Dr. Valerie Taylor, senior associate dean of academic affairs, participated as the moderator for the Microsoft-Sponsored Fireside Chat, “Discussing the Hard-hitting Problems,” at the 2014 Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference in Seattle.
The chat discussed issues being addressed by industry such as living in a digital and connected world, opportunities that are available for innovation and being a part of a digital ecosystem.
Dr. Qi Lu, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Applications and Services began the Chat with a presentation which lead to a conversation among the other panelists; Dr. Stuart Feldman, vice president of engineering at Google; Dr. Pardha Pyla, a designer and user experience team lead at Bloomberg L. P., New York; and Andrés Monroy-Hernández, a researcher at Microsoft Research.
Taylor directed the conversation with questions to the panel. The first topic addressed the key trends shaping the technology industry. Lu noted three massive areas that shaped the industry in a dramatic manner. His examples included current computer architectures, the computer moving well beyond the PC into mobile devices (which are now cloud tethered or connected) and lastly, the digital connection between humans quickly reaching a new level that the industry has not seen before.
Taylor also asked the panel to talk about their perspective on the issues about privacy and trustworthy computing. Monroy-Hernandez said, “Privacy and data ownership are the central issues of computing today.”
Taylor concluded the Fireside Chat with questions from the audience, which included how students can become more engaged by working on some of the problems addressed by industry. Pyla highly recommended that students seek out internships and attend conferences to meet with people in the industry. Another suggestion was for the students to find their niche and become involved in that network. Feldman stressed the importance of learning the fundamentals of computer science, which plays a crucial role for success in the industry.
The Tapia Conference is sponsored by the Association of Computing Machinery, organized by the Coalition to Diversify Computing, and presented by the Center for Minorities and People with Disabilities in IT.