Computer Science Colloquium: Anita Sarma, Oregon State University

Gender-Inclusivity in Software Engineering - 

Gender inclusiveness in software companies is receiving a lot of attention these days, but it overlooks a potentially critical factor: software itself. Research shows that different people often work differently with software, and that some of these differences statistically cluster by gender. In this talk, I'll begin by presenting a method we call GenderMag, which can be used to find and fix "inclusivity bugs" -- gender biases in software that support people of one gender less well than people of another gender. At the core of the method are 5 facets of cognitive style differences that are also statistically gender differences, drawn from a large body of foundational work from computer science, psychology, education, communications, and women's studies. I will then present some results of using GenderMag on real products - both commercial and open source - and finally focus on practices for taking the method into real world usage.

Anita Sarma is an Associate Professor at Oregon State University. She performed her PhD work at University of California, Irvine, and was a post-doctoral scholar at Carnegie Mellon University. Sarma's research crosscuts Software Engineering and Human Computer Interaction, and explores how socio-technical dependencies affect team work, how onboarding barriers in open source can be alleviated, and how software can be made gender-inclusive. She leads the GenderMag work investigating gender biases in Open Source Software Communities’ tools and infrastructure, and how to remove such biases. Her work has been funded through a variety of NSF and U.S. Airforce (AFOSR) grants, including the NSF CAREER award.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019 at 4:30pm to 6:00pm

Eliot Hall, 314
3203 Southeast Woodstock Boulevard, Portland, Oregon 97202-8199

Event Type



Faculty, Students, Staff

Computer Science, Division of Mathematical and Natural Sciences
Google Calendar iCal Outlook

Recent Activity