CS attends Grace Hopper Celebration

Date: 
Wednesday, September 26, 2018 - 12:00am to Friday, September 28, 2018 - 11:00pm
Location: 
Houston, TX
Host: 
AnitaB.org & ACM

GHC is the world’s largest gathering of women in computing. Every year, women technologists and the best minds in computing convene to highlight the contributions of women to computing. AnitaB.org co-presents GHC with the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM). The celebration results in collaborative proposals, networking and mentoring for our attendees. GHC presenters are leaders in their respective fields, representing industry, academia, and government. The celebration also offers professional development through a variety of activities.

For an idea of the impact, Grace Hopper Celebration 17 was the largest celebration yet, an unforgettable experience filled with amazing opportunities, and exceptional content focused around technology. Women came to network, learn, and find community. Organizations came to learn how to build inclusive cultures and find technical talent. GHC 17, held in Orlando, Florida, hosted 18,000 attendees from 81 countries. They offered over 400 sessions with more than 800 speakers. 

This year, a cohort of 3 computer science faculty and 20 students. Among them were 4 Ph.Ds, 5 Masters, and 11 Undergraduates. The faculty and 15 students were sponsored by the Computer Science department. The other five students received scholarships from Google and the Anita Borg Organization. A student stated, "The Grace Hopper Conference was one of the most amazing conferences I have ever attended. I am so grateful to the sponsors for this opportunity, it meant a lot to me. Being able to go to a conference with 20,000+ attendees and talk to 400+ companies is an opportunity I would never have had or even dreamed of before I heard of GHC."

Our very own, Professor Elizabeth Belding, presented a talk on "Wireless Network Innovations to Address Internet Access Inequalities." Additionally, we had students Dana Nguyen and Sharon Levy present posters. 

There were many opportunities for students and faculty to network and attend talks. A student commented, "I attended a couple sessions on AI and Machine Learning and found them to be extremely interesting and relevant to my work. It was very inspiring to see women in tech roles and positions of power in companies that have a positive impact on society." Faculty organized a dinner for all the attendees and there were events such as mentoring circles and "researchers lunch" which gave the opportunity for individuals to network and build a community. 

Many students left the conference with amazing news, like this student, "As a soon-to-graduate Masters student, I spent a majority of my time at the Career fair, which had me in awe. The number and quality of companies present was astounding and also a little overwhelming. I had 4 interviews through the course of the conference and left with positive results [a job offer]!" Attending the conference has shown to be immensely helpful for students who are seeking jobs or internships

Computer science is thrilled and inspired by the testimonials of the faculty and students who attended and the community this positive experience is building!  

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