Dr. Been-Jon Woo: Silicon Technology Pioneer

Dr. Been-Jon Woo: Silcion Technology Pioneer

A Cuture Research Project for
Women Studies 320: Gender and Technology
Steven Haskell 2008 
Oregon State University

Technology is magic. Not the exciting kind of magic that we read about in books and watch at the movies though. Technology is a less romantic kind of magic that we take for granted. It’s the ability to call anyone in the world from anywhere in the world. It’s the way we effortlessly navigate streets with GPS devices. It’s how we store whole encycolpedias in a device as small as your thumb. We send eight page love letters in less than a second, book a spot for a wedding in fifteen minutes, and we can apply for a divorce in less than a day.

For most of us, the foundations of these technologies remain a complete mystery. We have an idea that there are a bunch of ones and zeros involved, but beyond that, we have no clue. And for most of us, we don’t even care; everyone wants to own an iPhone, no one wants to learn how to build one, as the saying goes.

But someone out there must understand this stuff, right? There must be people that know how to make all those ones and zeros send a text message to our bff? Who is that person? Picture them in your mind, what do they look like? Chances are your thinking of a slightly overweight white male in his 30’s, hunched at a computer monitor. Maybe you’re thinking of black sweater clad Steve Jobs, the image of cutting edge technology.

What if I told you that the real image of cutting edge technology, for the last 20+ years no less, is that of this women, Dr. Been-Jon Woo?

Silicon Technology Pioneer. Courtesy of Women In Technology International © WITI 2006

Dr. Been-Jon Woo: Silicon Technology Pioneer. Courtesy of Women In Technology International © WITI 2006

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