This year the BCSWomen Lovelace Colloquium was held at the University of Edinburgh. It was our biggest and best yet, with about 160 registered attendees, and over 70 entrants to our annual student poster contests. The day featured talks from successful women in tech – at various stages of their careers. Dr Kate Ho of Ginsberg.io opened with a keynote talk on careers, startups, and the importance of working on things that you love. This was followed by a technical talk on privacy from Dr Geetanjali Sampemane from Google. After a superb lunch (sponsored by Twitter), Prof. Barbara Webb (Edinburgh) spoke about insect robots, and the last talk of the day came from Prof. Lynda Hardman of CWI Amsterdam on “How I stuck around for 30 years”. We also had a panel session on careers which gave the attendees the opportunity to ask any question they liked of the women on the panel – how to deal with awkward colleagues, what about the pay gap, which job should I take… all questions considered.
We finished with a social sponsored by ScottLogic over the road in a lovely craft beer bar called The Potting Shed. I don’t think they’ve ever had quite so many excellent and talkative young women in their bar at the same time, but they managed to serve us all some nice drinks and some tasty nibbles so that’s fine.
Here are the winners of the poster contest! In the best first year contest (sponsored by Google https://www.google.co.uk/about/careers/students/) we had:
- 1st place: Summer Jones of Imperial College with “Computational neuroscience – could it eradicate memory loss?”
- 2nd place: Yiota Laperta of Aberystwyth University with “Programming with an Arduino”
In the best second year contest (sponsored by Slack https://slack.com/) we had:
- 1st place: Emily Fay Horner, of Sheffield Hallam University, with “Nanobots: from fiction to reality”
- 2nd place: Lucy Parker of Edinburgh University with “Assistive technology for children with autism spectrum disorders in the classroom”
- An honorable mention also went to Natasha Lee of Bedfordshire University, with a poster on Mainframes and enterprise computing
In the final year student contest (sponsored by EMC http://www.emc.com/careers/index.htm) we had:
- 1st place: Amanda Curry of Heriot-Watt University with “Generating natural route instructions for virtual personal assistants”
- 2nd place was a 3-way tie: Jade Evans of Aberystwyth University with “Teaching and evaluation of breast radiologists, using computer games theory”, Yazhou Liu of the University of Bath with “Neologisms and idioms: Translators ‘nightmare’”, Jade Woodward of Dundee University with “Let’s help around the kitchen – iPad game for children with autism”
In the MSc student contest (sponsored by JP Morgan http://techcareers.jpmorgan.com/techcareers/emea/home) the first place went to Dhiya Al Saqri of Buckingham University, with a poster entitled “Digitalised Human Body”.
The people’s choice prize (sponsored by Interface3 http://www.interface3.com/ ) is voted for by the attendees, and this was won by Emily Wang of Edinburgh for “Koi Pond”, and Milka Horozova of Queen Mary University of London with “Can a robot make this poster”.
We also had some employer stalls – this year they were FDM, Kotikan, UTC Aerospace, VMWare and GCHQ.
Next year, we’ll be in Sheffield, date to be confirmed!