All posts tagged: Kathleen Fisher

Skeptic Society Magazine Hacker Proof Code

Hacker-Proof Code

Computer scientists can prove certain programs to be error-free with the same certainty that mathematicians prove theorems. By the time researchers began to understand the critical threats to computer security posed by the internet, program verification was ready for a comeback. This is easy enough to state in plain English. Translating the specification into formal language that a computer can apply is much harder — and accounts for a main challenge when writing any piece of software in this way.

Skeptic Society Magazine Women Leading Science Maths and Physics

19 Women Leading Math and Physics

In an interview with Quanta Magazine last fall, the eminent theoretical physicist Helen Quinn recalled her uncertainty, as a Stanford University undergraduate in the 1960s, about whether to pursue a career in physics or become a high school teacher. “There were no women in the faculty at Stanford at that time in the physics department,” Quinn said. “I didn’t see myself there.” Her adviser warned her that “graduate schools are usually reluctant to accept women because they get married and they don’t finish.” (He kindly added that “I don’t think we need to worry about that with you.”)In the 1970s, the Italian-American dark matter physicist Elena Aprile survived male advisers with a similar unwillingness to tolerate competing demands on her time. “It made me of titanium,” she said of her relationship with her brilliant but demanding mentor. “He would keep pushing you beyond the state that is even possible: ‘It’s all about the science; it’s all about the goal. … You have a baby to feed? Find some way.’”Four decades later, the welcome mat can still be hard to locate. “In …