheel and tool model, breakdown of propellants in the environment, and passive microwave detection of snowmelt and runoff. The Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, established in 1961, helps solve science and engineering problems in complex environments, especially Earth's cold regions.
Dr. Edith Widder battles sediment pollution in a Florida estuary by using bioluminescence. Read about her latest research in this New York Times article.
When Marie Curie came to the United States for the first time, in May 1921, she had already discovered the elements radium and polonium, coined the term, "radioactive" and won the Nobel Prize - twice. Read more about the most decorated scientist of that era from Smithsonian Magazine's October 2011 issue in the article "The Passion of Madam Curie."
Tanzeem Choudhury, assistant professor of computer science, has been elected a 2010 PopTech Science and Public Leadership Fellow. This is the inaugural year for the fellowship, which recognizes early- and mid-level career scientists who work in areas of critical importance to the nation and the planet. The chosen 18 fellows exemplify the ability to incorporate social causes into their research and communicate these results to a broader audience. Computer scientist Tanzeem Choudhury directs Dartmouth's People Aware Computing group which develops machine learning techniques for systems that can reason about everyday human activities. Go here.
Why So Few?
- The new 2010 research report, Why So Few?, by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) sheds light on the reasons why there are so few female scientists and engineers compared to other professions. The authors provide evidence that environmental and social barriers restrict women's advancement in science, engineering, technology, and mathematics. The report also offers new ideas for how to change the current situation and make these fields more accessible to women.
- As International Women's Day (March 8, 2010) approaches, there is cause for celebration. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that women make up about 47% of the overall workforce and 51% of the workforce in management and professional occupations. This marks a closing of the gender gap in the workplace. However, there is still a significant disparity in the realm of scientific research where women make up only 19% of tenured US National Institutes of Health (NIH) staff. The reasons for women abandoning academic science careers may be complex; however, with a major restructuring of the way academic research is conducted, then the gap between men and women can be bridged. Read more.
- The Association for Women in Science, the largest multi-discipline scientific organization for women in the U.S., has moved its national offices to Alexandria, VA. This relocation is designed to build upon the Association's strategic alliances, which will further its goals of diversifying the workforce in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The new national office will be located on 1442 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA, 22314. Questions or concerns should be directed to the AWIS staff by telephone at (202) 326-8940.
- Forty years ago on November 12, 1969, the first six women scientists from the United States were finally allowed to work in Antarctica. The U.S. Antarctica Program makes a significant milestone this month in “Stepping into history: Women mark 40 years of working in the U.S. Antarctica Program.” Read more.
- Are there gender biases in science and science education? Does anything need to be done, and if so, what? Inside Higher Ed's Ben Elsen explores these questions in the context of America's universities and female scientists. Dialogue ensues in the comments section. Read more.
- “Computer Science–A Growing Field That Needs a Few (More) Good Women” discusses the stereotypes that exist about the jobs available in the field, as well as those about computer scientists themselves. Dartmouth's Assistant Professor of Computer Science Tanzeem Choudhury was interviewed. Read more.
- “Female, Minority Physical Scientists Needed to Maintain US Edge” discusses the need for an increase in the number of students majoring in physical scientists, especially female and minority students. The article points to poor physics education at the secondary school level, as well as unaccommodating work environments at the university level. Read more.
- “Non-Science Jobs in Science” describes industries that are still strong, despite the economic downturn: “In light of the recent unemployment statistics, students in the Class of 2009 should not wait until graduation to begin their job search. The healthcare, biotech, and pharmaceutical industries are cited as having growth potential, but not necessarily in the areas one might think…Other industries expected to grow in demand for science and non-science majors include government and education. ” Read more.
- “In 'Geek Chic' and Obama, New Hope for Lifting Women in Science”: a New York Times article about the reasons behind the small number of women in scientific research, and possibilities for change. “Researchers who have long promoted the cause of women in science view the incoming administration with a mix of optimism and we'll-see-ism. On the one hand, they said, the new president's apparent enthusiasm for science, and the concomitant rise of "geek chic" and "smart is the new cool" memes, can only redound to the benefit of all scientists, particularly if the enthusiasm is followed by a bolus of new research funds.” Read more.
- “Preoccupations — A Sisterhood of Workplace Infighting” is a New York Times article about how women in the work place sabotage each other's careers: “[W]hile women have come a long way in removing workplace barriers, one of the last remaining obstacles is how they treat one another. Instead of helping to build one another's careers, they sometimes derail them” Read more.
- “Journal Women” — A part of the Wall Street Journal's website focusing on women. Read more.
- The first in a series of BBC News features profiling women working in Silicon Valley, Valley Girls: Padma Warrior describes Padmasree Warrior, the female chief technology officer at Cisco. “As a self confessed geek, Padmasree Warrior defies the stereotype of the badly dressed bumbling nerd.” Read more.
- American culture discourages girls from studying math, New York Times reports — A recent study presented findings that in the United States, many girls who are talented at math are not pursuing the field because United States' culture does not highly value this talent, and thus discourages girls from entering the field: "Kids in high school, where social interactions are really important, think, 'If I'm not an Asian or a nerd, I'd better not be on the math team.' Kids are self selecting. For social reasons they're not even trying." Read more.
- A new book redefines the gender gap, Inside Higher Ed reports — “Both male and female undergraduates are more likely to have higher college grades as the percentage of female faculty members increases. The more time female students devote to exercise and sports, the higher their grades are likely to be. For male students, more time on exercise and sports has the opposite effect. Women are more likely to report growth in critical thinking during college if they attend private colleges than public universities.” Read more.
- Girls Just Wanna Be Geeks, from NOW Magazine — Although science and technology have long been male-dominated, there are increasing instances of passionate women finding ways to enter this club. Co-editor of “She's Such A Geek: Women Write About Science, Technology And Other Nerdy Stuff” Annalee Newitz is encouraged by a rise in female computer-science Ph.D graduates between 2003 and 2004, while the National Science Foundation estimated six years ago that 56 percent of engineering and science graduates were female. Yet just 25 percent of science and engineering jobs were held by women, and Newitz points to several obstacles women face, such as a lack of women to support them in the sci-tech domain, and lingering if understated sexism. Read more.
- Women and Minorities Not Getting Mentoring, MentorNet Study Finds — In 2006-07, MentorNet surveyed approximately 2,500 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral scholars about their perceptions of the value and need for mentors. 98% of respondents reported that having a mentor (of some type) was important to them. Read more.
- Dartmouth professor named to Technology Review's annual TR35 list — Tanzeem Choudhury, an assistant professor of computer science at Dartmouth, has been named to the 2008 TR35, an annual listing from Technology Review magazine that features the world's top innovators under the age of 35. Read more.
- Professor Mary Flanagan, inaugural Chair of Digital Humanities — Dartmouth's Office of the Dean of the Faculty is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor of Film and Media Studies, Mary Flanagan, as the inaugural endowed chair holder of the Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professorship in Digital Humanities. Read more.