Computer Science Profile Carol Shaw



Atari-2600-Wood-4Sw-SetCarol Shaw is known as the first female video game designer. She started her career at Atari in the late 70’s where she worked on games for the revolutionary Atari 2600, including Polo (1978), 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe (1979) and Video Checkers (1978). In 1980, Shaw left Atari for brief stint at Tandem Computers before joining the team at Activision, where she programed here best known game - River Raid.


River_Raid_coverGrowing up, Shaw was more interested in model railroads than dolls and first became interested in computers in high school through a math class where she would write computer programs in BASIC. In college, at UC Berkley, Shaw wasn’t sure what she wanted to major in. She eventually landed on Engineering and Computer Science.


As one of the only women in a male-dominated field, Shaw was at times confronted with sexist attitudes. For example, Shaw tells the story that, “When I was in junior high and high school, I was good at math. I entered a bunch of math contests and won awards. Of course, people would say, "Gee, you're good at math — for a girl." That was kind of annoying. Why shouldn't girls be good at math?”


But, she didn’t let the attitudes of others stop her from pursuing what she loved, and her hard work paid off. In 1990, Shaw decided to retire early and has since spent a good deal of time volunteering for the Foresight Institute, a leading think tank and public interest organization focused on transformative future technologies.


Video Game





Posted on December 07, 2015 in Announcements by LeeAnn Baronett : 0 Comments

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