Future of Work – Transcript of Interview with Nancy Ide, Professor of Vassar College

Scott K. Wilder:    Hi there.  This is Scott Wilder with Human 1.0, and today we’re talking to Nancy Ide, professor of computer science at Vassar College, and this is part of the Human 1.0 Future of Work series.  Nancy, thank you for joining us today.

 

Nancy Ide:            You’re welcome.

 

Scott K. Wilder:    So, you were my professor back in nineteen hundred and eighty-two, in computer science.  So, you – I’m really curious of how you got to where you are today—how you ended up teaching, being a professor at Vassar, and what were some of the interesting milestones or challenges on your journey in getting to where you are today?

 

Nancy Ide:            You mean, how I got to Vassar?  Or how I got from the beginning of Vassar to here {laughter}?

 

Scott K. Wilder:    How you got into computer science, and how you got to…

 

Nancy Ide:            Ah.  Okay.  Well, I got into computer science a little bit by the back door.  I had – as an undergraduate, I had studied neuropsychology and English Literature, and got degrees in both.  Went on to graduate school in English Literature, and realized very shortly thereafter that the fuzziness of it {laughter}, or the lack of closure, I guess, that you got in sitting around in seminars arguing for the sake of arguing, wasn’t my thing.

 

And there was a guy, a professor at where I was, in my department, who had used computers to do some analysis of James Joyce.  And I started working with him.  And once I started doing computer analysis, I realized that I loved computer science, and it was much more my way of approaching things.  And so, I sort of took a little hiatus in {laughter} toward my PhD and got a master’s degree in computer science, and drifted over into linguistics, which eventually was more or less what I was – what my expertise was.

 

So, at the time, getting a job in English or linguistics was not easy; but getting a job in computer science, even with only a master’s degree, was pretty easy, because back then there weren’t that many people with PhDs in computer science.  And at the time my husband got offered a job at IBM here in Poughkeepsie, and they – he contacted a friend of his at Vassar.

 

And I don’t know if you know, but the – Vassar’s computer science department was led by a very dynamic woman, who was the student of another dynamic Vassar grad and former professor Grace Hopper, who’s the mother of computing.  And she hired me.  And I think it was a sort of marriage made in heaven, because I had both the sort of liberal arts feel as a background, but I was also a trained computer scientist.  So, that’s how I got to Vassar, and that’s how I got into computer science.  And back then it wasn’t – you know, there were computer science majors and PhDs, but it wasn’t common the way it is now.  It wasn’t as extensive.

 

And – oh, how did I get to where I am today?  {Laughter}.  Also by chance, the way things went, during the 80s, the computer science program, which was in fact not a department at the time, had a number of different people and things changed around.  And right around when I got tenure, the one senior member of the department left, literally a month after I got tenure, and there was no one else.  And I basically got this program dumped in my lap at the time when we were trying to decide whether it should go ahead and be a department and a major.  And so, I pushed that forward, and a couple of years later we had a department and a major.  And spent the next decade building the department; trying to, you know, get faculty in there and – that were good, and what we needed.  And then the rest is history, I guess.  I was the chair of the department for 20 years {laughter}, which thank God I’m not any more.

 

Scott K. Wilder:    {Laughter}.  What – how many women were in computer science, both at your university as well as at Vassar at the time?  And I know, you know, Vassar being a women’s college, maybe there – it slightly skews – it’s not your typical situation.  But I’m just curious of what it was like then.

 

Nancy Ide:            Well, it’s a funny story.  This woman, this extraordinarily dynamic woman, Winifred Asprey, who retired the year she hired me, so I never actually worked there with her; but she was a – you know, a woman of note in the field at least.  She was more noticed in mathematics, but she was certainly one of the pioneers.

 

But when I came to Vassar, there – actually, there were a couple of women, but they were not on tenure track lines.  They were just part-time people.  And they had been hired by this other woman.  And they eventually all fell away, and it did end up being all men and me.  During that period, for instance, I was on a group called the Liberal Arts Computer Science Consortium, which was a group of computer scientists from peer schools, Vassar’s peer schools—Williams, Colgate, Hamilton, Dartmouth—you know, blah-blah-blah, et cetera.  And I was the only woman on the committee.

 

Scott K. Wilder:    {Laughter}.  What year was that?

 

{Crosstalk}

 

Nancy Ide:            And that – you know – this was probably between about ’83 and ’89.  I mean, it was a committee that I was on for several years.  And we were devising a liberal arts – a curriculum for computer science in liberal arts – small liberal arts college.  Selective liberal arts colleges, they called them.

 

And that was a little bit intimidating.  I mean, there were a couple of guys who were more – you know, easy – I felt very comfortable with; but there were several that I did – I mean, I did feel a little out of place.  And I was the only woman.  So, that was awkward.

 

Anyway, at Vassar, even when we started hiring in the ’90s, and I was the one doing the hiring and I was the chair, we basically – it was always white males {laughter}, you know, that we got.  So, we hired, you know, several males.  And finally, I think it was 2000 or 2001, I got another woman on the faculty, and she is still on the faculty now.  So, we are two {laughter} in the department now.

 

But it’s very difficult, because there just to this day are not as – anywhere near as many women in computer science, as there are men.  The other thing that’s very odd in terms of Vassar, is that the students in our classes are predominantly male.  And you were a Vassar student.  It was a complete reverse in every other department, right?  But I have actually had all-male classes at Vassar.  And that’s just unheard of anywhere else.  But women have not been easily brought into the computing field, at least not until, I think, the past few years.  But we’ve done an awful lot to try and draw them in, and we’ve had some success.  But that’s changing, I think.

 

Scott K. Wilder:    So, why was that, and – from your perspective?  And what have you done, or what do you think is changing that?

 

Nancy Ide:            Well, what we did do was, you know, just to have a couple of women faculty members and try to nurture the females.  That worked to some extent; but that wasn’t going to do it in a big way.  But I think, just, there is a culture shift that I can clearly see.  In fact, I was literally, like the other day, talking to two students that, up until a few years ago, there – despite everything, it was still a guy thing to be interested in computers.

 

And I think that it is much less so now.  I think the Internet and – has certainly changed that.  Just the culture in general has changed that.  But we’re getting many more women who come in and who are interested in computer science, and don’t feel like they’re some sort of geeky weirdo that’s outside the, you know, broad circle of normal people {laughter}, which is kind of what it was like up until a few years ago.

 

So, I think it’s just the culture.  Now, you have social media – you know, things where – you have games and things where women are involved.  They’re doing it.  So, I think it’s just changed.  Now, it’s not so – you’re not a freak if you’re interested in computers and you’re female.

 

Scott K. Wilder:    Yes.  So, did you ever come across a book called Beyond Barbie and Mortal Kombat?

 

Nancy Ide:            I have heard of it, but I have not read it.

 

Scott K. Wilder:    So, it talks about perspectives on gender and gaming.  And one of the articles talks about women having – women in the field having more male characteristics—masculine characteristics—versus, you know, having more female characteristics.

 

Nancy Ide:            Yes.

 

Scott K. Wilder:    How would – how does that statement feel, in terms of the type of woman that you see going into the field today?

 

Nancy Ide:            Actually, unfortunately, I think it is slightly true {laughter}.  I’ve always been kind of a much more female female {laughter}.  And, you know, I like – I wear make-up, and I take care about how I dress, and I keep trying to be a role model for our female students.  But they tend to be the more – you know, I don’t want to say masculine; but, you know, they are more on that end of the spectrum than on the feminine end.

 

Scott K. Wilder:    The book – the term in the book, which I prefer the masculine term, is Butch  Femme.

 

Nancy Ide:            Yes.  Well, they aren’t quite that bad.

 

Scott K. Wilder:    Yes.  So, interesting.  Is there anything else the school is doing to – I mean, you mentioned some of the things, and then you also mentioned external factors such as gaming and the Internet.  Anything else in terms of the trend changing?

 

Nancy Ide:            The only thing in general – I mean, and this is sort of a big one for me, because I didn’t get into computer science until I was a graduate student.  And although in high school I was extremely good at math – but I, you know, when I was brought up, women didn’t do math {laughter}.  Women didn’t do sports.  And it really – it was true.  That actually happened.  And when I think back, I didn’t – I wasn’t aware of it at the time and it didn’t really bother me, but I regret deeply that I was not – I probably would have gotten into something far earlier than I did, had the situation been different.  I think that that culture is not the same any more.  I think that, now, being good at math is not as horrible for women.  But I don’t – you know, I’m not in high schools, and I don’t really see that but – I don’t really see what goes on, but I get the feeling that it’s less the case.  It certainly isn’t like it was when I grew up, anyway.

 

Scott K. Wilder:    What about just going broader in the computer science field – I mean, obviously the Internet is one big, big thing.  What are some of the other big changes that you’ve seen going on the last 30 or 40 years?

 

Nancy Ide:            Oh, shoot.  In computer science?

 

Scott K. Wilder:    Yes.

Nancy Ide:            Oh, yes – well, there are certain things that haven’t changed at all.  The sort of core parts of computer science.  But obviously, you know, we’ve come through all sorts of paradigm shifts with various languages and so on.  You know, the object-oriented and the parallel, distributed, and all those sort of thing.  These sorts of things are now in the, you know, intermediate level courses, or even introductory level courses, whereas before they didn’t even exist.

 

And so – plus the fact that web technologies have also, you know, become – I mean, it’s almost like the web is the new operating system.  You don’t have traditional – well, you do have traditional operating systems, but the web itself is in a way an operating system where, you know, you’re exploiting that to run what you need to do.  And it’s just, so many layers have been built on top of the foundations, that at this point we actually have to go out of our way to make sure that the students are aware of the foundation.  Whereas, back when I took computer science, you know, that’s all there was, in a way.

 

So, you know, we have to make sure that they understand the theory underneath it.  They understand that it all boils down to bits and machine code.  You know, that all of this is complete charade, really—everything that’s layered on top of it.  You know, we get the feeling like the computer can, you know, take our command and do something, and we can click and it’s all – you know.  But, you know, it just – there’s this basic set of instructions at the bottom, and it’s all just a bunch of addresses in memory and stuff like that.  So, that’s both a big change and it’s also a sort of interesting challenge, that I think, when we are teaching computer science, to get them to be aware of all the levels.

 

Scott K. Wilder:    Yes.  And if you look into your crystal ball in terms of how things are evolving, the way you’re teaching computer science—do you see that changing?  Or how do you see that changing further in the next few years?

 

Nancy Ide:            Don’t know that – I mean, as I said, there are certain fundamentals and – that are going to stay.  I’ve taught this course on theory of computation for probably 25 of my 30 years, and it hasn’t changed at all.  That’s going to stay the same.  I’ve taught compiler design, and that has changed some, but not drastically.

 

I think, you know, now, we’re going to see a sort of huge shift toward parallelism, distributed computing, cloud computing—all that sort of thing is going to influence, a little bit, how we teach – certainly how we teach certain courses, especially the higher-level courses which are more application-oriented.  Those are the ones that get affected, I think, the most.

 

At least in Vassar’s curriculum, you know, you have your introductory level – well, there you’re going to always have some language shift because the hot language is changing.  The middle level is pretty core and stays more stable, although, as I said, certain things are trickling down, like parallelism and so on, are now trickling down into the intermediate level, whereas before they were upper level.  But the upper level applications—those are going to change a lot, because they’re just done differently.

 

Scott K. Wilder:    Yes.  Has Vassar looked into kind of remote classes?  Maybe they already have it, like a lot of these universities are doing?

 

Nancy Ide:            Yes.  I don’t think that’s Vassar’s thing yet {laughter}.  That isn’t a very Vassar-like thing {laughter}.

 

Scott K. Wilder:    Yes.  Well, who knows?  Maybe at some point we’ll have to jump on the bandwagon.

 

Nancy Ide:            Well, the thing is, it’s – I don’t want to say a threat, but it’s something that’s out there, and you have to bear in mind that if you can go to the web and take some course from an MIT professor, rather than sitting in a Vassar classroom and taking it—the same exact course from a Vassar professor—you’d better do something.

 

We have, I must say – we have actually addressed it indirectly without, you know, acknowledging that that’s one of the pressures.  But, at least within the sciences, there’s been a huge pressure from the faculty to orient the curriculum more toward the hands-on research, small groups with a faculty member-type of experience, than the lecture/class kind of thing.  Because that’s what you can’t get on the web.

 

Scott K. Wilder:    Yes.

 

Nancy Ide:            And I know that Maria Klawe is very big on this.  But I think Harvey Mudd’s curriculum is designed so that everybody takes these core courses at the introductory level, like their freshman year, and then they go off and do all these hands-on things for the next three years.

 

Scott K. Wilder:    Oops.  You still there?

 

Nancy Ide:            Yes.

 

Scott K. Wilder:    Hello?  The MIT X is a really interesting experiment.  I heard the two of them the other day and they were talking about how they’ve had, you know, 100,000 people in their class, with 20-some odd percent passing the course – meeting the course requirements for certification.  So, 20,000.  It’s quite an impressive…

 

Nancy Ide:            Wow.

 

Scott K. Wilder:    So, the women who are – well, both men and women, when they’re graduating from your – from Vassar, and they come to you for advice—what sort of jobs are they looking at?  What are some of the questions they ask?

 

Nancy Ide:            {Laughter}.  Usually they have no clue.  Either a student is going off on to graduate school – and there’s, you know, maybe 20% of our students do.  Usually, they are of two kinds.  One is somebody who goes, and there are recruiters who come, and they talk to them, and they end up, you know, working sometimes for a big place like Microsoft; sometimes for smaller companies.  Other students don’t have any idea, and they tend to drift around for a few months after graduation, and then somehow they end up finding a job in some small tech company.

 

When they come to me for advice, the thing is, I have a specific field that’s a little bit off the beaten path, which is called computational linguistics.

 

Scott K. Wilder:    Yes.

 

Nancy Ide:            And that’s – I don’t know if you know what that is, but, you know, it’s all about getting computers to understand human language.  Which has become both a hot topic, because everybody suddenly understands when they put their Google search terms in and they get gobbledygook back sometimes, that the computer doesn’t understand language; and also, it’s very appealing to females.  So, I usually…

 

Scott K. Wilder:    Say more about that.

 

Nancy Ide:            Well, it’s – you know, it’s the perfect thing for a woman who’s a computer scientist, because you have your sort of – I can’t remember which side of the brain is which, but you have your verbal side which women are supposedly stronger at, with the linguistics; and you also have your science side, your math side, with the computer science.  And it’s trying to apply formal principles to something that’s very – doesn’t lend itself very easily to that.

 

So, I’m – find that I get a lot of female students who are interested in language, and then become also hooked on computing and that sort of thing.  And they – the combination is great for them, as it is for me.  And I’ve sent several of them off to some really top linguistics and computational linguistics graduate programs.  So, in terms of jobs, there’s plenty of jobs for computational linguists, so I – and I know a lot of people in the field, so I – when you’re saying – the people who come and ask me about – for advice, are asking me usually in that field, so it’s a little bit skewed.

 

Scott K. Wilder:    Yes.  So, I just – this is really, really fascinating.  So, the – I’m just trying to get even more at the women being more suited for computational linguistics and – are there other areas that you think they’re more suited for, versus men that are graduating?

 

Nancy Ide:            {Laughter}.  Well, I always used to say that, believe it or not, my very, very best programmers were women.

 

Scott K. Wilder:    Yes.

 

Nancy Ide:            And the reason for that, is that the best programmers not only, you know, could hack away and write the program that worked, but also had a sense of style and elegance.  And so, the program was much better structured and usually, you know, more modular and easier to debug and that sort of thing.  And guys are a little bit more – had been in the past, although I find it to be a little bit less true these days; I’ve seen more of a merging of the two sort of brain types.  But I think women who do, you know, have both sides of their brain – have strength in both sides, will do better, quite often, than men will, because they don’t as often have both sides {laughter}.  But I’ve seen a little less of that.

 

But still, I’m thinking of my class, my compilers class this semester, and I have a preponderance of males, and they’re hacking away and doing their thing; but women tend to be more – I don’t know.  They tend to be able to see the elegant solution more easily than the guys do.

 

And all I can say – there are two examples I can give you, and both of them have to do with assembly language.  Way back when I was a rookie, they had me teach computer organization, which involved the Boolean logic sort of stuff, and then you had to do – you had to write assembly language.  And the – I had a number of women in the class, because back then the major was a math computer science major.  You couldn’t get just computer science.  And there were these math women.  And they were all awesome at the logic and not so good at the assembly language; and the men were terrible at the logic and great at the assembly language {laughter}.

 

And the second story, which is even earlier in my history, is while I was a graduate student, my husband was an engineer.  And we both took this same assembly language course together.  And it was amazing to me to see the difference in the approach.  You know, I was more – I would look at the overall thing and come up with the structure, and he᾽d start down with, okay, there is this command, and something very, very detailed, and work from the bottom up.  And that’s probably an extreme, but I think in general I still see those habits of mind slightly differentiating the two sexes.

 

Scott K. Wilder:    Interesting.

 

Nancy Ide:            But there are so many people in the middle, the trouble is, you know, it’s – you can’t generalize.  Because there are so many people in the middle that, you know – doesn’t work.

 

Scott K. Wilder:    Do you have any advice…

 

Nancy Ide:            But it’s interesting, you know.  I’ve spent 30 years watching these students and trying to figure out how to best get them to, you know – go to embrace whatever it is they need to, but they haven’t yet {laughter}.

 

Scott K. Wilder:    But this really goes at – one of the questions that, you know, I’m looking at is, should work be different for men versus women, and should products be different for men versus women?  I’m looking mainly at technology—technological products, you know.  Just take it’s – you know, the most simplest thing is, you know, a website.

 

Nancy Ide:            Yes.

 

Scott K. Wilder:    You know, should a website, for example – should it be different paths for someone with more feminine characteristics versus male characteristics?  I don’t know if you have any thoughts on that.

 

Nancy Ide:            I’d have to think about that one.  I know – I can also give you a very broad and possibly stupid example; but when I think of the difference between the Windows operating system, especially as it traditionally was, and the Mac, I would say that if – you know, if I had to make a sweeping statement {laughter}, that the Windows one is more male.  It’s more of an engineering thing.  You know.  It’s – there’s just a feel about it…

 

Scott K. Wilder:    Yes.

 

Nancy Ide:            …that is more – like, there’s not that much emphasis on esthetics.  Whereas, obviously, that’s one of Apple’s big things.  It’s less intuitive.  And, you know, now, of course, they’re starting to be more alike than they were.  But I’m thinking, you know, in the past ten years or so.  You know, it’s more of a – you go to the start menu and find your thing, and then go through some paths and click on some program, in Windows.

 

Whereas, you know, the Mac—they got the intuitive thing very early.  You know, if you go and you click on the icon {laughter}.  You know.  And that’s – if I could characterize that – I – you know, I’d have to think a lot more about it, to come up with anything, you know, intelligent {laughter}.  But that’s an example, I would say, of a difference between a sort of male website or interface and a female interface.

 

Scott K. Wilder:    Have you seen or used the Android operating system?

 

Nancy Ide:            I’ve seen it.  I have not used it.  I’m a 100% Mac person.  You know, I have an iPhone {laughter}.  Everything is Mac that I have.  But I’ve seen it.  It looks nice.  Looks a little bit more – and – little bit less, you know, Apple-like.  Little more in the male direction.  That might be a good thing.  I don’t know.

 

Scott K. Wilder:    Yes.  Just a random question here.  Do students use computers in the classroom there?  In other words…

 

Nancy Ide:            {Laughter}.

 

Scott K. Wilder:    I taught a class at MIT two weeks ago on innovation.  And I was – it was to the Sloan students.  And the first thing I noticed was, they don’t use computers in the class.  They’ve decided that it would be too distracting.  So, I’m just curious, since I don’t go to school every day.  I’m curious what they do at Vassar.

 

Nancy Ide:            We do not use computers in the classroom very often.  That is, having students have computers.  I mean, we use a computer and project it; but very rarely do we have them use computers.  We have – obviously, in labs, they use them.

 

Scott K. Wilder:    Yes.

 

Nancy Ide:            But not – and when they do bring their computers, which they all do, it is somewhat distracting for them.  Because I see them sitting there, clearly reading somebody’s Facebook page or something.

 

Scott K. Wilder:    {Laughter}.

 

Nancy Ide:            You know, they’re obviously not paying attention.  My position has always been, if you don’t want to {laughter} listen to this thing you paid $50,000 a year to {laughter} have, then that’s your problem.  That’s your option.  But they are distracting.

 

Scott K. Wilder:    Yes.

 

Nancy Ide:            Or, they’re sitting there – well, they less often look at their phones.  If they have a computer, though, they’ll be looking at it.  So, no, we don’t actually, probably for the same reasons—that it’s distracting.

 

Scott K. Wilder:    The – another kind of random question.  So, what is the – how does the iPad and that technology, eBook technology, impacting your work?  And I guess I know – I’m more familiar with your work, of how it was 30 years ago.  But in terms of the book – the form going away, if you believe it’s going away – but I’m just curious.  And I have the book.

 

Nancy Ide:            Oh, you’re breaking up a lot here.

 

Scott K. Wilder:    Oh.  Can you hear me now?

 

Nancy Ide:            Yes.

 

Scott K. Wilder:    So, I have a son at home and I wonder if I should read him a book, old school, or read him a book Kindle-style.

 

Nancy Ide:            Yes.  I haven’t seen any students with iPads.  Not – they all have – still have laptops.  The only way the iPad has impacted us is that we – a couple of students have wanted to do projects that involved writing stuff for the iPad, but we have not – I can say it hasn’t impacted – I haven’t seen any impact so far.

 

Scott K. Wilder:    Got it.

Nancy Ide:            And not even on my personal life.  I have an iPad, and I {laughter} don’t use it for reading at all.

 

Scott K. Wilder:    Yes.  Interesting.  Going back to some of the work you’re doing, are there any other areas that you think are important in terms of differences between men and women and how they either get into technology, or how they interact with technology?  Or how they end up – you know, what kind of careers they take in technology?

 

Nancy Ide:            Well, you know, I think I – right now, the – what I’ve already said pretty much covers it.

 

Scott K. Wilder:    Yes.

 

Nancy Ide:            I think you either have the woman who’s – well, I have a woman student right now who’s a big game writer person.  She wants to write games.  And she went to some conference in Boston last week and said she was basically the only woman there, apart from a couple of other people.  And she’s not – she, I would say, is a little bit on the male side {laughter} of female, but she’s still not – you know, not extreme in any way.

 

But she talked a lot about games that appeal to women.  What she wants to do is write games that appeal to women but aren’t the Barbie doll, as you say, or the highly sexualized female warrior—whatever—hero, kind of thing.  I don’t know – she didn’t articulate well enough for me to get an idea of what she meant, of what that would be.  But she clearly was interested in that.

 

And I see that there are women who are interested in adapting things, although they may – to the more female orientation; but I don’t know that even they know what that is.  Then, as I said before already, things like my field of computational linguistics is much more appealing to women computer scientists.  It’s very appealing to them.  Anything that involves – or, anything that involves applying computer science to something more humanities-oriented, like art.  We’ve had students who – female students who’ve done extremely well in computer animation.  They’ve combined a computer science and art double major.  And they’ve been almost all female.  And, you know, things like computer science and English, computer science and – I can’t think of any others right off the bat.

 

But those kinds of combinations, it tends to be women who do it.  And the – actually come to think of it, the computer science and art thing, and the animation, is hugely appealing to females, I think, more than men, at least from my experience at Vassar.

 

Scott K. Wilder:    Interesting.  And are you still – I know you were on this committee with the other selected liberal arts schools.  Are still involved with that group and – are you still involved with them?

Nancy Ide:            No, I’m not.

 

Scott K. Wilder:    Okay.

 

Nancy Ide:            No, I stopped.

 

Scott K. Wilder:    I wonder if they’re seeing the same things or not.

 

Nancy Ide:            Well, they – you know, they still exist in a slightly different form, but I do not – I’m not part of it any more.

 

Scott K. Wilder:    Yes.  So, just a few more questions.  So, are there any – you know, you’re a user of technology.  Are there any products that you use that you think seem to—and this is technology, iPad, or whatever—that you think, just from a gut feeling, appeal more to women versus men, or women can leverage them more and use them more?

 

Nancy Ide:            As I said, I can’t really say, except that sort of huge generalization of sort of the Mac intuitive approach versus the Windows.  And I have never – believe it or not, I’ve never actually used a Windows machine {laughter}, because I started using Macs when I came to Vassar, and then went to Unix and Linux and that sort of thing as well.  And then, of course, they ended up being all the same {laughter}.  But that has always struck me as, like, the most obvious…

 

Scott K. Wilder:    Yes.  No.  It’s good, though.  That’s good.  So, one last question, whether it’s related to our discussion or not.  What are you reading these days, that you would recommend?

 

Nancy Ide:            What am I reading?

 

Scott K. Wilder:    Yes {laughter}.  I’m always curious what people are reading.

 

Nancy Ide:            {Laughter}.  I have gotten hooked on Neal Stephenson.

 

Scott K. Wilder:    Okay.

 

Nancy Ide:            The Cryptonomicon.  I don’t know if you know that book.

 

Scott K. Wilder:    No.

 

Nancy Ide:            Well, you should read it, if you’re doing anything in technology.  He writes these, you know, 1000-page long books, and Cryptonomicon is sort of the one that everybody has read.  And he writes these amazing…

 

Scott K. Wilder:    I’m still finishing The Hunger Games.

 

Nancy Ide:            I saw the movie {laughter}.  But anyway, that’s what I’m reading.  And he has a trilogy, and I just started reading that.  And I will tell you that I have them all in paperback, and I wouldn’t dream of reading them on an iPad or a Kindle {laughter}.

 

Scott K. Wilder:    {Laughter}.

 

Nancy Ide:            Partly because I do a lot of my reading – I have a cottage in Cape Cod, and I do a lot of my reading on the beach.  And somehow you just need a book there {laughter}.

 

Scott K. Wilder:    Yes.  Is there anything else you want to share, or any last stories, or…?

 

Nancy Ide:            {Laughter}.  No, I think I’ve emptied my cache.  So…

 

Scott K. Wilder:    {Laughter}.  That’s a great way to end it.

 

Nancy Ide:            …that’s about all I {laughter} – so, I will leave it there, but I hope I’ve been somewhat helpful.  I don’t know, but…

 

Scott K. Wilder:    No, this has been very helpful.  So, Nancy, thank you for joining us today.  This is Scott Wilder from Human 1.0, talking about the future of work with Nancy Ide, professor of computer science at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York.  Thank you.

 

THE END

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