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DC: Bagels and Books with Pamela Cosman (BS '87)

  • Rockville Memorial Library 21 Maryland Avenue Rockville, MD 20852 (map)

About the event

Pamela Cosman (BS ‘87). Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of California San Diego, will give a talk entitled “Free to Choose Stem: Tools for Success for Girls”. She will have 10 copies of her children’s book “The Secret Code Menace” to give away.

Free to Choose STEM: Tools for Success for Girls

The under-representation of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) starts with young people, and solutions need to start there too. Aimed at high school girls as well as parents of girls (of any age), this talk will provide some knowledge and tools for success for girls considering STEM careers.  We’ll look at STEM participation in different countries, across time, and across socioeconomic levels.  This counter-intuitive data offers insights into current U.S. conditions.  From imposter syndrome to stereotype threat to damaging career advice, this talk will illuminate the landscape of gender in STEM and provide tools for navigating it.

About Pamela Cosman (BS '87)

Pamela C. Cosman received her B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Caltech in 1987, and her Ph.D. in EE from Stanford University in 1993.  She joined the faculty of UC San Diego in 1995, where she is currently a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, as well as Co-Director of the Center for Research on Gender in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine (CRG-STEMM).  She previously served as Director of the Center for Wireless Communications, Associate Dean for Students, and Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications.  Her research is on video processing and wireless communications, with current projects on cognitive radio, assessment of gaze behavior in children with autism, and color correction of underwater images. 

Through CRG-STEMM, she also conducts basic social science research on faculty hiring processes, experiences of minority graduate students, and gender effects in career recommendations.  For outreach and service work in support of diversity in engineering, she was awarded the UC San Diego Affirmative Action and Diversity Award (2016), the Athena Pinnacle Award (2017), and the national Diversity Award of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Heads Association (2018).  Prof. Cosman is a member of Tau Beta Pi and Sigma Xi, and a Fellow of the IEEE.  She has four children: Benjamin (age 27), Rafael (26), Gilead (22) and Ilan (16).  Prof. Cosman has published 250 engineering articles as well as one children’s book. The Secret Code Menace (Ransom, UK) introduces error correction coding and other wireless communications concepts through a fictional story.

Additional Details

  • Bagels, fruit and coffee to be provided.

  • Pam Cosman will be bringing copies of her children’s book, The Secret Code Menace, to sell and sign.  It is meant for children ages 9-11 and would make a great gift. It is published by Ransom Publishing. Here is a description of the book from a blog at Keysight Technologies.

The Secret Code Menace is an engaging introduction to coding theory for young readers. Artfully disguised as a children’s adventure book, The Secret Code Menace is a light introduction to Venn diagrams, binary numbers, parity bits, error correction codes, concatenation, interleaving, and other aspects of coding theory. The plot revolves around siblings Sara and Jared Felton and their cousin Daniel, who use paper note passing and hand signals to send each other information. The Secret Code Menace introduces a complex topic in a manner that is equal parts informative and entertaining.

Recommended for students ages 8 to 11. But a fun and interesting read for everyone.