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Students attend Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing

October 17, 2012

The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing was held in Baltimore Maryland this year. An annual event focused on bringing the research and career interests of technical women to the forefront, the conference hosted over 3600 technical professionals at all levels. This year, the conference featured keynotes by Dr. Anita Jones, former Director of Defense Research and Engineering for the U.S. Department of Defense, and Dr. Nora Denzel, Senior Vice President at Intuit. Two Rensselaer graduate students, Misbah Mubarak and Elsa Gonsiorowski, won the Grace Hopper Scholarship to attend the conference free of charge. In addition, with strong support and funding provided at all levels from the Dean of Science Laurie Leshin, CS Department Chair Jim Hendler to the President and the Provost of Rensselaer, 7 additional Rensselaer students (including freshman, sophomore, junior and seniors) attended the conference and experienced the tremendous inspiration and energy of the Grace Hopper Conference (GHC) first-hand.

Undergraduate and graduate students attended both technical sessions and sessions on career development and networking. The conference also hosts a Career Fair and RPI students connected with information technology and technology-driven companies. Senior Zhenzheng Zhou, who attended the conference, said "I was able to interview with many tech giants like Google, Facebook, Microsoft Research, LinkedIn, Twitter, Box, Dropbox, Quora....It was a terrific experience and I wish I can attend GHC next year." Junior Jennifer Chan commented "I got to meet and network with so many technical women at Grace Hopper. Their success was inspiring."

The Rensselaer group got together for breakfast during the conference with CS Professor Fran Berman, who moderated a plenary panel on "Technology in Government" at the conference. The CS Department and School of Science are already strategizing on how to support a larger group of students and faculty to attend the 2013 conference next fall.

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