Saturday, October 3, 2009

Ignite Talks, GHC 2009

"Opening the house of technology". That could have been the sub-title of this year's inaugural Ignite Talks. Yes, there were major differences in approaches (from GiveCamps to implementing the results of 35-year longitudinal psychological studies).

Yes, the presenters had wildly different presentation styles (from Jennifer Marsman, a fount of energy from Microsoft to David Klappholz who lectured from the podium with mature passion).

Yes, they were all serving different women (Nayda Santiago is helping Puetro Rican female undergraduates get to and through grad-school to Kassie Bowman of Raytheon, who is focusing on getting kids excited about math through

Yes, their approaches clearly reflected their training (Jill Ross of Image of Computing presented on "A New Image of Computing", Dawn Carter of Amazon dealt with girls in her community, Emma L Anderson of Oberlin College about "Feminist Perspectives on Teaching Introductory CS" and Ruchi Sanghvi of Facebook on "Powering Online Social Movements").

But the impetus that moves them, the problem they are solving, the population they are worried about, all the same.

I should say, the impetus that moves us, the problem we are, the population we are worried about, because I (Jessica Dickinson Goodman) presented about "Playing with Alice After School" for the Ignite Talks 2009.

Listening to so many vitally interested women (and one man!) present about their work to open the house of technology to women, to U.S. middle schoolers, student movements around the world, was invigorating. The 10 minutes we were each given felt abbreviated, particularly for the industry and faculty presenters (15 would have been fine and allowed the audience to feel comfortable and non-infringing when they asked questions), but the experience of being filled with the information of these talks BAM BAM BAM was awesome. Below are the titles of the talks with links to their wikis.

Inspirational Quote:

Only the desert has a fascination—to ride alone—in the sun in the forever unpossessed country—away from man. That is a great temptation.
--D.H. Lawrence

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