Exploring 2023 Computer Science Conferences: Diversity, Inclusion, and Women’s Leadership

January 17, 2024

As either undergraduate or graduate students, all of our students have the opportunity to attend conferences where they can network, share knowledge, and be inspired by fellow researchers in the field of Computer Science. Attending conferences is an opportunity to have a variety of experiences that enrich academic and professional growth.

Learn about three of the conferences and workshops our students had the opportunity to attend in 2023, which focused on expanding and building diversity in computer science:


The CRA-WP for IDEALS Workshop, held in March, has the goal of increasing diversity and participation in computing research by mentoring and building a community for underrepresented graduate students.

“The emphasis on diversity and inclusion is particularly important in the computing field, and I feel that this workshop provides a valuable opportunity for underrepresented groups to connect and learn from one another,” says Samuel Fanijo, a Ph.D. student in the Computer Science department. “I would highly recommend this workshop to other graduate students in the department in coming years who are looking to broaden their perspective and connect with a supportive community.”

Grace Hopper Celebration

The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference (GHC) is an annual conference held in September dedicated to celebrating and advancing the role of women in technology. The conference brings together thousands of women in computing and provides a platform for networking, professional development, and discussions on diversity and inclusion in the tech industry. One of the largest conferences for women in computer science, it catalyzes empowering and supporting women pursuing careers in the field.

“GHC is a great opportunity to meet like-minded women who share a passion for computer science. I grew my network and learned how to be a female leader in a male-dominated industry,” said Hannah Ashley (BS ’23), pictured on the left.

“Grace Hopper was an empowering experience that I could bring back to Iowa State’s campus and help other women see their full potential,” added Madeline Moses (BS ’19).

Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas Women in Computing

The Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas Women in Computing conference offers young women a chance to explore computing opportunities. It’s an opportunity to connect with fellow women in academia, industry, and government, fostering friendships among others in the regions who have a common passion for computing.

“It was a great experience to be a part of the conference,” said Mohna Chakraborty, a Ph.D. student in the Computer Science department.  “We learned about other colleges and companies. The sessions/events were knowledgeable and insightful.”

“My favorite part was interacting with students and Professors from other colleges,” added Shakiba Khourashahi, a Ph.D. student in the Computer Science department.