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Oct. 3: Student Conference Focuses on Computer Science Research


Byron Spice                           

Anne Watzman

Student Conference Focuses
on Computer Science Research

Carnegie Mellon Hosts Women
From Around the World, Oct. 5-7

PITTSBURGH — More than 60 women undergraduates will attend a first-of-its-kind conference focusing on computer science research opportunities for female students at Carnegie Mellon University Oct. 5-7.   

The conference, "Opportunities for Undergraduate Research in Computer Science" (OurCS), sponsored by Microsoft Research, will feature some of the world's leading female computer scientists as speakers. More significantly, OurCS is designed to have students doing actual research, working on research problems in teams guided by scientists from academia and industry. The participants will be working on a variety of research topics ranging from "Disagreement in Wikipedia" to "Claytronics," and "A Multi-Robot Choreography."

"OurCS is unique in bringing together research professionals and computer science undergraduates in one venue for an intense weekend of problem solving," said Carol Frieze, director of Women@SCS, an organization that promotes opportunities for women in Carnegie Mellon's School of Computer Science. "As well as research experience, the conference will be a great venue for networking, mentoring and advice on going to graduate school. We are helping to rev up and inspire these young women to be future leaders in a field in which women are currently underrepresented." 

Among the students registered to attend are young women from such countries as India, Denmark and Qatar.

The keynote speaker will be Frances Allen, who last year became the first woman to receive the nation's top computer science honor, the A.M. Turing Award. Other speakers include Jennifer Tour Chayes, manager for mathematics and theoretical computer science at Microsoft Research, and Jeannette Wing, assistant director for Computer Science and Information Science and Engineering at the National Science Foundation. Wing is the former head of Carnegie Mellon's Computer Science Department.

Conference sessions will be in Newell-Simon Hall on the Carnegie Mellon campus. For further information, see