Recent posts

I can't often talk about the research I do at Lincoln Laboratory, but sometimes the curtain parts for a brief instant and allows a quick peek:

Four innovative technologies garner 2012 R&D 100 Awards for MIT Lincoln Laboratory

And while I'm at it, let me reiterate the fact that we're looking for more great people to come help solve important cryptographic problems:

That's just a sample. Many, many more positions here. (Hint: search for jobs associated with Groups 06-61, 06-68 and 06-69.)

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On consulting

26 Jul 2011

I made a promise, a few posts back, to answer a reader's question about consulting. In particular:

How do you get started in consulting? Do you wait for someone to approach you, or to you actively advertise your interest in taking on consulting work?

Dear reader: a good question, but not the most important one.

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Why do I blog about the gender gap in computer science? I am not a research psychologist, and so don't care about the underlying mechanisms for their own sake. Likewise, I do not think of being a computer scientist as a privilege and so do not care about the social justice issues. No, my interest is pragmatic: more computer scientists means more technological progress, which means a better standard of living for me and my children. So to me, everything in this topic boils down to two questions:

  1. Are we losing potential computer scientists to other fields?
  2. If so, what can we do about it?

The answer to question (1) seems fairly settled by now: yes. In particular, we're losing women.1 Now, most of my posts on the topic have focused on a question not on the list above: why? This is not because I find the question of 'why' interesting in its own right (I don't) but because it might help me answer question (2). So, I'm very happy to report I've found a glimmer of hope in a paper that verifies the effectiveness of a specific, easily-implemented strategy to keep women in CS.

  • 1. We might also be losing other minorities, such as racial minorities. In fact, I'm pretty sure we are, but I haven't found any good papers on the topic yet.

Via Sociological Images (who in turn got it from Kieran Healy) I stumbled across the eye-opening chart below: