CCLS & GRA Heba Elfardy receive award for a Student Seed Fund Grant from NCWIT & Returnpath
We live in the era of computational thinking. No citizen should be left behind, especially 50% of the human race. Women deserve to be active participants in this "race". It's about time that more women join Computer Science. We need to dispel myths that CS is for men only, or that math is too hard for women, or that women are less creative, therefore they can't handle CS.
Well we have news for you, women do really well in math and CS, many of the top CS students are women. No need to go very far, just talk to the 70% of Columbia's Center for Computational Learning Systems (CCLS) researchers who happen to be very successful women working on very hot CS areas of research. Also, believe it or not, CS has a lot of avenues for creativity, just ask the people working on the movie Toy Story, or researchers handling intricate metaphorical language for IBM TJ Watson's, Watson jeopardy competitor. In academia, and at Columbia CCLS has been actively advocating women and creating a hospitable work environment for them encouraging its women staff to be involved in women issues. For example, CCLS Research Scientist Mona Diab serves on the Columbia Senate Committee on the status of Women and she is a member of the Academic Alliance at the National Committee for Women in Information Technology (NCWIT). In fact, apart from academia, top industrial research places such as Google Research, Microsoft Research, Yahoo Research have dedicated concerted focused efforts on creating welcoming environments for women in CS allowing for immense job prospects for women CS graduates.
NCWIT was founded to promote women in the IT and CS fields. Heba Elfardy, a graduate Student working under the supervision of Research Scientist Mona Diab at CCLS has been selected by NCWIT to receive the ReturnPath Student Seed Fund grant. The fund will be used in organizing events that will help more female undergraduates get up to speed and learn more about the field as well as address their concerns and questions. Heba is an exemplary woman and role model for women interested or could be interested in CS, she graduated valedictorian of her university in CS. She went on to work for one of the best known industries in Computer Science (Microsoft), earned a Masters in Computer Science with highest honors along the way. Heba is currently pursuing a PhD in computational Linguistics and Natural Language Processing with a focus on social media analysis at Columbia University.