Thursday, September 22, 2011

Women in Computing Starts Undergraduate Chapter

Women in Computing, also known as WIC, is starting a new undergraduate chapter—and wants everyone to join, including male students.
One of the organization's primary goals is to provide a support network for women in computer science—and men need to be part of that equation, said Meera Ramakrishnan, one of the group's founders. Another goal is to attract and retain more women in the major.
Undergraduate students want to know how to do well on an interview and how to write a good resume, Ramakrishnan said. They also want to hear from professionals, she said. The undergraduate chapter plans to offer career advice, tech talks and fun events.
The organization is working on bringing two top women researchers from HP Labs to the Jacobs School for a tech talk. It also plans to create partnerships with other organizations to set up programming competitions and video game nights, that younger students, especially women, might feel too intimidated to attend otherwise, said Marjori Pomarole, another co-founder of the group. "We want to talk—and play," she said. Ice cream socials also are in the works.
The idea for the new chapter started with a group of undergraduates who regularly had lunch with WIC graduate students last year. There are now 25 members on the new group's roster. But that number is expected to grow. Founders recently advertised the organization at freshmen orientation.
Bonus: members get a "Ladies by Day, Hackers by Night" T-shirt.