Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing 2002

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FROM BITS TO BOTS: Women Everywhere, Leading the Way

*** Original Proposal ** Student Comments ** Photos 2002 ***

The theme of our session for Grace Hopper 2002 was: the ubiquity of computing is closely linked to the ubiquity of women in computing. Indeed, for computing to have great impact and yield wide benefit in both obvious and non-obvious ways, it is critical to bring diverse perspectives to the table. Moreover, as computing becomes even more ubiquitous, more women will be attracted to the field.

In this two part session, we demonstrated how this symbiosis can be harnessed to help increase the participation, and the quality of participation, of women in computing within the microcosm of one's own institution .

Part one of our session was introduced and moderated by Lenore Blum who also gave a brief but fascinating overview of what Women@SCS are doing today. This was followed by a series of short interdisciplinary talks to demonstrate the broad range of areas that women in computing are currently developing.

Part two of our session was a panel discussion moderated by Katia Sycara on the dynamics, issues and challenges involved. Both parts of our presentation illustrated how for the past three years, a dynamic community of women in computing has emerged at Carnegie Mellon University. This community consists of undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and researchers in the School of Computer Science (SCS). There are a number of factors that have come into play in creating this community. Our thesis is that one of the most important is our School's broad view of computer science as a multi and interdisciplinary endeavor ---including areas ranging from core programming, systems and theory, to language technology, human computer interaction, machine learning, AI and robotics.

Lenore Blum (Opening Talk ~5MB)

Speakers and their Talk Titles:
Anastassia Ailamaki , "Understanding the hardware helps develop more efficient database systems."
Manuela Veloso, "Towards Autonomous Learning Robots."
Sonya Allin, "Behavior Recognition in Video: Toward Monitoring Adults with Dementia."
M. Bernardine Dias, "Robots Everywhere: From exploration in the arctic to helping the elderly at home."
Ariadna Font Llitjós, "AVENUE Automatic Machine Translation for low-density languages."

Katia Sycara (panel moderator)
Jennifer Li
Hui Lin Chin
Stefanie Shriver
Leah Miller


  • Lenore Blum
  • Katia Sycara
  • Manuela Velosa
  • Natassa Ailamaki
  • Carol Frieze


  • Jennifer Li
  • Bernice Ma
  • Agata Bugaj
  • Denise Noyes
  • Anjuli Gupta
  • Sue-Yi Chew
  • Hui Lin Chin
  • Indrani Mondal


  • Bernardine Dias
  • Ari Font Llitjos
  • Maayan Roth
  • Stefanie Shriver
  • Rose Hoberman
  • Sonya Allin
  • Rebecca Hutchinson
  • Caitlin Kelleher - (presented a poster: Creating a Programming System for Middle School Girls)


  • Leah Miller

Women@SCS would like to thank our Sponsors

  • CMU President, Jared Cohon
  • SCS Dean, James Morris
  • Women@SCS Fairy Godmother
  • Aladdin (NSF)
  • Alcoa
  • Boeing
  • Microsoft
  • Sony
  • Verizon

* scs = School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University (which includes the Computer Science Department, the Robotics Institute, the Languages Technologies Institute, the Human Interaction Institute, Center for Automated Learning and Discovery, Institute for Software Research International and the Entertainment Technology Center).