The London Hopper Colloquium

May 7, 2009 - Women in Computing

I went to the London Hopper Colloquium on Tuesday. It’s a one-day event for women PhD students organised by QMUL & Women@CL, sponsored by IBM and with a lot of BCS support. I’m probably an unbiased reporter as I was an invited speaker this time (my first ever invited talk, whoo!) but I thought it’d be good to post about it so here goes.

There were 60-70 women there, mostly PhD students, doing research in computing. Many of these had entered the poster contest, which as a judge I found awesome. It was so hard to judge. There were posters on such a wide range of topics (Logic programming, networking, medical imaging for cancer, interface design, business systems, cognitive models of language, understanding equations, computational modelling of the vision of the honeybee, project management, the conflict between telecoms and internet industries, … ). The standard was brilliant. It was such a positive experience to see so many clever women doing great computing research, all at the cutting edge of their fields.

The speakers were me talking about behaviour modelling and CCTV, Nobuko Yoshida from Imperial talking about modelling interactions in computer networks, and Holly Cummins of IBM talking about garbage collection (in java – and nobody made any jokes about tidying up being women’s work). The panel session at the end of the day had some fascinating discussions on how to handle difficult questions when you’re giving a talk, and how to balance children with an academic career, and imposter syndrome (I bought that one up after the recent BCSWomen discussion).

And the lunch had some reeaally great cakes.

All round, a fine day out, (and I think my talk went OK! :-)

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