History of the Conference

Co-founded by Dr. Anita Borg and Dr. Telle Whitney in 1994 and inspired by the legacy of Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, the Institute’s Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC) Of Women In Computing Conference is designed to bring the research and career interests of women in computing to the forefront. It is the largest technical conference for women in computing and results in collaborative proposals, networking and mentoring for junior women and increased visibility for the contributions of women in computing. Conference presenters are leaders in their respective fields, representing industry, academia and government. Top researchers present their work while special sessions focus on the role of women in today’s technology fields.

Past Conferences

2010 Conference Poster

2010 Conference

September 28 – October 2, 2010

Atlanta, Georgia

Theme: Collaborating Across Boundaries

The 2010 Grace Hopper Celebration once again sold-out and experienced a 37% growth with 2,147 attendees from 29 countries collaborating on ways to create technology for social good. This year, we gave out 315 GHC student scholarships, had a tremendously successful career fair and held the second annual K-12 Computing Teachers Workshop in partnership with CSTA.

We had incredible attendance at the Open Source track designed to provide a variety of offerings involving Open Source and for different audiences, culminating at the end of day with a Codeathon for Humanity and the Human Computer Interaction (HCI) track with sessions including a panel discussion of the career opportunities in HCI to an invited technical speaker, Fernanda B. Viegas, who discussed her work using visualization as a medium and culminated at the end of day with a field trip to the GVU Center at Georgia Tech.

Keynote speakers this year were Duy-Loan Le, Senior Fellow & World Wide Advanced Technology Ramp Manager, Texas Instruments; Carol Bartz, Chief Executive Officer, Yahoo! and Barbara Liskov, Institute Professor Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT.


2009 Conference Poster

2009 Conference

September 30 – October 3, 2009

Tucson, Arizona

Theme: Creating Technology For Social Good

Web Site

The 2009 Grace Hopper Celebration was again a sold-out success with a record-breaking 1570 attendees from 20 countries collaborating on ways to create technology for social good. This year, we gave the largest number of scholarships totaling 331, had a tremendously successful resume clinic and incredible attendance at the Jo Miller workshop and panel where she discussed the theory of becoming a person of influence and the attendees hearing real-life experiences of senior-level technical women in industry. Once again, we offered the CONNECT project which allowed attendees to network and keep track of their connections electronically. This was the first year we had a K-12 Computing Teachers Workshop in partnership with CSTA and the University of Arizona. Keynote speakers this year were Megan Smith, Vice President, New Business Development & General Manager, Google.org and Fran Berman, Vice President for Research, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.


2008 Conference Poster

2008 Conference

October 1-4, 2008

Keystone, Colorado

Theme: We Build a Better World

Web Site

This years Celebration had many firsts and was the best Hopper ever. A record 1447 attendees and 301 speakers gathered from 22 countries discussing how they were building a better world using technology. This was the first year we had a track dedicated to Hardware, we offered free childcare to attendees, a very successful resume clinic and a workshop dedicated to women creating and leveraging their networks with Jo Miller which included a speed networking event with over 400 women. We changed the format of the awards ceremony highlighting the winners and had a performance art show by David Garibaldi. We offered the CONNECT project where attendees to set networking goals online and keeping track of those connections electronically – over 18,000 connections were made.


2007 Conference Poster

2007 Conference

October 17-20, 2007

Orlando, Florida

Theme: I Invent The Future

Web Site

A sold out Conference with 1430 attendees gathered at the seventh Grace Hopper Celebration. Women from over 23 countries attended from 212 universities and 93 companies. Students made up 41% of attendees an 8% increase over the previous year. 47% of the students are at the PhD level and 34% at the undergrad level. Impact results show sharp increases in career and degree commitment, breaking feelings of isolation and increasing confidence, and inspiration as a result of attending GHC2007.


2006 Conference Poster

2006 Conference

October 3-7, 2006

San Diego, California

Theme: Making Waves

Web Site

1,290 participants attended the sixth Grace Hopper Celebration, representing a 49.9 percent increase over the last conference in 2004. Forty-two percent of attendees were students, from undergraduates to post-doctoral scholars, and of that number, a record 221 attended on scholarships underwritten by universities, corporations, ABI and the National Science Foundation. A record 36 corporate sponsors provided nearly $400,000 in conference funding. Over two and a half days, a roster of more than 200 presenters, including thought leaders from government agencies, leading universities and some of industry’s top technology companies led programs to explore the state-of-the-art in computing technology, examine strategies for attracting and advancing women in science and technology professions, learn career-building skills and celebrate the accomplishments of women in technology. Additionally, a widely diverse technical poster session by students and researchers drew a record 66 entries.


2004 Conference Poster

2004 Conference

October 6-9, 2004

Chicago, Illinois

Theme: Making History

Web Site

900 participants attended the 5th Grace Hopper Celebration. A full decade since the first Grace Hopper Celebration the Making History theme was not a simple look back into history but emphasized the importance of cooperation and collaboration with women of different generations. It highlighted the impact and history that women have made, are making, and will continue to make on technology and innovation. Twenty-four universities from all over the country sent over 400 students to Chicago.


2002 Conference Poster

2002 Conference

October 9-12, 2002

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Theme: Ubiquity

Web Site

600 women attended the fourth Grace Hopper Celebration and they came from all over the world including the United Kingdom, Canada, Pakistan, Australia, India, Germany, South Africa, Ghana, Uganda, Haiti, Sweden, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Norway, Kenya, Bangladesh, Japan, Mexico, and Turkey. The theme for 2002, “Ubiquity,” focused on the ubiquity of the impact of computers on our daily lives and the ubiquity of the impact women are making on this technical force.


2000 Conference Poster

2000 Conference

September 14-16, 2000

Hyannis, Massachusetts on Cape Cod

Theme: Interconnections

The theme of the Third Grace Hopper Celebration was Interconnection; connections between computing and other fields, the connections among women in computing around the world, and the connection between technology and the needs of the world of women. Keynote speakers included Dr. Rita Colwell, Director, National Science Foundation and Ellen Hancock, CEO, Exodus Communications.


1997 Conference Poster

1997 Conference

Septmber 19-21, 1997

San Jose, CA

In its second iteration the Grace Hopper Celebration had already become known as a world-class technical conference presenting the significant contributions of women to the computing field. In addition the conference encouraged women by making visible the possibilities, success stories, and rewards available to women in computing. In San Jose, more than 600 women computer scientists and students exchanged ideas and updated their knowledge, fostered collaboration between individuals working in various fields of computing.


1994 Conference Poster

1994 Conference

June 9-11, 1994

Washington, D.C.

“Welcome to the first Grace Hopper Celebration. Welcome to the future.” With those words co-founder Dr. Anita Borg opened the inaugural event inspired by the legacy of Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, a pioneer in the field of computing and an inspiration to women and scientists everywhere. The Grace Hopper Celebration celebrated the continuing achievements and contributions of women in computing and over 450 women attended. The outpouring of enthusiasm from participants, organizations, associations and companies qualified the need for this event and foretold of great things to come.