News Spotlight

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Computer Science Faculty Member Breaks Barriers, Encourages Women to be ‘Unapologetically Dope’

Dr. Nicki Washington doesn’t want to be known as a “unicorn” – someone who’s a rarity in his or her field. As the first Black woman to earn a Ph.D. in computer science from North Carolina State University, Washington feels a responsibility to be a wonderful example for those who will ideally come after her. “Not just because I’m the first, but because I’m one of the few,” said Washington, a Winthrop University associate professor of computer science.

Embedding Ethics in Computer Science Curriculum

Barbara Grosz has a fantasy that every time a computer scientist logs on to write an algorithm or build a system, a message will flash across the screen that asks, “Have you thought about the ethical implications of what you’re doing?” Until that day arrives, Grosz, the Higgins Professor of Natural Sciences at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), is working to instill in the next generation of computer scientists a mindset that considers the societal impact of their work, and the ethical reasoning and communications skills to do so.

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