Tapia Conference 2016

The ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing 2016 took place in Austin, Texas this year. It was my first time attending this conference, and I was lucky enough to have been awarded a full scholarship, and to be a poster presenter.


Here are some of the things I enjoyed of the conference:

  • Diversity… diversity everywhere: I have never seen so much diversity in one place, but in the Tapia Conference. There were not only latino and african-american Computer Science students, but also hearing and vision impaired students, attendees in wheel chairs, and many more. It was amazing to see all the diversity in this conference, and to interact with so many talented students from different universities, and from around the world.
  • Conference is small but connections are everywhere: I love the Grace Hopper Conference, but the conference is HUGE, and I always have friends attending the conference, which makes it harder to meet new people. At Tapia, the conference is small, and everyone is extremely friendly, so I left the conference with several new friends and connections!
  • Keynote speakers: I enjoyed all the keynotes that were presented at the conference, specially the one from Dr. Raquel Romano, and Dr. Richard Tapia. I was able to talk with Raquel for 30 minutes after her keynote, and it was fantastic to get her thoughts about machine learning, Google, and Latinas in Computing. It was also incredible to hear Dr. Tapia talk about diversity, need to work in your research and also outreach, and struggles we all go through.

In an additional note, I was able to meet Dr. Dilma da Silva after many many years. I met Dilma in CRA-W in 2009, and she “pushed” me to apply for a Grace Hopper scholarship. She reviewed my essay, and I was able to get the scholarship. Since then, it has been quite an experience!  Here is a photo of Dilma and me: