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Comment Or a better school. (Score 1) 266

My college (Rose Hulman), an all engineering and science one, required us to take ten humanities and social sciences (on a three quarter system). I had enough required math courses in my CS degree to have a built in math major, but I also took Music Theory and Early Twentieth Century American Literature. Admittedly, it's the only school I attended so my basis for comparison is pretty limited, but it doesn't seem like these were any kind of blow off classes either.

Comment Re:Uhmmmm (Score 1) 620

We used that for our time card when I first started at my defense contractor employer, in 1999. I'm going to guesstimate that we replaced it six or seven years ago?

We write in Ada, but at least it's Ada95 not Ada83. We used to use Rational Apex as our editor until we migrated our software completely from Solaris to Windows.

In some of my college classes (95-99), we would telnet into a VAX to compile Ada code. Yes, Ada in college, at one of the last places that taught it.

Comment Re:$6K a course for a "free video lecture" (Score 1) 89

This was my second thought - that I would feel ripped off to spend private university tuition on something like that. Perhaps they can figure out a way to make it work, but that was one reason I went to a top private university, to be in small classes with more professor support - my school (an academic rival of CMU, as I understand it - Rose-Hulman) advertised and delivered on not having classes taught by TAs, and a video class seems far worse than that.

My first thought was that apparently Rose-Hulman will continue to be number one in it's category.

Comment Re:Bedtimes are linked to Waking times (Score 1) 51

My daughter is only eight months old, but she generally wakes up between 5:30 and 6:30 on her own. Being eight months old, that means that yes, her bedtime is between 6:30 and 7:30 at night. Not sure why a bedtime for children while the sun is up should be an issue. Thick curtains help a lot, for one.

On the other side, she also is already fascinated by our phones and other pieces of technology, including ones that don't seem like they should be terribly interesting, like television remotes and computer cables. Perhaps some of it is the allure of things that we try to keep her from grabbing and stuffing in her mouth.

Comment Re:Why not find out how to keep female engineers? (Score 2) 634

I'm a female engineer. I've worked at my place of business for fifteen years. I plan on staying in programming. I have an eight month old daughter and a stay at home father husband.

Most of what you just listed, I would be lousy at. I'm an INTJ and lack the patience with idiots to be a teacher, nor do I have the calling to work the long hours required of many of those professions. (I should note that I'm lucky to be at a company that doesn't have mandatory unpaid overtime, like far too many software places.)

I am lucky in that I had supportive parents and teachers who didn't put up roadblocks to my doing what I wanted to do when I was growing up, indeed, they encouraged me. I went to an all engineering college that was accepting female students for the first time and I'm happy to say that the most sexist attitude I encountered amongst the faculty was from my psych prof (there's got to be a joke in that statement).

I think out of the female friends from college I'm still in touch with (say, 20 people at the periphery as facebook friends), there are only 2-3 who have stopped being engineers.

Comment Re:Hostile environments (Score 1) 634

I'm not going to disagree, but I think that it _is_ true that the hostile environments can extend back far enough to initially dissuade people from going into certain fields. I had a friend who managed to go to college over the objections of her own father that she would get married and waste all that education (by, in his world, presumably becoming a stay at home mom).

It would be a wondrous world where everyone could support themselves doing something that love, on a very slight tangent.

Comment Hostile environments (Score 4, Insightful) 634

I am, gasp, a female software engineer. I work at a defense contractor, and I'm thankful to say that every year there are fewer fossils who think that women don't belong in software, let alone working on military software. The hostile environment is sometimes present in subtle ways, such as important discussions that occur spontaneously in the men's restroom or cubicle artwork that borders on inappropriate. Or, of course, trying to get projects assigned to other, male, engineers. Heck, I once heard a co-worker complain that he would have gotten his promotion if he's been a woman, with an obvious implication since I had gotten mine - ignoring that I've worked here three years longer, am considered more helpful and, oh yeah, _trained him_ when he got here. Nope, obviously, it's because I'm a woman.

Anyway, Slashdot is a perfect example of said hostile environment, from the subtle ("You're joking, there aren't any women on the internet!") to the cesspit that the discussion turns into whenever the topic comes up. I'm sick of it, frankly, and I really should just stop bothering to read the comments on most stories, causing me to lose out on the occasional insightful nugget, but helping my blood pressure. Someday, it might even be bad enough to drive me away.

Which was my point. Telling someone that they are imagining there is a problem is highly offensive, really, and tends to make people not want to be around you.

Comment Re:Make it DARKER dammit. (Score 2) 233

It did make for good TV though.

.... it did? Most of us in my group of friends in college thought Voyager stunk on ice. That's as people who were, after all, in college when it came out - I know that I wasn't an expert on the original series, enjoyed TNG and DS9. (DS9 is my favorite these days, I would say.)

Comment Re:Pointing fingers at problems (Score 1) 493

(Perhaps things are more skewed in Indiana. It's a surprisingly conservative place.)

And it's very, very difficult to find the line between evolutionary programming and societal conditioning. I'm a female computer programmer at a defense contractor, while my husband has a degree in art and is currently staying home with our five month old baby. Not only is this the best financial situation, but I think that we both are far happier than if we went the opposite routes.

I think that most normal feminists, rather than misandrists on the fringe, just want artificial barriers for everyone in all professions to be removed. We've come very far in a relatively short time, and things will continue to improve. My mother received an education fit for becoming a secretary (and became a waitress), I had friends who were discouraged by teachers and even parents from technical fields, but I didn't experience that myself. Things will continue to be more open for my daughter, I hope.

Comment Re:Why is it even a problem? (Score 1) 493

I'm a feminist, but not a misandrist. I'm also an engineer, and I want to find the cause of things and fix it. Men have been the ones in a position of leadership for most of human history, nothing more. Women have, sadly, been fairly bad in many points in history at taking and making opportunities for themselves, since society has conditioned both genders in how they should behave.

I believe they didn't grade the test twice because this was an examination of available data rather than a created situation - they were two different tests that were typically graded in these different ways.

Comment Re:Why is it even a problem? (Score 1) 493

You say that like it's impossible for a female teacher to have biases about what the genders are good at. Reverse it, if you'd like - how many boys with an interest in something typically female may be dissuaded by their own fathers? Personally, I feel lucky in that I had teachers throughout my school career that were encouraging me, telling me that I could do whatever I wanted, in contrast to other women I've met who were discouraged by everyone from their math and science teachers to their own parents.

Comment Re:shame (Score 1) 242

I remember mistakenly thinking that Radio Shack was the place to go look for an odd conversion cable (I think it was for a laptop to a tv that didn't have the most expected combination of ports) and the person behind the counter looking at me like I was speaking Greek. I wonder if anyone still makes the cool little electronics experiment kits?

"I've seen the forgeries I've sent out." -- John F. Haugh II (jfh@rpp386.Dallas.TX.US), about forging net news articles