Post by Dan S. MacAbre Post by Dan S. MacAbre
I don't know one single women who has any interest in computer
You could [but perhaps had better not] start with SWMBO, who has
a PhD in the subject. She is not single, of course. My own experience
in this matter consisted largely of teaching programming to mathematics
Okay, well I'm learning that things have changed a lot recently. :-)
FTAOD, neither SWMBO's PhD nor my teaching experience are exactly
"recent"; after 1985-ish, Nott'm set up a CompSci dept, and so Maths was
effectively debarred from teaching [or researching] computing. I taught
game theory instead, which was a lot more fun.
Working with computers seemed to me like an unattainable dream in the
80's, although I got there eventually. We had a DEC mainframe at work
(I don't remember which model - it was in the 'computer room'), and I
somehow discovered that pressing CTRL-C would get you out of the boring
stock control program, and after that, one somehow just finds things out
by trial and error. I had home computers at home, but CTRL-C doesn't do
anything one those, so I'm not sure where I ever got the idea from. I
found an adventure game on the DEC, and I just loved it.
Post by Dan S. MacAbre
Or should I say reminded. Sometimes I get stuck in my own past. I
should remember that there was something of a drive to get women
interested in computing. It looks like it worked.
I doubt whether it did. There have always been women interested
in computing -- when they got a decent chance to do it. Maths was a good
route in because there is no great opposition to girls doing maths; so
it was a bit of a blow when computing stopped being regarded as part of
maths. Physics, computing and engineering are not good routes because
they're perceived as boys' subjects at school. Whether "drives" do much
to change those perceptions is dubious.
We are now looking for a secondary school (or whatever they call them
now) for our young lad. The prospectuses are full of photo's of girls
doing science in safety specs. It doesn't ostensibly seem that science
and engineering are boys' subjects, but they may not be portraying the
reality of parents' expectations.
I don't know the extent to which the same cultural norms apply
elsewhere in the world. I expect there are studies ....