Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Claus D. Volko, B.Sc. was born in 1983 in Vienna, Austria, Europe. He began to teach himself how to program at the age of eight. He started editing an electronic magazine at the age of 12: Hugi Magazine. After high school, he studied computer science and medicine at the same time.
Eventually, he became a software developer with some work, on leisure time, spent on medical research projects. Now, he maintains the website entitled 21st Century Headlines and founded, recently, Web Portal on Computational Biology. Here we talk about men and women in computer science from his personal experience.
When I asked Volko about the experience of having more men than women in the computer sciences while a student, he commented on enrolling in university. Then he mentioned not feeling many surprises at there being fewer women classmates.
He estimates about 5% of the students who went the lectures on a regular basis were female, even potentially fewer. He was into computers since his early childhood. He was involved in an international computer art community called the demoscene, “so-called.”
Volko stated, “In the demoscene, there were hardly any girls or women, and most of the few ones were not programmers, but graphic artists or music composers. I actually never had any prejudice about women being less talented at mathematics, for example, which would be an explanation for them having a harder time getting their ideas implemented as programmers.”
He notes that the proportion between the sexes “spoke a clear language.” He did not consider being around mostly other men, as a young man, as the most please thing. Men, Volko said, tend to be interested in women with a desire for women as partners around that age.
That makes men at this age particularly fond of the opportunities to be able to get to know women, especially with the opportunities that may arise to know women interested in computers like them.
“The fact that few women study computer science may also be the reason why computer science students supposedly tend to be single more often than students of other academic disciplines,” Volko explained, “As a student majoring in one field, you usually do not get to meet students of other majors that often, so you are likely to either find your partner among the ones sharing the same major, or to be left without a partner.”
He may be an exception as he was enrolled in both computer science and medical school at the same time, which is a peculiarity in Austrian tertiary education. In the medical school, about 60% of the women were female. That meant it would not have been that hard for him to find a partner compared to his other classmates who were in computer science only.
In his time, he had two female partners. Both worked in computer science. His first was enrolled in medical school at the time. He got to know her there. Then she was also interested in computers too.
Volko said, “That might have been the reason why I chose her as a partner of all the women who had approached me. Soon after we split up, she abandoned medical school without a degree and started studying computer science; in fact she turned out to be far more talented than I had expected, as she now is a proud holder of a Ph.D. degree in computer science.”
His second partner, who he still spends weekends, has a Master’s degree in computer science, which she completed with distinction. The two of them were still students when they got to know one another. His second partner is also a member of Mensa, the world’s largest high-IQ society.
“Yet there were also some courses in her studies that were troublesome for her because she had attended business school prior to studying computer science, at which higher math had not been taught,” Volko explained.
Now, his second partner is involved with a semi-private company, where she works as a Java user interface developer. She is one of the few women who he knows is into programming. Volko does not view her as the typical “nerd” because she also has several other interests including on in Botany.
Volko earned a score at an intelligence test score of 172, on the Equally Normed Numerical Derivation Tests (ENNDT) by Marco Ripà and Gaetano Morelli. It was on a standard deviation of 15. A sigma of 4.80 for Claus, which is a general intelligence rarity of 1 in 1,258,887.
Of course, if a higher general intelligence score, then the greater the variability in, and margin of error in, the general intelligence scores because of the greater rarity in the population.
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Image Credits: Getty Images