Step 72.1: Set Learning Goals for GHC

I’m heading to the Grace Hopper Celebration today. I would have gone for the full conference (which started today), but teaching and other duties kept me in LA for the morning. Since I’m the only person going, I set some goals for myself, which I thought I would share:

  • Meet people virtually. I volunteered for a number of events at GHC, including sharing blog posts (all tagged GHC16, like this one!) and taking notes (which will show up on the wiki) . As a volunteer, I have already interacted with others who are contributing, and will likely pay more attention to other people’s accounts of GHC (which is aggregated on the GHC website).
  • Meet people in person. Since I’m blogging about particular sessions, this also makes me go to a lot more sessions than if I was just attending. I have also volunteered as a mentor, which will be opportunities for me to not only meet students, but also other people in academia and industry. My personal goal is to establish ongoing relationships with at least one new person each day, in addition to whatever conversations I will have during GHC.
  • Understand GHC through students’ perspective. As an Asian male, I am not the primary audience for GHC. But since I do not have students with me, reading the blogs of people who are the primary audience would help me understand why GHC is valuable. Luckily, I know a student who went before, and also some students just came back from SACNAS (Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science). Some things they suggested I should pay attention to:
    • How GHC (as a conference) fosters an atmosphere where women feel welcomed and not isolated.
    • What recruiters are looking for, especially since Oxy students cannot (yet) major in computer science.
    • Research on the gender gap and what can be done to close it.

There are probably more goals that are not rising to consciousness, but these three are the big ones. I will be writing at least four more blog posts about GHC over this week, so stay tuned!

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