Tipping the Scales – CS Puts Weight Behind Diversity Efforts

03-10-2015
Writer(s): Jesica E. Hollinger

CS students and staff joined more than 800 students and faculty members across the nation to celebrate diversity, while making connections in computing.Tapia Students

The ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference recently held in Boston, brought the masses together for this year’s theme – Diversity at Scale – addressing the larger problems faced by today’s society.

CS students shared an information table with The College of Technology, which resulted in contact with more than 200 students and faculty from a variety of schools including Harvey Mudd, Georgia Tech, UMBC, Moorehouse, and Spelman College.

The mission of the conference is to build community by connecting with those who share common backgrounds. CS graduate student, Rohit Ranchal said the conference gave him the opportunity to network and meet new people.

“I had the opportunity to meet top people in academia, industry, and government including Purdue alumni. They gave excellent career advice and useful feedback about my presentation and research,” Ranchal said. “The conference provides an excellent platform for learning, interaction and networking,” he added.

The conference aims to inspire students with great presentations and conversations covering many topics, including networking, cloud computing and security. Attendees can interact with representatives from well-recognized companies (during the career fair) and learn about the employment opportunities they offer.

Graduate student, Victor Santos said it was his first time attending the conference and was pleasantly surprised.

“I was expecting another long ‘talking’ conference with a lot of workshops from the morning to afternoon with not too much to see besides that. But this was not the case, at the Tapia Conference,” Santos said. “I found so many interesting people, so different, but at the same time pursuing the same goal, it was inspiring. I especially loved the organization and the networking among students and industry, pretty fun and professionally enriching. I even meet a few students from my home of Puerto Rico.

Without any doubt one of my favorite conference. I can’t wait for next year,” he added.

This year’s notable speakers included Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, President, UMBC; Dilma Da Silva, Department Head of Computer Science and Engineering, Texas A&M University; and Jacky Wright, Vice President of Microsoft IT Strategic Enterprise Services.