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The Woman Who Demonstrated the Greenhouse Effect
Eunice Newton Foote showed that carbon dioxide traps the heat of the sun in 1856, beating the so-called father of the greenhouse effect by at least three years. Why was she forgotten? In 1856, decades before the term “greenhouse gas” was coined, Eunice Newton Foote demonstrated the greenhouse effect in her home laboratory. She placed a glass cylinder full of carbon dioxide in sunlight and found that it heated up much more than a cylinder of ordinary air. Her conclusion: more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere results in a warmer planet. Several years later a Irish scientist named John Tyndall conducted a far more complicated experiment that demonstrated the same effect and revealed how it worked. Today Tyndall is widely known as the man who discovered the greenhouse gas effect. There’s even a crater on the moon named for him! Newton Foote, meanwhile, was lost to history—until an amateur historian stumbled on her story.
Posted on 28 Nov 2023
The State of Gender Equity in STEM With Gender Scan Founder Claudine Schmuck
Claudine Schmuck, founder of the Gender Scan survey, joins us live in the WE23 Podcast Studio to share the latest data on the gender balance in STEM across the globe. In conversation with FY24 SWE President Alexis McKittrick, Schmuck sheds light on the challenges and opportunities faced by women engineers worldwide. She also shares data-driven practical steps to foster inclusivity in STEM at both the individual and policy levels.
Posted on 28 Nov 2023
A guide for women interested in a programming career: top 20 online resources for kickstarting your coding journey
Opportunities abound for women interested in a programming career, even in the absence of any computer science background. The astonishing number of online learning options shows you’re in good company. We’ll try to decode the process for getting started as a female coder. Of all the reasons for women to be interested in a programming career, the satisfaction that comes from being a trailblazer is definitely on the list. Women in coding can benefit beyond measure from the immense range of opportunities open to female IT professionals. They can also help reset a gender imbalance that, ironically, wasn’t even part of computer science’s origin story. If a programming career sounds appealing but you aren't sure where to start, rest assured! Many women have successfully embarked on this journey, and you can too. In this guide, you can find discussions about: What programming is all about and where you might fit; Why programming is a great career choice; Women in tech - reversing a trend; Kickstarting your programming career - top 20 online learning resources and Tips for success as a woman in coding.
Posted on 16 Nov 2023
Ethics in Science: An Interview with Dr. Elisabeth Bik
After finding her own work plagiarized, Dr. Elisabeth Bik became interested in finding other cases. Since 2019, she has reported problems in over 7,000 scientific papers, and her work has resulted in more than 1,000 retractions and another 1,000 corrections. Read her interview with Sushmitha Vallabh.
Posted on 12 Nov 2023
SWE: DisAbility Inclusion Affinity Group
The DisAbility Inclusion Affinity Group was formed to build a supportive, safe community for differently abled/disabled engineers, caregivers, and allies to network and develop themselves professionally. We are a community that acknowledges the unique challenges related to having a disability (physical, developmental, invisible, and mental) or caring for loved ones while also being an engineer. The DisAbility Inclusion Affinity Group seeks to connect members for the purpose of peer mentoring, professional development, and sharing of best practices relating to navigating a successful career as a disabled person, caregiver, or ally. This AG connects members with similar backgrounds and interests for the purpose of promoting disability inclusion and to grow a community of engineers with disabilities and allies with the goal of empowering members, supporting them to be successful, and championing disability inclusion.
Posted on 12 Nov 2023
How To Work With Recruiters
This article will help you better understand the role that recruiters play, and how you can work with them in a positive and constructive way during your job search. In author`s opinion, there is simply a lack of understanding on both sides, therefore she represents three Basic Rules one should consider when interacting with recruiters: There's More Than One Type of Recruiter, Recruiters Don't Work for You, Don’t Forget the Human Factor.
Posted on 30 Oct 2023
Historical Women: Annie Easley - Mathematician and Computer Scientist
Annie Easley, an African American mathematician, and computer scientist was born in April 1933 in Birmingham, Alabama. Her entire childhood was spent dreaming of becoming a nurse, but once she attended high school, she slowly switched her interest to pharmacy. After attending Xavier University in 1951, she married a man in the U.S. military and worked as an educator in Jefferson County. In between her time as an educator, she helped those in her community study for literacy tests so they could obtain the ability to vote. Despite the endless discrimination and disapproval from others, she persevered to help as many people as possible. Soon enough, she unsuccessfully continued her degree in pharmacy, and in 1955 switched to an interest in the computer field. In Ohio, she worked as a “human computer” at the Aircraft Engine Research Laboratory, which was transported to become the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA). As a result, she started up a new career as a computer scientist and mathematician for NASA. Easley continued this job for 34 years, and although she didn’t have the necessary credentials, she was able to successfully fulfill her position.
Over the next couple of years, Easley was on the front line of space research, and in the early 1960s, began working on nuclear-powered rocket systems. At this time, and after the successful launch in 1963, she learned computer programming languages such as the Formula Translating System (Fortran) and Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP). Her work in NASA and the legacy she has left behind continue to inspire those in the STEM community today.
Posted on 30 Oct 2023
Trio of Barrington High School students pen book on their passion for STEM and robotics, call for younger girls to consider it too
Three Barrington High School computer science students have written and illustrated a picture book which aims to convince other girls that computer coding and STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) aren’t just for boys. “Breaking the Code with Gabriella” tells the story of a young girl who joins a robotics club where she discovers she is the only girl. The boys in the club mock her until they realize that she is skillful at robotics. The authors avoid a predictable ending to create a believable story. In addition to the plot, the book includes many easy-to-understand definitions and explanations of robotics and STEM. Authors Hafsah Khan, Sarah Pinto, and Cindy Wang are actually members of the Despicable Machine robotics team, which is coached by computer science teachers Kristen Lewis and Thomas Bredemeier. Bredemeier emphasized that the three young ladies created the book completely on their own, without input from him or Lewis. Khan said that Pinto was the person who decided they should write the picture book because a friend of hers had created a picture book that explained a complicated subject in a way that was understandable for children. The young authors decided that a picture book, which could be appropriate for kids as young as first or second grade, “showing a girl on a robotics team, would help with breaking the gender barriers.
Posted on 30 Oct 2023
Female physicists aren’t represented in the media – and this lack of representation hurts the physics field
Christopher Nolan’s highly-anticipated movie “Oppenheimer,” set for release July 21, 2023, depicts J. Robert Oppenheimer and his role in the development of the atomic bomb. But while the Manhattan Project wouldn’t have been possible without the work of many accomplished female scientists, the only women seen in the movie’s trailer are either hanging laundry, crying or cheering the men on. As a physics professor who studies ways to support women in STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – fields and a film studies professor who worked as a screenwriter in Hollywood, we believe the trailer’s depiction of women reinforces stereotypes about who can succeed in science. It also represents a larger trend of women’s contributions in science going unrecognized in modern media. The Manhattan Project would not have been possible without the work of physicist Lise Meitner, who discovered nuclear fission. Meitner used Einstein’s E=MC² to calculate how much energy would be released by splitting uranium atoms, and it was that development that would prompt Einstein to sign a letter urging President Franklin Roosevelt to begin the United States’ atomic research program.
Posted on 09 Oct 2023
‘Girls Who Code’ mentor hopes to inspire younger female generation
Inspired by the women who came before her, a local volunteer is working to pave the way for the next generation of computer scientists. Gabby Doran says that she’s driven to make a difference, and she’s getting her start at a community center in north Minneapolis. Doran's passion for computer science started young, saying during an interview with FOX 9's Bisi Onile-Ere, "I had always been interested in coding as a little girl." Today, she’s a senior business intelligence analyst for Comcast, after years of study and training, the mentee is now a mentor. "A college professor was my first mentor, and she changed my life. Because she was the first person to ever tell me that I could have a future in a technical field if I wanted to," said Doran. "Now that I’m in a place in my career where I’m feeling some measure of success, it’s important for me to start pouring that back into people as soon as possible." This summer, Doran is leading a program called "Girls Who Code" at the Phyllis Wheatley community center in north Minneapolis. "It’s a safe, supportive, fun environment for girls to come and explore their interest in these things and be told that they could have a future in this," said Doran. When asked why she believes that it's important to expose girls to code, Doran responded, "We have fewer women in computer science now than we did in the 1990s. So, we’ve actually gone backward." But Doran is moving forward. Volunteering one day a week, she teaches girls how to build animations, games and applications. "These girls, they’re digital natives, right? They grew up with the internet, but they haven’t necessarily been exposed to what happens behind the scenes or under the hood of all of the devices that they use every day," said Doran.In the realm of Science-Technology-Engineering-and Math (STEM), Doran says the goal is to show young girls what’s possible."If we can create spaces where girls can build their confidence and learn that they have every right to do these things just as much as boys, then we can start to fix the problem of not enough women in tech," said Doran.
Posted on 27 Sep 2023

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