Today is Ada Lovelace day. Other folks have blogged about women in computing who have inspired them. As a student, there have been lots of women in computing who I’ve learned with, and who have inspired me to become a better researcher, be they fellow students, teaching assistants or professors. I’ll represent each of these three roles in today’s post:
Fellow student: Phillipa Gill. I met Phillipa when taking Greg Wilson’s excellent software consulting course, we teamed up to try and summarize information about botnets using annotated spam data. A bright and diligent researcher in networks, from whom I learned some finer points about constructing figures and some elementary NLP.
Teaching Assistant: Jennifer Listgarten. She was a T.A when I was a first year student in CS148. Later when I began to consider pursuing grad school and doing research, I found that she was doing amazing work in applied statistics and bioinformatics. Her work serves as an example of the quality research I hope to produce.
Professor: Faith Ellen. When I was an undergraduate, Professor Ellen taught the first offering of an enriched data structures and algorithms course. It was a small class, with some of the brightest students I ever encountered in my undergraduate studies. I remember that she put so much work into engaging us, and fostering a really vibrant classroom dynamic (amazing for a 9:00 a.m course populated by nocturnal CS undergrads). She had a great ability to challenge me to push myself to think differently about data, memory and computation without feeling afraid to make mistakes.
Finally, thanks to the organizers of Ada Lovelace Day.