Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing 2009

I don't remember the first time I heard about the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, but I do remember when I decided this was something I had to check out.

I was at a day-long meeting for one of our inter-university research groups. A number of the graduate students had been invited to give talks on our current research, myself included. The talks had been going well, and it was super-interesting seeing what other people were doing, since each university has a very different flavour to the research produced, even though we were theoretically under the same research banner.

During one of the breaks, I ran into one of the primary investigators in the women's washroom. We were the only two women at this particular meeting (a bit of an oddity for me, since my research group at Carleton has many other women!) and we got to talking about, well, girl stuff. Science-y, intellectual girl stuff! I love meeting other female resarchers. As we're standing there washing our hands, she told me all about Grace Hopper and how much fun the conference was -- a whole conference full of smart, interesting women, their research, their ideas! And then we laughed at ourselves, saying "Any minute now, the guys are going to phone wondering where we are and we'll have to admit we've been gabbing in the washroom like teenagers..."

And then her cell phone rang. We grinned at each other and hurried back to the meeting.

Anyhow, the call for participation in 2009 has gone out, and they're looking for people to give technical papers, panels, birds of a feather sessions, etc. You've got until March 16, 2009 to make a submission if you want, although apparently lots of people attend even if they aren't giving talks, so if you just want to check out the conference, you can do that too! It happens in the fall, Sept 30-Oct 3rd this year.

They also offer some scholarships, mostly aimed at students, to help cover costs. Those don't open 'till March 19th, but since you're more likely to get a scholarship if you participate, you might want to think about getting those participation applications in soon! And if you're a member of CU-WISE, we also have some funds earmarked for the conference, so you might be able to get some extra help from us!

This year will hopefully mark my first time going to the conference, but a number of our members attended last year, so if you'd like to hear some first-hand reports, check out their stories on this blog and then think about putting in a proposal for this year. Hopefully, I'll be seeing you there!