What a week! On January 31 to February 1st, West Point hosted the inaugural Jean Bartik Computing Symposium. The goal of the symposium is to bring women and minorities in computing at the service academies together with their counterparts in government. This 1.5 event is filled with mentorship, inspiration and hands-on technical workshops that prepares our students for careers in service to the Nation. Our inaugural symposium had 80 attendees, including 50 students from West Point, the U.S. Naval Academy, and the U.S. Air Force Academy.
The symposium is named after Jean Jennings Bartik, one of the early pioneers of computing. Despite being one of the six original ENIAC programmers and playing critical roles in the EDSAC, UNIVAC and BINAC projects, her contributions went unacknowledged for most of her life due to her being a woman. A big thank you to Tim Bartik and the rest of the Jean Bartik legacy for letting us honor their mother in this manner.
This conference was cofounded by myself, Dr. Adina Crainiceanu of the U.S. Naval Academy and Lt Col Traci Sarmiento of the U.S. Air Force academy. The organization of this conference was the subject of my HERS Leadership project, and is something that I have been dreaming about doing since before I became an associate professor. Notably, this is the first conference that the EECS department has hosted in more than a decade, and was made possible by the new conference support services provided by the West Point Association of Graduates. A big thank you to my department for believing in me and letting me run with this idea!
Here is the link to this year’s conference website.