This is for all the Linux fans who are alone on a Saturday
night. Take solace: Ellen Spertus, voted the Sexiest Geek in 2001,
is a fan of Linux. Before you get all worked up, note one thing:
Wrapped in a corset draped to look like circuit board and a
slide ruler strapped to her thigh, Mills College professor Ellen
Spertus paraded down a runway ramp in a San Jose convention hall
this week a winner.
The 32-year-old, who has three degrees from Massachusetts
Institute of Technology and is a self-proclaimed open source
advocate, beat out eight other contestants for the honor.
"I'm happy I won," says Spertus. "Now I want to take the award
and show other young women that it is alright to pursue careers in
high tech fields. It's OK to be a geek."
This is the second "brains not beauty" contest sponsored by
Imark Communications and Geek & Guru, but the first won by a
woman. Tony Northrup, last years crowned Sexiest Geek, "won based
on his true sense of geekness," says Jim Rosnack, co-creator and
Webmaster of the contest.
"Geeks are at the forefront of technology, change, and the new
economy," says Imark Communications Special Events Director Sean
Lowery. "You should be so lucky as to be called a geek in the 21st
Century, especially at one of our events."
This year's Regional and International Semi-finalists were
judged in three phases. First, contestants from around the world
test their intellect about technology and "geek" culture by
answering 40 questions located on the www.sexiestgeekalive.com Web
site. Based on points awarded for correct answers and a follow up
interview, contestants will be selected to compete either online or
at the ITEC in that region.
All of Spertus' students pitched in and all voted for her. In
addition to her college classes, Spertus also volunteers her time
to teach young women about computers in Oakland as part of a
government project called Tech Bridge.
Along with her title, Spertus is getting a vacation to the West
Caribbean, where she promises to spend more time with her NASA
scientist husband Keith Golden in the sun and sand and less time
with her laptop.
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