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OHIO CELEBRATES WOMEN IN COMPUTING, 2023
Reported by Deepshikha Bhati, PhD student and CS faculty:
On February 24 and 25, women from across the state of Ohio gathered together for the Ohio Celebration of Women in Computing Conference (OCWIC), held at Sawmill Creek Resort in Huron, Ohio. Conference attendees included students in computing-related majors from a variety of different universities from across Ohio, faculty members, and industry professionals. Kent State was represented by a group of undergraduate and graduate students in the fields of computer science, artificial intelligence, and UX/UI design as well as they organize first time the Leader summit workshop for ACM-W Chapters which provides a connection between local chapters and the ACM-W international organization. Ohio is the home of the first ACM-W Professional Chapter in the US joining the list of professional chapters worldwide.
A variety of workshops were presented on diverse topics such as autonomous driving cars, the Oregon Trail from a woman’s perspective, machine learning, the use of computer algorithms for elections involving ranked choice voting, the internet of things in healthcare, and other topics. Conference attendees also enjoyed a game night featuring board games that involved UX design principles. A dance party with a DJ and professional photo booth were other activities conference attendees enjoyed. A career fair was also held, which featured Ohio businesses looking to recruit new employees and interns. Also present at the career fair were Ohio-based universities, presenting information on graduate degree programs in computing-related majors.
The Ohio Celebration of Women in Computing Conference placed an emphasis on empowering women as well as empowering minority communities. Women from a variety of cultural and racial backgrounds were present at the conference. Conference attendees enjoyed an environment full of networking, educational opportunities, opportunities for professional and personal growth, as well as a place to relax and have fun with other women in computer-related fields.