Written by Aliza Exelby, BSc Computer science
As a female student in Computer Science, the gender imbalance can sometimes be challenging. At the University of Bath, I have been lucky to have had the opportunity to connect with other female students through women in technology societies and events both within the Department and further afield.
On 8 April, I represented Bath at the 2020 BCSWomen Lovelace Colloquium, presenting my final year project work on producing voice-based assistive technology for people with dementia. The colloquium is a one day conference held annually for women studying Computer Science and other related subjects, and is held at a different university each year. Students attend talks with guest speakers, network with employers, and compete in a poster competition to present their areas of interest.
This was the third time I had attended the colloquium, and it was certainly a different experience. It should have been held at the University of Stirling but had to be moved online. Discord was used for general discussion, Q&A sessions, and the poster contents, while online talks were delivered through the University of Stirling’s virtual learning environment.
Though the conference was in a different format, the organisers were just as open and welcoming, and I got to meet lots of other women in computer science. All of the talks were given by women in the field, ranging from technology entrepreneurship to epidemic control simulation. I enjoyed reading other students’ posters and learning more about topics of interest which aren’t focussed on as heavily at our university.
Every year, I have found attending the colloquium a great way to get to know other female students from the Department, as well as students from other universities. Overall, I have found Lovelace to be one of the best networking opportunities I have been offered throughout my time at university and I would highly recommend attending to any female student who has not already done so.