Lunch & Learn: Dean Maria Klawe: “The Truth About Females and Computing”

Dr. Maria KlaweIn a special March 1 Lunch ‘n Learn presentation, Dr. Maria Klawe, dean of Princeton’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, presented Gender, Lies and Video Games: The Truth about Females and Computing. The event was simulcast via Internet2 to other NJ K-20 institutions including Montclair State University, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and Passaic Valley High School.
Dr. Klawe’s March 1 talk explored how girls and women differ from boys and men in their uses of and attitudes toward computers and computing. For example, why do fewer young women play computer and video games, take computer science courses, major in computer science, go into computing careers, and end up in senior positions?
Dr. Klawe began by exploring and exploding some of the myths (lies?) about computing. For example, are computers a boy toy? In fact, teenage girls spend more time on the internet than boys. However, many of the myths persist in influencing students, teachers, parents, and the media. And such myths can play a pernicious role in influencing women away from computing professions.

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Web Founder Featured in Public Lecture Series

berners-lee.jpgSir Tim Berners-Lee, “The real inventor of the World-Wide Web,” will be lecturing on a topic to be announced on April 5 at 8:00 pm in McCosh 50.
Berners-Lee is the director of the World Wide Web Consortium, senior researcher at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and professor of computer science at Southampton School of Electronics and Computer Science. He is also author of Weaving the Web: The Original Design and Ultimate Destiny of the World Wide Web by its Inventor. (HarperCollins, 1999)
Time Magazine has hailed Berners-Lee as one of the 100 greatest minds of the century. His contribution in creating the WWW has changed the way we do business, the way we organize and gain access to information, and communicate and even socialize with one another. His vision of the WWW is more than simply an efficient tool for research and communication, but more… a means to a new way of thinking and the extension of social freedoms throughout the world.
More information is available at the Public Lectures web site.

Lunch & Learn: Millions, Billions, Zillions – Why (In)numeracy Matters with Dr. Brian Kernighan

Dr. Brian KernighanAt OIT’s Lunch ‘n Learn seminar on Wednesday February 22, Computer Science Professor Brian Kernighan presented Millions, Billions, Zillions – Why (In)numeracy Matters. In 2004, Newsweek magazine stated: “Perhaps the Bush administration could use the 660-billion-barrel Strategic Petroleum Reserve to push prices down. Given that the average vehicle uses 550 gallons a year, assuming that there are 300 million cars and that a barrel contains approximately 50 gallons, our yearly oil needs work out to about 3 billion barrels a year. And so, offered Dr. Kernighan, “Why are we so worried about oil?”
The answer is, of course, that our Strategic Petroleum Reserve is actually 550 million barrels, enough for 200 days, not 200 years.

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Lunch & Learn: Faculty Demonstrate Interesting Uses of Blackboard for Teaching and Learning with Keiko Kuriyama, Antonio Calvo, Ana Figueroa, Rena Lederman, Lee Mitchell, Lee Silver, and Laurel Goodell


Many of you are well aware that the Blackboard Course Management System provides easy access to a syllabus, a facebook, a gradebook, a sectioning tool, e-mail lists, links to reserve reading, and other course documents. At OIT’s February 8 Lunch ‘n Learn, faculty members Keiko Kuriyama, Antonio Calvo, Ana Figueroa, Rena Lederman, Lee Mitchell and Lee Silver and Technical Staff member Laurel Goodell proved you can also use Blackboard to enhance the learning experience for students.
For example, you can now create reusable, automatically graded exams. With self-correcting questions, you can make sure that students keep up with the reading and lectures. And by using Blackboard’s discussion boards, you can extend the classroom discussion and sustain interest in key topics throughout the semester.

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Supercomputer to Accelerate Collaboration

Princeton NJ — A unique partnership between Princeton scientists and information technology administrators has brought one of the world’s fastest supercomputers to the University to spur advancements in research.
Working with IBM, the University’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) collaborated with Princeton researchers to purchase and install a “Blue Gene” high-performance computer that will aid current and future research solving complex problems in areas including astrophysical sciences, engineering, chemistry and plasma physics. The University plans a ribbon cutting Nov. 22 to inaugurate the computer that was installed last month.
“We are excited about the possibilities for collaborative research among faculty that this extraordinary resource will allow,” said Betty Leydon, Princeton’s chief information officer and vice president for information technology. “Having OIT, the Princeton Institute for Computational Science and Engineering, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and several individual faculty members contribute to the cost shows that we all recognize the value of working together to build the best possible IT infrastructure to support research at Princeton.”
Read complete Princeton Weekly Bulletin article here.