January 27, 2012
Great message! Love that this poster (which was designed by a guy) portrays a woman scientist!
October 2, 2011
Two biologists and a physicist are creating a system that will help researchers identify patterns in scholarly literature and get a sense of how ideas flow from one field to another. Using the algorithms they’re developing, users will be able to create citation maps, like the one above. Another aspect of the project is a recommendation engine that will help scholars discover related articles from other fields that they might never have found otherwise.
So what’s the hardest part of this whole colossal project? Real-world applications—how to figure out what researchers really want and will be able to use:
“What I find most challenging right now is how to build the proper user interface. What would people want? That’s even harder than the algorithmic problems we’re facing at this stage.”
September 15, 2011
It comes up a lot in discussions of women in computer science, women who write code, women in open source. Eventually, someone brings up the fact that women score slightly lower on math tests. Clearly, they claim, this biological inferiority must explain why there are fewer women in math heavy fields.
It sounds like a compelling reason, and it gets a lot of play. Except, you know what? It’s a lie.
I’m a mathematician. I’ve looked at those numbers, I’ve read some papers. The research into biologically-linked ability is fascinating, but it simply isn’t significant enough to explain the huge gender gap we see in the real world. I used to do this presentation on the back of a napkin for people who tried to spout this misconception to my face, and I finally put it online:
How does biology explain the low numbers of women in CS? Hint: it doesn’t.