Monday, April 26, 2010

If She Can Do It, I Can Too

Looking for a little inspiration as you finish exams and start in on your summer jobs? Leslie Hawthorn had a great guest post over at Geek Feminism about realizing that she had what it takes:

When Chris DiBona asked if I was interested in joining his team to help make Google Summer of Code happen for the second year, I was elated. I knew I had great organizational and project management skills. I knew I got along really well with programmers and loved to talk tech. I knew what the Summer of Code was – an awesome program to give jobs to students by giving them a chance to work on Open Source projects, and a great way for those projects to find new contributors. And I knew what open source software was in a general sense – everyone shares their code with everyone else. Sounded beautiful and idealistic. I was in!

What I didn’t know was, well, everything else.

[Read the rest here]

Monday, April 19, 2010

New CU-WISE Mural Design!

I am happy to announce that a project that began half a year ago as a mere thought is finally coming to fruition. The project? The new WISE mural for the Carleton University tunnels!

Thank you so much to Daphne Ong, the recipient of a WISE T-shirt and a $25 Carleton Book Store gift certificate, for submitting her great ideas for the mural contest. With her help the design for a new mural shown here was developed and will hopefully decorate the tunnels by this fall. I would also like to thank fellow CU-WISE Officer Payal Bhatia for her inspirational ideas.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Don't forget to be awesome: Self confidence tricks for those in geeky fields

I write for the Geek Feminism blog, and for the past little while we've been answering reader questions. My latest post there was on a question that might be of interest to CU-WISE folk:

"How do you keep up your inner reserves of self-confidence?"

The poster suggested that this was particularly difficult as a women in science, engineering and technology, because a lot of what you have to do involves trying things and failing a bunch before you figure it out.

I've put together 5 of the tips I usually give to students. Here's the short version:

  1. Remember that you're not alone
  2. Cultivate your shield of arrogance
  3. Find your cheerleading squad
  4. Celebrate your accomplishments
  5. Don’t forget to be awesome

To read more about what I mean by these, check out Self Confidence Tricks @ Here's the first one:

Remember that you're not alone

Lots and lots of very smart people have trouble with self-confidence. In fact, there are so many people who have this problem, that they have a couple of terms regarding the phenomenon:

  • Imposter syndrome refers to the fact that many people feel like they're not good enough to be doing what they're doing. They feel like they're impostors who don't belong and eventually someone will notice and kick them out of the field.
  • Dunning-Kruger effect refers to a very strange cognitive bias: People who are vaguely incompetent will over-rate their abilities, and those who are highly competent will under-rate theirs.

So remember that your insecurity may actually be a sign of intellectual maturity: you've learned enough to understand what you don't know. And remember that some of those people who say they're awesome may not be. Especially in first year computer science, where I teach, there's a lot of blow-hard teenaged boys, and I remind people of that regularly.

[Read the rest on]

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Celebration a Success!

Wow. Our Carleton Celebration of Women in Science and Engineering last week was AMAZING. I ended up writing it up on my own blog before I had the chance to write here:
My main goals were to showcase what the Carleton ladies in science and engineering have been up to, and to give us an opportunity for us to network, since WISE spans so many technical and scientific disciplines. I think we succeeded on both counts!
Read the rest here!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Men in WISE

This is a guest post from Heine Mar, Carleton grad student and awesome guy who supports CU-WISE! His article is great, so be sure to click through to read it.

Last year, Barbora Dej requested me to write an article for the CU-WISE. I agreed her request and submitted the article based on the movie “A Few Good Men”. For more info:

This year, Gail Carmichael requested me to write an article. It has been my pleasure to write articles for the CU-WISE. This year’s article is based on the movie “MIB – Men in Black”. For more info: please read the attachment.

MIW: Men in WISE

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Celebration of Women in Science and Engineering is TOMORROW!

I can't believe the Carleton Celebration of Women in Science and Engineering is finally here. Less than 20 hours from now, I'll have arrived on campus to set up and get ready for the welcome note!

I'm really proud of what we've accomplished with this event. In only about a month, we put out a call for proposals, got more amazing abstracts than we could schedule in our original time frame, somehow put together a schedule that worked, booked a wonderful meal for speakers and their guests after the event, and got the word out to the Carleton and Ottawa communities. Just this morning I came back from recording an interview with Terri about the event to be played on CBC tomorrow morning!

If you are anywhere near the Carleton campus, it would be well worth your time to take a few minutes and listen to a few of our speakers. Pick a topic you're interested in and see what cool research is being done. Come to the professional development talks later in the day. Have your say at the round table discussion happening in the evening.

A full schedule of the talks and their abstracts are available on our website.

I sincerely hope to see you there!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Blog inciting hatred against women ruled legal

It turns out that Canadian laws against incitement of hatred were written to protect minorities, and do not include women: Blog inciting hatred against women ruled legal.