Staff Mini-Bio: Mara Kirdani-Ryan
WHERE DID YOU GROW UP? WHAT WAS YOUR ACADEMIC PATH?
I grew up in Rochester, NY.
I recieved my BS in Electrical and Compupter Engineering
from Carnegie Mellon; I didn't really know what I wanted to do next, so I
stayed for a Master's. I started my PhD at UW, focusing in Computer
Architecture (compiler optimizations for manycore architectures), but
switched to Computing Education at the end of my first year (working with
the fabulous Amy Ko). Currently, most of my work centers career
decisions made by undergraduate computing students and why so many of
y'all end up going to 4 companies, but I'm also doing work adapting CS
courses to foster student's political identity.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR HOBBIES, TALENTS, AND SKILLS?
I've been playing guitar for 22 years, I did a whole lot of running in high
school, these days I mostly practice yoga, along with the usual Seattle
activities, biking, hiking, bagel making, kombucha brewing.
HAVE YOU DONE OR EXPERIENCED ANYTHING REMARKABLE OR MEMORABLE?
I've come out 7 different times, each different, each awkward, and, perhaps
more remarkably, I've successfully recovered a pair of glasses from the
floor of a mosh pit.
WHAT ELSE IS TAKING UP SPACE?
I'll be working on a research paper, an intervention, a book chapter, and
preparing for teaching next summer! I'm still figuring out lots of pieces
about my identity and I end up spending a fair bit of time trying to
detangle who I am from how I've been socialized.
COME TALK TO ME ABOUT
Queer theory, metacognition, surveillance capitalism, career counseling,
computing in society, counter-narratives, gender, video games that tear your
heart out, and how to craft the perfect bowl of cereal.