2013 Tapia Diversity in Computing Conference Celebrates Most Successful Meeting to Date
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The 2013 Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference concluded the largest meeting in its 12 year history, with 550 students, academics and computing professionals attending the three-day conference.
The conference program included plenary speakers, panel discussions, hands-on workshops, birds-of-a-feather meetings, professional networking and hundreds of informal conversations in the hallways and over meals.
“This was truly an amazing three days in which we celebrated the diversity that each one of us brings to the field of computing,” said Tapia 2013 General Chair Juan Vargas. “Looking out at the attendees, their energy and enthusiasm was both gratifying and inspiring. Many are already looking forward to next year’s conference in Seattle.”
According to Vargas, the Tapia conference is clearly one of the most diverse in the computer science community. At Tapia 13, 51 percent of the attendees were women, Blacks and African Americans made up 43 percent, Hispanics and Latinos constituted 26 percent and Caucasians comprised 19 percent. Students, from freshman to Ph.D. candidates, made up 60 percent of all attendees. For 69 percent of those attending, this was their first time at the Tapia conference, and for many of them it was their first professional conference.
Attendees heard from an all-star lineup of speakers, including Prof. Annie Anton of Georgia Tech, Vinton Cerf of Google, Theresa Maldonado of the National Science Foundation, Prof. Jeanine Cook of New Mexico State University, Prof. Hakim Weatherspoon of Cornell University, Prof. Armando Fox of the University of California, Berkeley, Prof. Anita Jones of the University of Virginia, and Dot Harris of the U.S. Department of Energy.
After Cerf gave a thought-provoking talk on whether our digital documents of today will be readable 1,000 years from now, one student introduced herself and then touched him to confirm that he was real, reminiscent of a scene from the film, The Matrix, in which the Architect character is based on Cerf.
A record number of students (twenty-one) presented their research and received advice from nine panelists during the 2013 Doctoral Consortium., a one-day workshop to support Ph.D. students as they work toward their doctorate degrees. Sixty students also presented their own research in a special poster session. Awards for the best undergraduate posters went to Joseph Crawford, Morehouse College; Jhensen Grullon Sanabria, University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras; and Raul Viera, University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo. Awards for the best graduate posters went to Grace Silva, University of North Carolina; Omar U. Florez, Utah State University/Intel Labs; and Sidafa Conde, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. The Most Engaging Poster award went to Jessica Jones of Clemson University.
Also at the concluding banquet, Juan E. Gilbert, Chair of Human-Centered Computing in the School of Computing at Clemson University, was presented the 2013 Richard A. Tapia Achievement Award for Scientific Scholarship, Civic Science, and Diversifying Computing.
The Tapia conference has a tradition of providing a supportive networking environment for under-represented groups across the broad range of computing and information technology, from science to business to the arts to infrastructure. The Tapia conference is organized by the Coalition to Diversify Computing, sponsored by the Association for Computing Machinery, and in cooperation with the IEEE Computer Society and the Computing Research Association.
The Tapia conference series enjoys the support of a number of academic, research and business organizations, including:
- Platinum sponsors: The National Science Foundation and XSEDE (Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment) and Beyond Broader Engagement
- Gold supporters: EL (Empowering Leadership) Alliance, Clemson University, Georgia Tech, Texas A&M University
- Silver supporters: Google, Microsoft, University of Texas at Austin and Virginia Tech
- Bronze supporters: IBM, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, National Center for Atmospheric Research Computational and Information Systems Laboratory, National Center For Women and Information Technology, National Security Agency, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Team for Research in Ubiquitous Secure Technology, the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Michigan
- Contributors: Facebook, Intel, Tufts University, VMware and Yahoo
About the Tapia Conference
The Tapia conference honors the significant contributions of Richard A. Tapia, a mathematician and professor in the Department of Computational and Applied Mathematics at Rice University in Houston, Texas, and a national leader in education and outreach programs. The Tapia Conferences brings together people in CS&E from all educational levels, backgrounds and ethnicities to celebrate and support the accomplishments of this diverse community.