On April 13-14, 2012 approximately 245 women computer science / computer engineering graduate students descended upon beautiful Bellevue, WA for the 2012 CRA-W Graduate Cohort Workshop. There they were joined by over 25 senior technical women representing academia, government, and industry. The Graduate Cohort Workshop, with significant support from Microsoft Research, along with support from Google, IBM, Yahoo!, and many University Departments, aims to increase the ranks of senior women in computing by building and mentoring communities of women through their graduate studies.
The format of the workshop consisted of a few plenary sessions and three cohort tracks specifically designed for attendees in their first, second, and third year of their graduate program. Each track offered a series of presentations specific to that cohort and led to excellent audience participation and fruitful discussions. The first year cohort included topics such as networking, finding and training your advisor, balancing graduate school and personal life. Second year sessions included finding a research topic, presentation skills, and interdisciplinary research. Third year participants were provided a wealth of information about publishing their research, PhD vs. Non-PhD Career Paths, and PhD job search.
In addition to the plenary and track sessions, students were encouraged to participate in a Poster Session on the afternoon of Friday, April 13th. Attendees for the poster session also included local university faculty and researchers from local industry labs including Microsoft Research, Google, Yahoo! Labs and IBM.
Microsoft Research and Google generously co-sponsored the Friday evening reception, which included quite the culinary buffet, and was followed by a DJ and lively dancing. All in all, the 2012 Grad Cohort Workshop was a great success. We would like to thank our sponsors for their steadfast support for this event.