All-women hackathon promotes diversity

first_imgPhoto courtesy of Kelly LampotangKelly Lampotang hacks — and she wants to see more women take a crack at it, too.Lampotang, a sophomore majoring in computer engineering and computer science, founded AthenaHacks after participating in hackathons her freshman year and realizing she was frequently the only female team member.“Every single time, I was always the only girl on my hackathon teams,” she said. “The friends that you would usually go to hackathons with were always guys. There aren’t many women in hackathons.”Less than 20 percent of hackathon attendees are women, according to Lady Problems Hakathon, an organization that examines issues regarding women in technology. A hackathon features developers of varying skill levels banding together to cultivate technology solutions to issues in everyday life.After attending an all-female hackathon in the Bay Area, Lampotang was inspired to host one for Southern California and expand the idea of an all-female hackathon to the region.“I expected it to be really great, but it was not as great as it could have been,” Lampotang said. “I wanted to make something for SoCal that was as great as a real hackathon, but also all females.” Fellow Viterbi undergraduates Catherine Chung, Ilona Bodnar, Sampurna Basu and Yingyu Sun joined Lampotang as the five co-founders of AthenaHacks. They then recruited 10 other women to help plan the event and work toward their mission of supporting and nurturing women in tech.Yingyu Sun, a sophomore majoring in computer science, is one of the five founding females of AthenaHacks. She also recognized the need for such an event to take place.“This is something that’s pretty rare,” she said. “There aren’t a lot of all-female hackathons in the country even.” In addition to hosting the hackathon, AthenaHacks will host a slew of skill-building, social and professional workshops for all who identify as female. According to Lampotang, the workshops range from introduction to programming to advanced skills and technical specialty workshops; however, they are normally for beginners.“These are usually geared towards people who haven’t been to a hackathon before,” Lampotang said. “Find something that you want to work on, gain some basic knowledge, then go in with your actual team and build something from what you learn.”Sun also said she wanted AthenaHacks to focus on beginner’s workshops. “Hackathons can be pretty scary to start, especially if it’s your first time,” she said. “What we really want AthenaHacks to be is a way for beginners to learn more about what they can do and have that support system there for them to do what they want to.” Corporations such as Facebook will send representatives and host a workshop. Others, like Zynga, will sponsor prizes. Marsela Sulku, a sophomore majoring in computer science, stated that the accessibility of companies surprised her. “It’s cool to know how connected we are,” she said. “It opened my eyes.” According to Lampotang, a diverse array of companies were willing to help. “A lot of companies are excited about the idea [of having] an all-female hackathon for the diversity aspects,” she said. “And I think that they recognize that there’s a huge imbalance right now in how many women currently attend hackathons.” Sulku and Sun both acknowledge that they have seen this imbalance recently. They were the only two girls in a group of six for a group project. “I think people use girls in tech almost as a token of diversity,” Sun said. “But I think there’s more to that than just having them be there. People need to realize that we’re not just there to make things diverse.” Sun credits faculty and staff from USC for helping bring the vision to life and rallying for their cause. “People are really responsive, and if they can’t do anything, they’ll forward us to someone else,” she said. “It’s nice to know that people out there care.” The hackathon will also be providing free feminine products and donating money to local women-centric charities in the hackathon’s winners’ names. “I think AthenaHacks provides an area where everyone’s on the same boat,” Sulku said. “It’s the first step to feeling more comfortable in this industry, which is important.” AthenaHacks will be held from April 8 to 9. In addition to undergraduate and graduate students, high school girls are also eligible to participate. “The whole goal is to get more women to go to [AthenaHacks],” Lampotang said. “Maybe they’ll see that it’s a good environment, be less intimidated by the whole thing and go to more hackathons.”last_img read more

Dagg back as Crusaders ring changes

first_imgHe’s been named on the wing for Saturday’s clash with the Rebels in Melbourne.The outside back played a half game of club rugby a fortnight ago and declared himself fit to play for the Crusaders, but he was left out of last weekend’s win over the Chiefs in Suva.Dagg hasn’t played Super Rugby since March after injuring his knee against the Reds and now has two games to prove his match fitness before the All Blacks first test of the year against Samoa.Dagg’s inclusion is one of ten changes the Crusaders coach Scott Robertson has made to the starting fifteen that beat the Chiefs last weekend, using the trip to Melbourne to rest a number of key men, including Matt Todd, Ryan Crotty, Owen Franks and Codie Taylor.The Test quartet have all been left out of the matchday squad.Last week’s bench front row of Wyatt Crockett, Ben Funnell and Mike Alaalatoa becomes the starting front row for Saturday night.Andrew Makalio, Joe Moody and Oli Jager will provide cover.Lock Quinten Strange will make his first start of the season, pairing up with Sam Whitelock, while Luke Romano takes a spot on the bench.The loose forward trio will be Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, Pete Samu and Jordan Taufua, with Jed Brown having recovered from injury to take a place in the reserves.Manasa Mataele is on the opposite wing to Dagg with Tim Bateman stepping into the second five spot. Seta Tamanivalu will make his start at centre.Crusaders team to play the Rebels:1. Wyatt Crockett2. Ben Funnell3. Michael Alaalatoa4. Quinten Strange5. Sam Whitelock (C)6. Heiden Bedwell-Curtis7. Pete Samu8. Jordan Taufua9. Bryn Hall10. Richie Mo’unga11. Manasa Mataele12. Tim Bateman13. Seta Tamanivalu14. Israel Dagg15. David HaviliRESERVES16. Andrew Makalio17. Joe Moody18. Oli Jager19. Luke Romano20. Jed Brown21. Mitchell Drummond22. Mitchell Hunt23. George Bridgelast_img read more

“A magnet for anti-social behaviour”: Unoccupied housing issue highlighted after blaze

first_imgCathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr Gerry McMonagle has highlighted Donegal’s unoccupied housing issue following an early morning blaze.Two fire engines and Gardaí attended the scene of a fire at 8:15am at An Lagan, Killylastin, Letterkenny.The semi-detached houses are both unoccupied. One has been destroyed, with the other being severely smoke damaged. Cllr McMonagle tells Donegal Daily that he believes that this fire was sparked deliberately, as Letterkenny’s bank-owned houses have become a “magnet for anti-social behaviour.”“When a fire occurs in a house that has been unoccupied for a while in the early hours of the morning, someone had to have started it.”From speaking to residents in the area Cllr McMonagle says that previous occupants have left the area due to anti-social behaviour, and families in the area have been left shaken after this morning’s incident.“A family have recently left the area because they were afraid something like this would happen. They felt they couldn’t live there any longer, they were fearful for their safety.” “There are dozens of these unoccupied houses across the county owned by banks and lending institutions, and they have become a magnet for anti-social behaviour. People smoke and drink in these houses, and I have complaints from residents in these areas that these houses were used as dens and dives.”Many of these homes have been empty since the Recession when countless families lost their homes.“The banks and lending institutions have a responsibility to ensure that they are at least secure.”This is not the fire time fires have been set in this area of Letterkenny. In July, residents thought a bomb went off in the area after vandals set a large gas cylinder on fire in Killylastin Heights, with debris from the blast landing over 100 yards away and onto nearby roofs.As for anti-social behaviour in the area, Cllr McMonagle says that education is the key to solving the issue. “We’ve been asking for more Garda resources for a number of years, and we believe more community Gardaí may help this. Parents also need to be mindful of where their children are to ensure they are not involved in this behaviour.”Many of these houses have been built within the last 12 to 15 years, and with over 2,000 families on the waiting list in Donegal alone -Cllr McMonagle says it is a shame to see these “perfectly good” houses “wasting away and rotting”.“I would plead with these institutions to speak to the Council about using these houses for social housing, as for now they are attracting anti-social behaviour and are being allowed to dilapidate before our eyes.”“One of these houses had previously been used for social housing through the Rental Accommodation Scheme, and we would welcome the institutions that own these houses to speak to the council about these schemes instead of the houses lying empty, especially with the ongoing Housing Crisis.” “It’s a sin to see good houses going to ruin, and the institutions need to wise up and not allow these viable homes to fall into disrepair.”“A magnet for anti-social behaviour”: Unoccupied housing issue highlighted after blaze was last modified: October 26th, 2017 by Elaine McCalligShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:an lagangerry mc monaglekillylastinletterkennylast_img read more