What’s Grad School All About?

Michele Weigle, Associate Professor at Old Dominion University

Finishing undergrad, not sure what you want to do next? Have you ever thought of trying Grad School? But do you know what grad school is all about? Dr. Michele Weigle is an Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director of Computer Science at Old Dominion University. She has spent over 20 years as either a student or professor of computer science. In this talk, she will share lessons learned and give some insight into the world of grad school and academia.

Make Something!

Kimberly Mahan, Chief Executive Optimist at MAXX Potential

How does an idea grow to become a successful company? Learn from an entrepreneur and technology executive who understands the challenges and obstacles in bringing new things to life. Kim will discuss the Lean Startup methodology, Maker Movement, and a lifetime of “Learning by Doing.”

Intentional Career Design in Technology and Engineering

Kristin Sowden, Career & Academic Advisor at James Madison University

You’ve made good grades, connected with key mentors and faculty, and gotten involved with organizations that you truly care for: now the time has finally come to start planning the job or internship search. Together, Learn how to design the opportunity of your dreams with Kristin Sowden, Career and Academic Advisor at James Madison University. Prepare yourself by discovering the process of the job hunt through industry specific best practices on resumes, cover letters, networking, negotiations, and more. As Thoreau once said, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.” Begin today!

How To Get A Tech Job

Ann Lewis, Director of Engineering at Pedago, LLC

Get the tech job that’s right for you. Ann Lewis from, a local startup company focused on the intersection of education and technology, will discuss the different tech job options available in the private sector, how to determine which work environment is right for you, tips and tricks for the job application process, and how to negotiate your starting salary.

The Importance of the Business Analyst’s Role

Meredith Edison-Billiet, Technology Manager at Wells Fargo

Meredith Edison-Billiet will discuss the role of a Business Analyst in Technology, one of the most important but little mentioned roles.

Warehouse-scale Computers: Opportunities and Challenges

Mary Lou Soffa, Professor at The University of Virginia

Web-service companies such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Yahoo, and Apple spend hundreds of millions of dollars to construct and operate Warehouse-scale Computers (WSC) which provide popular web-services such as search, social networking, webmail, video streaming, enterprise management tools, online maps, automatic translation, and online courses. The primary advantages of WSC are the scalability and cost benefits for both the end-users and web-service companies. These WSCs house hundreds to thousands of machines to provide the computing resources needed to serve millions of users. To limit the cost of ownership of WSCs, these machines are composed of commodity components which are cheap and easily replaceable, often multi-cores. When multiple applications are running simultaneously on a multi-core machine, resources sharing and contention among cores can result in a significant amount of performance interference. This interference leads to a significant problem in meeting the requirements of user facing web-service applications. To avoid the constant unpredictable threat that shared resource contention poses to an application’s QoS, datacenter operators typically disallow co-locations of latency-sensitive jobs with other jobs. This unnecessary over-provisioning of computer resources reduces the overall utilization of WSCs and results in an unnecessarily high cost and a large environmental footprint for a given set of web-service workloads. In this talk, I discuss these issues and present our research using scheduling and compiling to improve the capability and cost effectiveness by improving resource efficiency. Specifically, we reconcile the apparent conflict between the need to maintain high QoS for latency-critical, high-priority services and the desire to increase hardware utilization by scheduling multiple workloads per server.

Flash Storage for the Enterprise

Shwetha Raghuraman, Software Engineer at Pure Storage

Storage is everywhere, but what is enterprise storage and why do we care? Our tech talk will discuss the importance of enterprise data storage and how flash storage is redefining the industry.