Tuesday, October 30, 2012

CU@EMBS Pints With Profs Series: Professor Andrew Marble

Check out the next edition of the Pints with Profs series taking place this Thursday (Nov 1st) at Mike's place, 2nd floor of the unicenter from 4 to 5 pm.

“Pints with Profs” is an informal social event featuring a professor who will be available to chat and answer your questions about academics, research, careers, and other topics concerning biomedical engineering. Everyone is welcome to attend!Professor Andrew Marble (from the Department of Systems and Computer Engineering at Carleton University,http://www.sce.carleton.ca/faculty/marble/marble.html) will be featured at the next “Pints with Profs” event, taking place on Thursday November 1st between 4:00PM-5:00PM at Mike’s Place Pub (located on the 2nd floor of University Centre, Carleton University). Mike’s Place Pub serves beverages and a menu of assorted food items.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

ONCWIC: Attending My First Conference

Last weekend (October 12-13, 2012), I attended this year’s Ontario Celebration of Women In Computing conference which was held in London, Ontario. This was my first time attending a conference, so I didn’t really know what to expect.  Being kind of shy and timid also kind of made me nervous. Will people talk to me? Am I going to feel out of place? I was anxious, but at the same time excited to see what the conference had to offer. Walking in and finding a place to sit had to be the most challenging part, since I’m not really the type of person to just join in a conversation with people I don’t know. Fortunately for me, one of the first people I met actually recognized me (and my name tag) since she had seen my earlier tweets about the conference! (Twitter is bringing the world together!)

After settling in and listening to the first woman speak, I knew everything was going to go great. All the keynote speakers were truly inspiring. From how to communicate efficiently with others and being your own PR agent, to how to properly answer the question “what is inheritance?” in a job interview (which I honestly don’t think I’d know the answer to!), I gained some valuable knowledge. I think the one thing that really affected me was Kelley Irwin (who is the Vice President of Technology Solutions at TD Bank Group)’s keynote on Technology in Financial Services. In her talk, she spoke of when she was just beginning as a programmer, when all she wanted to do was write her code by herself and not have to deal with anyone else. She was shy and timid and just wanted to be left alone. And now, she’s a manager of over 300 people all over the world, speaking to large groups of people about her job. For me, hearing her story is so inspiring because she started out right where I am now, shy and timid and never thinking I could ever give talks or manage people. But look at her now! Hearing that gives me hope that maybe one day I could be just like her, a successful woman leading others in a job that she loves doing.

Attending this year’s ONCWIC was truly worth the 8 hour drive it took to get to London. Meeting new people, learning new things, sharing a passion for technology with other women, (and let’s not forget all the great food and prizes!), made this past weekend truly one to remember. I encourage all women in computing to attend next year’s conference which will be held in Waterloo! Let’s hope in years to come ONCWIC can join us here in Ottawa!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Bringing a Baby to GHC12

As you saw in my first post about GHC12, I brought my baby to the conference.  My husband came as well to help out with baby things and because he's in computer science as well.  It was a positive experience for everyone, including other attendees!

We road tripped to get there because Baltimore was driving distance, driving three people is much cheaper than flying them, and I'm terrified of flying with a baby.  Nobody wants to be the parent with a screaming kid.  We made sure not to drive more than 5 hours a day because we figured that's all the baby would be able to handle.

Once at the conference, we were able to take advantage of the free childcare.  Grace Hopper is an opportunity for all women to get together, even if they've recently had babies or have older kids.  The childcare is a big part of making that happen.  Better still, the quality was very good, so we felt that Molly was very safe there.  It was still hard to leave her, of course.  After all, she's never been in the care of anyone other than her parents and grandparents! But other than being upset when Mommy and Daddy left, she did really well and all the childcare ladies loved her.

I also took her to one of the sessions on balancing academic life and family.  It seemed appropriate. ;)  She was mostly quiet, but if she got a bit noisier, my husband just brought her out into the hall for a bit.  A few people later commented how happy they were to see her there, and how cute she was.  I was able to be a good role model for others thinking of having kids during grad school.

I'm really glad that we took the opportunity to travel to GHC together, as it may not come up again for some time.  I hope that other conferences eventually follow suit and offer some childcare options (even if they can't be totally free).  It would make attending so much easier for parents like me.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Grace Hopper Celebration of Women and Computing Posts on My Blog

I wrote a few posts about this year's Grace Hopper Celebration on my personal blog that I'd like to share with you all:
There were many, many more interesting sessions, and other bloggers and note takers covered a lot of them. You can find notes and links to blogs on the conference wiki.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Carleton at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing 2012

This year, I attended the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing for the fourth time. I find that there is always something new to get out of this conference and I am always glad I went.  This year, it was an especially special trip: being driving distance to Baltimore, I travelled there with my husband and 9-month-old baby girl.

My baby and I on our way to Grace Hopper.

I had been organizing a group of Carleton students to attend each year (see our posts from 2008, 2009, and 2010).  But, last year, I was too pregnant to fly to Portland, so I didn't go, and so I didn't organize anyone else, either.  This year I was on leave until September, so no other Carletonites at the conference this time, either.  (I did get to reunite with some past travel buddies who used to attend Carleton, though!)

I strongly believe that having a large Carleton presence at the conference is very good for us.  We usually go with our CU-WISE t-shirts and wear them together one of the conference days.  We also often try to get the executive members to attend so they can bond, making working together over the next year much more effective.  We always get excellent insights and ideas from how to run CU-WISE to neat outreach activities we can do (for example, Snap Circuits came from Grace Hopper!).  And, best of all, we get to promote Carleton University as an amazing place to study science and engineering as a woman.

I'll be posting about my experience over the next little while, and if you think this is something you want to experience next year in Minneapolis, get in touch with me via wise@carleton.ca.  The process starts early in the year, since we ask all attendees to apply for scholarships and/or volunteer positions to help cover costs.  Hope to see you there!

Wanted: female entrepreneurs

The Globe and Mail article is just one of many highlighting the issue that we have here in Canada, lots of women working however not enough starting companies. The lack of women in leadership roles is another frequent cry. There are many task forces looking into the root cause of this issue and how to support women.

Lead To Win for Women is a great program that addresses this issue. They offer a free entrepreneurship bootcamp to women who have an idea for a business, started a business or want to give their business a boost.

Sign up for the bootcamp, it's free, and take the first step to changing this ratio.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Who inspires you?

This year, we at WISE want to celebrate the ladies who mentor and inspire us academically and professionally. This is why we will be blogging about a variety of wonderful women in science and engineering. But first, we want to know who you admire or look up to. We are actively looking for people to interview and introduce you all to. 
If you either know someone whom we should all get to know or even if you consider yourself to be a mentor for women in science and engineering, we want to hear from you. Tweet at us, leave a comment or come by the office! We are looking for women who have a passion for what they do whether it be as an undergrad, masters, PhD or professional! 
We all look forward to discovering amazing people!

Twitter: cuwise
Office: 5th floor Herzberg 
Email: wise@carleton.ca

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Need some cash to go to a conference? CU-WISE has a new program to help you out!

Conferences are a great way to enrich and support your time spent at Carleton. For undergrads, conferences are a great way to learn practical knowledge required after you leave university. For graduate students, conferences are a great way to share your research with fellow academics. If you haven't guessed, I'm a huge supporter of attending conferences. I always feel inspired and invigorated about my subject matter, environmental engineering, when I get back from a conference. However, living within a student's limited budget, getting to a conference can be difficult. That's why CU-WISE is launching a new program so that you can blog for you dinner... so to speak. We will reimburse up to
$150 of your expenses related to conference attendance in exchange for blogging about an aspect of your time spent at the conference. It really is a win-win. You can practice your writing skills and share your thoughts with the WISE community and we will help ease the financial strain. Your blog post(s) can be about your experience at the conference, a specific thing that you learned or your general impressions. 

If you’re interested, please fill out an application by clicking on the link and tell us the details and your involvement at the conference. Applications can be submitted at any time but you have to apply and get approval before you leave. Application are available here: http://alturl.com/k2eus

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Would you like to go to the Ontario Celebration of Women In Computing (ONCWIC)?

Are you a female computer science student or study computing at Carleton? If so, have you heard about the Ontario Celebration of Women in Computing (ONCWIC 2012)? This year the conference is set to take place on October 12 and 13, 2012 in London, Ontario, hosted by the University of Western Ontario.

ONCWIS is modeled after the popular Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC), which is held annually in the USA. From the ONWIC website, the goal of ONCWIC is to provide students, faculty and professional women in Ontario opportunities for networking, sharing and mentoring, similar to those provided by the GHC. It is hoped that ONCWIC will help build the computing community within Ontario, with significant benefits to the attendees and their associated organizations.

If you are attending or are interested in attending please let us know! We have opportunities available for attendees to help cover the cost of going to the conference. 

To read more about ONWIC, visit their website at: http://www.oncwic.ca/.
To read previous CU-WISE blog posts about Grace Hopper please visit: 

Carleton University's first Wikipedia-edit-a-thon was a success!

As many of you already know, CUWISE hosted the first Wikipedia-edit-a-thon in Canada focused on getting women involved in editing Wikipedia. Our event has also been featured on the Wikimedia blog. I think the next step might be to make a Wikipedia entry for WISE! Any takers? Thanks to everyone who came out, and if you couldn't make it, don't worry, we will hold another one!