Valerie Barr, Professor of Computer Science at Union College, will be speaking at the Winter 2013 Fall Academy (Wed, Dec 11 at 12:30 p.m. in the IQ Center) about her experience encouraging faculty across discipines to pursue computing topics in their courses. Her talk is entitled “Blake, Biofuel, and Bribery: Interdisciplinary Applications of Computing”.
Three W&L students, one faculty member, and one alumna attended the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The conference was the largest in GHC’s history with over 4800 attendees!
Sam O’Dell ’15 and Cory Walker ’15 were awarded scholarships to attend the conference. Ginny Huang ’14 was waitlisted for a scholarship, but W&L provided some funding to help defray the cost for her attending. All three students had interviews with a variety of companies at the conference and were inspired and learned a lot from the various sessions.
Alumna Camille Cobb ’12–now a graduate student at the University of Washington–attended the conference through a scholarship that she earned as a Google intern this past summer.
The first time attending the conference is always an amazing experience–just ask Huang, who said, “I think the two best things about the conference are that 1) You get access to a lot of Computer Science opportunities! I always know that there is a great need for programmers in the market, but I never got a lot of actual access to companies that are looking for them and 2) I love all those gifts! My advice for people who attend in the future is only bring one shirt in your luggage to attend the first day of the conference. Grab the rest in the conference! It’s a good way to reduce the weight you’re carrying.”
The second time attending isn’t too shabby either, according to O’Dell, “Going to Grace Hopper again this year was absolutely incredible. I loved going to the sessions and learning about the industry I hope to work in when I graduate. In addition, I had the chance to interview with a few companies at the conference and was fortunate enough to come away with an internship for next summer. The conference is definitely a great experience and full of opportunities for women hoping to go into computer science after they graduate.”
Professor Sara Sprenkle served as the co-chair of the poster session with Kaoutar El Maghraoui from IBM. Their work included organizing the Student Research Competition, which involved 28 student participants–6 of whom became semi-finalists and presented their work in another session–and over 30 judges. Sara and Kaoutar were quite pleased with the quality of the posters and presentations and the feedback the judges gave the students.
Walker summarized the experience: “The GHC offers the unique experience of having thousands of experienced women in technology gathered in one place, all willing to share their experiences and advice with one another. The opportunity to learn from technical women of all different backgrounds was to me the most worthwhile part of the Celebration.”
Rebecca Benefiel, associate professor of classics at Washington and Lee University, and Sara Sprenkle, assistant professor of computer science at W&L, will present their prototype of a new web application involving the ancient graffiti of Pompeii at the Linked Ancient World Data Institute (LAWDI) later this month
Six students and one faculty member represented Washington and Lee at this year’s Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in Baltimore, MD. The student-focused conference features both technical and professional development sessions.
Alicia Bargar ’13, Samantha O’Dell ’15, and Cory Walker ’15 were awarded ultra-competitive scholarships to attend. Having three scholarship winners from W&L–out of 300 scholarships awarded and many, many more applicants–is quite impressive! Haley Archer-McClellan ’15, Deirdre Tobin ’15, and Wenda Tu ’14 were generously supported by the Provost’s Office.
All students agreed the conference was an inspiring and motivating experience and the career fair opened their eyes to a lot of opportunities.
Cory won a Ninja Coder t-shirt from Amazon for programming the Fibonacci sequence in Python
Wenda met an executive from GE and had an enlightening conversation that covered some diverse topics, including material for Wenda’s Feminist Social and Political Philosophy course.
Professor Sprenkle attended the conference as a representative of the GHC Academic Advisory Board, helped lead the Faculty Speed Networking session, helped organize the Faculty Lightning Talks, and served as a judge of the undergraduate student research competition.
The theme of this year’s conference was “Are We There Yet?” While the answer seems to clearly be “no”, W&L is definitely making strides in the right direction.
The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing will be held in nearby Atlanta, September 28 – October 2, 2010. The theme of the conference is “Collaborating Across Boundaries”. The conference is a great opportunity for students to network with employers for jobs and internships as well as with students and faculty from other schools.
If you are interested in attending the conference, you should apply for a scholarship. Scholarships cover conference registration (which includes most meals), lodging, and travel. Applications are due May 14.