Sunday, May 29, 2016

Female computer science professor blasts the sexist geeks she says show 'staggering' bias against women

If there is prejudice against women in computing, it is really POSTjudice -- as women are rarely good at it and it shows.  I am myself a computer programmer -- as is  my son -- and I have taught it at university level. In my observation only the top 2% in IQ can do the harder types of programming.  I still use FORTRAN and my son uses C#.  Many people find such languages hard but for us they are a doddle. 

And because the IQ distribution among females is leptokurtic, there are many fewer women than men in that IQ range. I used to run Sydney MENSA for a number of years and it was notable how few female applicants passed the test.  I have met some very good female programmers.  It was a woman -- Gail Sonkkila -- who taught me FORTRAN.  But they are necessarily rare, given their IQ distribution

So Uschi below may be a good feminist but she is no social scientist

Sexist geeks who built a prototype of an 'enhanced human' which was entirely male have been lambasted by one of Britain's leading computer scientists.

Ursula Martin, a professor of computer science at Oxford University, said it was a symptom of the 'staggering sexism' in the industry.

She said there was still an anti-female bias and conjured up a picture of male academics like the characters of Sheldon Cooper and Rajesh Koothrappali in The Big Bang Theory, who struggled to engage with women or understand the female viewpoint.

The Times reported that Prof Martin told an audience at the Hay Festival she was shocked to discover some of the attitudes of male computer scientists when she visited the Microsoft research laboratory in Cambridge this week.

She said: 'I was absolutely staggered at the sexism on show.'

Prof Martin said there was a symposium on artificial intelligence and a presentation was given about the 'vision of what an enhanced human would be'.

Prof Martin pointed out the absence of female attributes in the new, advanced human to the person who made the presentation and he had simply responded: 'I suppose'.

A Microsoft spokesman told Mail Online: 'At the Artificial Intelligence Symposium held at Microsoft Research in Cambridge on May 26, there were many external speakers from across academia.

'Contrary to some media reports, the only Microsoft employees who presented at the symposium were women. 'Microsoft is committed through a range of programs such as Make What’s Next to increase the number of women in Computer Science.'

Prof Martin was at the Hay Festival to discuss the contribution to science of Ada Lovelace, a 19th century visionary who foresaw the existence of computers.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

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