Monday, July 7, 2014

STEM Chat with Tracy Gray

STEM chat
STEM chat with Tracy Gray
July 7, 2014
Tracy Gray, Ph.D., Managing Director, American Institutes for Research, Center for STEM Education and Innovation
The person who inspired me the most when I was growing up was Oliver, my stepfather, who was an inventor of digital devices. Oliver was motivated by the excitement of discovery and a genuine curiosity about how things worked and ways to make the world a better place. He always took the time to answer any question and expanded my sense of what is possible.

To me, the greatest mathematician/technologist/scientist/ engineer is Albert Einstein who was willing to follow the pursuit of knowledge despite the naysayers he met along the way.

If I could tell a young woman pursuing STEM one thing, it would be keep your eye on the long view and do not be daunted by the barriers and challenges that you will encounter along your STEM journey.

If I could meet one person it would be Lise Meitner, an Austrian scientist who went on to discover nuclear fission despite having been barred from high school and the opportunity to work with other scientists in the laboratory because of her religious background.

My favorite non-fiction book is "The Discoverers" by Daniel Boorstin.

My favorite fiction book is "The Goldfinch" by Donna Tartt.

My favorite source of industry news is Wired Magazine because it always contains some interesting news about the ever changing field of technology.

To me a successful woman is someone who is able to achieve a balance between work and family life.

My favorite technological innovation is the iPad.

In high school, I wish I knew computer science.

When I first started to work in my field I there were very few women interested in technology.
My dream project is to ensure that every child has equal access to technology and teachers who know how to use these tools to inspire learning.

The best advice I ever received was Illegitimi non carborundum.

The very next thing on my to do list is help a high school senior with their college essay.

In my free time I love to hike and read.

At least once, everyone should fall in love.

The best way to unwind after a long day is to go for a long walk with my husband and dog, Kaya.

Smartest person I've ever worked with is Eli Segal who led the launch of AmeriCorps under President Clinton because he knew how to build a team and inspired everyone to give their all to make the program a success.

My favorite city in the world is Rome.

If I had a one year sabbatical, I would travel the world.

The most overused word in meetings today is "like."

The biggest misconception about women in STEM is that they are not interested in STEM or IT.

My tools of the trade are are my ability to understand complex ideas and communicate them to others.

The biggest thing that has changed since I started in the industry is the awareness of the importance of engaging more students in STEM.

I'm happiest when I'm making a difference in the lives of someone.

I wish I could start a foundation to support more students to follow a STEM career.

I'm proud that my daughters are following their passion to make the world a better place.

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