91 votes

Advances in CS appropriate for CS1 and CS2 made by female computer scientists

I think Rear Admiral Grace Hopper is perhaps the easiest to explain to new students, and to tie in with an important advancement in computer science. I try to discuss the transition from early ...
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  • 1,031
65 votes

Advances in CS appropriate for CS1 and CS2 made by female computer scientists

Ada Lovelace is considered the first programmer - pretty good introduction to a CS class. As Wikipedia puts it: She was the first to recognise that the machine had applications beyond pure ...
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46 votes

Why did the percentage of CS bachelor's degrees going to women peak in 1984?

Obviously, there is no way to definitively know the answer to this question. But my favorite theory has to do with the advent of the home PC, and the original marketing of computer games to boys. ...
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  • 31.5k
42 votes

Advances in CS appropriate for CS1 and CS2 made by female computer scientists

You should probably teach Barbara Liskov and her substitution principle in an introductory CS class. Oh, and she also won some random award... like a Turing award or something... =P Barbara Liskov ...
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39 votes

Advances in CS appropriate for CS1 and CS2 made by female computer scientists

One of my favorite iconoclastic point-outs is Dorothy Vaughan. One of the USA space program's first computer programmers, who was originally hired as a computer. She was an African-American who grew ...
32 votes

Advances in CS appropriate for CS1 and CS2 made by female computer scientists

Shafi Goldwasser is the 2012 Turing award laurete, together with Silvio Micali. The two are considered to be more-or-less the founders of the modern theory of cryptography. They were the first to ...
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  • 429
24 votes

Advances in CS appropriate for CS1 and CS2 made by female computer scientists

Radia Perlman She is most famous for her invention of the spanning-tree protocol (STP) [...]. She also made large contributions to many other areas of network design and standardization, such as ...
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  • 241
24 votes

Why did the percentage of CS bachelor's degrees going to women peak in 1984?

Women just like some majors more than others. For whatever reason, they dominate (source): Health Professions; Social Work; Education; Psychology; outnumbering men by at least 3-to-1 in all of ...
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  • 897
22 votes

Why did the percentage of CS bachelor's degrees going to women peak in 1984?

Not having been around at the time, I searched timelines and came up with some interesting data: As Ben said, marketing targeted men. Advertisements featured boys on personal computers. That was how ...
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  • 6,227
19 votes

Advances in CS appropriate for CS1 and CS2 made by female computer scientists

Hedy Lamarr, the famous actress, worked with George Antheil during World War II to create a radio system for the US Navy that was safe from jamming by the Axis powers, contributing greatly to the ...
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  • 207
17 votes

Why did the percentage of CS bachelor's degrees going to women peak in 1984?

I find it amazing that nobody here even mentioned the possibility that men simply find programming much more interesting than women do. The question can only be answered with a hypothesis so I will ...
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  • 327
16 votes

Why did the percentage of CS bachelor's degrees going to women peak in 1984?

Computing was historically a female-dominated field. "Computers" used to be mostly women working out mathematical calculations. With the advent of mechanical and then electrical computers (during WW2, ...
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  • 331
15 votes

Advances in CS appropriate for CS1 and CS2 made by female computer scientists

Adele Goldberg was one of the seven programmers that developed Smalltalk, one of the first object oriented programming languages - so nice for your OOP unit. Many concepts developed by her team became ...
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  • 4,684
13 votes

Advances in CS appropriate for CS1 and CS2 made by female computer scientists

I'd also consider Margaret Hamilton. Aside from the awesome nerdy picture, she has published over 130 papers, proceedings, and reports about the 60 projects and six major programs in which she ...
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  • 387
11 votes

Advances in CS appropriate for CS1 and CS2 made by female computer scientists

Nancy G. Leveson is a pioneer in software safety. I read her article, co-authored with Clark S. Turner, on the Therac-25 Accidents as an undergraduate and found it approachable and interesting. (She ...
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11 votes

How do I teach ethics in hacking?

I like your locksmith comparison, but I don't agree with the following assertion: From there, we arrive at this fine distinction: if a security feature is designed to keep you out, even if that ...
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10 votes

Best Practices / Effective Strategies For Building Diversity In High School CS Programs

Three concrete ideas come to mind based on my experience building a CS program essentially from scratch at the high school level: Have at least one class that has no pre-requisite. We have one intro ...
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  • 9,032
10 votes

Why did interest in CS majors plummet in the United States after the mid-80s?

The Atari VCS game E.T. came out in December 1982, which led to the start of North American video game crash of 1983, the end of a video game software industry boom. That market fell from 3.2B to ...
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  • 1,897
8 votes

What are the merits of including the history of computers in the entry level curriculum?

To give another perspective, when teaching an intro to web development course it's very useful to teach things in a way similar to how they were discovered and contextualize the different concepts in ...
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  • 4,754
8 votes

Advances in CS appropriate for CS1 and CS2 made by female computer scientists

To expand your terms of reference for "people who look like me", you should definitely include Sophie Wilson (born Roger Wilson). She was one of the major developers of the Acorn Atom, and later ...
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  • 1,072
8 votes
Accepted

Why did interest in CS majors plummet in the United States after the mid-80s?

tl;dr- That peak around 1986 looks pretty difficult to explain in terms of interest. After searching a bit, I found a paper that attempts to explain it in terms of teaching capacity. This paper ...
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  • 897
7 votes

Advances in CS appropriate for CS1 and CS2 made by female computer scientists

While some may have varying opinions, I am a big admirer of Lynn Conway. She originally began her career at IBM and invented pioneering technologies that were eventually used in modern dynamic ...
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7 votes

Advances in CS appropriate for CS1 and CS2 made by female computer scientists

Can't believe no one mentioned Nancy Lynch at MIT of FLP fame, a pioneer in distributed systems theory. The FLP is an impossibility result about obtaining consensus in a distributed system with ...
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6 votes

How do I teach ethics in hacking?

First please be very cognizant of the term "hacking" Some of what you are describing is "cracking" not "hacking" The techniques may be the same but the intent is different. I think you are having ...
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6 votes

What are the merits of including the history of computers in the entry level curriculum?

There are some history topics that link really well with computing - for example a history of communication, taking in writing, printing, semaphore, the telegraph and Morse code etc, through to the ...
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  • 1,256
6 votes

Why did the percentage of CS bachelor's degrees going to women peak in 1984?

While I have not seen any compelling evidence ether way. I as wondering if there is a true underlying gender element, or at least to deep to be fixed locally (with in CS). I wonder if this is related ...
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5 votes
Accepted

How to avoid getting emotionally attached to my students' projects?

I think this an essential and main part of teaching programming and cs (and teaching in general). The ability to hold the answer and guide the student to it. What I do is try to follow the thought ...
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  • 6,227
5 votes

What are the merits of including the history of computers in the entry level curriculum?

In short, yes. When introducing students to programming and how a computer works, historical perspective can prove highly valuable in several areas. Consider this one image of Margaret Hamilton next ...
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  • 9,032
5 votes

Why did the percentage of CS bachelor's degrees going to women peak in 1984?

I suspect in the US it is a generational issue. A 22 year old woman graduating in 1984 would have been born in 1962 to parents who belonged to the Silent Generation. A 22 year old woman graduating in ...
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  • 151
5 votes

Why did the percentage of CS bachelor's degrees going to women peak in 1984?

As computer science degrees began to turn into software engineering careers the programs began to take on the culture and workstyle of engineering programs. Unfortunately this often means women face ...
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