UIC NEWS profiles CS student Jillian Aurisano: bridging the gender gap

September 2nd, 2012

Categories: Applications, Data Mining, Education, MS / PhD Thesis, Software, Tele-Immersion, User Groups, Visualization, VR

Jillian Aurisano, UIC Electronic Visualization Laboratory
Jillian Aurisano, UIC Electronic Visualization Laboratory


The September 2, 2012 issue of UIC NEWS profiles Computer Science MS student Jillian Aurisano. She’s a woman who is working in a field where women are a minority.

Statistics are depressing. The Computing Research Association’s Taulbee Survey for 2010-11 states that less than 12% of Computer Science degrees were awarded to women, as documented in Wikipedia.

In this UIC NEWS profile, Aurisano compares computer literacy to writing. “We believe all children should learn to write so they can express themselves. I believe CS is a similar form of expression,” she said. “In some sense, the issue is not just about the lack of women [in the field], it’s that a narrow segment of people are learning to express themselves using computing.”

Aurisano is a research assistant in the UIC Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL), where she combines her undergraduate work in biology with her Master’s degree work in computer science. In the UIC NEWS article, she explains, “I’m working with a series of computer monitors connected together, driven by a single computer… I hope to write programs to take biological data, questions researchers have, and translate it to interactive visual representation to permit researchers to take advantage of large high-resolution digital space. Huge wall screens can show lots of data, lots of juxtaposed information, considering lots of pieces of the puzzle,” she said, and expects them to be standard equipment in labs and offices within 10 to 20 years.

Read the UIC NEWS story “Profile: Computer scientist Jillian Aurisano bridges the gender gap

Other recent stories on Aurisano:
In July 2012, UIC / EVL applauded “Aurisano Receives Scholarship to Grace Hopper Conference”
In May 2012, UIC / EVL published “UIC student Jillian Aurisano receives Google Anita Borg Memorial scholarship”
In 2011, Northwestern University journalism student Ashley Cullins did a one-week practicum at UIC / EVL and wrote the article “Diamonds in the digital rough - female computer scientists shine”