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ACM Past President to Keynote Celebration of Women and Technology

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The Association for Computing Machinery

Advancing Computing as a Science & Profession

Contact:            Virginia Gold

                        212-626-0505

                        vgold@acm.org                        

ACM PAST PRESIDENT TO KEYNOTE CELEBRATION OF WOMEN AND TECHNOLOGY

Maria Klawe Points to Growing Opportunities for Women in Information Technology

 

New York, October 10, 2007 – ACM Past President Maria Klawe will present a keynote address at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing.  Klawe, who is president of Harvey Mudd College, and a former dean of engineering at Princeton University, will explain why it is “the best time ever for women to study computer science.”  Her presentation is scheduled for Friday, October 19, at 8:30 a.m.  The conference, the largest gathering of women in computing in the world, is presented by ACM (the Association for Computing Machinery) and sponsored by the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology.  It is being held October 17-20, at the Disney Hilton Hotel in Orlando, FL.

            Klawe maintains that job opportunities for computer science majors are booming, and that almost every major information technology (IT) company wants to recurit more women.  She notes that companies are honing their practices and culture to make the work environment “female-friendly.”  She says that IT is revolutionizing every aspect of society so students can combine computer science with almost any other discipline and have a significant advantage over the students who only study that other discipline.  “Computer science makes a great undergraduate major for those interested in medicine, law, or business school,” she says.  Klawe was president of ACM from 2002-2004.

            The Hopper conference features an extensive lineup of women in the computing field, from innovators and entrepreneurs to inspiring leaders in industry, government, and academia, including graduate and undergraduate students. “I Invent the Future,” the conference theme, is reflected in the plenary sessions, technical papers, panels, poster sessions, and workshops by leading researchers and professionals in computer science.  The theme emphasizes the impact of women on computing and technology, and celebrates the potential of each conference participant.

            Donna Dubinsky, a pioneer in startup technology companies, is the keynote speaker on Thursday, October 18, at 8:30 a.m.  The founder and chief executive of Numenta, a company formed to apply neuroscience research to computing problems, Dubinsky previously headed Palm.  She also co-founded Handspring, creator of the Treo smartphone, and spent 10 years at Apple Computer.

            A major focus of the Hopper conference is the needs of women in the technical workforce.  Among the panel discussion topics are:

  •    Retaining women computer science majors using research-based initiatives
  •    Managing your career 2-5 years out of school
  •    Using technology to empower women in the developing world
  •    Girl geeks in high school – technical experiences of future inventors
  •     Inventing the future through the art of mentorship

            The varied program includes technical sessions covering a range of contemporary topics such as artificial intelligence, computing and biological applications, computer architecture, and modern day computer security.  Also on the schedule are panels on career topics, including what to look for in a job offer; innovation inside corporations; moving from technical to management; the road to executive leadership; and real teamwork in the virtual world.

            A new feature at the Hopper conference is the ACM Student Research Competition sponsored by Microsoft Research.  Individual students have been selected to participate in this two-round event, which evaluates students’ research during the opening reception and poster presentation, and selects finalists to advance to the next round for a formal, short presentation at the October 18 session.  Winners of the second round will be announced at the awards banquet, and will continue on to ACM’s Grand Finals.

            The Hopper conference is co-located with the Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing (October 14-17).  For more information on the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, click on http://gracehopper.org/2007/

 

About ACM

 ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery http://www.acm.org, is an educational and scientific society uniting the world’s computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges. ACM strengthens the profession’s collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.

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