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Top EE Female Graduate Students Attend Grace Hopper Conference, Land Prestigious Positions

EE graduate students Julie Medero and Jessica J. Tran have accepted prestigious positions upon attending the Grace Hopper Conference (GHC) last year. Both will begin their new endeavors in the fall of 2014.

Medero will be joining the Computer Science Department at Harvey Mudd as an Assistant Professor. While obtaining her PhD, Medero's research focused on automatically simplifying texts for low-literacy adults. By analyzing audio recordings and gaze-tracking data from people reading out loud, Medero used machine learning techniques to predict where a news article, public health document, or other text is likely to be difficult to read. Understanding text difficulty will allow for arbitrary texts to be automatically made more simple without changing their meaning. She was advised by Professor Mari Ostendorf.

Tran will be joining Thomson Reuters as a Technology Associate Leader. While obtaining her PhD, Tran’s research focused on investigating the lower limits in which intelligible mobile sign language video can be transmitted below industry recommended standards, to save bandwidth and battery life. By taking a human-centered approach to evaluating video compression, Tran is making mobile video communication more accessible and affordable for deaf and hard-of-hearing people. She was advised by Professor Eve A. Riskin (EE), Professor Richard E. Ladner (CSE), and Associate Professor Jacob O. Wobbrock (The Information School).

Both discovered their job opportunities by attending the Grace Hopper Conference (GHC) held in Minneapolis, Minnesota last fall. “Attending the Grace Hopper Conference was a great networking opportunity," says Tran. "In addition to meeting my future employer, I presented in the PhD forum and spoke to many aspiring women engineers.” GHC is the largest technical conference intended to bring research and career interests for women in computing. The 2013 conference was the largest yet, with 4,750 attendees and over 350 companies participating in this event. "My contact for this position was someone that I met at Grace Hopper and I don't think that I would have applied if I hadn't talked to him," says Medero. "I'm extremely excited to be joining the CS department at Harvey Mudd, and I'm grateful to the UW EE for giving me the chance to go to Grace Hopper."

More Information

The Grace Hopper Celebration
Julie Medero's web page
Jessica J. Tran's web page

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