Posts Tagged ‘High-Tech’

Moo-Chu’s in the Parking Lot

One of the more unlikely diner locations is in the middle of the Nvidia parking lot in Santa Clara. That is where you will find

Moo-Chu’s American / Asian Restaurant
2772 San Tomas Expressway, Santa Clara, CA, 95050
(408) 919-2879

The food is good and the coffee is Peet’s! Moo-Chu’s started out for Nvidia staff but has doubled their business since opening to the public. At lunchtime, you can see employees from a variety of nearby high-tech companies cutting through the parking lots near San Tomas Expressway (Between Central and Walsh), headed for Moo-Chu’s.  Look for the big sign of the cow wearing an Asian hat.

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Images by Katy Dickinson, Copyright 2010

25 Technical Girls Win Awards

The National Center for Women & Information Technology today gave out 25 awards to San Francisco Bay Area girls for their technical achievements. This is the first year for the Bay Area Affiliate group to give out NCWIT Awards for Aspirations in Computing. Girls who were honored in today’s ceremony at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View are eligible to compete for national NCWIT awards. More about the award:

The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing honors young women at the high-school level for their computing-related achievements and interests. Awardees are selected for their computing and IT aptitude, leadership ability, academic history, and plans for post-secondary education. The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing offers both a national and local “affiliate” competitions to generate support and visibility for women’s participation in communities nationwide.

Today, girls from high schools in San Francisco, Fairfield, Oakland, Pittsburg, Palo Alto, Los Gatos, Mountain View, Cupertino, San Jose, Monterey, Carmel, Santa Cruz, and Watsonville were recognized for their technical achievements.  With five, San Jose had the most winners for any city.

A group of 18 men and women from business, academic, and non-profit companies, schools, and institutions worked for the last six months to create today’s event. Sponsors were: The Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, Apple, ETR Assoc., Girls Inc., Google, Intel, Microsoft, MOUSE Squad, NSBE Alumni, Palo Alto Unified School District, San Jose State University, SDForum Tech Women’s Program, Techbridge, The Computer History Museum, The Tech Museum, and UC Santa Cruz. I lead the Application Review Team. We plan to distribute these awards annually.

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Images Copyright 2010 by Katy Dickinson

2010 Women of Vision Awards

The Anita Borg Institute has once again announced its annual winners of the Women of Vision awards. The 2010 winners are:

For Innovation:
Kathleen McKeown, Henry and Gertrude Rothschild Professor of Computer Science, Columbia University

For Social Impact:
Lila Ibrahim, General Manager, Emerging Markets Platform Group, Intel Corporation

For Leadership:
Kristina Johnson, Ph.D., Under Secretary for Energy at the Department of Energy

The 2010 Women of Vision Awards celebration dinner will be:

May 12, 2009- 6:00 – 9:30pm
Mission City Ballroom – adjacent to the Santa Clara Convention Center
5001 Great America Parkway
Santa Clara, CA 95054

Until this year, the award ceremony was held in downtown San Jose but parking is easier at the Mission City Ballroom in Santa Clara. Here is an excerpt from my article about these awards in the February 2010 Anita Borg Institute “Call for Action” email newsletter:

Why I’m Glad I Attended the Women of Vision Awards
by Katy Dickinson

The Anita Borg Institute’s Women of Vision Awards Banquet is a moving and thought-provoking annual event.

The WOV night itself is fun: meeting new women and getting to know others better. The long-term benefit for me comes from learning about the honorees and hearing their acceptance speeches. I go to the WOV for mental and spiritual refreshment. In some cases, I know the honored women personally but most are new to me. For months and even years after, I find myself thinking about what the Women of Vision have said. I sometimes go to YouTube and listen to the speeches again to refresh my memory.

I have referred dozens of young women to the 2008 WOV talk by Helen Greiner. Any girl geek who feels too alone in her love of technology will be encouraged by the amazing founder of iRobot saying that when she was young “not one person told me I should be an Engineer” and “we need diversity of perspectives … more women’s life experiences influencing our directions and designs”.

Here are some of my photos from the 2008 Women of Vision event:

Helen Greiner

Helen Greiner, Women of Vision Event San Jose 2008  photo: copyright 2008 Katy Dickinson

Susan Landau

Susan Landau Women of Vision Event San Jose 2008         photo: copyright 2008 Katy Dickinson

Program, Keychain, Badge
Program, Keychain, Badge Women of Vision Event San Jose 2008          photo: copyright 2008 Katy Dickinson

Images Copyright 2008 Katy Dickinson

Jean Bartik at the Computer History Museum

Jean Bartik at Flickr

Jean Bartik with Linda O

Tonight, the Computer History Museum in Mountain View presented a conversation with Jean Jennings Bartik, one of the original programmers of ENIAC. Last night Bartik was named a Fellow of the Computer History Museum, along with Ethernet inventor Bob Metcalfe and Linux originator Linus Torvalds. Tonight’s program was presented in an interview format, hosted by Northern California Public Broadcasting (KQED & KTEH) chief content officer Linda O’Bryon.

ENIAC was “the first general-purpose electronic computer”, according to Wikipedia, although in truth it was built with one main project in mind: calculating firing tables for World War II artillery. In fact, Bartik was first hired to the job of “computer” herself, using a desktop calculator to compute shell trajectories at the rate of about one per week. When a position working on the secret ENIAC project opened up, she took it hoping to use her math skills for less repetitive jobs than the manual calculations she had been doing.

Bartik was responsible for converting ENIAC, which was originally programmed by physically turning switches and connecting wires between components, to a stored-program computer. Later she continued to work for ENIAC’s inventors at the Eckert & Mauchly Corporation, which she called a “technical Camelot”, and then at Remington-Rand which she described as a “job from hell”. Then, she left the field for 16 years to raise a family, but returned to work with minicomputers after her children were grown.

Bartik and the other five original ENIAC programmers received little attention when ENIAC was revealed to the public, with most honors going to the engineers who designed the electronic hardware. Only 30 years later did these pioneers start to gain notice as their story was uncovered by journalists interested in the important role women played in the early history of computers.

The presentation was an excellent opportunity to hear the reminiscences and observations of one of the world’s first computer programmers, who for most of a long career received little credit for her contributions to the earliest development of computing.

San Jose in Second Life

My newest obsession lately is goofing around in Second Life. I’m still very much a newbie, but I’ve found some pretty spiffy places to kill time in and I’ve made a few random objects.

What I like to do is find any of the corporate-created sites. For example, Scion has some land – Scion City. You can drive around a Grand Theft Auto-Vice City-ish land. Or if you do a quick search, you can find yourself in Comcast’s themepark.

I already knew about San Jose State’s virtual campus (classes are held there, students create work, etc) and I have to admit, being able to sit on the chair that dangles from the Tower – that was kind of cool (in of course, a completely silly way.)

But I found another spot – The Tech!

The Tech Museum in SL

When you visit The Tech in Second Life you can check out all sorts of exhibits and art. Even the IMAX works. Actually I’m not 100% sure on that one.. it says it’ll play a movie, but I have yet to get it to work. (Remember, still a newbie!)

Oh and for those that are super confused…

Second Life® is a 3-D virtual world created by its Residents. Since opening to the public in 2003, it has grown explosively and today is inhabited by millions of Residents from around the globe.

That’s not nearly enough to explain what Second Life is all about – check out the link to find out more.

Links:
Second Life
The Tech Museum SLurl: (this worked earlier, hopefully it’ll work for you – if it doesn’t, just search for “The Tech”)

The story so far

My first time to the Silicon Valley was at the very end of 2005. I was visiting friends and sight-seeing, traveling all the way from San Diego to Berkeley. The Bay Area as a whole was gloomy, in a rainy period. I guess the only taste of ‘silicon’ I got was a glimpse of the Intel headquarters (which I now know is in Mission College Boulevard) and a couple of tall buildings which housed Sun and McAfee. Apart from that, I met up with a set of college buddies at Saravana Bhavan (a favourite chain back home) in Sunnyvale. Nothing spectacular overall.

However, in February of this year, I moved right into the Valley. [Coincidentally, the San José Metblog was launched just days after I landed.] Within a few weeks, I could feel the buzz that was being generated by all the computer companies around. It was enchanting to realize that I was now in a region which gave birth to many an innovation that has changed the world forever. Of course, I’m slowly figuring out that there’s much more here.
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