Several months ago I asked my friendly congressman whether he thought the middle of America's bell curve realizes that the U.S. ranks below average for 21 industrialized countries in math and science education.
He looked rather startled, so I went on: even when our advanced students are compared to those of 15 other countries, 11 countries outperform us and no country scores significantly below us.
It's not often that my husband insists on turning on the TV at a particular time. Sports events - that's about it. But he recently stumbled onto a new show Beauty and the Geek and he's become a born again TV fan. Last night, he couldn't wait until the show came on again and insisted I come watch it. We both had to giggle a lot about it, at least on the surface of things. Beautiful and seemingly dumb women. Smart and VERY GEEKY men. Men so geeky, they can't even stay in the same room with a gorgeous woman, but rather go and stand in a closet.
Lucy Sanders, CEO of NCWIT, and I spent a wonderful day in New York City in December 2005. Two things stand out in my mind about the day (before we even met on Central Park South). One, it just happened to be the coldest day of the year so far. And two, it was my son's birthday and he was surprised to learn that Mom would be spending it with Lucy, not him!
I was reminded about the wonders of technology, especially converged communications, on a recent trip to New York City. Early one morning, I boarded the train from Grand Central Station to White Plains to meet up with Kay Cioffi, President of TexZen Partners, an enterprise development and strategic marketing group. Kay is a most excellent friend of NCWIT and is helping us reach out to corporations concerning our Workforce Alliance.
A central focus of my work as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Technology Policy during the late 1990s was preparing American workers—especially scientists, engineers and technologists—for jobs in the new economy. Today, with enormous changes afoot in the world of information technology (IT), preparing Americans to compete and win in the digital economy is even more important—and more challenging—than when I served in government.
ChicTech, an outreach program of the University of Illinois Department of Computer Science, is extending an open invitation for college women to participate in the second annual Games for Girls Programming Competition (G4G).
Every year, NCWIT has two national meetings. Last week (November 17th and 18th), we held our inaugural NCWIT Practices Workshop, coincident with our Alliance meetings, at Carnegie Mellon University. We had most of our meetings in Newell Simon Hall, a beautiful building home to the university's School of Computer Science, packed with computing students and hi-tech gadgets.
I recently had a conversation with a friend who told me her daughter has declared that she hates math -- and she's only seven years old! This got me thinking that the challenge for parents is to help their kids keep an open mind about the subjects they like or don't like. It's really important that parents keep exposing their kids to different things and different opportunities, and make sure that they don't close the door on new ones.