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Laura Haas '78 (A.B. in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science) wishes more women would pursue a career in computer science. “It’s a great job for women,” she said. “Work life balance is not an issue. Working for a technology company, they really understand. You can work from home, you can work remotely. That’s what technology is about, enabling these things.”
From her office at IBM’s Almaden Research Center, perched atop the rolling hills in San Jose, she concluded, “I can’t imagine choosing better.”
Haas, whose career has spanned more than 28 years at IBM, had first planned to study linguistics as an undergraduate at Harvard. She spoke French fluently and had also studied German, Latin and Hebrew in high school.
She also knew another language, that of computers. When Haas was 11 years old, her father, a cognitive psychologist, taught her how to program a computer so that she could help him set up his experiments.
During her sophomore year in college, she realized she didn’t want to become a high-school teacher or university professor, two of her likely career paths if she decided to earn a linguistics degree. So she turned to math and computer science, receiving a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics from Harvard and a doctorate in computer science from the University of Texas, Austin.
Topics: Computer Science
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