Meet-Up Brings Together Bay Area Women in Research-Silicon Valley Campus - Carnegie Mellon University

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Meet-Up Brings Together Bay Area Women in Research

CMU-SV Associate Professor Sheryl Root participates in faculty panel at the research meet-up.
CMU-SV Associate Professor Sheryl Root participates in faculty panel at the research meet-up.

Women researchers from Stanford University, UC Berkeley and Carnegie Mellon University Silicon Valley recently came together for the first research-focused meet-up amongst the three institutions. The meet-up aimed at linking Bay Area women in tech research brought together over 70 graduate and undergraduate women who participated in a program of research talks in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, poster sessions and a social mixer.

Sheryl Root, Associate Professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Silicon Valley campus and a Stanford alumna, was one of six professors members who attended the meet-up. In addition to supporting the students and guiding the program, faculty participated in a panel to discuss their career paths and research interests.

Student research topics from Stanford and Berkeley included “Next generation green technology”; “Age of Big Data”; “Beyond K-Means and Beyond Clustering and Machine Learning Problems”; “Crime and Punishment for Cognitive Radio”; “Scheduling in Cloud Environments” and others.

Root presented posters of current research in various topics and stages from CMU-SV students such as new research on evolved rectenna for wireless networks by Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering student, Irina Brinster, and Sophie Lebrecht’s findings on “How neural signals for visual preference can assist in online learning,” which is the basis for the startup, neonlabs, currently incubated at the Silicon Valley campus.

Interest during the meet-up in another research project by CMU-SV Ph.D. student, Priya Sundararjan, may result in possible collaborations with Stanford and Berkeley graduate researchers. Her project, “Multi-focus and multi-window techniques for interactive network exploration,” recently won Best Paper at the 2013 Conference for Visualization and Data Analysis.

“This meet-up organized by graduate women at Stanford and Berkeley was a great opportunity for networking, sharing thinking and expanding the ways in which we think. These talented women, including those from CMU-SV, are working on neat ideas that are receiving awards and funding and they should be showcased,” said Root.

Root hopes that local meet-ups like this one and larger events such as the upcoming Women in Technology International (WITI) Conference will further awareness of the important research women are undertaking in technology. “Society is valuing women more and more in the tech space as researchers and leaders. I think women’s role in tech is bringing new approaches to solving customer problems. It’s not just about the technology but about applying solutions with the technology,” asserted Root.

Future meet-ups are in the works as graduate women from Stanford, Berkeley and CMU-SV look to strengthen ties by becoming more aware of each other’s work and continuing to promote and support women researchers in technology.