A colleague of mine once said that when she saw math equations, she pictured a beautiful symphony. As a young girl, I recall learning algebra by looking at equations as if they were groups of people—some family, some friends—all of whom had relationships and ever-changing friendships. Later on, when I was in college, I would apply the same thought process to learn computer architecture. Years later as a professor, I wrote “The Adventures of EEPROM,” which was later turned into an animated story by my own students. The point is that, for both myself and my colleague, no one ever taught us to think in these ways, but somehow, we came to appreciate math and see beyond the symbols on the page. We are always emphasizing the creativity and innovation it takes to become an engineer, but how often do we read or hear stories that acknowledge and appreciate the art of engineering?
In this issue of IEEE Women in Engineering Magazine, we explore the influence that the arts have had on the lives and career paths of women in engineering and its symbiotic relationship within the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Margaret Shumate is a student at Carnegie Mellon University studying sound design for theater, which includes studying psychoacoustics. Imagine not just studying sound as a series of signals and waves but also understanding how sound affects the human mind and perception. This transformative discipline has the potential to have benefits reaching far beyond theater applications.
Read more about it on IEEE Xplore Digital Library.