Digitizing the WES Journals

The Women’s Engineering Society (WES) has been at the forefront of engineering in the UK since 1919. It has since gone global and is now a vital resource not only for women in engineering, but as a snapshot of general progress in engineering since the society’s inception. The WES has been publishing its quarterly journal since World War I, and to commemorate its upcoming centennial, they are seeking to digitize the journals.

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Katherine Johnson

Alan Shepard became the second man and the first American to go to space when he piloted the Mercury-Redstone 3 mission into space on 5 May, 1961. John Glenn followed a few months later when on 20 Feb, 1962, he piloted the Mercury-Atlas 6 mission to three complete orbits around the Earth. These flights, among several others, were the necessary testing and training precursors to the Apollo moon-landing missions already in the planning stages. Apollo 11 was the culmination of years of work, when American astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong became the first humans to set foot on the Moon on 20 July, 1969. What is the common thread between all three of these monumental events? Katherine Johnson.

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Women’s History in STEM

As I mentioned a couple days ago, we will have a greater focus on women’s history within STEM this month. Last summer, I did a blog series focusing on just that! With it being the beginning of the month, I’d like to do a throwback to one of my first posts in the series that provided an overarching history of women’s involvement in the long history of science, technology, engineering, and math.

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Thank Goodness for Grace

Compilers take your source code and convert those instructions into a language that the computer hardware can understand, almost always a low-level binary machine language. Douglas Hofstadter compared looking at raw machine code to trying to read DNA one atom at time. It’s doable, but not easy, so it makes sense that we use higher level languages, like C, and then run them through the compiler to generate the machine code. But where did the idea of a compiler come from? Enter the Queen of Code, Grace Hopper.

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Women in STEM: Role Models from the Past

Welcome to this week’s installment of the Women in STEM series. Today, I’ll be showing some women from the past who stand as amazing role models not just for those interested in STEM, but also for those who are interested in strong and brilliant human beings. I asked the marketing team at Digilent about women in STEM who had inspired them and why, and I got some great examples. I’ll include the reasons my coworkers and I think of them as role models (in captions) and a brief bio of each woman.

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Women in STEM: Making a Difference

With the somewhat tempestuous history of women in STEM, it’s important to support those who are making a difference, making the world a better and more equal place. One of those groups intent on helping girls nurture an interest in engineering and building is the company GoldieBlox. GoldieBlox’s CEO, Debbie Sterling, was one of the few women in her engineering program at Stanford and wanted to encourage more girls to act on their love of STEM. So she started GoldieBlox, which is intent on providing young girls with projects they will enjoy and can engineer and make by themselves.

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Online Skepticism

It goes without saying that the internet has drastically altered the ways in which we as people gather and spread information. And on the opposite end of the spectrum, it is also a fantastic resource for misinformation. We are bombarded with articles, videos, blogs, images, and status updates, but how do we know they’re accurate, and how often do we question their credibility? Everyone has that friend on one social media site or another perpetuating questionable forms of media, not giving a second thought as to the origin (my favorite are the reposts and reactions towards articles from The Onion–a satirical news source) . But why does this happen so frequently when the truth resides in the same vein as the fabrication, and digging deeper to discover the facts is often only a few clicks away?

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Women in STEM: Underrepresentation

One of the biggest social issues in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is underrepresentation of minorities. Within STEM, this includes women. While women have been involved in STEM since the advent of the engineering profession (think Ada Lovelace!), their participation was restricted for a long time. While there are no longer formal constraints, women are still disproportionately uninvolved in STEM professions and education.

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Women in STEM: Historical Perspectives

I’m excited to begin our new Women in STEM series! It will be a weekly feature throughout the summer, with new posts every Thursday or Friday. In this first installment, I will discuss how women have been involved with or kept from STEM fields throughout history. A historical perspective is necessary to understand a lot of the challenges women in science and engineering face today.

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Women in STEM: Introducing Our New Series

I am happy to announce a new blog series I’ll be doing for the next couple of months, Women in STEM. From historical perspectives to issues confronting women in male-dominated fields today, we will be discussing a variety of issues. At Digilent, we support equality regardless of sex or gender. That being the case, I’d like to provide an in-depth look at women in STEM, especially in engineering. Operating in a field that is mostly male, it is important to highlight female participation and issues.

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