Ellen Spertus

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Ellen Spertus

Spertus in 2012
United States
Known for
SpouseKeith Golden
AwardsSexiest Geek Alive, 2001
Scientific career
FieldsComputer science
ThesisParaSite: mining the structural information on the World-Wide Web (1998)
Doctoral advisorLynn Andrea Stein[1]

Ellen R. Spertus is an American computer scientist who is currently the Elinor Kilgore Snyder Professor of computer science at Mills College, Oakland, California, and a former senior research scientist at Google.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Spertus grew up in Glencoe, Illinois, where she attended New Trier High School.[3]

At MIT she received a Bachelor of Science in computer science and engineering in 1990, a Master of Science in electrical engineering and computer science in 1992, and a Doctor of Philosophy in electrical engineering and computer science in 1998,[2][4] with a Ph.D. thesis entitled ParaSite: mining the structural information on the World-Wide Web.[1]


Spertus has written articles treating both technical and social subjects, often combining the two. In 1993, she was profiled in The New York Times as one of the "women who might change the face of the computer industry" and in a follow-up article in 2003.[4] In 2001, she was named "The Sexiest Geek Alive".[5][6]

While at Google,[2] Spertus spent her time working on App Inventor for Android, a block based development platform with a graphical user interface (GUI) that lets developers and amateurs create applications for Android.[7] In May 2011, O'Reilly Media published the book App Inventor, which Spertus co-authored with David Wolber, Hal Abelson, and Liz Looney.[8] She spent several summers between terms working for Microsoft.[3]

Spertus was a lessee of one of the approximately 1,000 General Motors EV1s.[9] She is married to computer scientist Keith Golden.[4]

In 2014, she went on Sabbatical from Mills to work with Google for the development of the Blockly programming environment.[10]


  1. ^ a b Spertus, Ellen (1998). ParaSite: mining the structural information on the World-Wide Web (PhD thesis). Massachusetts Institute of Technology. hdl:1721.1/9814.
  2. ^ a b c Spertus, Ellen (2019-03-24). "Ellen Spertus's CV". Spertus Family. Retrieved 2019-07-01.
  3. ^ a b Hafner, Katie (1993-08-29). "Woman, Computer Nerd – and Proud". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-01.
  4. ^ a b c Katie Hafner (2003-08-21). "3 Women, 3 Paths, 10 Years On". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-01.
  5. ^ Ward, Mark (2001-06-21). "Sexiest geek declared". BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2019-07-01.
  6. ^ Spertus, Ellen. "Articles about Ellen Spertus and SGA 2K+1". Spertus Family. Retrieved 2019-07-01.
  7. ^ "App Inventor for Android". Archived from the original on 12 December 2011. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  8. ^ App Inventor. O'Reilly Media. 2011. ISBN 978-1449397487.
  9. ^ Mieszkowski, Katharine (2002-09-04). "Steal this car!". Salon. Salon Media Group. Archived from the original on 2008-03-07. Retrieved 2008-03-01.
  10. ^ Cassidy, Mike (2014-02-21). "Google researcher, Mills College professor Ellen Spertus still working for gender equality in computer science". The Mercury News. MediaNews Group. Retrieved 2019-07-01.

External links[edit]