2015 Southeast Women in Computing Conference

November - , 2015
Atlanta, GA

The 2015 Southeast Women in Computing Conference, an ACM-W Celebration, strives to bring together women at different levels in academia, industry, research and government to promote the recruitment, retention and progression of women in computing and technology related fields that lack diversity in the national work force.

Information about our 2013 conference is available here.


  • Nancy Cox

    Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Worldpay
    Nancy Cox
    Nancy Cox is Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Worldpay. She feels that her role as CTO is critical in both collaboration to develop strategy and providing the path for execution and achievement of it. 

  • Dr. Ewa Deelman

    Research Associate Professor, University of Southern California
    Dr. Ewa Deelman

    In addition to her role as a professor, Deelman is the Asst. Director of Science Automation Technologies at the USC Information Sciences Institute. Her research includes the design and exploration of collaborative, distributed scientific environments, with an emphasis on workflow management and management of large amounts of data and metadata.

  • Dr. Ayanna Howard

    Motorola Foundation Professor, Georgia Tech
    Dr. Ayanna Howard

    Ayanna Howard is the Motorola Foundation Professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her area of research is centered around the concept of humanized intelligence, the process of embedding human cognitive capability into the control path of autonomous systems.

  • Dr. Suju Rajan

    Director of Research, Personalization Science at Yahoo Labs
    Dr. Suju Rajan

    Dr. Rajan is a Director of Research for Personalization Science at Yahoo Labs, where she leads a team of scientists in driving research into multiple consumer-facing products at Yahoo. Her group specializes in building large-scale machine learning systems,  user behavior modeling and context-aware recommendation models.

  • Barbara Ericson

    Senior Research Scientist & PhD Candidate in Human-Centered Computing, Georgia Tech
    Barbara Ericson

    Ericson has worked to increase the quantity and quality of secondary computing teachers and the quantity and diversity of computing students since 2004.

  • Ashley Rose Edgar

    Director of Career Development, Georgia Tech College of Computing
    Ashley Rose Edgar

    As Director of Career Development, Ashley manages career programs and services for undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in computer science and related programs.


Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center

800 Spring Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30308

Overlooking the vibrant streets of Midtown Atlanta, the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center provides the ultimate place to meet, connect and relax.


Day 1

  1. 4.00 pm to 6.00 pm


  2. 5.00 pm to 6.00 pm

    Professional Development Workshop

    by Ashley Rose Edgar Director of Career Development, Georgia Tech College of Computing

    Finding Your Competitive Advantage

    First impressions matter. Your personal brand is what employers remember about you...whether that includes your professionalism at a job fair, the quality of your resume, or your coding portfolio. What about you stands out from other job candidates and how have you tailored your skills for jobs or companies of interest? What steps can you take to create a personal brand that is effective, consistent, and sends a clear message about your intentions? This workshop will help attendees identify their inherent strengths, learn about ways to set themselves apart in the job search, and set goals for career success.

  3. 6.00 pm to 8.00 pm

    Dinner and Keynote

    by Dr. Ewa Deelman Research Associate Professor, University of Southern California

    Lessons Learned and Things to Pursue in Distributed Computing

    A Scientific Workflow and Personal Perspectives

    This talk will describe the challenges in the area of scientific workflows: how they are used to advance science in a number of domains, and how state-of-the-art software systems, such as Pegasus, meet the application and computing infrastructure challenges.  Pegasus enables scientists to describe the workflows in an abstract, resource-independent way.  That description includes the definition of the workflow steps and the data they take in and generate, but does not include low-level cyber-infrastructure information.  Given the abstract workflow description and the information about the execution environment (composed of potentially distributed systems), a planner can map the computational tasks onto the available resources and plan the movement of data across distributed resources.   The planning process also opens up opportunities for performance optimization and fault-tolerance.

    The talk will follow the evolution of Pegasus and of the research agenda over the past 15 years. It will describe how various science applications motivated the advances in Computer Science.   Some of the lessons learned along the way come from the scientific arena, whereas some relate to more mundane topics, but can be just as important.  Yes, there are many more lessons left to learn…

  4. 8.00 pm to 9.00 pm

    Poster Session

    Undergraduate Posters:

    • Modeling Problem Solving Approaches in Collaborative Programming - Raquel Lawrence (Georgia Gwinnett College)
    • Building a Simulated Processor in the Classroom - Amy Hill, Mason Dordell, Joseph Cloutier and Joseph Elarde (Austin Peay State University)
    • Brain Machine Interface using Head Motion Based Gestures for Users with ALS - Ally Kaminsky and V. Paul Pauca (Wake Forest University)
    • Connected Car Infotainment System - Surina Puri (Georgia Tech)
    • PRECISE, PREDICTIVE, PERSONALIZED: DESIGNING ASSISTIVE NOTIFICATIONS FOR POINTING PERFORMANCE - Casey Means (Rhodes College), Amy Hurst and Aqueasha Martin Hammond (University of Maryland Baltimore County)

    Graduate Posters:

    • DASSA: Automatic Segmentation of General Time Stamped Data Sequences - Liangzhe Chen, Sorour E. Amiri, B. Aditya Prakash (Virginia Tech)
    • Product Recommendation in Social Networks - Anahita Davoudi (University of Central Florida)
    • Using Data Science to Discover What Motivates High School Dropout Students to Persist in Online Learning - Yeva Muradyan (Golden Gate University/Graduation Alliance)
    • Robot Reaching Controller Inspired by Infant Development - Zahra Mahoor and Bruce MacLennan (University of Tennessee Knoxville)
    • Framework for Creating Intervention Studies Using Indemics - Vanessa Cedeno (Virginia Tech)
    • Detecting Eulerian Paths in RDF Graphs for Genome Assembly Using SPARQL - Rina Singh and Jeffrey A. Graves (Tennessee Tech), Sangkeun Lee, Sreeniva R. Sukumar and Mallikarjun Shankar (ORNL)
    • Technical Debt Prioritization Using Predictive Analytics - Zadia Codabux (Mississippi State University)

Day 2

  1. 9.30 am to 10.30 am


    by Nancy Cox Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Worldpay

    Find Your Why

    Why you do what you do matters. Embarking on a career in technology likely means some long hours, tough deadlines, and little room for mistakes. It’s also rewarding when you feel personally connected to the “why” of your work.

    Our female students in Computing are entering the technology field at an unprecedented time of innovation, universality, and demand. Technology is changing our world every day, and you can be part of that.  This keynote shares the presenter’s insight for finding the right match: a technology career that speaks to the heart of your “why”.

  2. 10.50 am to 11.30 am


    Option 1: What is this graduate school thing? Information and advice from current graduate women in Computer Science and CRA-W DLS Speakers

    Miranda Parker, Kayla Desportes, Vivian Chu, Brianna Tomlinson, Tesca Fitzgerald and Samantho Lo (Georgia Tech), Ewa Deelman (USC-ISI) and Suju Rajan (Yahoo!)

    Option 2: Community: How to establish a student-driven Women in Technology (WIT) community

    Adrianna Valdivia, Genie Yang, Kamilah Kiser and Raquel Lawrence (Georgia Gwinnett College)

  3. 11.40 am to 12.20 pm

    Research Talks

    Accessible Design

    Amber Wagner (Kennesaw State University) and Jeff Gray (University of Alabama)

    Silky and Rough: Understanding and Designing for Ambiguous Topics

    Anamary Leal and Steve Harrison (Virginia Tech)

  4. 11.40 am to 12.20 pm

    Educational Talks

    NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Awards

    Ammi Ludwick (NCWIT)

    Diversity and Inclusion: How NCWIT Resources and Programs Can Help

    Ammi Ludwick (NCWIT)

  5. 12.30 pm to 2.00 pm
    Lunch 1 hour 30 mins
  6. 2.00 pm to 6.00 pm

    College and Career Fair

    Universities and Research Labs:

    • Carnegie Mellon University Information Networking Institute
    • Georgia Tech College of Computing
    • Georgia Tech Research Institute
    • Oak Ridge National Lab
    • Tennessee Tech University
    • Virginia Tech


    • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee
    • Deloitte
    • LeanKit
    • State Farm
  7. 2.00 pm to 5.00 pm


    Accessibility Hackathon

    Christina Harrington and Carrie Bruce (Georgia Tech)

    This interactive workshop and hackathon will give participants the opportunity to engage with impairment stimulation toolkits that aid researchers and designers in creating for a wide variety of users. Participants will leave this workshop having gained hands-on experience related to designing for all end users, with an emphasis on creating for users with physical and sensory impairments.

  8. 2.00 pm to 2.40 pm

    Research Talks

    A Game-Theoretic Approach to Detection of Overlapping Communities in Dynamic Complex Networks

    Elham Havvaei, Narsingh Deo and Fereshteh Jafariakinabad (University of Central Florida)

    Unrealized Power of Data

    Jay Natarajan (Microsoft Consulting Services)

  9. 2.00 pm to 2.40 pm

    Educational Talks

    Using NCWIT Resources to Engage and Connect

    Sharon Burlingame (Pellissippi State Community College)

    Accessibility: Pathway to Inclusion for People with Disabilities in STEM

    Synge Tyson (Usability Accessibility Equality)

  10. 2.00 pm to 2.40 pm

    Professional Talks

    Acting Like a Leader

    Beverly Massengill, Jennfier Pike, Michelle Hey and Sarah Klinefelter (Metova)

    Managing Projects without Project Manager

    Beverly Massengill, Michelle Hey and Sarah Klinefelter (Metova)

  11. 2.50 pm to 3.30 pm

    Educational Talks

    by Barbara Ericson Senior Research Scientist & PhD Candidate in Human-Centered Computing, Georgia Tech

    Sisters Rise Up 4 CS: Helping more women pass the Advanced Placement Computer Science A Exam

  12. 2.50 pm to 3.30 pm


    Grad School: What I Know Now that I Wish I Knew Then

    Catherine Schuman, Sadika Amreen, Zahra Mahoor, Allen McBride and Nicole Pennington (University of Tennessee, Knoxville)

  13. 2.50 pm to 3.30 pm

    Professional Talks

    Introduction to Contracting

    Sharon Allsup (Allsup and Associates, LLC)

    Survival Tips for the High-Travel Job

    Sharon Allsup (Allsup and Associates, LLC)

  14. 3.30 pm to 4.00 pm
    Afternoon Break 30 mins
  15. 4.00 pm to 4.40 pm


    Lessons Learned in Engaging Middle School Girls in Outreach: The S3 Model

    Nannette Napier, Genie Yang and Kamilah Kiser (Georgia Gwinnett College)

  16. 4.00 pm to 4.40 pm

    Professional Talks

    The Lone Wolf: An Intro to UX + How to Make a Difference on Your Team

    Cindy Wang (Capital One)

    First Timer Woman Tech Entrepreneur with Wish Locally. Gift Locally.

    Heather Bauer (Vesta)

  17. 6.00 pm to 7.30 pm

    Dinner and Keynote

    by Dr. Suju Rajan Director of Research, Personalization Science at Yahoo Labs

    Personalizing the News Feed: A Large-Scale Recommendation Problem

    Personalization is a key component in ensuring user satisfaction. At Yahoo, personalization is at the heart of several user-facing products. This talk will focus on building one of the largest news recommendation engine in the world - the Yahoo stream which personalizes the news feed for several hundreds of millions of users on millions of content items. Besides the scale, the success of the news feed also depends on whether it is able to engage the user long term. We will present the challenges & issues in designing an engaging stream: how do we cope with sparsity of explicit feedback, how user behavior changes with context of the device, how do we build machine learned models for each user and what is the metric that allows us to optimize for long term user-engagement.

  18. 8.00 pm to 10.00 pm

    Movie Screening: Big Dream

    Join us for popcorn, sodas, and a screening of Big Dream.

    "Big Dream follows the intimate stories of seven young women who are breaking barriers and overcoming personal challenges to follow their passion in science, math, computing & engineering. From small town Iowa to the bustling streets of the Middle East, Big Dream immerses viewers in a world designed by and for the next inspiring generation of girls." -

Day 3

  1. 9.30 am to 10.30 am


    by Dr. Ayanna Howard Motorola Foundation Professor, Georgia Tech

    Breaking the Glass Ceiling: Lessons Learned Traversing Through the Robotics World

    In this keynote, I will discuss the lessons that I have learned as a women scientist traversing through the world of robotics. I will walk participants through the challenges faced, beginning in the undergraduate college years all the way to present day. I will then discuss my current research focused on the role of robotics and related technology that is used for therapy and education for children with disabilities. This involves designing human-interaction methodologies that can tackle current difficulties in the area of healthcare robotics for children. Throughout the talk, I will highlight some life mottos that can provide female scientists the tools necessary to combat the challenges that they may face throughout their journey.

  2. 10.50 am to 11.30 am


    Option 1: Undergraduate Research: Making the Most of a Summer Experience

    Monica Anderson (University of Alabama), Elva Jones (Winston Salem State University), Tiffany Barnes (University of North Carolina Charlotte), Ayanna Howard (Georgia Tech), Lisa Anthony (University of Florida), Cheryl Seals (Auburn University), Eakta Jain (University of Florida)

    Option 2: Adapting and Developing Personal Identity in Early Career Advancement

    Dannielle Del Rosario, Allie Quintano and Monica Shum (Thoughtworks)

  3. 11.30 am to 12.10 pm

    Lightning Talks

    • Starting a WIT Book Club - Adrianna Valdivia, Karina Nevarez, Sierra Williams and Jessica Zardoya (Georgia Gwinnett College)
    • Connected Car Infotainment Systems - Surina Puri (Georgia Tech)
    • Start a 100 Girls of Code Chapter in Your City - Elena Strange (Rhodes College)
    • EMV "Chip" Cards and Counterfeit Card Fraud - Sharon Allsup (Allsup and Associates, LLC)
    • Teen User-Centered Design Workshop - Monet Spells (Georgia Tech)
    • Building Confidence Through Code: Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone and Into a Career - Brianna Fugate (Spelman College)
    • How the Nation's Largest Community of Creative Technical Women Can Support You! - Ammi Ludwick (NCWIT)
  4. 12.30 pm to 12.45 pm


  5. 12.45 pm to 2.00 pm
    Lunch 1 hour 15 mins


There are several ways to participate in this year’s conference:

Early bird rate applies for non-student attendees who register prior to September 30th, 2015.

3-Day Pass

  • $75
    Student Attendee (without lodging)
  • $150
    Early Bird Rate (without lodging)
  • $200
    Regular Rate (without lodging)
  • $150
    Student Attendee (with lodging)
  • $300
    Early Bird Rate (with lodging)
  • $350
    Regular Rate (with lodging)

Student and Faculty Scholarships are available

Students and Faculty scholarships are available. All scholarship recipients will receive conference registration, including meals. Some scholarship recipients will receive lodging. All applications must be received no later than September 20th 11:59pm (EST). Scholarship recipients will be notified by October 1st. If you are applying for a scholarship, please do not register until after scholarship notifications have gone out on October 1st.

Submit a Presentation

Registered participants can submit abstracts for multiple categories: Research Poster, Tech Talk, Birds of a Feather, and Panels. Each submission in any category will earn one chance to win a prize drawing. For the research poster session, 3 monetary prizes will be given in both the undergraduate and graduate poster categories.

Abstract Submissions close on October 25th.

  • Research Poster

    The research poster session provides students with an opportunity to present their latest research results and methodologies to a wide conference audience and to network. The poster session will be held on Friday evening.

  • Tech Talk

    Presenters will have 20 minutes for traditional talks and 5 minutes for lightening talks to share your experience with projects and research, outreach programs, being a successful professional or student, and more.

  • Birds of a Feather

    BOF sessions provide an informal forum for the discussion of technical or social issues among interested parties. BOF Sessions provide the perfect venue for communities to network.

  • Panels

    Panels provide an in-depth presentation and discussion on a particular topic. Panels can focus on technical topics, professional development, academic programs, as well as issues/problems faced by females in the technical field.


Thank you to our 2015 corporate and academic sponsors!

Why sponsor us?

The Southeast Women in Computing Conference is a great opportunity for your company, organization, or academic unit to showcase your support for diversity in the computing field, your commitment to the success of technical women, and to recruit the bright young minds of tomorrow.


Contact us to learn more about sponsorship opportunities

Sponsorship Packages

Sponsorship opportunities are available at several different levels for corporate sponsors, as well as academic and non-profit organizations. Download the sponsorship package for more information about what is included at each level.

Contact Us