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School of Engineering

Tufts attends Grace Hopper Celebration

Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Twenty-three Tufts students attended the annual Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing.
Tufts students in a group photo at the Grace Hopper Celebration.

Recently, Tufts undergraduate and graduate students attended this year’s Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC) in Orlando, listening to keynote speakers, attending career fairs, and meeting other women in engineering fields.

The Department of Computer Science provided funding for 12 undergraduates and three graduate students to attend the conference. Eight more undergraduates were self-funded or received outside scholarships.

Conference participants saw keynote addresses from Melinda Gates of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Dr. Ayanna Howard of the Georgia Institute of Technology, Mary Spio, CEO and President of CEEK VR INC, and other women active in industry, academia, and non-profit work. Gates spoke about the importance of building alternative pathways to STEM careers for young women.

“We heard from women who are involved in all branches of the tech industry, from space exploration to managing Twitter’s data centers,” said a Tufts student who attended.

“It was awesome to see so many intelligent and creative women in one place,” said another student.

Attendees were also encouraged to network with company representatives and expand their ideas about their own expertise and interests in the field. “The data science field is a hot area right now,” said a student. “There were several talks and morning, lunch, and evening networking events that were directed towards data science and those jobs.”

In addition to career and educational discussions, social events allowed participants to get to know one another. “Long-lasting friends can be found in one of the community meetups,” said another student, noting the presence of Systers affinity groups like Black Women in Computing and Latinas in Computing.

The GHC is produced by AnitaB.org in partnership with the Association for Computing Machinery. It is the world’s largest gathering of women technologists. AnitaB.org was originally founded by Dr. Anita Borg as the Institute for Women and Technology in 1994, and was renamed in 2003.