Monday, September 15, 2008

Grace Hopper in Two Weeks

Four of the executive members of CU-WISE leave in exactly two weeks for the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. We're bubbling with anticipation as we finalize our funding sources and travelling plans. Most of us have uploaded our resumes to the conference's database, and some have even heard back from the likes of Google and Carnegie Mellon University (not me yet, though!). We are all volunteering as Hoppers to help get stuff ready before the conference begins, and in return will get free registration.

Aside from all this administrative stuff, I've been perusing the conference program carefully. One of the main goals of attending this conference is to get ideas on how to run CU-WISE. As such, here are some of the talks I'm most excited about (exluding some nice technical topics).
Organizations Building a Better World: ABI, ACM-W, CRA-W and
NCWIT
Panelists: Telle Whitney (Anita Borg Institute), Carla Ellis (Duke University),
Lucy Sanders (NCWIT), Elaine Weyuker (AT&T Laboratories)
The panel will disseminate information regarding four major "Women in IT" organizations’ (The Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, ACM’s
Committee on Women in Computing, CRA’s Committee on the Status of Women
in Computing Research, Nation Center for Women & IT) projects and ways
that audience members can participate in the organizations’ projects plus
brainstorm new project areas and emphases with audience members.
The Artemis Project: Teaching Computer Science to Adolescent Girls
Panelists: Megan Hugdahl (Brown University), Jihan Chao (Brown University),
Emily Mellor (Brown University), Ashley Tuccero (Brown University)
The Artemis Project is a free five-week summer camp for incoming ninth grade
girls interested in computer science. It is held annually at Brown University.
Four undergraduate women who are studying computer science serve as
coordinators for the Artemis Project. It is their responsibility to organize the
entire program. Artemis fosters enthusiasm and provides knowledge to
students, building their confidence and giving them tools to apply to science in
the future.
Using Robots to Introduce Computer Programming to Middle Schools
Panelists: Shikha Prashad (Bryn Mawr College), Marwa N. Muhammad (Bryn
Mawr College), Mansi Gupta (Bryn Mawr College)
This project investigated the effectiveness of using personal robots in capturing
interests of middle school students to computing by developing a course that
teaches students the Python programming language to program a robot. We
conducted the course on 13 home-schooled students aged between seven and
thirteen years. Each student was provided with his/her own robot and a
textbook that we developed to accompany and complement the course.
Planning, Organizing, and Holding Regional Celebrations of Women in
Computing
Panelists: Gloria Townsend (DePauw University), Bettina Bair (Ohio State
University), Lecia Barker (NCWIT), Tracy Camp (Colorado School of Mines),
J McGrath Cohoon (NCWIT), Laura K. Dillon (Michigan State University),
Catherine Lang (Swinburne University of Technology), Khadija Stewart
(DePauw University), Ellen Walker (Hiram College)
The presenters will discuss their experiences in planning, financing,
organizing, running and assessing regional events for women. The presenters
will also discuss barriers that they have overcome in accomplishing their goals,
as well as practices that accelerate goal achievement. In addition, results of the
international Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference
will be briefly presented. Finally, we will emphasize a surprising side-effect we
have discovered.
Inspiring Girls in Technology: How to Make Every Outreach a Success
Presenters: Linda Kekelis (Chabot Space and Science Center), Shannon
Madison (Google), Reena Singhal Lee (Google), Marie-Ange Eyoum (Intel)
This workshop brings together the expertise of Techbridge, Google, and Intel
partners that have successfully collaborated and introduced many more girls to
technology and engineering. Participants will receive guidance on how to
organize a successful, impactful outreach event for girls and role models. They
will also participate in hands-on activities and receive concrete and practical
suggestions for conducting effective outreach.
Recruiting High-School Women into Computer Science
Presenters: Inna Pivkina (New Mexico State University), Joan Francioni
(Winona State University), Ann Quiroz Gates (University of Texas at El Paso),
Laura Marie Leventhal (Bowling Green State University), Enrico Pontelli (New
Mexico State University)
This BOF session focuses on ways of recruiting of high-school women into
Computer Science. We will discuss an outreach program developed at New
Mexico State University and another program at the University of Texas at El
Paso to promote interest of middle- and high-school girls towards computing
disciplines, and explore a role of inter-disciplinary components in such
programs. Participants will share challenges and experiences in recruiting
high-school women into Computer Science.
Beyond these talks, there are many that will cover issues relevant to our members, so we will be bringing home a wealth of information to share. Our plan is to give presentations and write articles upon our return to share our experiences and newfound knowledge and advice. Our first full year of CU-WISE will undoubtedly be all the more successful because of it.

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