Women of CS Participate in the Grace Hopper Celebration

Eight ambitious women pursuing degrees in computer science represented the Department of Computer Science (CS) at Stony Brook University (SBU) at the 16th Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC16) recently held in Houston, Texas.

GHC16 is the world’s largest gathering of women in technology and it would not have been complete without Stony Brook’s women of computer science. This year’s student attendees from Stony Brook were Varsha Venkatesh, Vithiya Muthukumar, Anju Khatri, Fahimeh Mirhaj, Shebuti Rayana, Shachee Mishra, Veronica Lynn, and Ievgeniia Gutenko (2014 GHC Scholar). SBU’s attendees were able to participate in GHC16 as a result of funding from either a fellowship or a CS department grant.

“Increasing the number of women in the field of computer science is one of the missions of the department. By attending GHC, the women students in the department extend their reach, building their research network, while extending the reach of the University,” said Arie E. Kaufman, CS Department Chair and Distinguished Professor.

Of the students who attended, many are part of WPHD at Stony Brook which is a student organization in the CS department for women PhD students and researchers. WPHD fosters connections among female PhD students in computer science. WPHD’s faculty adviser is herself a renowned woman of computing, Professor Aruna Balasubramanian.

This year, GHC16, included a hackathon sponsored by Yahoo. Stony Brook’s Shachee Mishra brought home two awards from the hackathon; the People’s Choice Award and the Most Creative Use of Yahoo API Award. (Congratulations, Shachee!) Students attending the conference were able to present their current research and network with their industry peers.

GHC is a result of the produced by a partnership between the Anita Borg Institute and the Association for Computing Machinery. Sponsors of the conference include Google, HP, Cisco, IBM, and Microsoft. Included in this year’s festivities were Ginni Rometty; President, Chairwoman, and CEO of IBM (also the first woman to head the company), Latanya Sweeney; professor of technology and head of the Data Privacy Lab at Harvard University, and Megan Smith; Chief Technology Officer of the United States.


by Michael Curatola