I am at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing 2009 at Tuscon, Arizona. This is my fourth time at this conference and I hope to be able to come back to more. There are enthusiastic and energetic crowd of 1,600 technical women in industry, faculty, and students from 22 countries!
Few people, in the recent past, seem to know about Grace Hopper. Admiral Grace Hopper was one of the pioneer Computer programmers in 1940's. You can read more about her in the Biography of Naval History. Grace Hopper popularized the term "bug" as applied to computers and it was the origin of the term "debugged". Here is a pic of the original real-life bug stuck to the data sheet that Grace Hopper and her team had displayed in their lab.
The original can be seen at the Naval Historical Center site.
Today, there was a workshop today by Jo Miller on "A Person of Influence". It was followed by a panel discussion on the topic with diverse panelists. It was very thought provoking. More on my take-aways in a subsequent blog.
I am conducting a panel discussion tomorrow. It is titled "Women and the Flat Connected World". I met a few of my panelists today. We will meet at breakfast tomorrow. I have some preparation to do.
The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing will be held September 30 - October 3 in Tucson, Arizona. The GHC 2009 theme is "Creating Technology for Social Good". I have just submitted a proposal for the conference and will wait till mid-May to know if it gets selected.
This conference includes a large number of university students, university faculty and professionals from the computer industry. About half of Hopper attendees are university students.
Last year, I moderated a panel discussion on "Women in the Brave New World of Free and Open Source". It was fun to research and set up the panel. It was the first time I was moderating a panel discussion and I was excited about it. I met the panelists for the first time the morning before the discussion. The panelists were Stormy Peters (GNOME Foundation), Zoe Slattery (IBM), Kristen Accardi (Intel), Valerie Fenwick (Sun) and Kathryn Vandiver (NetApp).
It was a packed room with standing room only. There was good audience participation and we had fun. Stormy and Valerie also wrote about it. More pictures from GHC 2008 are also available on Katy's blog.