From comments: this is what a computer scientist looks like

From comments on Women in science: contrary to popular belief, some of us are actually alive!, Lindsey has started a Flickr group for “This is what a computer scientist looks like”. The group itself has this description:

This group collects photos of computer scientists, with a particular focus on women (may change later to include other underrepresented groups in CS).

If you are a woman in computer science, feel free to contribute a photo of yourself. If you’re contributing a photo of someone else, please make sure it’s a public photo that you have permission to share, preferably one taken at a public event such as a professional conference or workshop.

In the spirit of Photos of Mathematicians, we’re looking for modern, candid photos of currently active, not-necessarily-famous computer scientists. We’re not looking for historical photos.

So far, I am the only computer scientist. Fear me or displace me at the front of the queue!

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About Mary

Mary is a women in tech activist, a programmer, a writer, and a sometime computational linguist. She writes at puzzling.org with occasional appearances at Hoyden About Town and her previous projects include co-founding the Ada Initiative and major contributions to the Geek Feminism blog. She's @me_gardiner on Twitter.

9 thoughts on “From comments: this is what a computer scientist looks like

  1. Lindsey Kuper

    Thanks for the publicity!

    Small tweak: for the time being, I’m striking out the “If you’re contributing a photo of someone else, please make sure it’s a public photo that you have permission to share, preferably one taken at a public event such as a professional conference or workshop” part, and instead just requesting that people only contribute photos of themselves. I’d prefer it if the photos are of people who actually self-identify as computer scientists, and this seems like the best way to enforce that.

    Also, since this group is for computer scientists specifically, maybe someone reading this will be interested in starting similar photo pools for other scientific fields, or a more general group, if they like. (After all, the conversation was originally about “women in science”, not “women in computer science”.)

    1. Mackenzie

      Are group photos of women (that include ourselves) from conferences ok? I just removed the photo I took of a speaker at a conference, but I had uploaded group photos from a hacking con and from an Ubuntu dev summit before too and wanted to be sure these are ok.

      1. Lindsey Kuper

        Thanks for contributing stuff!

        In the case of the group photos, I think it depends. Would everyone in the photo identify herself as a computer scientist? Not every hacker or developer I know would consider themselves a computer scientist and not every computer scientist I know would consider themselves a hacker or developer, although there’s a lot of overlap.

  2. Cynthia L.

    Done! I enjoyed looking through those mathematician photos the other day. Happy to see someone started this project, and happy to contribute.

  3. AMM

    What about links to publicly available photos?

    Some Universities have faculty photos on-line — would adding a link to the faculty member’s university page be inappropriate?

    1. Lindsey Kuper

      It seems like there are really two questions here: “What about including photos not on Flickr?” and “What about photos that are not of me but are nevertheless publicly available on the web?”

      Regarding the first question, not being able to include photos that are not already on Flickr is an unfortunate limitation of using Flickr to host the photo pool, but one could always put such photos on the Geek Feminism wiki — I think Mary already suggested doing this.

      Regarding the second question, part of the reason I’d rather people not add photos of anyone other than themselves is that ideally, in my mind, adding a photo to the group would be an act of self-identification as a computer scientist. What do other people think about this?

      1. AMM

        adding a photo to the group would be an act of self-identification as a computer scientist.

        If someone is already listed on a University’s website as a math/engineering/CS professor, doesn’t that already identify her as a mathematician/etc.?

        However, I can see a different issue: a “women in tech” web page collects women in one place, and makes it easier for harrassers to find. As it is now, a harrasser has to dig through the various universities’ websites and figure out which professor is female (not always obvious from the name) in order to collect a list of targets. Finding pictures of them, even if you know the name, institution, and department, isn’t easy, either.

        That seems like a better argument for at least getting the person’s permission before posting even a link. One could imagine reasons why Kathy Sierra, for instance, might not want her picture here.

  4. Nicole

    Do we have to be computer scientists per se? I majored in informatics but I’m in the software engineering field.

    1. Lindsey Kuper

      Well, I’d like the group to be for people who consider themselves to be computer scientists — it’s your call whether that’s you or not. But in any case, I sense a need for a “this is what a software engineer looks like” sister group. Want to start one?

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