Portrait of Serena Ivaldi, Researcher with the Larsen team.
Serena Ivaldi is a researcher with the Larsen team. Captivated by robotics, she made it her specialisation - and she is passionate about the issue of man-machine interaction.
What pushed you towards research in computer science? And what excites you the most about your profession?
I have always loved machines, construction, computers and mathematics. When I was a child, I dreamed of robots and computers from reading science-fiction books.
For me, carrying out research into things that we love is a privilege, because we are happy to work! I love to set myself challenges and solve problems.
Why do you think there are so few women working in digital technology, and what would you say to encourage them to get involved in this field?
I think that the TV and media are in part responsible. They often highlight masculine "success stories", and as a result women have fewer "role models" with whom to identify as they grow up. Only proper geeks know Ada Lovelace or Grace Hopper, and yet they are two of the big names in computer science...
I think that schools also have a responsibility: they need to encourage women to follow careers in maths, physics, engineering or computer science, and show them examples of successful women in order to motivate them. All of these themes are addressed in the IEEE Women in Engineering meetings and also during ACM conferences for women and the sciences.