CS4FN Magazine Issue 29 : Diversity

Click on the magazine cover to get a pdf copy of the magazine.

Computer Science by all, for all

The unfortunate, misleading, but self-reinforcing, stereotype that computer science is only for white men is finally being beaten. In fact, from the 1940s when the first computers were built, people from all backgrounds whether male, female, black, white, deaf or blind, gay, straight, and of whatever religion, have been involved, including making key leaps forward. Computing is something anyone can excel at if they put their mind to it and work hard  to develop the skills. It is naturally a subject where people from many different disciplines meet and work together, and as we see to get computing right it is important for those of all backgrounds to be involved. The way the world works does make it harder for many to get the breaks that let their abilities shine, but there are people working on that too, providing support for those who need the help. Here we give you a taste of the diversity that has always been there.

Our Full Diversity Pages

Visit our portals on different, diverse groups of computer scientists and the contributions they have made…. (read on)

Clarence Ellis: Writing Together

Small photo of Clarence 'Skip' Ellis

Back in 1956, Clarence Ellis was given a job, at the age of 15, as a “computer operator” … because he was the only applicant. He was also told that under no circumstances should he touch the computer! He went on to pioneer ways for people to use computers together effectively….. (read on)

In space no one can hear you …

Johanna Lucht could do maths before she learned language. Why? Because she was born deaf and there was little support for deaf people where she lived. Despite, or perhaps because of, that she became a computer scientist and works for NASA. (read on)

A PC Success

We have moved on to smartphones, tablets and smartwatches, but for 30 years the desktop computer ruled, and originally not just any desktop computer, the IBM PC. A key person behind its success, particularly for the computer bus, was African American computer scientist, Mark Dean. (read on)

Al-Jazari: the father of robotics

Science fiction films are full of humanoid robots acting as servants, workers, friends or colleagues. The first were created during the Islamic Golden Age, a thousand years ago… (read on)

Facing up to ALL faces

How face recognition technology caused the wrong Black man to be arrested… (read on)

Freddie Figgers: the abandoned baby

As a baby, born in the US in 1989, Freddie Figgers was abandoned by his biological parents but he was brought up with love and kindness by two much older adoptive parents who kindled his early enthusiasm for fixing things and inspired his work in smart health. He now runs the first Black-owned telecommunications company in the US.… (read on)

Sameena Shah’s TED talk

Ants adapt easily; they explore and find new food sources when previously successful paths stop being beneficial. In her award winning research, Sameena Shah, an Artificial Intelligence scientist, taught ant behaviors to AI agents enabling them to adapt when better options became available. Yet, we humans still struggle with adaptation, and may remain stuck on previously successful paths, even when better paths are available. In this engaging and inspiring talk, Sameena presents nature’s design to facilitate reaching our purpose in a changing world, and how we can apply the same ideas in our individual and societal journeys….. (watch)

Diversity Day by Day

We are gradually linking our diversity stories to the calendar to give links day by day to relevant stories and people of all backgrounds. It is also helping us find new stories. (To see what we have filled in so far…Read on).

More to come …

This blog is funded by EPSRC on grant EP/W033615/1.