Welcome! I am Gail (Banaszkiewicz) Carmichael.  I manage external education programs at Shopify.

About Me

I'm a computer scientist, educator, and blogger. I've spent time in academia, industry, and a few places in between.

I currently lead a team at Shopify called External Education. Our mission is to make learning computer science and computational thinking better for everyone. Our projects are organized into four central pillars: degrees and apprenticeships, outreach and diversity, academic research, and policy. Learn more about CS education at Shopify.

Our biggest project (which I also lead) is a ground-breaking initiative known as the Carleton Shopify Bachelor of Computer Science partnership. Students work full time at Shopify on industry-scale projects, applying concepts mapped to curriculum, in addition to attending academic courses at Carleton. This brings in-class learning closer to on-the-job experience. We aren't just providing work-integrated learning; we're aligned it with the formal CS curriculum. Learn more about the Carleton Shopify BCS partnership.

I am particularly passionate about sharing my joy of computer science with others, especially girls and women.  I am a co-founder of Carleton University's Women in Science and Engineering (CU-WISE), a member of the now disbanded Advisory Board for the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, and a long-time contributor to the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing.  I am currently working on setting up a more formal Canadian branch of Girl Develop It! and continue to participate in many outreach initiatives.

Latest News

Featured on Carleton Newsroom and New Role at Shopify

I am one of several Carleton alumni working at Shopify that were featured in a recent Carleton Newsroom article (Shopify Scoops up Carleton Grads). The article talks about my new role at Shopify as Manager of External Education Programs. In January, I started to build a new team called External Education: our mission is to make learning computer science better for everyone.

Featured on GEreports Women in STEM Series

I was recently interviewed for an article highlighting women in STEM as part of GEreports' Women in STEM series (Read the article.)

It used to be that formal education happened in schools, but Gail Carmichael is proof that’s an outdated concept. As the manager of external education programs at Shopify, she’s in charge of forming partnerships between secondary and post-secondary educational institutions and the Ottawa-based e-commerce software company. As a former Carleton University computer science instructor, Carmichael is right at home creating opportunities for young people — and, by extension, the industry, too.

Joining Shopify

On June 30, I wrapped up my two-year term as a faculty instructor in the School of Computer Science, Carleton University.  On July 13, I am excited to be joining Shopify as a software developer on the Merchant Analytics team.

Keynoting at Women and Technology 2015

I am honoured to be the invited keynote for Women and Technology 2015, a meeting of Ontario scholars working in applied and technical fields, the natural sciences, humanities, and social sciences.  I will be talking about my efforts to get more women into computer science.

Jason and the Golden Fleece on Github

I have publicly posted the current version of my Jason and the Golden Fleece game on GitHub.  The game is functional, but not complete.  In particular, the user interface and story engine work, but the content is a placeholder.

PhD Thesis Proposal Complete

On December 15 2014, I passed the thesis proposal requirement for the PhD program.  My research scope will narrow, and I will now focus more on the mechanics to arrange story events than their use in games specifically.  I wrote about the proposal experience on my blog.

Gram's House NSF AISL Pathways Grants Funded

Gram's House is a research project I started several years ago with a prototype originally designed for Microsoft's Imagine Cup competition.  Since then, a core team has formed around the project, and we just got awarded two NSF Pathways grants for the Advancing Informal STEM Learning program:

I will be participating in the first project on story as a contractor.

Featured in TechGirls Canada's Portraits of Strength

I was recently featured on Portraits of Strength, which "features women in STEM who have helped break barriers and achieved great things within their industry." Read my profile here.

Recipient of Carleton University's Faculty of Science 2013 Excellence in Teaching Award

I received the Excellence in Teaching Award at our Faculty of Science's holiday reception on December 10, 2013.  I am very honored to receive it at this early stage of my career.

Faculty Instructor

I have been hired by the School of Computer Science at Carleton University as a faculty instructor for a one year term beginning July 1 2013.  I will be teaching a variety of first, second, and third year courses for both majors and non-majors.

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