‘We code the future’: The making of computer scientists
▲Speaker / Samantha Breslin
Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology , University of Copenhagen
▲Date ─ 2022.04.26 (Tue) 3-5 p.m
▲Venue ─ Online talk
▲Registration ─ Please contact me on Facebook to get the link.
This talk explores the social and cultural worldviews of computer scientists. In particular, I explore the norms, values, and practices learned by students through undergraduate computer science education in Singapore. Based on ethnographic fieldwork, I show how students learn practices of “rendering technical” and “rendering natural.” Students learn how to represent and translate reality into models, algorithms, and code. At the same time, the rules of writing programs are presented as an inherent part of how computers work and their logic as based in the natural evolution of human thought and practice. Computer science knowledge and practice are also rendered in terms of binary gender categories, which are (re)produced and naturalized in and by teaching examples, computer science concepts, and a variety of human and nonhuman actors. As such, I discuss how renderings and genderings of computer science knowledge and practice – and of reality – shape the possibilities for students and professors to become computer scientists, and to think about and do computer science.