Mary Hudachek-Buswell, assistant professor in the Mathematics Department of Clayton State University’s College of Information and Mathematic Sciences, is the local chair for the fall 2010 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC) by the Anita Borg Institute in Atlanta. Hudachek-Buswell will also be presenting with a distinguished panel of technical women plus one man.
The group will be discussing and developing the theme “Take Back the Tech,” an idea developed by Hudachek-Buswell and her South African colleague, student researcher Shikoh Gitau. The theme represents the concept of using information communication technology, specifically that of cell phones, to help prevent violence against women. The idea grew from the association of the two women while they attended the recent 2009 GHC in Tucson, Ariz., where they also met for the first time.
The problem of violence against women is real.
“In Uganda, for instance, it is estimated that 57 percent of women are victims of domestic violence. Even in the United States it is estimated that 25 percent of women will experience domestic based violence in their lives.” says Hudachek-Buswell.
She notes, however, that cell phone ownership and use is growing very rapidly in even the poorest of countries. Also, social media, which is accessible with cell phones, is possibly subject to “public” monitoring.
“Specifically we are going to draft a design of an application that can be loaded on existing technologies utilized by or available to the majority of women in third world countries,” she explains. “We are bringing together technical women in these global areas to identify the specifications for the application. Initially, the development will target a specific location with flexibility to be built in for access to any area.”
The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing honors Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, a mathematician, computer science pioneer, social scientist, systems designer, programmer and rear admiral in the United States Navy. These events invite thousands of women together to celebrate the contributions of women in computing, to present research and to have an opportunity to network with other women in the field and are designed to bring the research and career interests of women in computing to the forefront. The 2010 GHC meeting will take place in Atlanta, running from Sept. 29, 2010 to Oct. 2, 2010 at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta. The theme of the meeting is “Collaborating Across Boundaries.”