LA Tech College of Engineering and Science receives Google grant

Google has awarded the Louisiana Tech University College of Engineering and Science a $25k exploreCSR: Google Grant for Undergrad CS Research Focused Workshops for Women to organize and present a workshop during the 2018-19 academic year.

The workshop, “Cyber Research for Empowering Women Experimenters” (CREWE), will provide undergraduate female students from throughout the region with the opportunity to network while performing cyber experiments. Scheduled for March 2-5, 2019, it will be open to students enrolled in computer science, cyber engineering, computer information systems and related disciplines.

CREWE, developed by Dr. Benjamin Drozdenko, assistant professor of cyber engineering, and Dr. Pradeep Chowriappa, assistant professor of computer science, is a hands-on, four-day workshop designed to encourage undergraduate women to participate in current, cutting-edge cyber research at Louisiana Tech University. It will focus on creating awareness of opportunities and opening existing avenues for regular engagement between students and both graduate faculty and mentors from regional cyber companies.

“The goal of the workshop is to pique the interest of undergraduate women in computer-related research and encourage them to pursue graduate school,” Drozdenko, grant principal investigator, said. “This, in turn, should convince more computing majors to pursue master’s and doctoral degrees at Louisiana Tech and help to mitigate the gender disparity in computing, a major societal issue of the information age.”

Local mentors will make presentations that outline avenues for the students to pursue research opportunities, employment options and graduate degrees in computing-related fields at Louisiana Tech.

Dr. Katie Evans, director of the Office of Women in Science and Engineering and associate dean of strategic initiatives for the College of Engineering and Science, and Dr. Lorraine Jacques, assistant professor of computer science and curriculum, instruction, and leadership, will actively lead portions of the workshop preparation efforts and will present at the workshop.

In addition, mentors from neighboring universities, including University of Louisiana – Monroe, Grambling State University, Bossier Parish Community College and Northwestern State University, will speak at the workshop. Representatives from local industry will serve as external advisors.

Tech is one of fifteen universities in the nation to receive an exploreCSR grant this year. For more about the grant, go to the Google blog athttps://blog.google/outreach-initiatives/education/fifteen-grants-support-computing-research-undergraduate-women/.