2013 Southeast Women in Computing Conference

November - , 2013
Lake Guntersville State Park

The 2013 Southeast Women in Computing Conference was held in November 2013 in Lake Guntersville State Park in Guntersville, Alabama. Details about the speakers and programs are available below.

Return to the 2015 conference.


  • Tracy Camp

    Professor of Computer Science, Colorado School of Mines
    Tracy Camp

    Tracy Camp the Founder and Director of the Toilers, an active ad hoc networks research group.

  • Dr. Valentina Salapura

    Master Inventor and System Architect, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center
    Dr. Valentina Salapura

    Dr. Salapura received the ACM Gordon Bell Prize for Special Achievements for the BlueGene/L supercomputer and Quantum Chromodynamics in 2006, was elevated to IEEE Fellow in 2011, and is recognized as an ACM Distinguished Speaker.

  • Michele Weigle

    Associate Professor, Old Dominion University
    Michele Weigle

    Michele Weigle is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Old Dominion University.  Her research interests include wireless and mobile networks, information visualization, digital preservation, and web science.  

  • Ruthe Farmer

    Director of Strategic Initiatives, NCWIT
    Ruthe Farmer

    As Director of Strategic Initiatives at NCWIT, she provides strategic planning and direction, fund development, and cultivation of new partnerships. 

  • Amy Henderson

    Partner and Director of Operations at Firefly Logic
    Amy Henderson

    With more than a decade of experience in software development and project management, Amy currently manages daily operations at Firefly Logic.

  • Denise Koessler

    PhD Candidate in Computer Science, University of Tennessee
    Denise Koessler

    Under the guidance of Dr. Michael Berry, Denise is working to develop tools which create, identify, and analyze a social network user’s fingerprint.

  • Jennifer Marsman

    Principal Developer Evangelist, Microsoft
    Jennifer Marsman

    Jennifer Marsman is a Principal Developer Evangelist in Microsoft’s Developer and Platform Evangelism group, where she educates developers on Microsoft’s new technologies.

  • Rose Robinson

    Systers Program Manager, Anita Borg Institute
    Rose Robinson

    Rose considers herself a technology evangelist and an industry veteran in software development and implementations. 


Lake Guntersville State Park

1155 Lodge Drive, Guntersville, AL 35976

Lake Guntersville State Park is located along the banks of the Tennessee River in NE Alabama. The park overlooks the majestic 69,000-acre Guntersville Lake and ranges over more than 6,000 acres of natural woodlands.


Day 1

  1. 3.00 pm to 6.00 pm


    Registration will take place in the lodge's lobby.

  2. 3.30 pm to 6.00 pm


    Option 1:Resume Workshop

    Have your resume critiqued by a professional. You can bring a copy of your resume with you to the conference, or submit your resume prior to the conference here.

    The last day to submit your resume online is November 12th at midnight. If you don't have a chance to upload your resume before then, just bring a hard copy with you to the workshop.

    Option 2: Discovering Cybersecurity Workshop

    This workshop is intended to introduce participants to the field of cybersecurity and opportunities within. It will focus on engaging participants in hands on activities so that participants catch a glimpse of typical responsibilities held by a security professional. This workshop is supported by NSF SFS Award#1303441: Capacity Building in Cybersecurity.

    15 student participants each will receive $100.00 in stipend to attend this 2.5 hour workshop. Students should apply HERE by October 31st.

    Faculty, please refer to DAY 2 for information on faculty workshop.

  3. 6.30 pm to 8.00 pm

    Dinner and Keynote

    by Tracy Camp Professor of Computer Science, Colorado School of Mines

    What I Know Now...That I wish I knew Then

    Tracy Camp, a Full Professor of computer science, has received over 20 grants from the National Science Foundation, including a prestigious NSF CAREER award. In total, her projects have received over $20 million dollars in external funding. This funding has produced 12 software packages that have been requested from (and shared with) more than 3000 researchers in 86 countries (as of October 2012). Dr. Camp has published over 80 refereed articles and 12 invited articles, and these articles have been cited almost 4,000 times (per Microsoft Academic Search) and over 7,000 times (per Google Scholar) as of December 2012.

    Dr. Camp is an ACM Fellow, an ACM Distinguished Lecturer, and an IEEE Senior Member. In December 2007, Dr. Camp received the Board of Trustees Outstanding Faculty Award at the Colorado School of Mines; this award has only been given five times between 1998-2007.

    Was she born this successful? Not at all!

    Dr. Camp has made several mistakes throughout her career, and even considered taking a non-research faculty position because of so few successes early in her career. In this presentation, Dr. Camp will present what she knows now ... that she wish she knew then. Specifically, she will discuss (1) the importance of mentoring, networking, and perservering, (2) tips on negotiating and time management, and (3) advice on dealing with the Imposter Syndrome. She will also present several exciting opportunities that exist for underrepresented students in computing.

    Watch Tracy's keynote here!

  4. 8.00 pm to 9.00 pm

    Poster Session

    Take the opportunity to learn more about the research and projects your peers are working on at their colleges and universities.

  5. 9.00 pm to 10.30 pm

    Truth or Dare: Life as a Computer Science Student

    Matilda Lane and Laura Sharpe

    This session includes interactive activities to help attendees share common experiences among students in the computing field. Attendees will be asked to participate voluntarily. As participants, they will be asked to choose "truth" or "dare" (we've all played this game at some point). If "truth" is chosen, the participant will share a story or experience with the group. If "dare" is chosen, the participant will be asked to do a fun and interactive activity with the audience.

    This is sure to be an entertaining bonding event for all participants!

Day 2

  1. 8.30 am to 9.30 am
    Breakfast 1 hour

    Breakfast will take place in the Pinecrest Dinning Room

  2. 9.30 am to 10.30 am


    by Michele Weigle Associate Professor, Old Dominion University

    Telling Stories with Web Archives

    The web has become an integral part of our lives, shaping how we get news, shop, and communicate. When critical events occur, social media and news websites cover the stories as they break and continually revise them as the story evolves. Unfortunately, much of the content around these stories are vulnerable to being lost. Thus, web archives have become a significant repository of our recent history and cultural heritage. Content from web archives can be used to fill in the gaps in the live web about the evolution of the story of an important event. This talk will explore the problem and describe our initial steps towards a solution.

    Watch Michelle's keynote here!

  3. 10.30 am to 11.15 am

    Tech Talks

    Track 1: Education

    "Recruiting Kindergarteners into STEM" by Debra Chapman

    "Using the Raspberry Pi in Education" by J.K. Sherrod and Zach Guzman

    Track 2: Research

    "An Empirical Evaluation of Myna - A Vocal User Interface" by Amber Wagner, Jeff Gray and Jeff Carver

    "Variable-Structure Dynamic Neural Networks with Affective Systems" by Catherine Schuman and J.Douglas Birdwell

    Track 3: Industry

    "Marketing and Drupal for the Non-Profit Sector" by Amanda Brown

  4. 11.15 am to 11.30 am
    Break 15 mins
  5. 11.30 am to 12.15 pm


    Panel 1: Community

    "Being a Woman in Technology: What Does It Mean to Us?" by Sharon Burlingame and Corinna Brock

    Panel 2: Research

    "Sonification Lab: Who, What, Why, and How" by Brianna Tomlinson, Yee Chieh Chew and Carrie Bruce

    Panel 3: Career

    "Groom Yourself to be Essentially Marketable in the Computer Industry" by Sandra McCroskey

  6. 12.30 pm to 1.30 pm
    Lunch 1 hour

    During lunch, enjoy the beautiful views of the lake and surrounding area while you network with other conference attendees.

  7. 1.30 pm to 2.15 pm

    Lightning Talks

    "Achievements in Harmony and Balance" by Crystal Davis

    "Combining Work and School to Get the Most Out of Your Education" by Sandra McCroskey

    "National Center for Women & Information Techology - Sit with Me" by Jameela Belyeu Pickens

    "Pay No Attention to the Man in the Power Suit" by Christy Watson

    "Preparing for Your Future" by Brittany Johnson

    "Resources for Empowering Women in Technology: TTU's TWEET Retreat" by Matilda Lane and Laura Sharpe

    "Starting a Women in Computing Club" by Kylie Moden

    "WiCyS: An Effort to Broaden Participation of Women in Cybersecurity" by Ambareen Siraj and Lisa Matlock

  8. 2.30 pm to 3.15 pm

    Tech Talks

    Track 1: Research

    "Assessing the Use of Auditory Graphs for Middle School Students with Vision Impairment" by Yee Chieh Chew

    "Information Retrieval and Conceptual Blending" by Rania Hodhod

    Track 2: Graduate School and Research

    "The Role of Computing in Cancer Research" by Serena Pham

    "Undergraduate Experiences that Motivate Students to Pursue Advanced Degrees in Computing-Related Disciplines" by Chelsea Johnson and Marguerite Doman

  9. 3.15 pm to 3.30 pm
    Break 15 mins
  10. 3.30 pm to 4.00 pm

    Birds of a Feather

    Track 1: K-12

    "K-12 Teacher Roundtable" by Jill Pala

    Track 2: Undergraduate

    "JMU WiT Club: Engaging Diverse Undergraduate Women in Technology" by Farzana Rahman and Marissa Halpert

  11. 4.00 pm to 6.30 pm

    Career and College Fair

    Come learn more about the opportunities for internships, coops, full-time, and graduate programs available at our corporate and academic sponsors. Make sure you bring your resume!

    Also, if you're interested in graduate school, please stop by the "Graduate School FAQ" booth to speak to professors and researchers who will help answer your questions about graduate school and what it has to offer.

  12. 4.00 pm to 6.30 pm

    Optional Faculty Workshop

    Facilitating Active Learning in Cybersecurity Workshop:

    10 faculty participants each will receive $150.00 in stipend to attend this 2.5 hour workshop. Target participants of the workshop are faculty members who are interested in incorporating security related homework assignments in their CS courses (C++ programming and/or software engineering and/or networks and/or database and/or operating systems). It will demonstrate hands-on assignments in security to facilitate cooperative and active learning by solving real-world problems with freely available resources. This workshop is supported by NSF SFS Award#1303441: Capacity Building in Cybersecurity AND NSF DUE Award#1140864, Project Titled: SecKnitKit (Security Knitting Kit): Integrating Security into Traditional Computer Science Courses.

    Faculty, please apply HERE by October 31st. 

  13. 6.30 pm to 8.00 pm

    Dinner and Keynote

    by Dr. Valentina Salapura Master Inventor and System Architect, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center

    Cloud Computing: 24/7

    Driven by the need to reduce the total cost of ownership of increasingly more demanding workloads, cloud computing is being rapidly adopted across the marketplace. Within companies, private clouds are offering a more efficient way to manage and use private data centers. In the broader marketplace, public clouds offer the promise of buying computing capabilities based on a utility model, buying compute resources on demand and billed by usage rather than requiring capital expenditures that must be planned years in advance.

    To deliver on these promises, cloud computing relies heavily on virtualization techniques and standardized environments to simplify provision and administration. As systems users are racing to move to the cloud, customer expectations on cloud availability and the cost of computing in a cloud are radically changing system requirements and data center operation.

    For system design, virtualization efficiency and modularity in provisioning are becoming of paramount importance. Metrics such as virtual machines per core, per socket and per Watt are the new metrics that must be optimized for. Where dividing scale-up systems into multiple virtual machines was a previous sweet spot for optimizing virtual machine management, cloud computing must address the creation, operation and migration of virtual machines across system boundaries.

    The standardization, virtualization, modularity and cross-system management capabilities also offer unique opportunities to provide system resilience: as virtual machines are becoming first class citizens, resilience techniques can build on a well-defined framework for providing recovery measures for replicating unresponsive services, and recovering failed services to respond to disaster scenarios.

  14. 8.30 pm to 10.00 pm


    Join us for a bonfire and s'mores by the gorgeous Lake Guntersville. Bring your camping chairs and blankets.

Day 3

  1. 8.00 am to 9.00 am
    Breakfast 1 hour

    Breakfast will take place in the Pinecrest Dinning Room

  2. 9.00 am to 9.45 am

    Invited Speakers

    Track 1: Education

    "Resources & Opportunities for Women in Technology" by Ruthe Farmer

    The National Center for Women & IT (NCWIT) provides free research-based resources and programs to build capacity for people to implement change, raise awareness, and reach out to critical populations. Attend this session to learn how to leverage NCWIT resources to recruit, retain and advance more women within your CS programs and institution.  Participants will receive hard copies of NCWIT resources including: How to Create and Sustain a Women in Computing Group on Your Campus, Top 10 Ways You Can Retain Students in Computing, Institutional Barriers & Their Effects: How can I talk to colleagues about these issues?

    Track 2: Career

    "Building a Business with a CS Degree" by Amy Henderson

    As the world moves to a more mobile and remote workforce, becoming your own boss is easier than ever.  Becoming an independent consultant or starting your own business is appealing to many, but that lifestyle comes with trade offs.  In this session, I will discuss my path to business ownership, which has come with amazing freedoms and tremendous responsibilities.  I want to share some of the details that I wish my 20-something year old self would have already known - from advice on how to get started to mistakes not to make along the way. 

    Track 3: Community

    "Lean In Circles" by Denise Koessler

    Research suggests that we are up to six times more creative in a group than we are by ourselves. We are more effective when we are being encouraged, on one hand, and challenged, on the other hand. The combination of both is where the magic happens. That is what groups provide. And that is what circles provide.

    This session is an official LEAN IN Circles Kickoff event. We will start by learning a bit about LEANIN.Org; then we are going to focus on LEAN IN Circles - small peer groups that meet regularly to learn and share together. This session will introduce what Circles are and how they work. Then we’ll do a connection activity to help simulate the Circle experience. Finally, we will go through the next steps for starting or joining your own Circle. This session's goal is that everyone walks away excited to start or join a Circle.

    Are you in?

  3. 10.00 am to 10.45 am

    Invited Speakers

    Track 1:

    "It's Cheaper than Therapy: Building an 'ELIZA' Psychotherapist App in Windows 8" by Jennifer Marsman

    In introductory artificial intelligence classes, every good geekette learns about ELIZA, a program which simulates a Rogerian psychotherapist using pattern-matching techniques. For example, a comment like "I hate my job" might get an answer like "Why do you hate your job?" Eliza was famous for being one of the first programs to pass the Turing test, meaning that the dialogue was realistic enough that users could not tell if it was a human or a machine speaking back to them. I will introduce these basic concepts and show an implementation of Eliza as a Windows Store app for Windows 8.  I’ll also share how students can get free access to the Windows Store, and differentiate their resume from the crowd by publishing an app in an app store!

    Track 2:

    "Enhance your Software Development Skills through Open Source Participation" by Rose Robinson

    Many students gain industry skills through internships. This gives them the opportunity to gain “real-world” experience with a potential future employer.  However, most students don’t realize that open source participation and contributions can be just as important in landing their dream job.  There are many open source organizations that are in dire need of volunteers to help them bring their projects into full products.  Additionally, many of the open source projects are Projects for Good helping humanitarian efforts around the world and/or participation in outreach for computer science.  One in particular is Google Summer of Code (GSoC) who is celebrating their 10th anniversary in 2014. They are really looking for great participation particularly from women and underrepresented minorities.  This talk will discuss GSoC 2014, various opportunities there are in open source, and the benefits of participating and contributing can boost your career search instantly. 

    Download Rose's Presentation.

  4. 10.45 am to 11.00 am


  5. 11.00 am to 12.00 pm
    Lunch 1 hour

    During lunch, enjoy the beautiful views of the lake and surrounding area while you network with other conference attendees.

  6. 12.00 pm to 2.00 pm

    Optional Workshops

    Option 1: Game Development using Construct 2

    "Using Game-Creating Software to Build Cross-Platform Games across Mobile Devices" by Jennifer Marsman

    I discovered a very cool tool called Construct 2 (made by a company called Scirra) which allows you to easily create amazing, addictive games. You simply add backgrounds and sprites on a page, and use an "event sheet" of simple if-then statements to define your game logic. The game can then be exported as an iOS, Android, Windows Store, or Windows Phone app. There are also templates/tutorials to get you started creating a shooter game, physics puzzle, driving game, and platform game (like Super Mario Brothers). I'll demo how easy and fun this is! All will leave knowing the fundamentals to build a wicked cool game.

    If you would like to follow along and build a game, you will need a Windows laptop (XP SP3 or later). You can download the Construct 2 tool from in advance, or I will have USB drives with the installer available.

    Option 2: Career and Windows App Development

    "Advice for a College Student from an Insider" by Nathalie Goh-Livorness

    Being a recent new hire at Microsoft, I feel that I am still in a position where I can relate to the student demographic of this audience. This time last year, I was a Senior at the University of Southern California, excited to graduate, speculating my future, and of course trying to find a job that I would love. Looking back there are a number of things that I’m really glad that I did, and a few others that I would have liked to know. In this talk I will share my personal experiences with the job hunt – how I started applying for full time positions more than a year in advance; dealing with recruiters and rejection along the way; how I was successful at my college internships at The Walt Disney Company and Blizzard Entertainment; and also how I differentiated myself as a candidate when applying to big corporations.

    In addition, I would like to show tools that Microsoft provides for student developers in the hopes that the audience will walk away with a product that they can be proud of, as well as add a project to their resumes. I will do a live demonstration of how to quickly build an app using Phone App Studio to create and ship a Windows Phone 8 app.
    Since the whole process is done in a web browser, the audience is encouraged to bring their laptop and follow along.


There were several ways to participate in the 2013 conference:

3-Day Pass

  • $50
    Student Attendee (University or High School)
  • $150
    Early Bird Rate (Before Oct. 10th)
  • $200
    Regular Rate (Oct. 10th to Nov. 1st)

Registration includes: lodging for Friday and Saturday night, as well as all meals beginning with dinner on Friday night through lunch on Sunday.

Student and Faculty Scholarships are available

Students and Faculty scholarships are available. Scholarship recipients will receive full conference registration, including lodging and meals. All applications must be received no later than October 10th. Scholarship recipients will be notified by October 22nd. If you are applying for a scholarship, please do not register until after scholarship notifications have gone out on October 22nd.

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, and acceptances will go out on November 1st.

  • 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 2013 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