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Tipsheet: Women in information technology at Indiana University

As more women are drawn to the traditionally male-dominated field of information technology, they may be surprised to learn that there are many female role models to inspire and guide their career paths. Indiana University is the professional home to a number of women who are nationally recognized in the areas of information technology, computer science, information science, bioinformatics, digital arts, and system administration.

This year, Indiana University is a sponsor of the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference, the fifth in a series designed to spotlight the research and professional interests of women in computing. The conference, held October 6-9 in Chicago, is expected to draw leaders from government, education, and industry.

Learn more about some of the women making contributions in information technology at Indiana University:

Polly Baker is an associate professor in the School of Informatics and the Department of Computer Science as well as distinguished scientist and director of the Visualization and Interactive Spaces Lab, part of the Pervasive Technology Labs at Indiana University. Baker's research is in exploring the design and application of sophisticated, highly interactive visual environments for data exploration and learning. Contact Baker at or (317) 278-8150.

Katy Börner is an assistant professor of Information Science in the School of Library and Information Science, adjunct assistant professor in the School of Informatics, core faculty of Cognitive Science, research affiliate of the Biocomplexity Institute, Fellow of the Center for Research on Learning and Technology, and member of the Advanced Visualization Laboratory. Her research focuses on the development of visualization methodologies, networks and diffusion of knowledge, and the development of infrastructures for large scale scientific collaboration and computation. Contact Börner at or (812) 855-3256.

Stephanie Burks is a principal database administrator and Unix system administrator for the Research and Technical Services unit of the Research and Academic Computing division of University Information Technology Services. She manages the Research Database Complex, a supercomputing system that is dedicated to Oracle database applications and data-intensive geographical information systems (GIS) applications. Contact Burks at or (812) 856-5078.

Margaret Dolinsky is an artist, research scientist and assistant professor at the H.R. Hope School of Fine Arts at Indiana University Bloomington. She established the Hybrid Arts Laboratory and is a founding member of the international consortium Virtual Laboratories Envisioning Connectivity (vLEC). Her research focuses on the extension of concepts through transdisciplinary methods as she investigates the artist's role in guiding visitors towards interaction in a collaborative immersive art experience over high speed networks. Dolinsky designs real-time computer art for the UITS Advanced Visualization Laboratory's CAVE Automatic Virtual Environment(CAVE). Contact Dolinsky at or (812) 855-5171.

Norma Holland is associate vice president for University Information Systems at IU. She is responsible for development and implementation of enterprise-wide information systems that support the university's business infrastructure as well as academic systems such as Oncourse, Electronic Research Administration and the Library Information System. Contact Holland at or (812) 856-5594.

Professor Beth Plale is actively involved with scientists to solve problems in bringing large amounts of data to scientific simulations. She is currently working with meteorologists to stream radar data directly into forecast models in real time. In this way, forecast models can far more accurately predict mesoscale weather phenomena such as tornados and other severe storms. Plale is an assistant professor in the Computer Science Department at Indiana University and founding faculty advisor to Women In Computing @ IU (WIC@IU). Her research interests include grid computing, large-scale databases, and data-driven applications. She can be contacted at or (812) 855-4373.

Susan Tennant is a clinical assistant professor in New Media and director of the CLIOH (Cultural Digital Library Indexing Our Heritage) project, an initiative of the Informatics Research Institute. Her work includes a 3D virtual tour of the Mayan city of Chichen Itza. Tennant serves on the Executive Board of Directors of the Virtual Heritage Network, which promotes the use of technology for the education, interpretation, conservation and preservation of natural, cultural and world heritage. Contact Tennant at or (317) 278-7675.


Women In Computing @ IU:

Grace Hopper Celebration:

Polly Baker:

Katy Börner:

Stephanie Burks:

Margaret Dolinsky:

Norma Holland:

Beth Plale:

Susan Tennant:

WIC@IU is a group whose mission is to provide support and information to further enhance the education of women in computing at Indiana University. The group provides a forum for issues pertaining to women in computing, networking and mentoring opportunities, teamwork and leadership opportunities, professional development through education about career opportunities in computing and interaction with industry, and community outreach. Membership is open to faculty, graduate, undergraduate, and technical staff in all IU departments. Contact WIC@IU at: