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February 20, 2020

Almost 100 students from various schools came to 'Breaking Codes: Women and Girls in Science'.

The 11th of February, on the occasion of the International Day of Woman and Girl in Science, the IMDEA Software Institute organised the conference ‘Breaking Codes: Women and Girls in Science’ with the support of various researchers from the Institute, as well as other centres on the Campus, such as the Center for Biomedical Technology CTB.

Blanca Gutiérrez, Communication Manager at the IMDEA Software Institute, was in charge of opening the conference in which she explained the importance of research for the advances in society and highlighted the need to promote scientific and research vocations in women and girls in a sector that is mainly masculine.

The first workshop was on reconstruction of neurons. Marta Domínguez and Marta Turégano, researchers at the CTB showed what a neuron is and helped the young women in the audience to differentiate between the different parts of a neuron: synapses, mitochondria, as well as spinal apparatus and myelin sheaths. In addition, they showed the software they use in their laboratory by which it automatically detects each differential element to be studied.

The cryptography workshop was led by three researchers from the IMDEA Software Institute: Anaïs Querol, Elena Gutiérrez and Isabel García. The first to open the workshop was Anaïs, who spoke about the origin of ciphered messages and how to encrypt and decrypt them. On the other hand, Isabel explained how to break mono-alphabetic ciphers. And finally, Elena delved into the workings of the enigma machine and how ciphers were broken at Bletchley Park.

After the workshops, the wikiton began. We divided the audience into groups and gave them a choice between seven Spanish scientists from different fields to create, through information provided, their page on Wikipedia.

The day ended with the 20 questions of the scientific trivial in which the knowledge acquired during the day was tested, as well as the general culture of the public.

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