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Event Time and Date

Thursday, April 27 2017, 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM
2 Days until this Event

“Is our software gender-inclusive?”  


Speaker : Dr. Margaret Burnett, Distinguished Professor,  Oregon State





Gender inclusiveness in the software workforce is receiving a lot of

attention these days, but it overlooks a potentially critical factor—the

software itself. Research into how individual differences cluster by gender

shows that males and females tend to work differently with software that

aims to help people solve problems (e.g., tools for debugging, for end-user

programming, for game-based learning, and for visualizing information).

However, many features of problem-solving software are (inadvertently)

designed around the way males tend to problem-solve. In this talk, I’ll

explain 5 facets of gender inclusiveness in software and how they tie to a

large body of foundational work from computer science, psychology,

education, communications, and women’s studies. I’ll also present emerging

work on our GenderMag method, an inspection method that encapsulates these 5

facets into practitioner-ready form.  Emerging empirical results suggest

that GenderMag is remarkably effective at enabling software practitioners to

pinpoint gender inclusiveness issues in their own software.    

About the speaker:


Margaret Burnett is currently an OSU Distinguished Professor at Oregon

State University. She received her M.S. and Ph.D.(with honors) degrees in

Computer Science from the University of Kansas in 1981 and 1991

respectively. She began her career in industry, where she was the first

woman software developer ever hired at Procter & Gamble Ivorydale. A few

degrees and start-ups later, she joined academia, with a research focus on

people who are engaged in some form of software development. She was the

principal architect of the Forms/3 and FAR visual programming languages, and

co-founded the area of end-user software engineering, which aims to improve

software for computer users that are not trained in programming. She

pioneered the use of information foraging theory in the domain of software

debugging, and leads the team that created GenderMag, a software inspection

process that uncovers gender inclusiveness issues in software from

spreadsheets to programming environments. Burnett is an ACM Distinguished

Scientist, a member of the ACM CHI Academy, and an award-winning mentor. She

currently serves on three editorial boards, and has served in over 50

conference organization and program committee roles. She is also on the

Academic Alliance Advisory Board of the National Center for Women In

Technology (NCWIT).


Spahr Classroom

Event Categories:

Academic, Free Food, Speaker