A Virginia Tech group of 11 students and faculty made the trek from Blacksburg to attend the CAPWIC 2023 conference in Richmond VA. CAPWIC is the Capitol Region Women in Computing conference, an annual regional opportunity to celebrate and promote participation of women and other underrepresented minorities in computing. Virginia Tech had a big presence, featuring 20 students, faculty, and alumni: (1) we were a conference sponsor, hosting a booth for each the Blacksburg and the Capitol Region Innovation Campus; (2) Virginia Tech faculty member and VT Innovation Campus Director Lance Collins presented the opening keynote, connecting “hidden figure” and VT alumna Dr. Gladys West and the new VT Innovation Campus; and (3) we led both a workshop and a panel, detailed here:
Designing Mobile Games for the Outdoors: From Interesting Ideas to Working Games, a workshop on designing games with outdoor themes. Participants learned about ways to design mobile games and how outdoor themes can drive appeal, building on the themes of our Tech on the Trail initiative. The workshop was run by Virginia Tech researchers Scott McCrickard, Morva Saaty, and Jaitun Patel, with 20 students and faculty from 8 colleges and universities engaging in a creative design activity using the Marvel POP sketch-based wireframing tool.
Designing Apps for Diversity: Building Bridges through Mobile and Web App Development, a panel featuring three Virginia Tech alums: Joon Suk Lee, Department Chair of Computer Science at Virginia State University; Chandani Shreshtha, Assistant Professor of Computer Science at James Madison University; and Mohammed Seyam, Collegiate Assistant Professor at Virginia Tech. Scott McCrickard moderated the panel. The panel explored how mobile and web apps can help give voice to individuals from groups that are often marginalized in computer science and other computing fields. Dr. Lee presented his work on microcoordination, delving into to roles of technology in coordinating attention, task completion, and interpersonal interactions. Dr. Shreshtha discussed how the ThoughtSwap tool, developed in her lab when she was a grad student, can be used to support conscientious discourse in classrooms. She talked about how contained anonymity and ephemerality play a role in the swapping of thoughts, toward supporting a broad and diverse set of opinions. Dr. Seyam discussed his experiential learning efforts, with a focus on how synchronous and asynchronous technologies can help facilitate communication.
Below are photos from the event, including of the students, faculty, and alumni who were in attendance.