Blog & Events

2012 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing

February 11, 2013

By Rebecca Tom, Junior Electrical Engineering student

Picture of Rebecca Tom smiling“Are We There Yet?” This is not the persistent question asked by the toddler in the back seat of a long car ride but the theme of the 2012 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing that took place October 3-6, 2012 at the Baltimore Convention Center. The theme investigates the journey of women in computing, but it’s not as straight-forward as it seems. We have made much progress in the area of advancing women in technical fields, but we still have a long way to go.

I personally observed this progress during my time at the conference. I attended multiple technical talks and learned about a variety of current research in Big Data and Bioinformatics. I listened to keynote speakers, Nora Denzel and Anita Jones. They had incredibly powerful and inspiring stories for all the technical women in the audience.  If there’s one tip I took away from those keynotes, it’s that a ship in port is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.

A piece of advice I’d give to students attending the annual Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing is to take advantage of the career fair. When there is a call for resumes, submit yours! The majority, if not all, of the UT Electrical and Computer Engineering students that attended the event received at least one interview request either from submitting a resume early or visiting booths at the career fair.  For me, two job offers resulted from attending this conference!

Another benefit of being a conference attendee is the opportunity to network with fellow computer science, management information systems, and electrical and computer engineering peers from around the nation during lunches and breaks. I had an eye-opening experience at the 2012 Grace Hopper Women for Computing conference, and I highly encourage everyone to attend!

Rebecca Tom is a Junior Electrical Engineering student and is President of the Women in Electrical and Computer Engineering (WECE) student organization.