[Edu-sig] women in computer (was: source code from SA:10648)

kirby urner kirby.urner at gmail.com
Thu Jul 22 00:24:55 CEST 2010

On Wed, Jul 21, 2010 at 3:00 PM, Calcpage <calcpage at aol.com> wrote:

> There's a lot of content on YouTube regarding Ada Lovelace Day as well.
>  There was some discussion on the AP-CompSci listserv about making a Grace
> Murray Hopper Day as well.  The problem IIRC was that Hopper's and
> Lovelace's (or is it Byron) birthdays were very close if not, in fact, the
> same day (not year of course).
> Regards,
> A. Jorge Garcia
> Applied Math & CS
> Baldwin SHS & Nassau CC
> http://shadowfaxrant.blogspot.com
> http://www.youtube.com/calcpage2009
> Sent from my iPod

We have other ways to honor people besides having days in their

Given Ada and Hopper, I'm happy to circle "computer science" as
"belonging to women", which of course just gets me in hot water
with some of the guy-centric storytellers.

I posted some essays to math-thinking-l about this, some here,
some on Python's diversity list (private archive -- you have to
join it to read it, unlike edu-sig).  Lots about "FOSS witches",
which came up around here awhile back as well:


The New Yorker magazine once published a cover story slamming
Ada, trying to withdraw her title as "first computer programmer".

I rallied to her defense:


Of course one might argue "it doesn't mean anything" to say
women control computer science.  Likewise men don't control
anything I suppose one could say (least of all themselves).
However, in terms of seeking balance, I'm happy to develop
this narrative line.

Our next truly creative bursts (if we have any) will all have
to do with using computing technology to take better care
of "women and children" (the signature civilians) and less
to do with world domination through brute force (a male
specialty). OLPC etc.  Caring about community.  Mesh
networking etc.

Yes, sounds like a "party line" ("pirate party"?).[0]

I am heartened to see open source moving into health care,
even if that's just MUMPS leading the charge.  At the hospital
I worked at, I tried to envision a more contemporary SQL
based approach [1], but then I think the future of medical
records will be more like Facebook (except more private
and with medical devices and imaging systems for
"friends" -- along with physicians and their case notes).[2]


[0] re Pirate Party

[1] Django / Python instead of MUMPS?

[2] Medical records in Cassandra or one of those "schema-less" databases

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