LGBTQ+ mathematicians and computer programmers helped invent key components of cell phones, artificial intelligence, and microchips.  Math teachers can challenge gender norms and stereotypes in word problems.  

Alan Turing

The father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence. He created the Turing machine, which was a prototype of modern computing. Turing was prosecuted for homosexual acts in 1952 and has been post-humously pardoned. 

Sophie Wilson

The first micro-processing unit that is now used in most smartphones – was developed by a transgender woman in the 1980s. Wilson has won many awards for the computing work she has done. 

Lynn Conway

Large-scale production of microchips would not be possible with this transgender activist, computer scientist, and inventor. IBM fired Conway when she shared her intention to transition. IBM apologized for this in 2020. 

Edith Windsor

The lead plaintiff on the Supreme Court case that allowed same-sex marriage was also the senior systems programmer at IBM – the highest level technical position. She was not allowed to add her female partner as her beneficiary on her insurance. Windsor was investigated by the FBI, likely because of her homosexuality. 

Gendered Pairings

When using word problems in a math lesson, include gender-neutral names, gender-neutral pronouns, and same-gendered pairings.  Check if your math textbook still uses word problems that stereotype gender – boys who build things while girls play with dolls, etc.