Women!

Perhaps feeling a twinge of remorse for publicly taunting that poor, stodgy journalist yesterday… Oh my, what an easy target… I made my Ada pledge.  That means I have 8 days to figure out what to write about a woman amongst us.

I don’t need to belabour the point that the pick’ns are slim because I’ve already made my choice. She’s retired  but she retired as a programmer. 

I think I should give a prize the first person who can name 6 female array programmers who are still programming and then post it here on Ada Lovelace Day, March 24th, 2010.  All array languages count, even the ones I don’t know about.

You better start cracking because it’s going to be HARD to find a half dozen!

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9 Responses to “Women!”


  • Didn’t know this… apparently the words “woman” and “computer” are synonymous (see below). So turns out I haven’t been wasting all my time chasing the wrong thing all my life…

    http://archives.cbc.ca/science_technology/computers/topics/710/

    Broadcast Date: Feb. 12, 1996
    At 27 tonnes and the size of an entire room, America’s first large-scale electronic computer is just as elaborate as its name suggests: ENIAC, or Electronic Numerator Integrator Analyser and Computer. True to form, ENIAC also makes big noises, cracking and buzzing while performing an equation of 5,000 additions. Before the invention of ENIAC, it took a room full of people to calculate a similar equation.

    In this CBC Television clip for ENIAC’s 50th birthday, technology columnist Tom Keenan explains: “War was on and they actually had to plan for ballistic calculations… so they used to have rooms full of people, mainly women actually, who were trained to a certain level of mathematics and they were called ‘computers.'”

  • CJL, you set yourself some tough tasks! …/tnmc

  • how exactly do you define “still programming”? one of my colleagues on the team where i first learned Q was a girl fresh out of college. as far as i know, she’s still programming Q, but she’s only been doing so for about four years.

  • Dear Aaron,

    That counts! Excellent. 5 more to go!

  • Following are 6 women actively programming in APL.

    Pik Ng
    Tesa Carlson
    Melissa Farmer
    Linda Wilson
    Toni Gibson
    Sue Dahlberg

  • OK – I’ll amend the contest and the first 5 people who can name 6 array programmers between now and Ada Lovelace Day (March 24) will get a modest prize.

  • Hmm…not such a tough question for those of us from the old IPSA Ottawa office, as at least half the programmers there were women.

    Ann Vavasour is now in Australia, still programming in the financial world.

    Sue Leroux, Ronna Egan, and Janet Smith are still, as far as I know, working with the Beyond2020 group that grew out of our old office.

    And here at BC Stats, Jean Ten Have and Lillian Hallin are still using APL.

    Cheers,
    \donw

  • A slight amendment to my list: Jean doesn’t do a whole lot of APL programming anymore, but Ocean Fan Lu is beginning to do so. It’s pretty hard to be a working economist and *not* use array languages, I would think.

    Anyways, I can still say I know a half-dozen women involved with array languages .

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