CA Students Attend WIT Conference at Tufts

Ashley Kim ’19

     On Saturday, September 22, 2018, six Concord Academy students attended Tufts University’s Women in Tech Conference. The conference, in its second year, celebrates women and non-binary individuals in the field of technology. The conference provided CA students who attended a great opportunity to listen to the guest speakers who are currently occupied in the field of technology, participate in several computer science workshops led by Tufts University faculty members, and talk to the computer science major students or graduates about their experience.

     Last year, Iris Oliver ’15, a computer science major at Tufts University, introduced the conference to Ben Stumpf ’88, the department head of computer science. Through the connection, four students interested in computer science attended the first Women in Tech Conference. They found the conference very informative and advantageous, and strongly recommend it to other female or non-binary students who would like to know more about computer science.

     Compared to last year, WIT 2018 offered more workshops and lectures, as well as the opportunity to talk to representatives from major computer science companies like Google and GitHub. Amanda Rosenbaum ’22, one of the students in attendance, felt inspired by the conference.

     “One of the workshops I went to was Natural Language Processing. The workshop taught me how computers and machines translate sentences into a different language, summarize a piece of text, or search for the relevant phrases in a document. I found the workshop very instructive and informative,” said Rosenbaum.

     Rosenbaum also found lunch to be another great learning moment. Unlike the first conference where the participants chose between lunch and a third workshop, the second conference presented theme tables during lunch. Everyone was welcome at any of the tables regardless of prior knowledge on the topic.

     “The one I went to was about Hack-a-thon. I didn’t know what Hack-a-thon was before, but I learned about it as I listened to other people at the table,” said Rosenbaum. “Hack-a-thon is an event where you and your teammates come up with any kinds of a software project. At the end of the event, your team presents the project to the judges. Your team would receive prizes if the project is selected as one of the best projects.”

     The third WIT conference will be held in September 2019. If you identify as a woman or a non-binary individual and are interested in computer science, WIT conference is a great opportunity for you to explore the field of computer science and its possible majors.