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a desperate college Jr...

Dianne Marsh dianne at cbi.com
Fri Jan 28 15:02:22 EST 1994

First a disclaimer:  
I'm not a biologist.  I'm a computer scientist (MS-CS) who reads the
the bionet groups because my company develops software which will be 
marketed to biologists.  I read this group because I like to read 
about issues that relate to women in science.

Computer science is a field which is certainly male-dominated, yet I rarely
feel that it is exclusive.  In graduate school, there were 2 women and
about 6 men in my program.  Both women had graduated, gone to work in
industry for a few years, and returned (to the same school).  All of the
men had just completed their bachelor degrees.  Of the faculty that were
there at the time, 5 were men and 2 were women.  I never felt that any
of the professors discriminated against either of us.  If anything, I
always felt that our ideas were particularly respected because of our 
industry experiences.   

To be complete, I should mention that the professor who was my advisor is
a woman.  I asked her to be my advisor because no one at that university
was doing research in what I wanted to do (parallel object-oriented 
programming), and I wanted my research to have a software-engineering bent 
(her field).  It also helped that she didn't mind that I wanted to direct
my own research.  She was on sabbatical during my last year of graduate
school, so self-direction was quite necessary.

In article <2i9jbi$l8g at apakabar.cc.columbia.edu> ahk8 at bonjour.cc.columbia.edu (Amanda H Kahn) writes:

>I want to be a scientist rather than a doctor ...,
>but do I really want to spend my time fighting
>against a male-dominated, exclusive system.

Don't assume that you will have to *fight* against a male-dominated, 
exclusive system.  It may be male dominated, but don't necessarily let 
that convince you that things will be rough-going.  It isn't always so.  
And even in the cases where I *did* feel like I was being treated 
differently because I am a woman, I have never questioned that this is 
the work that I want to do.  If you can say the same thing, then don't
give up!

Dianne Marsh (dianne at cbi.com)
Computational Biosciences, Inc.
P.O. Box 2090
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106

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