As they prepare for graduation and the future, Lex McGriff and Sima Sharma share their W&L experiences and student successes.
Lex McGriff, a Computer Science and Sociology double major shares her leadership experiences as the vice president of the Student Association for Black Unity (SABU) and vice president of Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK). Lex also talks about her association with the Strategic Planning Steering Committee and the Diversity Sub-Committee of Strategic Planning.
Sima Sharma, majoring in Computer Science and East Asian Languages and Literatures (Chinese), discusses her extracurricular involvement with the Multicultural Student Association, the Student Association for International Learning, the Student Environmental Action League and her participation with the Rockbridge County Schools tutor program.
Through Lex’s developing supervisory skills and a Sima’s passion for cultural diversity, these bright and enterprising W&L seniors are sure to have continued success in their future endeavors! Learn more about their stories by clicking on the links below:
Senior Janie Martin attended Rice University’s 7th annual Hackathon this past weekend in Houston with the goal of trying to solve some of the biggest problems in health care today. The Hackathon competitors were in a 36 hour race against each other to develop new software and hardware to solve challenges identified by doctors at Texas Children’s Hospital. About 400 hackers competed for various prizes.
For Janie, the competition provided an opportunity to solve a medical problem that she herself once suffered from, encephalitis. Janie and her teammates developed a product called Memory Eyes which is a device that uses image detection and facial recognition software to assist with cognitive disorders. Cognitive impairment is a major component of encephalitis. As Janie explains it, with encephalitis, “You could be standing in a grocery store talking to someone when suddenly you have no idea where you are or who they are.” “With a press of a button, Memory Eyes will tell you who you’re talking to, where you are and remind you what you were there to get.”
Click on the link below to read more about Janie’s accomplishments and other cutting edge health care successes of Hackathon!
While at W&L, Cory Walker majored in computer science and minored in music. After graduation, Cory attended JMU and received her master’s in computer science and digital forensics. She is currently working with the government in the field of Cyber Security. Click on the link below to learn more about Cory’s exciting endeavors!
The Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) announced its 2017 Division III Awards in Houston, Texas earlier this month. Washington and Lee junior Liza Freed (Alexandria, Va. / St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes) was among those honored. Click on the link to read more about her achievements:
Alexus McGriff ’18, Karishma Patel ’18, and Professor Sara Sprenkle attended the 2016 Grace Hopper Women in Computing Conference, in Houston, Texas, October 18-22. The primary focus of the Conference was technical and professional development with a highlight being that Alexus was awarded a scholarship to attend. The conference has grown over the years to about 15,000 attendees–this one being the biggest GHC conference yet. This was Prof. Sprenkle’s 9th Hopper Conference and she attended, in part, as Co-Chair of the Faculty Track. Her first one, in Vancouver, had about 600 attendees. With GHC expanding to 15,000–it’s a completely different experience now!
Alexus provided a wonderful observation about the conference: “In short, I feel that it was a great opportunity to be put into contact with a lot of powerful women, and not solely for networking reasons, but to simply be inspired by them. It was such an amazing feeling to be able see a great woman in computing every where I turned for four straight days. It was my first GHC, and I totally plan to go again next year!”
Johanna Goergen ’16 will defend her Thesis on Friday, April 8th at 4pm in the CSCI Department.
“Leveraging Parameter and Resource Naming Conventions to Improve Test Suite Adherence to Persistent State Conditions”
A web application is a software application whose functionality can be accessed by users over the Internet via web browsers. As web applications take on vital and sensitive responsibilities, it is critical that web applications are well-tested and maintained before they are deployed to the public and with every subsequent update or change. A common approach to automating web application testing is test suite generation based on user sessions. Although these approaches to automated testing are promising,
they leave room for improvement in effectiveness due to their lack of adherence to requirements imposed by data outside of application code, such as data stored in databases. My objective is to contribute an approach to creating more effective web application test suites based on predicting the content of the application’s external data store(s) throughout testing.
The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing is the world’s largest gathering of women technologists. Earlier this fall, W&L’s Computer Science Department was fortunate to have five senior computer science students attend the GHC in Phoenix, Arizona for the 14th Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC). The W&L attendees starting from the left (Cory Walker, Madeline Forrestel, Gabi Tremo, Sam O’Dell Paul Jang and Alicia Barger ‘13) are all senior computer science majors who presented projects at the poster session on Wednesday night of the conference. This is a record number of attendees from W&L, a trend we hope will continue because the conference is such a valuable experience for attendees.
Madeline received a scholarship from GHC and Paul received a scholarship from his summer research program to attend the program. The other attendees received funding from the Provost’s Office and the Computer Science department.
Of the conference attendees, 483—or approximately 6 percent—were men, including Paul Jang, the first W&L man to attend GHC. While the conference focuses on celebrating the achievements of incredible women in computing, this year the celebration incorporated the first ever male keynote and plenary Male Allies panel.
The students even met up with Alicia Bargar, a 2013 graduate and current graduate student at Georgia Tech.
Here is a story from Cory Walker about her experience at the GHC in October:
One of my favorite talks was the one by Jo Miller, on overcoming office politics. Her talk was so crowded that it was in one of the largest ballrooms, she held two sessions, and we were turned away from the first one because it was overcrowded. She talked about different ways to think of office politics in a positive light and use it to get ahead. She also used a technique called a Shadow Organization map to identify key areas for improvement.
The most interesting person to come by my poster was a man whose brother (now deceased) went to W&L before women were even admitted. He said his brother was against the integration, but then we talked about how much the school has improved since that time. It was interesting hearing this perspective of W&L at a women’s computer science conference in Phoenix, AZ.
It was my third year going to the conference, and as always, I had a wonderful time and got many interviews from the companies there. And of course, I’m very grateful to W&L and our Computer Science Department for helping pay our way.
Attendee Madeline Forrestel had this experience.
“It was truly a privilege having the opportunity to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration this year. I was wonderfully overwhelmed by the number of brilliant women, young and old, who surrounded me. I have never left an event feeling more inspired than I did leaving Phoenix. One of the most outstanding elements of the conference was the career fair. It was truly motivating to see just how many opportunities are out there and how enthusiastic and supportive companies are toward welcoming women into the industry”.
Please contact the computer science department if you would be interested in helping to sponsor future attendance of W&L students at the conference.