Women in Computing Talk on Ada Lovelace Day 2012

The following are notes for a talk given on Ada Lovelace Day (10/16) 2012 at Scottsdale Community College. [High noon in room CM-472.]

The mission of Ada Lovelace Day is to "raise the profile of women in science, technology, engineering and maths." (STEM)

A talk about Women In Computing must begin with Charles Babbage. Babbage was an English mathmetician who invented the Analytical Engine; a proposed mechanical computer. These days Charles Babbage is considered the "father of the computer."

Ada Lovelace (1815-1852) was an English mathematician who knew Charles Babbage. Lovelace is credited with designing the first algorithm to be processed by Babbage's Analytical Engine. Babbage considered Lovelace "The Enchantress of Numbers". These days Ada Lovelace is considered the "first computer programmer."

   "I never am really satisfied that I understand anything; because, 
    understand it well as I may, my comprehension can only be an 
    infinitesimal fraction of all I want to understand about the 
    many connections and relations which occur to me, how the matter 
    in question was first thought of or arrived at, etc., etc."
    -- Ada Lovelace
Fast Forward a Century...

1940s: Rediscovering WWII's female 'computers'

Two Women Who Have Passed On

Grace Hopper (1906-1992) was a U.S. Navy Officer (Rear Admiral) who played a lead role in developing the first compiler. The following hashtags are used to describe Grace Hopper: #GrandmaCOBOL #ComputerBug #nanosecond.

Anita Borg (1949-2003) was a computer scientist who taught herself computer programming and got her first programming job in 1969. Borg founded the Institute for Women and Technology (now the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology). The mission of the Borg Institute is "increase the impact of women on all aspects of technology, and increase the positive impact of technology on the world's women." In 1994, Anita Borg founded the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing.

Women Presented in Birth Year Order

Frances Allen (b.1932) was awarded the ACM Turing Award in 2006 for her work on "optimizing compiler techniques that laid the foundation for modern optimizing compilers and automatic parallel execution." Frances was the first women to win a Turing Award--the Nobel prize of the computing world. In high school Frances was inspired by a math teacher to become a math teacher and that's what she did. In 1957 Allen joined IBM. Prior to retiring from the company in 2002, Allen was named an IBM Fellow.

Barbara Liskov (b.1939) heads the Programming Methodology Group in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT, where she has conducted research and has been a professor since 1972. In 1968, Liskov became one of the first women to be awarded a Ph.D. from a Computer Science department (Stanford University). Barbara was awarded an ACM Turing Award in 2009 for her work designing computer languages.

Carol Bartz (b.1948) was the CEO of Autodesk from 1992 to 2006. At Autodesk she advocated the "fail fast forward" ("appreciating risk") motto. Bartz was the CEO of Yahoo! from early 2009 to late 2011. Carol Bartz is a breast cancer survivor.

Carly Fiorina (b.1954) was Chairman and CEO of HP Hewlett-Packard) from 1999 to 2005. She was the first woman to lead a Fortune 20 company and during that time Carly was named Fortune's Most powerful Woman in Business for six consecutive years. In 2010, Fiorina lost in an her attempt to become a U.S. Senator in California. Fiorinia is a breast cancer survivor.

Meg Whitman (b.1956) became CEO of eBay in 1998 when it had 30 employees and $4 million in annual revenue. When she left eBay it had 15,000 employees and $8 billion in annual revenue. In 2010, Whitman lost in her attempt to become governor of California. In 2012, Meg Whitman became President and CEO of HP (Hewlett-Packard).

Jeanette Wing (b.????) earned a Ph.D. degree in Computer Science in 1983 from MIT and is Head of the Computer Science Dept. at Carnegie Mellon Univ. In 2006 and 2008, Wing published: "A Vision for the 21st Century: Computational Thinking" and "Computational Thinking and Thinking About Computing", respectively. Wing is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). [I agree with Dr. Wing that computational thinking needs to become part of all disciplines.]

Virginia Rometty (b.1957) got a B.S. in C.S. from Northwestern in 1979. Today she is Chairman, President, CEO of IBM. Rometty replaced highly respected Samuel Palmisano as IBM's CEO on 1 January 2012. The IBM press release quoted Palmisano saying, "Ginni got it because she deserved it. It's got zero to do with progressive social policies." Rometty became IBM's Chairman on 1 October 2012. IBM's market value is approximately $241 billion.

Kim Polese (b.1961) was the original Java product manager at Sun Microsystems (1991). These days Java one of the most popular programming languages in the world. In 1997, she made Time Magazine's list of "The 25 Most Influential Americans". Polese is currently on the board of the Long Now Foundation. In 2010, Kim received the "second Symons Innovator Award given annually by NCWIT to honor successful female entrepreneurs in technology."

Sheryl Sandberg (b.1969) got an M.B.A. from Harvard in 1995. These days Sandberg is the Chief Operating Office at Facebook Inc. and has been in this role since 2008. In 2012, Sheryl became the eighth member (and the first female member) of Facebook's board of directors. Sandberg has made the "most powerful/influential" lists published by Wall Street Journal, Time, Fortune, and Business Week.

Marissa Mayer (b.1975) became President, CEO of Yahoo! on 16 July 2012. Mayer is currently the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Mayer was ranked number 14 on America's most powerful businesswoman of 2012 by Fortune magazine. Mayer joined Google in 1999 and as the 20th employee she became Google's first female engineer (she has a M.S. in C.S. from Stanford). Yahoo! hired Mayer as CEO even though she was pregnant and on 30 September 2012 she had a baby boy.

In Closing

Ada Lovelace was "The Enchantress of Numbers" and the first computer programmer.

Women make up a small percentage of the computing workforce. Catalyst.org: "In 2011, out of 65,579,000 employed women, just 5.5% (3,608,000) of women had computer and mathematical occupations, and just 4.2% (2,785,000) of women had architecture and engineering occupations."

I considered creating a webpage displaying small pictures of the women mentioned during the talk, but I didn't. If I had created a picture we would have noticed that all of the women mentioned in this talk are/were white. Where are the black women in computing? Where are the hispanic and latina women in computing? Where are the native American women in computing? [Note: This talk was given at Scottsdale Community College, which is located on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community in Arizona.]

   "The Analytical Engine, on the contrary, can either add, subtract, 
    multiply or divide with equal facility; and performs each of these 
    four operations in a direct manner, without the aid of any of the 
    other three." -- Ada Lovelace

   "To me programming is more than an important practical art.  It is also 
    a gigantic undertaking in the foundations of knowledge." -- Grace Hopper

   "Leaders of the future will have to be visionary and be able to 
    bring people in - real communicators. These are things that women 
    bring to leadership and executive positions, and it's going to be 
    incredibly valuable and incredibly in demand." -- Anita Borg

   "It's very hard, at this particular juncture, to understand where 
    it's [women in computing] going to go.  I mentioned trying to have 
    50 percent of women in it by 2020. [...] I'm less worried about 
    women not taking computer science, than I am about women not being 
    ready to understand the opportunities that this technology, that 
    we've put together, will enable them to use. We're at the beginning
    of the big result." -- Frances Allen in 2003 

   "I don't work that many hours a day. I always went home at night, 
    and didn't work in the evening. I always found that downtime to 
    be really useful." -- Barbara Liskov on being successful

   "Computer Science is more than programming, and we have to convey 
    that message to the general public and inspire the young to the 
    deep intellectual challenges that remain in the field. We need 
    the next generation to be working on those." -- Jeanette Wing

   "I have a belief that life isn't about balance, because balance 
    is perfection ... Rather, it's about catching the ball before 
    it hits the floor." -- Carol Bartz

   "There is no job that is America's God-given right anymore. We have 
    to compete for jobs as a nation. Our competitiveness as a nation is 
    not inevitable. It will not just happen." -- Carly Fiorina

   "Most of us can't even begin to imagine." -- Meg Whitman

   "One of the great things I learned from Sam and Lou is no matter 
    what, you always have to focus on reinvention. Never love something 
    so much that you can't let go of it." -- Virginia Rometty

   "We're evolving from a world where the PC was the communications device to
    one where the cell phone or PDA is the center of gravity." -- Kim Polese

   "I would be better at my job if I were technical." -- Sheryl Sandberg

   "The more numbers you could memorize, the better off you are. 
    If you had to stop to look up a price in a book, it totally 
    killed your average." -- Marissa Mayer on her experience as a 
                             supermarket cashier when in high school

Creator: Gerald Thurman [gthurman@gmail.com]
Created: 05 October 2012
Last Modified: Wednesday, 27-Mar-2013 05:50:34 MST

The following is stuff that I came across after I created the draft/notes/outline for this talk on 5 October 2012.

Add the 'A'rts to STEM and Get STEAM

BBC.co.uk::My Paintings - Ada Countess of Lovelace's Collection

Who are these women and why are they part of the Ada Countess of Lovelace's Collection?

   Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Jane Seacole, Marianne North,
   Florence Nightingale, Hypatia, Mary Anning, Dorothy Hodgkin,
   Isabella Helen Mary Muir, Gertrude Elion, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson

Note: The Math Department at Scottsdale Community College awards its Hypatia Award to a female student every spring semester.

PBS: "Top Secret Rosies: The Female Computers of WWII"

Immediately after the Vice Presidential Debate held on 11 October 2012, the PBS station in Arizona showed the "Top Secret Rosies: The Female Computers of WWII" documentary.

   "In 1942 soon after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, a secret 
    military program was launched to recruit female mathematicians who 
    would become human 'computers' for the US military. Top Secret 
    'Rosies': The Female 'Computers' of WWII shares a story of the 
    women and technology that helped win a war and usher in the 
    modern computer age." -- ShopPBS.org

ShopPBS.org::Top Secret Rosies: The Female Computers of WWII DVD

"The Rise of Women in Tech

MBAonline.com::The Rise of Women in Tech [2012.10.12]

    "Of the computer science majors graduating in 2013 from Harvard, 
     women make up 41%. And although only 25% of science, tech, 
     engineering and math (STEM) jobs are currently held by women, 
     the numbers are beginning to shift. Between January of 2011 and 
     2012, the number of women in the IT field jumped by more than 28%."
     -- MBAonline.com

I am able to share the following infographic thanks to the Creative Commons License.

The Rise Of Women In Tech

Forbes "Women 2.0"

Forbes::Ada Lovelace Day: Celebrating Technical Women Leaders With Women 2.0
[by Angie Chang on Ada Lovelace Day 2012]

   "The goal of Ada Lovelace Day is to create new role models 
    for girls and women in these male-dominated fields by raising 
    the profile of other women in STEM." -- Forbes.com
BBC News

BBC.co.uk::Ada Lovelace Day: Women celebrate female scientists

   "Kids in primary school could be learning how to make websites. 
    Kids should be messing around with an Arduino and learning to 
    code in C." -- Gia Milinovich (technololgy broadcaster)
New Scientist

Ada Lovelace "interviewed" in the 21st century.

NewScientist.com::Ada Lovelace: My brain is more than merely mortal

   [interviewer] "You suffered greatly before succumbing to cancer 
                  of the womb, age 36.
   [Ada Lovelace] "They say that 'coming events cast their shadows before'. 
                   May they not sometimes cast their lights before?"
American Association of University Women (AAUW)

The AAUW mission statement: "advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research."

Blog-AAUW.org::Celebrate Women in STEM on Ada Lovelace Day

   "Lovelace's mentor, Mary Somerville, was a respected scientific 
    researcher who overcame societal biases to make great strides 
    in mathematics and astronomy. In 1833, Somerville introduced 
    Lovelace to Charles Babbage, [...]" -- AAUW.org
National Geographic

NewsWatch.NationalGeographic.com::Ada Lovelace Day Celebrates Women in Science

   "Ada has become a symbol for us women in science, to keep going 
    when times are tough, to follow the scientific method, to follow 
    your passion." -- Rhian Waller of NG Explorers
Electronic Frontier Foundation

@EFF Twitter tweet on 16 October 2012

   EFF looks back at 12 pioneering women in tech we've honored. 
   Who's inspired you this Ada Lovelace Day? #findingada 
Ada, the Enchantress of Numbers

Ada, the Enchantress of Numbers is a book containing a "selection from the Letters of Lord Byron's Daughter and her description of the first computer". [book recommended by Peter H. Salus]

Amazon.com::Ada, the Enchantress of Numbers

Note: On Ada Lovelace Day 2012, this book was "temporarily" out-of-stock at Amazon.com. There is a Kindle version of the book.

More... (post talk)

COSMOSmagazine.com::Happy Ada Lovelace Day! [by Gemma Black]

Update::2012.11.20 (Jeannette Wing)

On 20 November 2012, Microsoft issued the following press release: Microsoft Hires Jeannette Wing as New Vice President, Head of Microsoft Research International.

Update::2013.02.05 (Marissa Mayer)

On 5 February 02013, Marissa Mayer (CEO of Yahoo!) was one of a group of CEOs who met with President Barack to "discuss immigration and deficit reduction."

Girls Have IT Day! at Xavier College Preparatory

Girls Have IT Day! 2013 will be held on 1 March 2013 from 1-3pm at Xavier College Preparatory.

Update::2013.02.08 (new... Kathryn McCarthy)

Geeknet, Inc., the parent company of online retailer ThinkGeek.com, promoted CFO Kathryn McCarthy to Chief Executive Officer and President of Geeknet and named her to the Board of Directors.

Kathryn McCarthy (age 44) was not mentioned in this talk. McCarthy worked for 18 years at General Electric prior to joining Geeknet in January 2011.

Update::2013.02.28 (Fiorina, Mayer, Sandberg)

BusinessWeek.com::Carly Fiorina on Marissa, Sheryl, and Women in Tech

Update::2013.03.08 (International Women's Day)
STEMconnector.org::100 Women Leaders in STEM

Update::2013.03.10 (Sandberg)

From the 60 Minutes Facebook page.

   Tonight, Norah O'Donnell reports on Sandberg's new feminist 
   movement and why it's sparking a national debate: 
Update::2013.03.12 (Women In STEM)

Computing is a STEAM enabler.

CNN.com::The historical analogs of brilliant women

Update::2013.03.14 (new... Shafi Goldwasser)

The ACM's A.M. Turing Award is considered the Nobel prize of computing.

AMTuring.ACM.org::Shafi Goldwasswer Receives 2012 A.M. Turing Award

Update::2013.03.27 (new... Ursula Burns)

TechnologyReview.com::Q+A Ursula Burns

Via Wikipedia.org...

   "Ursula M. Burns (born September 20, 1958) serves as Madam Chairman 
    (or Chairperson) and CEO of Xerox. She is the first African-American 
    woman CEO to head a Fortune 500 company.[1] She is also the first 
    woman to succeed another woman as head of a Fortune 500 company.[2] 
    In 2009, Forbes rated her the 14th most powerful woman in the world.[3]"
    -- source: Wikipedia.org on 27 March 02013