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UW Computer Science Students Benefit from Department Program

October 18, 2017

Dozens of students at the University of Wyoming have taken part in unique educational opportunities outside the scope of campus recently, thanks to a program in the Department of Computer Science.

The Industrial Affiliates (IA) program in the College of Engineering and Applied Science was developed to link industrial and business partners with potential employees and faculty members. Forming a relationship between industry and the department reduces recruitment costs, while also developing a channel of communication between affiliate partners.

One crucial aspect of the program, however, directly benefits the students in the department. IA funding can be used for opportunities for undergraduates and graduates to travel to conferences to expand their knowledge base and gain valuable networking skills.

Women in Computing Conference

Nine students attended the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHCWC) Oct. 4-6 in Orlando, Fla. The group included Katherine Chawla, Arvada, Colo.; Madison Cooley, Lois Rachocki and Dustin Rubin, all from Cheyenne; Moriah Miller, Powell; Fiona Moss, Hyderabad, India; Raylyn Pettigrew, Casper; Thao Phung, Laramie; and Talitha Trippel, Worland.

The GHCWC is an annual event that brings the world’s top women technologists and best minds in computing together to highlight the contributions of women to computing. Organizers say the conference results in collaborative proposals, networking and mentoring for attendees, while conference presenters are leaders in industry, academia and government. Additionally, there are professional development activities.

Keynote speakers at the conference included Melinda Gates, Ayanna Howard, Fei-Fei Li and Mary Spio, while smaller sessions covered topics that included data science, computer systems engineering, artificial intelligence, human computer interaction, software engineering and security/privacy.

The UW contingent was fortunate to snag spots, as attendance at the conference has increased from 4,500 in 2013 to more than 18,000 in 2017.

DefCon Cybersecurity Conference

Seven computer science students had the opportunity to attend the 2017 DefCon Cybersecurity Conference July 27-30 in Las Vegas.

Attendees of the event typically include computer security professionals, federal government employees, researchers, students and hackers with an interest in software, computer architecture and hardware modification.

In the past, DefCon attendance has been reported at 25,000, many of whom have the technical skill to hack into computers, phones and other connected devices.

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