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The WIT Crowd | 03/26/2021

In the month of March we celebrate Women’s History to remind and reflect upon all the accomplishments and impact women make in their communities and all parts of the world. To celebrate the women who paved the way, and those who are fighting for and representing women today, here are some facts about women who have played a part in shaping the technology around us:

  • Ada Lovelace was an English mathematician, writer, and regarded as a pioneer of the computer age. She discovered that a computer can follow a sequence of simple instructions—a program—to perform a complex problem.
  • Gladys West is an American mathematician whose calculations and computer programming helped construct a geoid (a mathematical model of the earth’s shape). Her work led to the invention of the Global Positioning system (GPS).
  • Margaret Hamilton is an American computer scientist, systems engineer, and business owner who developed the guidance and navigation system for the Apollo spacecraft. She is credited with coining the term ‘software engineer,’ which is still used today.

We also want to create a space in this month's newsletter to recognize the loss of lives during the shooting in Atlanta and continued acts of violence and discrimination in our country against individuals of Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander descent. Please take a moment to read President Gabel's message addressing these events and engage with the University resources she provides to help navigate through the sadness, anger, and heaviness these events have caused. Now is especially a good time to check in with your fellow WIT members to see how they are doing.

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Something to Do

  • We are still seeking for a second Executive Co-Chair committee member. Executive Co-Chair duties include:The monthly time commitment is 2-5 hours, depending on ongoing projects, with the exception of the Executive Retreat, which typically requires 1-2 hours of additional planning. Contact [email protected] if you are interested and/or for additional details!
    • Schedule monthly executive meetings and maintain agendas.
    • Run a once-yearly WIT Executive retreat (half-day session for WIT Exec to discuss strategic direction for UMN WIT, typically held in August).
    • Cast tie-breaking votes when necessary.
    • Add new members to the WIT mailing list.
  • Please join us for a coffee hour on Thursday, April 15, 10-11 a.m. CST. This coffee hour will be virtual via Zoom.
  • GradSEHD is hosting a virtual event with Dr. Tommy Curry: "Disaggregating Death: George Floyd and the Significance of Black Male Mortality in Police Encounters." The event will include a moderated dialogue with Curriculum and Instruction Assistant Professor Justin Grinage as well as a Q&A.

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