Grace Hopper Celebration’19, Orlando

During the first week of October 2019, which also happens to be my birthday, I had the opportunity to attend the Grace Hoppers Conference. The 2019 GHC was held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, from October 1–October 4.

The presence of 26,000 other women and other gender minorities in technology in one space was exhilarating. It was tiring as well, because it took a long hours to get into the session rooms where keynote speeches, lighting lectures, and even a photo with the stunning GHC signboard were held (although the wait was well worth it, see the photo below!). I would recommend wearing comfortable shoes and carrying a small backpack loaded with energy bars and a water bottle.

I spent hours in line to acquire my badge, but because the systems crashed, I was unable to get it. In order to make it to the conference centre, some of us had to rise at 5 a.m to pick up the badge on the first day of the conference.

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Intel Women In Tech at GHC #IamIntel

The greatest gathering of women and other underrepresented groups in computing and technology is the Grace Hoppers Celebration (GHC), which takes place every year. This year, the GHC drew 26,000 excellent and motivated technologists. In the course of pursuing my bachelor’s degree, I became aware of GHC and I was chosen as a GHC-India Student Scholar.

GHC was massive in Orlando. For myself and everyone else, participating in it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. With encouraging Keynote presentations and awards, the conference got off to a wonderful start. The subject for this year’s GHC was “We will…”, and you were free to fill in the blanks with your own interpretations of how the sentence could be fulfilled.

The conference got off to a great start with inspiring Keynote speeches and awards. This year’s GHC theme was ‘We will..’, and you could fill in the blanks with your own interpretation of how the statement could be fulfilled.

One of my favorite topics of discussion was igniting the genius in every child by using technology to bring the best quality education to communities all over the world, particularly the most underserved.

When this video was shown at the GHC keynote, it literally gave me goosebumps to see high school students talking about the solutions they want to build using technology. I was thinking about society’s obsession with “growing up” and “achieving great things,” and how we can achieve great things without “growing up.”

Some of the sessions are recorded that can be viewed here.

Dr. Fei Fei Lee’s keynote session was one of my favorites among the many. She talked about the comments she received from her admiring colleagues about her idea about her product image-net,, which is now a key contribution to the Deep Learning revolution and the foundation for how Machine Learning projects are developed. “It’s okay to feel small, but together we can be big enough to accomplish anything,” she said, and finding your circle takes conviction.

According to one unexpected performance that made everyone shiver, women in tech have been sold a false narrative about who we are and what we can do. We’ll flip the script and change the status quo together.

I was looking forward to Aicha Evans’ keynote address. She is one of my most admired female leaders in technology. She discussed her vision and the need for Autonomous Mobility. She concluded by quoting a well-known proverb.

“If you want to go FAST, go ALONE.  If you want to go FAR, go TOGETHER.”

I had the chance to meet interns from Outreachy; we had always communicated online, so it was wonderful to finally meet in person. Maria Glukhova and I interned at Debian for the same round. (https://wiki.gnome.org/Outreachy/2016/DecemberMarch#Debian)

Intel’s been a proud supporter for GHC for years and has a strong presence at GHC.

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Intel’s Hiring Booth at GHC

Intel is committed to advancing the uses of AI that most positively impact the world. The hardware, software, and algorithms that we create and utilize on a daily basis can help identify children at risk of exploitation, improve medical diagnosis, and protect our natural resources. Intel is passionate about equalizing AI resources, capabilities, and services to benefit all. Source – AI4Good

Few products we put out there as a part of Technology Showcase at GHC:-

Intel’s AI TrailGaurd Camera

  • TrailGuard AI camera uses Intel-powered artificial intelligence technology to detect poachers entering Africa’s wildlife reserves and alert park rangers in near real-time so poachers can be stopped before killing endangered animals.
  • As per stats, 25k – 35k elephants killed annually for their ivory, every day a Rhino is poached for its horn. Lions have lost 43% of their population over the past 20 years. While many of these animals live on protected reserves, the areas are vast, the infrastructure limited and park ranger resources spread thin that it is difficult to stop poachers before they kill.
  • TrailGuard AI builds on anti-poaching prototypes funded by Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and National Georaphic Society.
  • This was a personal favorite project.
  • Find more details here -> https://newsroom.intel.com/news/intel-ai-tech-stops-poachers/#gs.dmnt3o

Intel’s Volumetric Capture

  • Since Intel has moved its dial from PC-centric to Data-centric, Intel continues to position itself as the leader in immersive media across key segments including sports and entertainment.
  • Scenes inside the dome from all directions at once, a technique called “volumetric capture.”
  • Data captured by each camera is shaped into voxels (think 3D pixels), which render the virtual environment in multi-perspective 3D.
  • It allows audiences to view a scene from any angle – even the middle of the action.
    This Grease piece was captured at the world’s largest volumetric stage – Intel Studios.
  • Find more details here -> https://newsroom.intel.com/news/intel-studios-volumetric-video-gives-grease-new-life-40-years-later/

At the end of it, attending GHC was truly an extraordinary experience. I felt grateful to be a part of the celebration. Thanks to my employer – Intel and my manager for the opportunity.

I volunteered for the next GHC-2020 conference by revieweing student scholarships, there are various other kinds of volunteering opportunities as well –

https://www.linkedin.com/posts/urvikagola_ghc20-activity-6655868544447766528-yM2V

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