Thirteen of our women students attended the Grace Hopper Celebration for Women in Computing conference that was held from Oct 4 - Oct 6 in Orlando, Florida. The conference had more than 18,000 attendees from industry and academia and there were numerous keynote talks by inspiring speakers such as Melinda Gates and Dr. Fei-Fei Li.
The UCSB CS attendees included 6 undergraduate students, 2 Master's students, 4 PhD students, one post doc and one faculty member:
Undergrads: Dana Nguyen, Bryanna Phan, Davina Zama, Lia Yeh, Angela Yung , Sayali Kakade
Masters: Sujaya Maiyya, Kirti Bhandari
PhDs: Deeksha Dangwal, Veronika Strnadova-Neeley, Nevena Golubovic, Sanjana Sahayaraj
Post doc: Shirin Nilizadeh
Faculty: Diba Mirza
Having a strong presence at the Grace Hopper Conference was a priority of the department's diversity committee, chaired by Prof. Linda Pretzold. Generous support from Susan and Bruce Worster enabled ten students to attend, while others were supported by Professors Tim Sherwood and John Gilbert and scholarships Dr. Diba Mirza received from Google, Microsoft and the Anita Borg Institute. CS staff member Greta Halle played a crucial role in organizing travel for such a large group.
"I would like to thank our donor Susan Worster for giving me the opportunity to attend Grace Hopper Celebration 2017. It was my first time at a GHC and I learnt a lot. I had moments of self-realization during each talk and session I attended," said CS PhD student Sanjana Sahayaraj.
"Hands down, the Grace Hopper Conference marks a milestone in my life. I absolutely loved the speakers. The keynote speeches were very inspiring. Mary Spio, Debbie Sterling, Mercedes Soria, Deborah Berebichez, and Maureen Fan are now all in the top ten most memorable talks I’ve ever heard in my life. I got to meet a few Native American women in computer science at a panel called “The Myth of the Unicorn,” where the very brave women on the panel told their stories about the intense challenges they had to face to gain recognition for their community. I enjoyed an entertaining but simultaneously terrifying presentation on the dangers of social engineering from a two-time DEFCON social engineering Capture the Flag champion," added undergraduate student Lia Yeh.