Reading Material on Gender Essentialism

In a memo titled Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber James Damore claims that “the distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership” with the aim to show that “discrimination to reach equal representation is unfair, divisive, and bad for business.” Soon after the memo went viral, tech sites such as Hacker News started to see supportive statements. Motherboard reports that the verdicts expressed in the memo have some traction amongst the author’s former co-workers. It stands to reason that this agreement is not the privilege of Google employees, or as Alice Goldfuss put it:

I’ve read the Google anti-diversity screed and you should, too. You meaning men. Women have heard this shit before. Why should men read it? Because it’s a 10 page essay that eloquently tears away the humanity of women and non-white men. It uses bullet points and proper spelling and sounds very calm and convincing. And it should, because it was written by one of your peers.

— Alice Goldfuss (@alicegoldfuss) August 5, 2017

While I do not work in (US) “tech” (I’m an academic cryptographer at a British university), I guess the fields are close enough. Besides, gender essentialism is a prevalent idea beyond the confines of STEM disciplines. As mentioned above, the memo offers a bullet point list to support its claim:

  1. [The differences between men and women] are universal across human cultures
  2. They often have clear biological causes and links to prenatal testosterone
  3. Biological males that were castrated at birth and raised as females often still identify and act like males
  4. The underlying traits are highly heritable
  5. They’re exactly what we would predict from an evolutionary psychology perspective

The memo and its defenders accuse those who disagree with its claims as being ideologically driven moralists1, hence the memo’s title. Alas, since I read several good critiques and their source material over the last few days, I figured I might attempt to summarise some of these arguments.2 Initially, my plan was to simply dump a list of books and articles here, but reading around as someone not so familiar with this literature, I found this mode of presentation (“well, my meta-study says your meta-study is full of it”) rather unhelpful. Thus, I opted for spelling out in more detail which arguments I found particularly illuminating.3

Continue reading “Reading Material on Gender Essentialism”

Advertisements

Post-Doctoral Position in Malware Detection at Royal Holloway, University of London

My colleague Lorenzo has a nice post doc position in malware detection. Also, the closing date for the Multilinear Maps postdoc here at Royal Holloway is tomorrow.

Continue reading “Post-Doctoral Position in Malware Detection at Royal Holloway, University of London”

LMonade GSoC 2014 Accepted Projects

The list of accepted projects of this year’s Google Summer of Code is out. For the list of accepted projects for Sage see here, for the LMonade project see below, for all other accepted projects see Google’s site. I am going to mentor William’s M1RI project together with Clément Pernet. It’s going to be a blast.

Continue reading “LMonade GSoC 2014 Accepted Projects”

Three sweet but short postdocs in France

The HPAC project has three one-year postdoc positions available:

Three research positions (postdoc or research engineer), offered by the French ANR project HPAC  (High Performance Algebraic Computation), are open.

Title: High Performance Algebraic Computing

Keywords: parallel computing, computer algebra, linear algebra, C/C++ programming

Locations:

  • Grenoble, France (LIG-MOAIS, LJK-CASYS),
  • Lyon, France (LIP-AriC),
  • Paris, France (LIP6-PolSys),

Starting date: between June 2014 and January 2015

Type of position: 3 postdoc or research engineer positions of 1 year each

Detailed descriptions:

General Context:

The ambition of the project HPAC is to provide international reference high-performance libraries for exact linear algebra and algebraic systems on multi-processor architectures and to influence parallel programming approaches for algebraic computing. It focuses on the design of new parallel algorithms and building blocks dedicated to exact linear algebra routines. These blocks will then be used for the parallelization of the sequential code of the LinBox and FGb libraries, state of the art for exact linear algebra and polynomial systems solving, and used in many computer algebra systems. The project combines several areas of expertise: parallel runtime and language, exact,
symbolic and symbolic/numeric algorithmic, and software engineering.

Profile of the positions:

We are seeking for candidates with solid expertise in software library design and developments (e.g. C, C++, OpenMP, Autotools, versioning,…) with preferably good background on mathematical software and computer algebra algorithmic. The main outcome of the work will depend on the type of the position (postdoc or engineer) and include code development in open-source C/C++ libraries such as LinBox, FGb, Kaapi and research publications in international journals or conferences.

Each location is seeking for candidates matching with the following keywords:

  • Lyon: (contact: Gilles….@ens-lyon.fr) High performance/parallel computer algebra, symbolic and mixed symbolic-numeric linear algebra,  validated computation, high performance Euclidean lattice computation, lattice basis reduction.
  • Grenoble: (contact: Jean-Guill…@imag.fr) Library design and development, LinBox, Sage, XKaapi, parallel exact linear algebra, work-stealing and data-flow tasks.
  • Paris: (contact: Jean-Charl…@groebner.org) Polynomial system solving, Gröbner basis computations, parallel exact linear algebra, algebraic cryptanalysis, distributed computing.

Feel free to exchange with the contact person of each site for further information.

How to print at the ISG at Royal Holloway

It seems all the information on printing from proper operating systems at the Information Security Group at Royal Holloway, University of London available online is a bit outdated. So here’s what you should do when using CUPS:

  1. The URL for printing is lpd://USERNAME@rhulprint.rhul.ac.uk/MA-Follow-Me where USERNAME is your college username (it’s a random looking combination of letters and numbers). The trick I was missing for a long time was that you need to add your username. Thanks, Jacob.
  2. Download the right PPD for *KONICA MINOLTA bizhub C452* from the Konica website.
  3. Now print to MA-Follow-Me, go to, say, the postroom, swipe your card and retrieve your sweet, sweet print outs.

Postdoc Positions in DTU Crypto Group

I can highly recommend working here!

Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, Technical University of Denmark, www.compute.dtu.dk/english would like to invite applications for two Postdoc positions of each 18 months, both starting 1 January 2014 or soon thereafter. The topic of the project is lightweight cryptology, which regards scenarios involving strongly resource-constrained devices. Continue reading “Postdoc Positions in DTU Crypto Group”

Sage and Lmonade Accepted for Google Summer of Code 2013

Both the Sage and the lmonade project were successful in applying to Google Summer of Code 2013. If you are a student head over to their respective GSOC pages and get in touch. If you want to do a project related the stuff I write about on this blog, i.e., with me as a mentor, get in touch as well.