Category Archives: Spring 2016

Workshop Reflections – The Pipeline Problem: The Lack of Women in CS

The Question

Why are so few women entering CS fields – and how do we fix this problem?

Our Solution(s)

We first heard from three speakers: Michelle Danoff (WiCS co-president), Katharine D’Hondt (Master of Public Policy Candidate at HKS), Margo Seltzer (Herschel Smith Professor of Computer Science at SEAS). Their topics ranged from personal experiences as women in CS to statistical analysis of the CS pipeline at Harvard.

Following these talks, we broke into small groups to try to better analyze the current state of the pipeline. What does it look like? What is the output? What is the input? What are we trying to measure, and how are we measuring that? Both broken and ideal pipelines were created. 

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What’s Up Next

This workshop was a great opportunity to look at a long-standing problem through a slightly different lens, with the help of data and analytics. It is a jumping off point for more discussion and for pinpointing the exact problem quantitatively.

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Workshop: Access to Justice

The Question: In what ways can we use technology (specifically, a mobile app for legal services triage) to increase and expand access to justice?

The Plan: We will brainstorm features, design workflows, and troubleshoot possible issues for a mobile app focused on the triage stage of legal services. We envision an app with both “passive” features (that provide basic legal information) as well as “active” features (that receive and manage prospective litigants’ information for intake by legal service providers).

The Co-Sponsors: Researchers: Naomi Campbell, Caroline Cox, Sarah Guerrero, Samuel Reese, Aubrey Sparks & Elizabeth Tuttle (as part of the Justice Lab of the Systemic Justice Project)

The Time and Place: Tuesday, March 22, 2016, 7-9pm – Berkman Center Conference Room

RSVP HERE; dinner will be served.

The CS Pipeline Problem

The QuestionUnfortunately, the lack of women entering computer science fields is not a new problem. We are asking why what’s already been done has not worked, what are new steps to fix the problem, and how do we measure the outcome of those steps?

The Plan:
Food and mingling.
Speaker: Margo Seltzer, Herchel Smith Professor of Computer Science
Presentation of the Question
Brainstorming in Groups
Present Possible Solutions

The Co-Sponsors:
Researchers: Jim Waldo, Margo Seltzer
Undergrads: Women in Computer Science (WiCS)

The Time & Place:
March 30, 2016, 5:00 – 7:00 pm – Place to be announced

RSVP here!

DPSI Spring 2016

Upcoming Events

  • Workshop: March 30, 5-7pm: The Pipeline Problem in Computer Science (RSVP)
  • Workshop: April 6, 5-7pm: Internet Monitor Workshop (RSVP)
  • Speaker:  April 11, noon-1pm:  Online Violence Against Women & Emerging Legal Protections: A Conversation with Congresswoman Katherine Clark (RSVP)
  • Workshop: April 13, 5-7pm: Women’s Law Association/Lumen  (RSVP)
  • Workshop: April 20: metaLab: future of email (RSVP)

What is DPSI?

Smartphones, smartwatches, and even smart drones… new technologies are so rapidly integrated into everyday life that it is sometimes difficult to pause and take note of their potentials and pitfalls. We want to hit the pause button to ask questions, discuss, and even solve the problems that are sometimes overlooked in the rapidly growing technology and cyberspace sphere. As we question, let’s make things, reflect on how we made them, and learn from the process itself. We are the Berkman Center’s Digital Problem-Solving Initiative.

In Spring 2016, we will be holding several workshops ranging in topics from the future of email (what should happen to your digital legacy after death?) to the right to biodata access (how much should FitBit really know about you?) to many more. These 2-hour workshops will propose a question, give time for discussion, and brainstorm – or even create – possible answers. We’ve invited student groups, Berkman researchers, and other affiliates to join in on the conversation. Through the lens of these different topics, let’s explore various skills related to design-thinking as a problem-solving protocol, such as paper prototyping, rapid iteration, and more. This is a unique opportunity to invent, build, and shape the increasingly digital environment in which you live, learn, work, and create.
If you would like to get involved and receive updates, please sign up here.