By Katie A. Siek, Associate Professor, School of Informatics and Computing, Indiana University
The 9th Indiana Women in Computing Regional Conference (InWIC) took place on October 27-28, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The regional conference provides women in computing the opportunity to network, present research and technical experiences, and learn about career paths.
InWIC was kicked off of by keynote speaker and CRA-W Distinguished Lecture Series speaker, Dr. Leah Buechley, whose inventions include the Lilypad Arduino toolkit. Dr. Buechely provided the 86 attendees with insights into how to integrate computational thinking into art and how art can inform the future of design. After a poster session, conference attendees got to hack electronic toys and learn how simple toys can potentially spy on people.
The second day started with a panel discussing how students can pursue research opportunities – from undergraduate research experiences to graduate research to industry and academia. The panelists discussed their research and shared ideas on how to get involved in research. In the second panel of the day, students and faculty from DePauw University shared how they increased women computer science graduates to 47%. Dr. Lamara Warren, from Indiana University, led a roundtable discussion to help the attendees plan the idea conference to support diversity and inclusion in computing. After lunch. Dr. Katie Siek, from Indiana University, led a workshop on how to give an elevator speech where students got to practice their elevator pitches to network with colleagues, faculty, and industry attendees. We closed out the day with the closing keynote and CRA-W Distinguished Lecture Series speaker, Dr. Yolanda Rankin who shared how her passion for gaming informed her research into creating more inclusive games to help people learning a new language.