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Computer Science

News Highlights

Women -In-Computing Night

AuthorComputer Science REG_DATE2023.11.29 Hits385

 

Thursday, 23 November, was a special night for the female students in Computer Science when they got together, and with Professor Aruna Balasubramanian, in what they all hope will be the first of many such events.

SiEun Park (CS, U3):  Last Thursday, female students and Prof.  Aruna Balasubramanian from the computer science department gathered together for the first time. Even though they are from diverse backgrounds, the reason they came together is to foster community, collaborate, and empower. The event was organized by CS Juniors and Seniors and supported by the department.

The event started off with introducing each member regarding their biography, the reason they chose CS, and any problems they are facing. Because it was the first-ever time for getting together, it provided a unique platform for female students to connect, share experiences, and inspire one another in their pursuit of excellence in the field. One of the key objectives of the event was to create a supportive network that would enable female students to share insights, exchange ideas, and form lasting connections. 

The night was mainly led by Prof. Balasubramanian, visiting professor from Stony Brook University, NY. Prof.  Balasubramanian aims to address problems which CS female students face. In CS, women are underrepresented, so it is important to make sure that they are also provided a supportive environment to thrive. She is a part of WiCS (Women in Computer Science) association in Stony Brook University, and other associations which help to connect CS female students. She talked about how our students get to join such meetings in order to receive support from one another.

Professor Aruna Balasubramanian: Computer science as a discipline has historically suffered from underrepresentation of many demographics. In 2019, the department of Computer Science at Stony Brook formed a diversity committee to broaden participation in Computer Science, and I chair this committee. My goal in SUNY Korea is to reach out to the Women students in the department, who are severely underrepresented. 

The women students in the department self-organized and planned a dinner event for a first ice-breaker meeting. I am meeting many of the students for the first time, so the goal of the dinner was to introduce myself and make sure the students are comfortable sharing their experience with me. The students were extremely forthcoming and really bright; it ended up being a very fun evening. This is only the first step. Our plan is to meet regularly over the year to understand the challenges faced by students and to create a support system that is self-sustaining.