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June 18, 2014
Tesca Fitzgerald, who begins her second year in the College of Computing's Computer Science Ph.D. program this fall, is one of 11 women featured in Google’s new Made with Code initiative to champion creativity, girls, and code, all at once.
Along with Chelsea Clinton, Girls Inc., Girl Scouts of the USA, Mindy Kaling, MIT Media Lab, National Center for Women & Information Technology, SevenTeen, TechCrunch and more, Google launched the new initiative on June 19. Since 2010, the company has invested $40 million to inspire girls to code, and Made with Code dedicates $50 million more over the next three years to further these efforts.
A member of Andrea Thomaz's Socially Intelligent Machines Lab, Fitzgerald focuses her research on human-robot interaction and cognitive science, where she codes robots to learn from people, much like how people learn from one another.
The Made with Code program includes:
- Cool introductory Blockly-based coding projects, like designing a bracelet 3D-printed by Shapeways, learning to create animated GIFs, and building beats for a music track.
- Collaborations with organizations like Girl Scouts of the USA and Girls, Inc. to introduce Made with Code to girls in their networks, encouraging them to complete their first coding experience.
- A commitment of $50 million to support programs that can help get more females into computer science, like rewarding teachers who support girls who take CS courses on Codecademy or Khan Academy.