BCS Lovelace Colloquim

The BCS Lovelace Colloquium is an annual conference for women and non-binary individuals in computer science and related fields. This year’s conference was being held in Sheffield, which I was both excited and nervous as I had only ever visited very few places in the UK.

I submitted an abstract based on the Bioinformatics research I had done the Summer previous. I used the previous poster and improved/updated it.

Due to terrible traffic on the way to Sheffield, I missed the beginning of the social activities (the treasure hunt). But was able to join the group a little towards the end of the evening. I met fellow conference attendees from Aberdeen, Bath, and even new Aberystwyth students.

The day of the conference

I woke up at 7:30am the next day, left the lodge at 9am to leisurely stroll over to the venue, whilst enjoying the sights of the town. At the venue I got my name sticker - that I forever stuck to my laptop! I also got a freebie bold set of - colourful - Google sunglasses.

The conference talks were held at a lovely lecture theatre with beautiful stained glass windows at the entrance, where I enjoyed a variety of interesting talks about careers and fields of study.

The key-note speaker, Tanja Lichtensteiger, gave an amazing talk about her background, career, and upbringing. I appreciated the personality in the presentation as she also talked about her other interests and hobbies. There was a wonderful panel at the end with inspiring individuals in tech and each panel member invested their time answering questions with their insightful experiences.

The poster presentation was an amazing experience! I spoke to people about both mine and their posters. I met some truly great students at the event with their creative posters, in addition to different companies: gaining some freebies!

Post-conference

Before travelling back, I went sightseeing in Sheffield. I saw the “Peace Gardens”, admired the Cathedrals, and noticed that Sheffield has a Walk of Fame. I also saw a Tram for the first time, but I wished I had the excuse to travel on one.

This event, not only a great first conference for me, but I believe a great first conference for all those interested. The wide variety of individuals and posters makes for such a lovely event. The efforts in each poster were amazing: someone made theirs with fabric and had stitched materials and lights onto it.

Finally, I would like to recommend, “The Street Food Chef”, in Sheffield: they do amazing burritos!