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CICS Dean Laura Haas Brings Computing for the Common Good to the 2019 Grace Hopper Celebration

Laura Haas

College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS) Dean Laura Haas spoke at this year’s Grace Hopper Celebration, the world's largest gathering of women technologists. The conference is hosted annually by AnitaB.org, a digital community for women in computing, in partnership with the American Computer Association, and attended by 25,000 women technologists. 

Haas spoke as a part of a talk series comprised of past recipients of the Abie Award, a recognition of distinguished women whose achievements demonstrate the power to improve the world. Haas presented the CICS Computing for the Common Good mission, which emphasizes the importance of equitable, inclusive, and effective technology. She explained how following these ideals requires challenging and interdisciplinary research, focusing not just on improving technology to incorporate important human values, but also on ethical applications. Through a discussion of faculty research, ethics classes, diversity initiatives like HackHer413, and service to the community, such as a new STEM @ UMass summer program for disadvantaged youth, Haas demonstrated how faculty and students alike at CICS are putting the college’s values into practice. 

The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, named after a prominent computer scientist, was founded in 1994 and has been held annually since 2006. CICS has been an academic sponsor of the celebration for the past several years, allowing the college to bring ten or more students each year to network, explore career opportunities, and learn about advances in computer science research.