“Judith Gal-Ezer is Professor of Computer Science at The Open University of Israel. Professor Gal-Ezer is an accomplished researcher in computer science education (CSE), whose work has had a widespread impact in the areas of high school curriculum, and research in advanced areas of computation. She was the 2007 recipient of the SIGCSE (ACM Special Interest Group in Computer Science Education) Award for Outstanding Contribution to Computer Science Education, with the citation “Outstanding researcher and curriculum designer who has carried out pioneering work involving teaching the essence of computer science on both the high school and university levels.”
I was extremely moved by Judith’s interview and I was the interviewer! Her story was much the same as many in the collection and very different at the same time. She always loved learning and wanted more homework, more challenge even as a very you child. Her father, on the other hand, questioned even her desire to go to high school – “Why go to high school when all you’ll be is a housewife?”
Judith got into computing accidentally. This is the story of many women in computing. She studied mathematics and when she went into the required Israeli military service, she was assigned to a computing unit. She continued to study mathematics but used COBOL and FORTRAN in the army, eventually receiving a doctorate in applied mathematics but furthering her study to become a diplomate in computing. She has spent her academic computing career focusing on using computer -integrated mathematics and on computer science education. She approaches everything she does with passion and energy. Her graduate students have become some of the best known and respected researchers in computing education, providing a new generation dedicated to encouraging the study of computing and computing education.
Although she is now serving as a university vice-president, she maintains her passion for computing education. She has been a stalwart volunteer, serving as an international representative and full participant in the Computer Science Teachers Association as well as most recently shepherding the 2012 SIGCSE international computing education (ITiCSE conference ) in Haifa, Israel.
Judith is truly a role model for women in computing and most especially in Computer Science Education Research.