Lydia Kavraki, the Noah Harding Professor of Computer Science and Bioengineering, was the keynote speaker at a National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) award banquet honoring 19 young women and a high school teacher from greater Houston.
The organization presents the Award for Aspirations in Computing to female high-school students for computing-related achievements. NCWIT selects students on the basis of “computing and IT aptitude, leadership ability, academic history and plans for post-secondary education.”
Kavraki cited examples from her research to illustrate the opportunities and challenges of computer science today. Also speaking at the March 24 ceremony was Julia Hossu, a Rice freshman majoring in computer science who last year received an Award for Aspirations in Computing while a senior at the Science and Engineering Magnet School in Dallas.
“I told them to network, network, network. I told them not to be afraid to talk with professors and upperclassmen. Rice is a very friendly place in that way,” said Hossu, who last summer had an internship at Google and plans to focus her research on bioinformatics.
The event was held at the University of Houston-Downtown. Rice and UH-D are academic alliance members of the NCWIT. The honorees received trophies and gift bags.