No Taming of the Enthusiast
A scenic route into computer science
by Maria (Marijke) Keet
ISBN: 978-1-9284-5586-8 (paperback)
POD ISBN: 978-1-9284-5589-9 (paperback, print-on-demand)
Publication date: November 2021
From skylarking at school to a professorship at the best university in Africa
It’s all here in this collection of loosely related memoir-essays: all the twists in the winding road the author travelled to become a female computer science professor at the University of Cape Town. Born and schooled in the Netherlands, Ms Keet didn’t stay home for long. Her winding road had a distinctly international flavour. She has worked and studied in Ireland and Italy, and briefly in Peru and Cuba, before finding her way to South Africa. The author herself says of her essays: ‘They offer a peek into a kitchen where underway is the making of a woman into an academic scientist when the yeast has been gender-spiked against her chances of rising.’
Table of contents
Part I: Bring on those hurdles — I jump
1 Segregated soldering
2 Altar boys and girls
3 Take my advice
4 The computer tries to do what it is instructed to do
5 Beautiful blue eyes
6 A smart girl is prepared for her future
Part II: Searching for green pastures
7 Progressive students, unite
8 Let the men do the heavy work
9 Switching subjects
10 A future with scientists
Part III: The Wild West
11 One of the boys, sort of
12 Baptism by fire
13 No women in computer science
14 I have important things to do
Afterword and acknowledgements
Very short bio
Maria (Marijke) Keet is an associate professor in computer science at UCT, where she lectures several courses, supervises students, conducts research in the field of knowledge engineering (Artificial Intelligence), and leads her research group and several funded projects. She has written an award-winning first textbook on ontology engineering for computer scientists, and has published some 150 scientific articles in conference proceedings, journals, and books. She holds a PhD in Computer Science, as well as Bachelors (honours) in IT & Computing, and Master’s degrees in Food Science and in Peace & Development Studies.
Where to buy it
At the moment, it is being distributed as a hardcopy in South Africa and internationally, since grapevine estimates have it that at least 89% of readers still prefer hardcopies for a range of reasons. Since eBook vs hardcopy preference varies by country: if there are multiple requests for an eBook version, I'll try to get that sorted as well.
You can buy it online here already, in case you can't find it in the bookshop near you:
- Porcupine Press website; for readers in South(ern) Africa. (link TBA soon)
- Local online retail websites, such as TakeALot, Loot, Exclusive Books, and Books Direct, also for readers in South(ern) Africa. (more links TBA soon)
- The likes of Amazon (among others: .com, .de, .es, and .co.uk, among many), the book depository that also delivers in many countries, and other country-specific retailers, such as Barnes & Noble in the USA, Booktopia in Australia, Bol in the Netherlands and Belgium, and Agapea in Spain, for readers outside South(ern) Africa. This international distribution is based on print-on-demand, which takes a few days longer than next-day-delivery but it is much faster and cheaper than shipping from South Africa.
- At the time of writing, at least Exclusive Books in Cape Town has it in stock already (Dec 2021) and I've seen it coincidentally on the 12th in the domestic terminal of Cape Town airport, in the science section (see photo on the right).
- The book has been registered with all the bookshops. Therefore, this means that you can ask any bookshop to order it from any of the following: Porcupine Press (firstname.lastname@example.org or 0825721682), or directly from Blue Weaver (email@example.com), or from the warehouse used by Blue Weaver (Booksite Afrika -- all the bookshops know this distributing agent).
- (If you’re nearby, in Cape Town: I have a few copies for sale as well.)
Long story. It could have filled at least another two or three pages in the book. If you can't pronounce Marijke the way it's supposed to be pronounced within the range of the usual variation of regional accents -- which is the case for most people in the world -- just (continue to) use Maria. To students: Prof Keet is fine as well; just stop writing emails asking me whether you would have to call me Ms or Mrs or Mx (it's neither of those three, and likewise for the vast majority of academics).
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