This time last month, I was just back from Arizona: I travelled out courtesy of a Microsoft scholarship to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (quite a mouthful!). There were 1600 participants, who were almost entirely (unsurprisingly) women in computing!
It’s a really different event to traditional academic conferences: it’s very US-oriented, a good proportion of attendees are undergrads, and there’s a strong industrial presence (not to mention recruitment drive!). There’s a lot of academic content (good content, at that), but that isn’t the be-all and end-all of the event. As the name suggests, it’s a celebration as well!
I gave an oral and a poster presentation whilst out there, and both seemed to go down well. I got some useful feedback, but primarily I’ve met a lot of fascinating women, with whom I hope to stay in touch. All in all, it was a fantastic opportunity.