Oct 18, 2017 | Orlando, Fla.
A group of 57 College of Computing students recently traveled to Orlando, Fla., to attend the 2017 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC) as representatives of Georgia Tech.
The celebration was held at the Orange County Convention Center from Oct. 4-6 and welcomed more than 17,000 female technologists from across the globe, as well as more than 100 companies in attendance to recruit the top talent in the tech industry. Keynote speakers included Melinda Gates of the Gates Foundation, Fei-Fei Li of Stanford University AI Lab, and Georgia Tech’s own Ayanna Howard of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, among many other inspiring female leaders in STEM fields.
The College of Computing is a platinum-level sponsor of Grace Hopper Celebration and sends a number of scholarship attendees to the conference each year. Among this year’s 57 student attendees from Georgia Tech, 40 were on-campus undergraduate and graduate students based in Atlanta and 17 were online M.S. in Computer Science (OMS CS) students. An additional 15 current Georgia Tech graduate students attended as recruiters for their companies or through outside scholarships with companies like Microsoft and Disney.
“If Georgia Tech wants to be known for our efforts to support women in computing, it’s important for us to have a presence at the nation’s foremost gathering of female technologists -- so that we can be allies with a passion for creating a diverse workforce to meet the growing needs of the industry,” said Jennifer Whitlow, director of computing enrollment in the College of Computing. “The conference provides current female computing students with amazing opportunities to network with others who share a similar background and pathway in the field, as well as the opportunity to seek career and graduate school opportunities with companies and universities from across the nation.”
The OMS CS students in attendance traveled from all over the United States -- from San Francisco to Washington D.C. to Las Vegas -- and Canada. Student Rwithu Menon even traveled from Bangalore, India, to attend and meet her fellow students, with plans to make a pit stop in Atlanta on her way home in order to see Georgia Tech’s campus for the first time.
College of Computing attendees participated in sessions and talks about their fields of interest, interviewed for jobs and internships with top tech companies (some, even receiving job offers on the spot), and gathered at an all-GT Computing reception on Thursday, Oct. 5. The reception included a surprise visit from Charles Isbell, executive associate dean and professor in the College of Computing.
"Attending Grace Hopper with Georgia Tech was a great opportunity to meet lots of talented women in tech and to hear their stories and experiences, ups and downs,” said Azade Sanjari, a current OMS CS student from California. “Also, I was able to finally meet other students, in-person, from the OMS CS program! We talked about our experiences with our courses and our plans for the future. It made me even more determined to complete the program and hopefully, start my career path in machine learning."