In the 1960s women made up about 50 of all computer programmers, so what happened?
Since her 20-year-old daughter told her she was dropping her computer science major in college, Robin Hauser Reynolds has made it her mission to understand why the coding industry can be so unwelcoming to women.
Why is it that while 37% of U.S. college computer science grads in 1985 were women, today only 17% are?
Reynolds has talked to women coders, historians, neuroscientists, psychologists, and people working inside some of the biggest tech companies in Silicon Valley, looking for answers. The result is a documentary film, CODE, that recently raised more than $86,000 through an Indiegogo campaign.
Reynolds and the films coproducer, Staci Hartman, who also has a daughter in her 20s working in the tech industry, were driven by more than just personal connections. As they started investigating, the data they came across suggested this was more than just a women’s issue.
The figure to convince them: the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ projection that by 2020, there will be 1.4 million computer science jobs and only 400,000 computer scientists to fill them. “That’s a million unfilled jobs,” says Reynolds.
Why aren’t women getting more involved in an industry where the need and growth potential is so great?
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Today’s smartphone user can obtain a lot of data about his or her health, thanks to built-in or separate sensors. Researchers now take this health monitoring to a higher level. Using the system he developed, the smartphone also acts as an ‘activity coach’: it advices the user to walk or take a rest. In what way the user wants to be addressed, is typically something the system learns by itself.
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image via flickr:CC | Brookhaven National Laboratory
The fall tradition of parent-teacher conferences is well underway this month at schools across Wisconsin. But not at Franklin High School, where the formal in-person meetings have been dropped this year in favor of how many parents already communicate with their child’s teacher: electronically.
Many districts are adjusting the format of conferences to be more flexible.
The Greendale School District still has parents sign up for formal conferences in elementary and middle school. But parents of high school students attend an informal open house, allowing them to float from table to table at their leisure, spending more time with one teacher and skipping others.
In the Pewaukee School District, in-person contact between teachers and parents of K-6 students is established within the first two days of class.
image via flickr:CC | Visions By Vicky
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We investigated who could be behind the recent Snapchat photo leak, dubbed “The Snappening.”
A few hours after our story was published, Mudit Grover admitted being the administrator of TheSnappening.org, and shut down the site.
"The content is publicly available everywhere on the Internet." Grover told Mashable. “Neither I am the only one nor the first one to make a website about that. My purpose was that people should see how vulnerable hosting private information on cloud can be, I do not intend anything wrong.”
TheSnappening.org website, once a collection of private and sometimes intimate Snapchat pictures, now only displays a simple message. “The website has been shut down for good intentions. Thank you.”
Students who check Facebook, Twitter, their cell phones, etc. while attempting to study add approximately one hour to their homework load each night.
image via flickr:CC | ryantron | story via Dr Mansfield
Via A Mighty Girl:
Professional hacker Parisa Tabriz is responsible for keeping the nearly billion users of Google Chrome safe by finding vulnerabilities in their system before malicious hackers do. Tabriz, a “white hat” hacker who calls herself Google’s “Security Princess”, is head of the company’s information security engineering team. The 31-year-old Polish-Iranian-American is also an anomaly in Silicon Valley according to a recent profile in The Telegraph: “Not only is she a woman – a gender hugely under-represented in the booming tech industry – but she is a boss heading up a mostly male team of 30 experts in the US and Europe.”
Tabriz came up with “Security Princess” while at a conference and the unusual title is printed on her business card. “I knew I’d have to hand out my card and I thought Information Security Engineer sounded so boring,” she says. “Guys in the industry all take it so seriously, so security princess felt suitably whimsical.” Her curiosity, mischievousness, and innovative thinking are all assets in her business: a high-profile company like Google is constantly in the crosshairs of so-called “black hat” hackers.
Tabriz came into internet security almost by accident; at the University of Illinois’ computer engineering program, her interest was first whetted by the story of early hacker John Draper, who became known as Captain Crunch in the 1960s after he learned how to make free long-distance calls using a toy whistle from a Cap’n Crunch cereal box. She realized that, to beat the hackers of today, she had to be prepared for similar — but more advanced — out-of-the-box thinking.
While women at still very under-represented in the tech industry — Google recently reported that only 30% of its staff is female — Tabriz has hope for the future: “[F]ifty years ago there were similar percentages of women in medicine and law, now thankfully that’s shifted.” And, while she hasn’t encountered overt sexism at Google, when she was offered the position, at least one classmate said, “you know you only got it cos you’re a girl.” To help address this imbalance, she mentors under-16 students at a yearly computer science conference that teaches kids how to “hack for good” — and she especially encourages girls to pursue internet security work. One 16-year-old who attended, Trinity Nordstrom, says, “Parisa is a good role model, because of her I’d like to be a hacker.”
Tabriz, who was named by Forbes as one of the “top 30 under 30 to watch” in 2012, also wants the public to realize that hacking can be used for positive ends. “[H]acking can be ugly,” she says. “The guy who published the private photos of those celebrities online made headlines everywhere. What he did was not only a violation of these women but it was criminal, and as a hacker I was very saddened by it. I feel like we, the hackers, need better PR to show we’re not all like that… [A]fter all I’m in the business of protecting people.”
To read more about Google’s “Security Princess” in The Telegraph, visit http://bit.ly/Z6Z5RG
Swedish amputee is wearing a prosthesis that is actually connected to his own bone, muscles and nerves.
New report: The age of gigabit connectivity is dawning. How will it change our lives and societies? Experts weigh in.