I’m writing this post from Portland, Oregon where I’m attending the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. This event, named for Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, brings technical women together from all over the world. This is my second time at this event and I know it won’t be the last.
Yesterday we heard Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) Sheryl Sandberg give an inspiring speech in which she reminded all of us (as if we need reminding) that tech jobs are where the growth is, and Cameron Wilson, ACM’s director of public policy, has been working to educate members of Congress who make funding decisions that “computing is fundamental.” Here’s a link to a YouTube video of Sheryl Sandberg’s TED talk last year in which she talks about why we have too few women leaders, and here’s a link to ACM’s public policy page where you can learn what the ACM does on a wide range of computing issues like accessibility, innovation and education.
And here’s a link to a story on this morning’s NPR radio show “Morning Edition” that includes a slide show of important women in computing, including Anita Borg, who died much too young, and whose eponymous institute hosts the celebration.
Being here has made me think about students and conferences. There are a few “major” conferences for those of us in information systems/information technology - ICIS, the International Conference on Information Systems, AMCIS, the Americas Conference on Information Systems, and ISECON, the Information Systems Educators Conference.
The conferences in computer science are much more specific. The ACM (the Association for Computing Machinery-not a great name but we members can’t agree on a better one-long story) hosts a number of conferences with an “alphabet soup” of names-you can see a list here. These conferences have names like ISCA, International Symposium on Computer Architecture, and HotNets-X, the tenth annual conference on Hot Topics in Networks.
Some of the ACM Special Interest Groups (SIGs) host conferences. For example, ACM SIGBioinformatics hosts a conference.
And then there are tech meet ups, like the NYTech Meetup, which we’ve had the pleasure of hosting a few times.
Okay, so here’s the punchline: students, if we could find the funding, would you want to go to conferences?
Please post comments here telling me:
- What kind of conference you would want to go to (a big ICIS-type or a smaller ACM SIG type) and on what topic(s)
- Why you would want to go (what you think you would get out of it) and
- What you would do with the knowledge you gained from the experience (make a presentation to a class/club or others, write a paper, whatever).
Your comments will help me put together a proposal for funding such experiences.
Faculty, will you comment on conferences that are particularly good for students to attend? What conferences encourage faculty-student papers?
Thanks everyone! I fly home tomorrow and will be at the New York city open house on Sunday-see some of you there.
Hope everyone’s semester is going well, and if Thanksgiving is in a few weeks, you know what that means-it’s almost finals!