Ivy’s League – My experience at CUCSC

WEtech Alliance Summer Intern Ivy Wills will be traveling Windsor-Essex this summer in hopes of gaining valuable insight into career paths while documenting her experience and lessons in her blog “Ivy’s League”. Interested in welcoming Ivy to your tech company? Let us know!

My Experience at CUCSC

As a volunteer and participant of the Canadian Undergraduate Computer Science Conference (CUCSC), I was given the opportunity to work alongside students in my field and learn through a variety of presentations. Due to my work schedule, I was not able to attend every event at the CUCSC, however, I did attend every event held on July 26th and the morning of July 27th.

On the 26th, one inspiring event was a workshop by Don Ward, Director of Engineering at Quicken Loans. He gave a brief introduction about Google Firebase and its applications. He also talked about his experience at Quicken Loans and what he learned during a 100 days of code challenge. The next day, he followed up with a workshop that walked viewers through the steps needed to make a simple app using Google Firebase.

One presentation on Artificial Intelligence, that took place by Dr. Ziad Kobti, the director of the School of Computer Science at the University of Windsor and former President of the Canadian Artificial Intelligence Association, also caught my interest. He expressed the different interpretations of AI as well as its connections to philosophy. He hopes to use AI to solve problems in healthcare and other areas.

Dr. Kobti gives a presentation on Artificial Intelligence at CUCSC 2019.

The panel I enjoyed the most at CUCSC was the Women in Tech Panel. The speakers at this panel were Samantha Estoesta the Outreach Operations Manager at the innovation lab at TD, Yvonne Pilon the President and CEO of WEtech Alliance, Alicia Jewell Bayi a business analyst for Quicken Loans, and Justine Janssen the Senior Vice President of Strategy at Ceridian. Each speaker talked about the pathway they took in order to achieve their position and gave their views on women in technology. One perspective that Yvonne gave was her desire to see technology panels that are diverse without needing to be named a women or diversity panel. This is an inspiring goal for the technology field that I hope becomes a reality.

Working as a volunteer with Chair Noah Campbell and Vice-Chair Aislyn Lewis-Laurent was an enjoyable experience. They are both very organized and hard working. They created a successful conference and allowed the volunteers to attend the events they were interested in. They both have lively personalities and were extremely welcoming.

This conference helped me along my journey by giving me the chance to hear from several individuals in the technology field and speak to other individuals my age and a few years older who are working towards their future.

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Ivy Wills is a second-year computer science student at the University of Toronto Scarborough. She grew up in Windsor and is currently spending the summer here before her second year. Starting in her grade 12 year of high school, she joined her high school robotics team, the 5885 Wiredcats. Here she learned the basics of programming and developed an interest in machinery. Following grade 12, she developed her teaching skills leading a month-long introduction to robotics summer class to children in grades 3-4. During her first year of computer science, she learned different programming languages and developed an interest in game development.