The third Michigan Celebration of Women in Computing (MICWIC) was held on April 1-2, 2011 at Oakland University. There were about 120 attendees – primarily female university students, along with faculty and industry professionals. This conference was modeled after the national Grace Hopper Celebration (which I was fortunate to participate in this year); numerous regional “Celebration of Women in Computing” events were formed as a way to bring the Grace Hopper Celebration experience locally to women who weren’t able to travel to the national event.
I was honored to present the opening keynote at the event. It was a session called “Technology Rocks”, which demonstrated some of the cool things that we can do with technology today and hopefully challenged the students to go out and build the next generation of awesome. I showed:
- Silverlight 3D WebCam: http://evanjohnston.com/post/2010/01/10/Silverlight-4-Webcams-to-the-3rd-Dimension.aspx
- DeepZoom (do you remember where the Beatles Bobbleheads are?): http://memo.hardrock.com
- Some fun examples using sensors (a 3D accelerometer and a light sensor)
- Surface Lagoon and Surface Globe multitouch applications: you can download as part of the “Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7” at http://bit.ly/9luvpd
- Kinect (codenamed “Project Natal”) concept video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9tmr8VDqN8
- Emotiv (headset that reads brainwaves) video: http://www.ted.com/talks/tan_le_a_headset_that_reads_your_brainwaves.html
Highlights of the event included:
- Poster sessions by undergraduate and graduate students – it’s impressive to see what problems are being tackled by college students!
- Speed interviewing opportunities and resume reviews for the students
- Great sessions by Microsoft, IBM, Medtronics, Michigan State University, Google, TechSmith, TorranceLearning, University of Colorado-Boulder, NCWIT, Michigan Technological University, Anita Borg, SRT Solutions, Oakland University, Central Michigan University, IDV Solutions, and more!
- A career fair with many participants from both industry and academia. If you are interested in a job with Microsoft, you can always submit your resume to http://careers.microsoft.com/.
- The “after-party” – fun geek games, snacks, and swimming at the hotel pool
Finally, I want to give a huge thank you to the conference organizers! It is a great experience for young female college students to get to connect with each other and with women in the computing industry and academia. It’s also beneficial for us in industry to get to meet (and hopefully recruit) these talented ladies. I’m proud that Microsoft was a Silver Sponsor of MICWIC 2011.
- MICWIC conference website: http://www.cse.msu.edu/micwic
- MICWIC on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/micwic
- MICWIC on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/micwic.conference
If you ever get a chance to participate in a regional Celebration of Women in Computing or the original Grace Hopper Celebration, I strongly recommend attending! It is always an inspiring experience.