SCS Brings Back OurCS Conference

Kayla PapakieMonday, November 7, 2022

Nearly 50 undergraduates from universities across the U.S. came to CMU for the OurCS workshop.

Nearly 50 undergraduate students from universities across the United States recently convened on the Carnegie Mellon University campus for OurCS: Women in Tech 2022. The three-day workshop, hosted last month by the School of Computer Science's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) team, aims to improve gender balance in computing research and encourages participants to consider graduate school and a research-focused career path.

"Research is messy," said Jodi Forlizzi, the Herbert A. Simon Professor in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute and associate dean of DEI, as she kicked off the workshop. "There's no straight line to it. This is a good experience to really get in there and see how it works.

Attendees were split into 10 teams, each with a leader from academia or industry who presented a problem and research plan to tackle. The projects explored topics such as algorithmic game theory, smart home security systems and women's privacy, and human-AI interaction. Research workshops culminated in a poster session for teams to share their work.

"It was exciting to watch the students commit to working with their teammates and mentors over the course of the weekend," Forlizzi said. "They deepened their knowledge of the many domains that computing research is applied to and experienced how collaboration unfolds during a research project."

The weekend's sessions also included several panels and presentations to discuss everything from the graduate school application process to career paths and project management, as well as a recruiting event with some of the event's corporate sponsors, including Google and Adobe.

Typically held every other year, OurCS took a hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic. This year marks the first time OurCS has been held since 2019.

"We were thrilled to finally bring OurCS back to campus, and it was well-received by the students," Forlizzi said. The best part of the weekend was watching the participants connect with one another and spark new interests in the field of computer science."

To read more about each of the teams' research projects and to see photos from the event, visit the OurCS website.

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Aaron Aupperlee | 412-268-9068 |