beth's summer with the distributed mentor program
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During the summer of 2001, I received a grant from the Computer Research Association Women's Committee (CRAW) to participate in their Distributed Mentor Program. Through this grant, I was given the opportunity to do Computer Science research with three female mentors at Texas A&M University, in College Station, Texas.

I had an absolutely brillant time during my summer of research. Prior to this experience, I had been increasingly unhappy with Computer Science. As one of the few women in the Swarthmore Computer Science Department, I had felt isolated from my male peers and had even endured harassement and unecessarily harsh treatment at their hands. As a consequence, I had been questioning my abilities as a Computer Scientist and had been uncertain whether I wanted to pursue a Computer Science in graduate school. However, with the support and assistance of my mentors, I rediscovered my self-confidence and renewed my love of Computer Science. My mentors taught me how intellectually challenging and rewarding academic research could be, and allowed me to experience first-hand the thrill of creating new work. Likewise, interacting with their (largely male) graduate student research group demonstrated to me that it was indeed possible for me, as a woman, to have a supportive community of Computer Science peers. As a result of all this, I now know that I want to pursue Computer Science after graduation and, most importantly, I know that I will be able to survive in the field.

This webpage is designed to provide insight into my experiences during my summer of research at Texas A&M. It details the research I did with my mentors, as well as provides an account my time as a visiting student in Texas.

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