Address from Martin Wildberger

Martin Wildberger opened by reexamining IBM’s motto, “Innovation that
matters”. One of the key things we struggle with is making sure that
what we do matters, and one of the ways to do that is through
collaboration. CAS is about meeting of minds of industry and academe
to germinate ideas.

Wildberger also commended Kelly Lyons, who heads the CAS program for
the Toronto Lab. Last night in Winnipeg, the CAS program received a
very prestigious award: the NSERC Leo Derikx Award for Synergy.

He showed a video clip from last night’s awarding ceremony. (Hey! That
was my desk! Kelly and Luanne borrowed my desk! <laugh> You can
tell – my e-mail address is actually readable for a second…)

He then went on to thank NRC and introduce Christian Couturier,
Director General of the Institute for Information Technology, National
Research Council Canada.

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Address from Christian Couturier, NRC

Christian Couturier spoke about the importance of ICT and rattled off
a number of areas that would not be possible without ICT. He also
thanked those who helped make the conference a reality.

Introduced technical program co-chairs:

  • Eleni Stroulia, University of Alberta
  • Hakan Erdogmus, National Research Council, Canada

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Technical co-chairs

Eleni and Hakan joked a bit about their ethnic origins (Greek and
Turkish), gave a few statistics for paper submissions, and announced
the best papers. Ooh, Ian Bull gets a Lenovo Thinkpad for having the
best Student Paper!

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CAS Dublin

The CAS Dublin team linked up through videoconferencing. The speaker
highlighted four key fields: high performance computing, software
engineering, visualization, and computational analytics and language.
He presented awards for best paper and best student paper.

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OMG. Girls have the geek gene, too?! NO WAY!

Girls have the geek gene, too, reports Jen Gerson of The Toronto Star. Read it and weep.
Goodness gracious, someone *please* tell me that this is a satire
article appearing in The Onion, not a serious article appearing in the
I.D. section of a major newspaper.

The opening sentence starts the same way as most articles about women
in technology, making us feel like an endangered species. (Crikey!)
But then it gets worse, and worse, and worse. I feel like printing and
framing it.

I.D. chatted with one of the key speakers, Dr. Telle Whitney,
president of the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, about
why young women are frightened by the prospect of joining a field
dominated by intelligent men who have no idea how to please them.

The things I could say about this…

So, women and technology. Why do they need their own symposium?

Because we’re afraid of cooties. Snark snark snark.

Do you think fewer women are getting involved in technology because they’re
not as interested in it, or are they just not smart enough?

Could you possibly have a more provoking question if you tried?

But tech companies, they paint their electronics pink. Shouldn’t that draw
women in?

Apparently you *can* have a more provoking question.

So pink is not the way to go, for attracting women?

I like frilly interfaces and flowers myself. NOT.

Should we bring more women in? Aren’t there few enough jobs in technology
that we need to bring women too, into it?

Completely missing the point!

But how is it that women can juggle making computers with making babies?

ARRRRGGGGGHHHH!!

But are the babies disruptive to the computers? How do you trust babies
around all that sensitive equipment?

More than I’d trust a certain reporter, apparently.

The following segment is just… horrible.

  • Q Is Anita Borg a real name?
  • A Anita Borg was the founder of the Institute.
  • Q Was that before Star Trek: The Next Generation, or after?
  • A It was really her name.
  • Q Bad luck.
  • A She passed away a few years ago from brain cancer. She was a very dear friend of mine and I took over here a few years ago.
  • Q Oh. I’m a terrible human being. Is that what you’re saying?
  • A No no, she used to have these big pictures of Borg all over her house. She was a Star Trek fan.

There are no words to explain how terrible the article is. It is
downright irresponsible of the Toronto Star to publish something this
insensitive and disrespectful, considering the pressures that are
already on women in technology.

Should we cut Jen some slack just because she’s a fourth-year Ryerson
University journalism student, or the Toronto Star for giving its
columnists free rein? At what point are journalism students supposed
to gain common sense? Jen asked those questions, typed up the
interview, and the Toronto Star published it. At what point was
someone supposed to go, “Wait a minute, what is this article saying?”

ARGH! Read, blog, link, whatever: clueless journalist. Her e-mail address is [email protected] . Help her learn not to do that again.

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