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Women in Computing Paul Curzon Queen Mary, University of London Created by Paul Curzon of Queen Mary, University of London with support from the Westfield.

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Presentation on theme: "Women in Computing Paul Curzon Queen Mary, University of London Created by Paul Curzon of Queen Mary, University of London with support from the Westfield."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Women in Computing Paul Curzon Queen Mary, University of London Created by Paul Curzon of Queen Mary, University of London with support from the Westfield Trust, EPSRC and Google

3 Great Women Thinkers? “Direct thought is not at present an attribute of femininity. In this woman is now centuries, ages even epochs behind man” – Thomas Edison (note a man!), Good Housekeeping, 1912 “The Woman of the Future”

4 Great Women Thinkers? “Direct thought is not at present an attribute of femininity. In this woman is now centuries, ages even epochs behind man” – Thomas Edison (note a man!), Good Housekeeping, 1912 “The Woman of the Future” This is of course total garbage –Trouble is men keep saying stupid things like that!

5 Great women in science This talk will show you that women have been integral to the technology revolution and are frequently more successful thinkers than men. Name some famous women Scientists, Engineers or Technologists.

6 What does a computer scientist look like?

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8 …all top UK researchers

9 Top Queen Mary computer science students

10 Odd one out?…

11 Odd one out?…But why?

12 Ada Lovelace - But why? She was the first computer programmer. The others are just applications of computers She was not a user of existing computer applications, she created new applications! She wrote the instructions that made computers do things. Her father was poet Byron … a friend of Mary Shelley…who wrote Frankenstein…who created an Alife

13 The Analytical Engine Charles Babbage invented the analytical engine in the 1840s –The first general purpose programmable computer While he worked on building it, Ada wrote programs –She also debugged a faulty program of Charles. What would computers be used for? –Charles thought only of it doing calculations –Ada saw the future: they might one day compose music Unfortunately he never managed to build the machine, so her programs were never executed

14 So Ada Lovelace was the original programmer… Let’s look at some more early history… Was it all men?

15 Grace Murray Hopper Known as “Amazing Grace” –A US Navy Rear Admiral –A Great Computer Scientist One of the first programmers –once the men finally managed to build them after WWII! Had the idea that programs could be written in a language closer to English Developed the first programming language compiler

16 What was Florence Nightingale’s biggest contribution?

17 Florence Nightingale: Computer Scientist Florence Nightingale’s achievements came about because she was a Statistician who pioneered the use of data visualisation - an area of Computer Science

18 Which of these Computer Scientists worked for NASA? Karen Hanne Kerstin Jacquie Fran Ann

19 It wasn’t Kerstin Karen Hanne Kerstin Jacquie Fran Ann Kerstin: Social robotics

20 Prof Kerstin Dautenhahn University of Herts. Originally a biologist interested in Stick Insects Now a Leading Robotics Researcher How do you give robots Social skills? Can they help people with autism?

21 Which of these Computer Scientists worked for NASA? Karen Hanne Kerstin Jacquie Fran Ann Kerstin: Social robotics

22 It wasn’t Karen Karen Hanne Kerstin Jacquie Fran Ann Kerstin: Social robotics Karen: Search engines

23 Searching … Prof Karen Spark-Jones was a computer scientist interested in lingusitics. She came up with an idea called idf weighting –Used by search engines –Which pages should be displayed first? –Which pages are nothing to do with the topic you are after?

24 Which of these Computer Scientists worked for NASA? Karen Hanne Kerstin Jacquie Fran Ann Kerstin: Social robotics Karen: Search engines

25 It wasn’t Ann… Karen Hanne Kerstin Jacquie Fran Ann Kerstin: Social robotics Karen: Search engines Ann: Interaction design

26 Ann Blandford, UCL Leading a £6 million project, CHI+MED A rock climber in her spare time How can medical devices be designed to be safer? -so doctors and nurses do not make mistakes and give overdoses -combining psychology, computing and social science methods

27 Which of these Computer Scientists worked for NASA? Karen Hanne Kerstin Jacquie Fran Ann Kerstin: Social robotics Karen: Search engines Ann: Interaction design

28 It wasn’t Jacquie … Karen Hanne Kerstin Jacquie Fran Ann Kerstin: Social robotics Karen: Search engines Ann: Interaction design Jacquie: e-card business

29 Never too old … 62-year-old grandmother Jaquie Lawson turned a hobby into a multi-million pound business the top e- greetings card site She believes there’s lots of rubbish on the web –scope for skilled, creative people to make a difference –focusing on detail in what they do. –Quality can stand out.

30 2 left: who worked for NASA? Karen Hanne Kerstin Jacquie Fran Ann Kerstin: Social robotics Karen: Search engines Ann: Interaction design Jacquie: e-card business

31 It wasn’t … Karen Hanne Kerstin Jacquie Fran Ann Kerstin: Social robotics Karen: Search engines Ann: Interaction design Jacquie: e-card business

32 It wasn’t Fran … Karen Hanne Kerstin Jacquie Fran Ann Kerstin: Social robotics Karen: Search engines Ann: Interaction design Jacquie: e-card business Fran: compilers IBM

33 Fran Allen of IBM Winner of the 2006 ACM Turing Award –Equivalent to the Nobel Prize for Computer Science For pioneering contributions on optimizing compilers. Continuing on from Grace Hopper’s work. Only joined IBM to clear her student debts

34 Hanne worked for NASA Karen Hanne Kerstin Jacquie Fran Ann Hanne: NASA

35 Let’s look at some Queen Mary CS students and their work…

36 Lila Harrar QMUL former undergrad Did a final year project creating a multimedia tool to help people learn sign language One of the companies she spoke to as part of her research was so impressed they have turned her project into a product

37 Gulmina, Jayashree and Lim QMUL Software Engineering Masters Students Won the DCS Interaction Design Competition –Against teams of men! Innovative “Headset” Mobile Radio Design Usable also by the partially sighted Try it out at

38 Just to Recap… Computer Science is not about using applications Its about the innovative thinking that leads to new applications that change the future Women were computer science pioneers Women still lead the way with their innovative research Female students excel at Computer Science Women turn computer science into business ideas that work

39 Work hard and it could be you who is next to change the future…

40 -Prof Karen Spark-Jones “Computing is too important to leave it to men…” For more of the work of female computer scientists visit cs4fn.org/women

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