Computer Science Students Attend Tapia Conference

Computer Science Students Attend Tapia Conference

Rensselaer students attended Tapia 2022

By Katie Malatino

September 30, 2022

Five computer science students from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute attended the CMD-IT/ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference in Washington, D.C., in September 2022. The group of exceptional undergraduate students benefitted from educational, training, and professional networking opportunities at the event, which aims to “acknowledge, promote, and celebrate diversity in computing.”

The Rensselaer students received scholarships to attend the Tapia conference and were selected based on their academic achievements and participation in extracurricular activities both within the Department of Computer Science and more broadly at Rensselaer. The students are dedicated leaders in campus organizations such as the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), the Rensselaer Center for Open Source (RCOS), undergraduate research, and the Computer Science Undergrad Curriculum Committee.

“Our student participants are already working to make the tech industry an inclusive space for underrepresented minorities,” said Meaghan M. Potter, senior student services administrator in the Department of Computer Science. “The group returned to Rensselaer motivated to advocate for communities in tech that are often overlooked. They also gained professional connections, deepened their knowledge in specific domains of computer science, and most importantly, returned with increased confidence in themselves to make their unique mark on the tech world.”

The three-day conference included technical sessions, expert talks, and a robust career fair featuring companies such as Google, Microsoft, Capital One, IBM, and more.

“Attending the Tapia conference was extremely valuable as it sharpened my interview skills, got me to the final round with a national laboratory without having to formally apply there, and taught me a lot about high performance computing including GPU CUDA C programming in hands-on workshops,” said Aditya Behal, who is dual majoring in computer science and biology. “The conference also helped me meet several wonderful recruiters, led me to consider applying to graduate fellowships like GEM and DOE when I apply to graduate school, and allowed me to become good friends with my fellow RPI Tapia Conference attendees, all of which made a very memorable and impactful experience for me.”


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