Diamonds in the digital rough - female computer scientists shine

Participants: Jillian Aurisano


Medill Reports Chicago

EDITOR”S NOTE: Jillian Aurisano, a computer science graduate student at the UIC Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) is profiled in this article by Northwestern University journalism student Ashley Cullins. Cullins visited EVL the week of May 2, and decided to feature Aurisano, not only because of her research interests, which combine computer science with biology, but because she”s a woman in a field dominated by men.

Diamonds in the digital rough - female computer scientists shine
by Ashley Cullins, Medill Reports Chicago, Northwestern University

May 18, 2011

Aurisano is a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who is combining computer science and biology at the school’s cutting edge Electronic Visualization Laboratory. In a field largely dominated by men, she is a rarity… She thinks that may be part of the reason there are so few women in the field and referenced studies she has read that analyze why women leave the field or never pursue it in the first place, she said. “They feel they don’t fit in with people who are more single-minded in their passion about computing.” She is thankful the vibe at EVL isn’t one-dimensional. “People here are interested in a lot of things,” Aurisano said. “It’s not an atmosphere that encourages having a narrow focus.”

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Date: May 18, 2011
Aurisano’s biological visualization research on EVL’s Cybercommons. - Ashley Cullins / MEDILL

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