CS Majors Attend Regional/National/International Conferences
October 28, 2018
- Adina Friedman
- Adina Friedman
- Adina Friedman
- Jacob Schrum
This Fall 2018 semester has proven to be another productive semester for SU students travelling to various Computer Science conferences throughout the country and abroad.
Adina Friedman, Class of 2019, went to nearby Austin, Texas to attend the Texas Advanced Computing Center’s Symposium for Texas Researchers (TACCSTER) at the Pickle Research Campus. TACC is home to 4 supercomputer clusters, including Stampede2, the most powerful supercomputer at any US university. TACC collaborates with thousands of researchers across the country, using applied high-performance computing to enable scientific discovery. From September 20th to 21st, TACCSTER hosted over 130 attendees from 16 different Texas institutions as well as industry professionals. In addition to presenting talks from UT researchers currently using TACC resources, they held panels on research areas TACC is exploring such as machine learning and cloud computing, tutorials on using the TACC systems, and a poster session that allowed outside researchers to showcase their ongoing work.
At roughly the same time, Elyssa Sliheet, Class of 2019, flew to Orlando, Florida to attend the Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing from September 19th to 22nd. This conference bills itself as the premier venue to acknowledge, promote and celebrate diversity in computing. Elyssa was granted a travel scholarship to attend the conference. While there, she attended various sessions, and was exposed to the research topic of machine learning and ethics in artificial intelligence, which encouraged her to request (and subsequently receive) funds for a King Creativity Project meant to study this very issue.
Shortly after returning from Tapia, Elyssa then joined fellow SU student Sara Boyd, Class of 2020, to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in Houston, Texas from September 26th to 28th. The Grace Hopper Conference is the largest meeting of women technologists in the world. The program included inspiring talks by female leaders in industry as well as talks by academic researchers and educators. There was also a massive Career Fair allowing women to seek jobs with tech companies, including some of the biggest names in industry. SU alumni Kathryn Reagan ’16 attended as a representative of ThoughtWorks. Assistant Professor of Computer Science Dr. Jacob Schrum also attended the conference to learn about current practices for recruiting and retaining women in STEM. Both Sara and Elyssa attended the conference with competitive travel scholarships.
Around the same time at the Grace Hopper Conference, Lauren Gillespie, Class of 2019, attended the University of Michigan’s Explore Graduate Studies in Computer Science & Engineering Day. This one-day workshop on September 29th allowed Lauren to learn about the graduate school application process, hear from current graduate students, see research demos, and attend a writing clinic on writing a strong statement of purpose.
Later on October 11th to 13th, Lauren attended the national diversity in STEM conference of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS). She was awarded a travel scholarship to attend, along with funds form both the Math/CS and Chemistry departments. At the conference she presented the poster “Comparing Direct and Indirect Encodings Using Both Raw and Hand-Designed Features in Tetris,” based on SCOPE research with Gabriela Gonzalez ’16 and Assistant Professor of Computer Science Dr. Jacob Schrum. In fact, she won a Student Presentation Award for her poster. According to Lauren, the conference was a great opportunity to share Computer Science research with a variety of scientists in different STEM fields, such as mathematicians, geologists, and biologists, just to name a few.
But she’s not the only award winning SU student. Cameron Henkel, Class of 2021, and Colin Scruggs, Class of 2019, flew to Berlin, Germany to attend the IEEE VIS conference, which is actually a joint conference on Visual Analytics Science and Technology (VAST), Information Visualization (InfoVis), and Scientific Visualization (SciVis). At the conference, they presented their Audio Explorer, which was an entry they developed for the VAST Challenge as part of their summer SCOPE research under Dr. Chad Stolper. In fact, their travel was funded through a combination of SCOPE travel funds and Fleming Student Travel Funds. They were invited to present their entry because it won the Excellent Comprehensive Submission award. They were also invited to write a paper on their entry for a special journal issue to be published in the spring.
Congratulations to all of these SU Computer Science majors!