Women In Computing History: Final Project

Final Project (in lieu of Final Exam)

Due: Tuesday May 11th, by 11pm CT

Taking into account your survey comments and suggestions, I’ve designed a final exam project that aims to do two things. First, it gives you the opportunity to review and reflect on the course material, and deepen your understanding of what you’ve learned by reviewing it all at once at the end of the class. And second, it will give you an opportunity to creatively express your insights about the course.

To prepare:

Please go over the syllabus carefully, as though you were studying for an exam, and refresh your memory about the important themes, details, dates, and facts. Make notes as you would if you were studying for a traditional exam.

Then, use those notes and the course materials to do one of the following:

1. Public-facing option (Think about this as a way to share what you’ve learned. You don’t necessarily need to make it available to the public but try to create something you would want to show people outside of class and that they would find interesting, understandable, and compelling.)

Using the course materials, create a video, podcast, series of tiktoks, series of comics, comic book, narrative text-based video game, historical fiction short story, “choose your own adventure” style story, children’s book (illustrated by photos or drawings), or another creative product that expresses at least three important points, facts, or themes about women in the history of computing in a novel and compelling way and links them to specific examples you’ve learned about in the course. Be attentive to categories that intersect with gender—particularly race, class, sexuality, disability, and nationality.

2. Introspective option: Write an essay of 5-7 pages that reviews at least three major themes from the course (review the syllabus, readings, and lectures to remind yourself) and makes an original argument about why women are often ignored in the history of computing or seen as peripheral to the most important stories in computing history. Support your points with evidence from the course readings (cite no fewer than 10 different readings). Be attentive to categories that intersect with gender—particularly race, class, sexuality, disability, and nationality.

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For additional points on this assignment, for either of the options above, try to use an article or two from the Times of London or other historical newspapers and magazines (like Ebony or Jet for instance) to enhance the points you’re making. Use the resources in Galvin Library’s database collection to get to the London Times and other historical newspapers. Ebony and Jet are available through Google Books.

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How to pass this assignment in: If you choose option 2 and write a paper, please post a copy of the paper on IIT’s Google Drive system, and then submit the URL in a comment on this post. Make sure that your link’s permissions allow me to view your paper (it would be a good idea to also share it with me by email at the same time you post the link in the comment). If you choose option 1 and you can use Google drive to host your project, do the same thing (post a link to it in a comment). If you need to host it on another website instead of IIT’s Google Drive, you can post a link to that site in the comment instead. Make sure to check that your link works before you submit it, otherwise I won’t be able to view and grade your work! If you have any questions or need help, let me know.

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