On this Day: The First Deaf Computer Science PhD

Karen Alkoby became the first deaf woman in the U.S. to earn a Ph.D. in computer science on this date (June 15) in 2008.


She graduated from Chicago's DePaul University, helping to pioneer a computer-animated dictionary. Alkoby’s dissertation involved determining how the human brain interprets shapes like those made by hands in ASL. This may help with the creation of an ASL-to-English dictionary. She now teaches computer science at Gallaudet University. Read more about her accomplishment here.