Grace Hopper Celebration, Bring Universities Into The Conversation
Mitra Raman

I didn’t do well in the first exam of Intro to ECE in my first semester of college. (I was an ECE major until my Junior year of college)

My academic counselor called me into his office and “suggested” that I switch universities because I didn’t seem “cut-out” for CMU. It’s a different story that once I switched to CS and had a few internships under my belt, he asked me to refer some of his stellar alumni to those companies, along with a few other “asks” along the way) :-)

I was a student at CMU too, and was witness to sexism against female CS majors. For example, one of my good friends, my girlfriend and I were working on an algorithms problem set together. My girlfriend had some really good approaches to this hard problem relating to Catalan numbers and he kept arguing that her solution was wrong, even though he never listened to it in the first place. Turns out she was right. She had to *prove him wrong* in order to earn his respect, compared to me — an Asian male in CS — who got that “respect” by default.

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