CMU-SV Women Researchers Present at 2013 WITI Conference-Silicon Valley Campus - Carnegie Mellon University

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

CMU-SV Women Researchers Present at 2013 WITI Conference

Lata Krishnamohan, Gladys Mercier and Priya Sundararajan at WITI 2013 (from left)
Lata Krishnamohan, Gladys Mercier and Priya Sundararajan at WITI 2013 (from left)

The Women in Technology Foundation’s (WITI) 2013 Women Powering Technology Summit, held June 2-4 in Santa Clara, Ca., brought together top women executives and researchers in the tech field to share each other’s innovative thinking and knowledge. The conference included numerous speaker seminars, a career fair, product expo, Hall of Fame ceremony and a session during which numerous Carnegie Mellon University Silicon Valley (CMU-SV) students and professors presented current research.

CMU-SV Associate Professor Sheryl Root moderated the CMU-SV session titled, “Young Women in Research: Innovations Impacting Tomorrow,” explaining that research often seems very complex but that the value in presenting such research is due in part to demystifying the application of research concepts to the real world. “The more you open up the mind to the possible, the more the possible becomes able to happen,” said Root. “These students get the opportunity to speak to a populace that doesn’t necessarily initially understand their research but maybe have them come away with an ‘aha’ moment.”

Research projects presented ranged from a career enhancement tool to innovations in energy use:

  • Irina Brinster (CMU-SV Ph.D. student; research presented by Sheryl Root)- evolved rectenna (energy-harvesting device) for wireless sensor networks
  • Sharon Chou (Stanford University Ph.D. candidate)- device capturing light and heat in concentrated solar thermal energy conversion
  • Medha Ghatikesh, Aditi Modak (CMU-SV MS Software Management ’13 students) – Dreamsync, a tool for career changers to find a viable path to pursue their dream using data from similar career transitioners
  • Lata Krishnamohan (CMU-SV MS Software Management ’13 student) – Storymaker, an app that produces dynamic story creation for children, especially useful for busy parents
  • Sophie Lebrecht (Co-founder, Neon Labs, incubated at CMU-SV; research presented by MS Software Management Program Director Gladys Mercier) - Neon Labs, a startup that looks at how neural signals for visual preference can increase video views
  • Priya Sundararajan (CMU-SV Ph.D. student) – multi-focus and multi-window techniques for interactive network exploration
  • Jia Zhang (CMU-SV Associate Research Professor) - scientific workflow tool connecting to a supercomputing environment

Having received the opportunity to not only attend WITI but present their work, the students were quick to point out positive impact of being surrounded by fellow women in tech: “we’ve heard from so many inspirational but humble women at WITI,” said MS Software Management student, Medha Ghatikesh. “You see all these role models and think, maybe we can be that someday.”