Oct 3, 2010

Back from GHC10@tlanta, now time to retrospect

Originally uploaded by geeklinda
Four awesome days at Atlanta for the Grace Hopper Celebration of women in computing. Had a great time, now buried with home works and projects and undone laundries.

No need to mention how I enjoyed with my friends, but I also enjoyed my Hopper assignments and blogging and tweeting about the selected sessions as a community blogger . Thanks to GATech for arranging the tour to GVU center. And thanks to Kathy who gave us a ride there. The sponsor night at the Georgia Aquarium was one of the best parts of this whole week full of events.

The situation of women is greatly different in different countries, I hope this will be addressed by the respective committees in more detail in upcoming GHCs, but I wonder why in countries like USA , there are still so few women coming forward in computer science in spite of the apparent equal opportunities. In between sessions, I discussed with my fellow students and scholarship recepiants about the speeches given by the venerable keynote speakers. I wish I could be as hard working as them; it's fact that women are still neglected and many families even discourage their daughters to be in technical fields and underestimate their capability, but  if we do not make our passion into something productive then no one will make way for us.
After the award ceremony and super charging speech of Dr Liskov,  me and my friends went to attend the invitation at Nova Ahmed's place, she is an alumni of GATech and with all the food she prepared for us proved again that being a CS researcher does not conflict with being a great cook. The food at Hyatts was not of my taste so Nova apu literally saved us from starvation. Another night we went to have dinner at the Metro Cafe Diner very near to our hotel and enjoyed their karaoke. Poken drew a lot of attention this time, someone lost her poken at the dance floor and the DJ announced, "here is a Token.." and we all cried out "this is POKEN, not Token ", haha ..

Oct 2, 2010

GHC 10: HCI Field trip to GVU: blog in pictures

Oct 1, 2010, Friday, Atlanta, GVU lab reception
watching tv with user specific interface

trying to feed robot dyno.

Augmented reality lab

Oct 1, 2010

Bangladeshi Girl Squad at GHC10

       We left our country and came here for higher education, to receive our Masters or PhD and spread all over USA, and then, aha! Here  we met, at the GHC conference at Atlanta. I see the faces I had known and loved and got inspired .  When we talk about scientific research and modern cutting edge technology, Bangladesh may not be among the topmost countries, but it is a great moment for me to get inspired when I see the number of technical women is increasing in Bangladesh, and after finishing their Bachelor's degree they are coming forth to receive higher education , this year they came from different states of USA, from Texas to Rochester, Illinois to Indiana, Michigan to Maryland. And we met and talked about our research fields, Systems, Computer Architecture, Wireless network, Security, HCI and so on. Tanzima Zerin from Purdue got second prize for her Poster presentation, Fariba Khan from UIUC presented on her PhD thesis on the PhD forum session. Nabila , Shantonu, Sonia all presented their work on the poster competition. When the total number of Bangladeshi girls in higher education  is not yet impressive, it is great to see that those who have reached this far are trying their best to shine their stars.  

HCI Track at GHC 10: FERNANDA B. VIEGAS presenting about visulization

presentation: 3-4 pm, Friday, Sep 30, 2010

Visualization of Bible text ? Or a classic like Pride and Prejudice ? why and how? Fernanda Viegas from google is explaining all these in a fun and engaging way. She demonstrated google's visualization and then ManyEyes . She also showed TreeMap visualization of microarray data visualization on ManyEyes.

What part of the body people think about the most ? Need to visualize that ? So extract text from song lyrics and try to visulaize the statistics , and guess what ? It's the Eye in general :) Each body part is shown in a bubble, and the size of the bubble is proportional to the percentage it is mentioned in the lyrics corpora, so the bubble for the Eye is the biggest ( which is good news for me and I also look into people's eyes ). But  when she filtered down the data only for hip-hop music it was something different. It  really talks about HIP ! hahaaa... this is not a nice visualization, but funny indeed. Just imagine a big bubble in the screen showing a human back.

Another visualization reveals : Lovers don't desire to touch the neck, but women desire to be touched on their neck ! Ok boys, this is important information !!!

Besides doing this cool stuffs it is important for researcher to use visualization tools for their research, and not only the computer scientists. and not only the researchers, common people are more and more motivated to use visualization and make their own way of it.  To make sense of data and make it more presentable , making it more competent to tell the story behind the data, story that we get from the data.

Student poster presentation evening, award ceremony, DJ night at GHC10

Usually conferences are held on the basis of research fields, so we get to meet people who are interested in similar area; unlike that a unique aspect of Grace Hopper conference is that here we can meet people coming from different areas in computer science and engineering and presenting their ideas. It's been long since I heard about system research or wireless technologies, but the poster session was a great retouch upon my memory, I was trying to recall what I learnt about computer architecture or operating systems and was an awesome opportunity for me to get the idea of what is going on in these fields these days and what is to expect in near future. Abrita Chakravarti from Duke University and Tanzima Zerin from Purdue University received the first and second prize for respectively for their best poster at graduate student level. After being selected for semifinals, the semifinalists had to give short presentation about the work presented on their posters, Tanzima was very impressive on her presentation and I anticipated she is going to be one of the finalists and I was right !

The award ceremony on 30th Sep Friday night was super cool, it was almost like the Oscar , haha , and there were music too. After the inspiring speech from CAROL BARTZ (CEO, Yahoo!) and award ceremony, guess what ! we had a DJ Party , yes, the girls were on the dance floor, it's a ladies' night ... and among all these girls, one man, and one man only , google's VP , Alan Eustace, took over the floor with all his charm :D

Keynote speech of Barbara Liskov at Grace Hopper Conference 2010 Atlanta

From Math Major to Language Translation to Stanford to Turing award:

After getting Turing award, someone called her home and said "Why did she got this award for ? all people already know these stuffs" . Yes, now all people know this 'Stuffs' , when we write a piece of java code , it comes so easy and familiar, it's hard to imagine once upon a time, there was no such thing as OO programming and scientists like Liskov tried and thought so hard make it happen.

She did her PhD Thesis on AI before starting to work on Systems. She was the only other girl in her grad class at Stanford back then ! And universities were not even ready to hire woman faculty.

Inventing abstract data type : The Venus machine : investigate micro-programming ; decided to embed semaphore directly in the machine instruction.

Venus operating system: time sharing system.

Programming methodology: software crisis : how to build program effectively , people did not understand the cost pf software ( the value of programmers was not even an issue to ponder )

ADT to CLU to Distributed Systems:The landscape: She recollects her memory how people reacted to this article: E.W. Dijkstra: Go To Statement considered harmful. 1968. How it was complicated using 'goto' statement and jumping around codes ! People were insulted ! Design as a problem statement : 1971 paper. top-down and bottom-up approach.

QA: Question from audience: "What is the best choice of first programming language to start with as a student of CS?"

Answer from Liskov: "There is no easy or right answer, but Python is the best choice today."

Such a wonderful speech and she finished with the recent and still ongoing research problem of System field ,