Top of page
Global Site Navigation

Edith Magazine

Local Section Navigation
You are here: Main Content

Five minutes with Georgia Maher

Computer science student Georgia Maher is one of a growing number of women studying in this traditionally male-dominated field. She’s also going against the trend of students spending less time on campus by becoming immersed in university life. Carrie Cox finds out what makes her tick.

Q. Where did your interest in computer science and coding come from?

I speak maths. It’s a very straightforward language where there’s one correct answer to every question. Writing code is similar to maths, but instead of solving an equation, you’re solving a problem. And you’re making it work every time, accounting for every possibility. I love telling computers what to do.

Q. There’s a strong movement to increase the number of women working in STEM. Is that important to you?

Absolutely. The numbers are getting better, but there’s still a large divide. STEM is fun and important, and women bring some unique perspectives to it. We generally take a more analytical, systematic approach to projects, whereas men in STEM can be like bulls at the gate. Everyone brings something to the table, but you actually have to be at the table to have your voice heard.

Q. You help to run a program that teaches early high-school students how to code. Is it important to ‘catch’ them young?

I think it's really important to get kids interested in coding early, as the skills you learn in this area help foster better critical thinking and problem-solving skills, mathematics and logic. It helps prepare young people for the tech world they will soon live in as adults. If I’d had the chance to learn coding at a younger age, I might have realised what I wanted to do much earlier and developed more skills. Being female, when I was looking for a non-ATAR subject to do in year 12, I was more guided in the direction of home economics than IT, but I do wonder what would've happened if that hadn’t been the case.

Q. You’re on the Student Guild, secretary of both the ECU Women’s Community and the ECU Queer Collective, and treasurer of the Computing and Security Student Association. What’s driving all this involvement?

I’m a joiner and a doer and I can’t stop. Being busy also helps me stay on top of my mental health issues. But it’s also just very satisfying to be involved in lots of different things at uni, and you meet so many other people beyond your own study area.

Q. What advice do you have for an ECU student starting their studies in 2019?

Uni has to be about more than the work. There are few other times in life when you have the spare time that you do at university. You’ll be way too tired and busy to do extra‑curricular activities when you’re in the workforce. I have 12 contact hours at uni and I’m a full‑time student. That’s a lot of extra time to explore things on campus. I say take it while you can. Plan events, organise markets, have parties and make the uni pay for them!

Skip to top of page