I'm a data scientist working at the intersection of technology and design. Reformed astrophysicist & former e-Research/data consultant.

Women In Science weekend

Last weekend I had the privilege of participating in the University of Melbourne's annual Women in Science (formerly Women in Physics – WIP) weekend getaway. I was invited to talk about my career path and to serve as a mentor for a new bunch of eager young women scientists. Not surprisingly we had a lot of fun. The first time I attended WIP was way back in 1997 (yes that's twenty years ago, if you can believe it?!) when I was a 3rd year undergrad in Physics. I remember getting a lift up to Daylesford with Virginia Kilborn (@astrogin); an Honours or PhD student at the time, and now a Professor in Astrophysics at Swinburne University of Technology and President of the Astronomical Society of Australia. I also remember being really timid and a little bit in awe of the women who talked about their careers. It might possibly have been the first time I realised that you really could have a career as an astronomer, as opposed to being a lecturer who just happened to teach astrophysics.

This year's cohort were just like me 20 years ago; somewhat overwhelmed by all the discussion, not really knowing what they wanted to do in the long-term, let alone where they were heading now, and dealing with all the negative things we told them about being a women in science. I can't help but feel like we ought to have focussed on the many wonderful reasons we put ourselves through PhDs and academic careers. Having said that we did have a lot of fun (dinner, drinks, boardgames, bike rides), and everything we talked about was really useful and productive. 

Getting started with open source development

Getting started with open source development

Machine learning: the power and promise of computers that learn by example