What often comes to mind when the topic of conferences come up? Preparing an abstract/paper/poster to present in one’s major and figuring out how to pay for the trip are two common item. Well, when I was in undergrad, I did something a little different: I attended several conferences in my minor, Computer Science.
In my last year of undergrad, I became part of an all-female CS research group funded by a CREU (Computing Research Experience for Undergraduates) grant. Looong story how I got involved. The grant required that members of the group present their research at least two computing conferences. I wound up going to three. Let’s focus on the last one, Grace Hopper’s Women in Computing.
At this point in time, everyone in the research group had graduated. Robyn was in the midst of job training, Jaelle had begun her position as tech liaison, and I started grad school two months prior. Robyn was unable to go, but Jaelle and I were able to meet up again in Atlanta, Georgia. And guess what? We both encountered women in physics or involved in physics-related projects at this computing conference. Computing and physics often go hand-in-hand and that was understood here. Unlike the undergraduate career fair in SD, which catered to engineers only and didn’t know what to do with a physics student, the recruiters here looked at physics students with a serious interest.
So go ahead. Go to a conference in your minor. You’ll never know what you’ll find.