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I'm going to GWWE 2009! - Lindsey Kuper [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Lindsey Kuper

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I'm going to GWWE 2009! [Dec. 15th, 2008|11:31 pm]
Lindsey Kuper

Woohoo! It looks like I'm heading to Mountain View next month for the 2009 Google Workshop for Women Engineers.

I found out about GWWE almost by accident. I was working on my still-in-progress application for the Anita Borg scholarship, and GWWE automatically showed up in a list of scholarships and awards for which I was eligible to apply. (Moreover, everything that I'd already completed for the Anita Borg application automatically carried over to the GWWE app, so it was a breeze to apply for GWWE as well. Good job, Google!)

The one thing that I had to do specifically for the GWWE app was write a summary of my research, which was going to be hard because, well, I'm not doing research yet. Fortunately, the small print said that I could also write about my research interests. Saved! Here's what I wrote.

I am an aspiring programming languages researcher in my first year of graduate study at Indiana University. My research interests include the design and implementation of functional programming languages, compilers, and logic programming systems.

My interest in functional programming began seven years ago with my first computer science course as an undergraduate at Grinnell College. At the time, I was a second-year music major, and I had signed up for an introductory computer science course on a whim. My background was rather different from that of my classmates; most had been programming for a while and already had a set of habits and assumptions developed over years of writing code. I, on the other hand, had never programmed before and had no assumptions at all. In retrospect, I believe my lack of experience put me at an advantage in learning the Scheme programming language and the functional programming paradigm, since I had no bad habits to unlearn! By the third week of the course, I was fascinated with functional programming, and I resolved to keep studying computer science.

After graduation, I spent four years working in the software industry. The time I spent away from school afforded me the chance to observe and learn from expert programmers on the job. In Portland, I was fortunate to get to know several members of a talented and outspoken community of programmers, some of whom were becoming increasingly involved with Haskell and functional programming. Listening to my colleagues' discussions reminded me of how much I loved functional programming, and with their encouragement, I decided to return to school in fall 2008 to pursue a research and teaching career in programming languages. I am now about to complete my first semester as a Ph.D. student, supported by IU's Women in Science Fellowship program. My interests have expanded to include areas of programming languages research such as compilers and logic programming. This spring I will be working with my professor, Dan Friedman, and a group of other students to explore topics related to the Constraint Handling Rules programming language extension.

My experience as an undergraduate showed me the power of good undergrad CS education to reach students (women in particular, perhaps) who have not yet realized that they want to be computer scientists! I have just been offered the position of Associate Instructor for Dr. Friedman's undergraduate programming languages course this spring and the following fall, and I look forward to the opportunity to help teach a course that I hope will excite some students as much as my first computer science course excited me in 2001.

When I say "a talented and outspoken community of programmers, some of whom were becoming increasingly involved with Haskell", the particular individuals to whom I am referring are Jesse jes5199 Wolfe, Paul stereotype441 Berry, Kim boojum Wallmark, and Josh j3h Hoyt. Thanks, you guys.

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Comments:
[User Picture]From: gorthx
2008-12-16 05:59 am (UTC)
Congratulations!
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2008-12-16 06:22 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'm really excited!

Also, I just realized that it was an oversight to have left you out of the list above. In fact, I wrote about Code n' Splode in a different part of my application. So, I owe an especially big thanks to you, Selena, and everyone who's made Code n' Splode what it is. I wonder if I will be in the minority at this workshop, as someone who, unlike you, has never actually had "engineer" in her job title.

Edited at 2008-12-16 06:40 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: gorthx
2008-12-16 05:22 pm (UTC)
Yay!!!
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[User Picture]From: oniugnip
2008-12-17 01:19 am (UTC)
You do now! :)

"Lindsey Kuper, 2009 Google Workshop for Women Engineers Participant, OBE, DDS".
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2008-12-17 06:56 pm (UTC)
Oh, for crying out loud.
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[User Picture]From: catechism
2008-12-16 06:22 am (UTC)
I wish they'd do something for female non-students. Hrmph.

Griping aside: congratulations! That is pretty excellent. I hope you have a great time. :D
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2008-12-16 06:29 am (UTC)

Something for non-students

Pam, you should seriously consider submitting a proposal for OSCON 2009. You could give a killer 45-minute talk on, say, "Adventures in Automated Testing with Python".
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[User Picture]From: catechism
2008-12-16 06:37 am (UTC)

Re: Something for non-students

Hmmm, we'll see. I'm still waiting to hear back about my Pycon proposal (I should hear SOON), and I have no idea what the conference budget is going to be for next year. I assume it's going to be pretty minimal, so IDK. It's all weird and up in the air right now. If my Pycon one gets accepted, though, that's probably going to be all I can handle for this year.
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2008-12-16 05:07 pm (UTC)

Re: Something for non-students

On the other hand, maybe you'll present at Pycon and it will go over so well and you'll be so fired up that you'll want to give the talk again in San Jose. Think about it! I mean, aside from the fact that I would like lots of my friends to be there because it would give me more excuses to go, I really think that you would enjoy OSCON a lot.
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[User Picture]From: catechism
2008-12-16 05:14 pm (UTC)

Re: Something for non-students

Well. I'll be in San Diego anyway to stalk RDJ for ComicCon, which ends just as OSCON starts. So. MAYBE. We shall see. I think you're right, though, that I'd enjoy that conference.
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[User Picture]From: sonetka
2008-12-16 06:35 am (UTC)
Congrats! Hope it's fun.
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[User Picture]From: idealisms
2008-12-16 07:56 am (UTC)
Hmm, I only work from the MTV office on Mondays (in the SF office the other days of the week). If you have a chance, you should ask them to show you around the Chrome cubes. We have wall mounts of the comic.

Alternately, you could try to bike from SF2G (sf2g.com) on Friday. Fridays are NRLB days. I bet someone could loan you a bike for the day.
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2008-12-16 04:54 pm (UTC)
Ooh. That might be awesome, except for the fact that I don't think I've ever tried to bike more than 15 miles in a day, and probably not more than 8 miles consecutively. And that was on my own bike. And it was summer.

you should ask them to show you around the Chrome cubes. We have wall mounts of the comic.

Maybe they shouldn't let me see those. I mean, I imagine they want to protect them from fangirl drool.

Edited at 2008-12-16 05:16 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2008-12-16 04:57 pm (UTC)

Re: !!

There already are. You and Lauryn. Duh.
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[User Picture]From: moonbeanjo
2008-12-16 09:51 am (UTC)
Congrats on the workshop! If you have time for some non-computer-geeky activity while you're out here, let me know; I'd love to see you, and Mountain View's not all that far away (just opposite ends of the bay).
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2008-12-16 04:59 pm (UTC)
Indeed! As soon as I have a better idea of where I will be and when, I'll be sure to let you and all my Bay Area contacts know.
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[User Picture]From: leadsynth
2008-12-16 07:10 pm (UTC)
Go Team Lindsey!
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[User Picture]From: jes5199
2008-12-16 09:27 pm (UTC)
yay!
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