About the Conference

WECode is a conference for collegiate women interested in Computer Science that seeks to promote female representation in technical fields and create a community among women in technology.

Saturday, February 8th is general session consisting of speakers, hands-on workshops and other smaller break-out activities. Sunday, February 9th is a hackathon. Conference participants can register for either or both days, and breakfast and lunch will be served on the 8th and the 9th. Workshops and break-out activities will be led by our sponsors-- including Goldman Sachs, Intuit, Facebook, Google and Microsoft-- and smaller companies from the Boston area. We look forward to seeing you in February!

Please note that registration requires a $5 deposit but this deposit will be returned at check in.

Conference Schedule

Saturday, February 8th, 2014

Registration - 9 AM

Maxwell Dworkin Lobby

  • Check-in table opens at 9 AM with breakfast
  • Please show your Eventbrite confirmation

Plenary Session I - 10 AM

  • Keynote speech by one of our distinguished keynote speakers

Meet and Greet - 11 AM

  • Join in ice breakers and meet other attendees

Plenary Session II - 12 PM

  • Keynote speech by one of our distinguished keynote speakers

Mentorship Lunch - 1 PM

  • Chat with a female mentor while enjoying your meal

Track: Hands-on - 2:30 PM

Workshop: three hours of hands-on training by our corporate sponsors and distinguished faculty.

Spots are limited to guarantee one-on-one attention so be sure to sign up on the Eventbrite for a specific workshop.

Track: Ideas - 2:30 PM

Lightning Talks: 10-15 min TED-style talks designed to get you up to speed on the latest innovations and inspire you dream big.

No sign up required.

Track: Experience - 2:30 PM

Panels: three, one-hour long panel discussions by diverse panels of individuals on three trending topics in the tech world today: Big Data, Social Impact Technology, Tech in Education

No sign up required.

Recruitment Bootcamp

2:30 PM

Spring recruitment is just around the corner! Bring your resume and drop by a resume review booth or bring you A-game and sign up for a mock-interview practice upon arrival.

No sign up required. Spots are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Plenary Session III - 5:45 PM

  • Keynote speech by one of our distinguished keynote speakers

Mixer - 8:00 PM

Cambridge Queenshead Pub

  • Join us at the Queenshead Pub for some drinks to unwind after a busy day! Must be 21+ to consume alcohol.

Party - 9:00 PM

Quincy 620

  • Relax and enjoy the night at our Valentine's Day themed party!

Sunday, February 9th, 2014

Registration - 9 AM

Harvard Innovation Lab (i-Lab)

  • Check-in table opens at 9 AM with a team-finding breakfast. Get to know other attendees and form your hackathon teams!
  • Please show your Eventbrite confirmation

Plenary Session IV - 10:00 AM

Harvard Innovation Lab (i-Lab)

  • A keynote conversation between two of our distinguished keynote speakers and a moderator

Hackathon - 11:30 AM

Harvard Innovation Lab (i-Lab)

  • Code away! Showcase your knowledge from the workshops yesterday, meet new people and start a project, or hack on something you've already started.

Awards - 8:00 PM

Harvard Innovation Lab (i-Lab)

  • Judges award exciting prizes to the best projects. More details to come!

Meet our keynote speakers:

Rebecca Parsons

CTO at ThoughtWorks

Rebecca has more than 30 years of application development experience in industries ranging from telecommunications to emergent internet services. She has extensive experience leading in the creation of large-scale distributed object applications, services based applications and the integration of disparate systems. She spent time at Los Alamos National Laboratory researching programming languages for parallel and distributed systems as well as the application of evolutionary computation to problems in computational biology. She continues to have a strong interest in programming language design and implementation, particularly as it relates to scientific and distributed computation.

Kimber Lockhart

Senior Director of Engineering at Box

Kimber Lockhart is the Senior Director of Web Application Engineering at Box, leading the web and core engineering teams. Previously, she co-founded Increo, a web-based service that allows users to share and review documents in a secure space. Increo was acquired by Box in 2009. In her free time, Kimber enjoys training on the aerial rope and flying trapeze. She holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Stanford University.

Marie Louise Kirk

Partner at Goldman Sachs

Marie Louise is head of FICC Sales Strats for the Americas, responsible for client strategies and solutions. She started her career at Goldman Sachs as a derivatives trader and led Swiss and Scandinavian Interest Rate Trading for several years. Marie Louise joined Goldman Sachs in 2003 and was named managing director in 2009 and partner in 2012.

Marie Louise is a trustee on the board of the Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark Fund for Harvard University. Marie Louise earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematical economics from Copenhagen University in 2001 and a master’s degree from Harvard University in 2003.

Ann Wollrath

Early Developer of Java

Ann Wollrath is a Senior Software Developer with Ab Initio where she specializes in all things Java and Hadoop, as well as dabbles in language runtime systems. Previously, at Sun Microsystems, she was the architect and project lead of the Java Remote Method Invocation system (the Java core library java.rmi) and was one of the architects of the Jini technology. Also while at Sun Microsystems Laboratories and at the MITRE Corporation, she researched reliable, large-scale distributed systems and parallel computation. Ann received an M.S. in computer science from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, and a B.S. in computer science from Merrimack College.

Min Wang

Senior Staff Research Scientist at Google Research

Dr. Min Wang leads the Knowledge Integration and Inferencing team. Her previous appointments include HP Distinguished Technologist and Director of HP Labs China and Research Staff Member and manager of the Unified Data Analytics Department at IBM's Thomas J. Watson Research Center. Her research interests are in database systems and information management. In 2009, she received the ACM SIGMOD 2009 Test of Time Award for her 1999 SIGMOD paper, "Approximate Computation of Multidimensional Aggregates of Sparse Data Using Wavelets". She received her Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from Duke University and the B.S. and M.S. degrees, both in Computer Science, from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China.

Workshops offered:

Registration is on a first come, first served basis and space is limited to 10-20 students to ensure personal attention. If your workshop is no longer available, please fill out the waitlist form here

Windows 8 Apps Workshop - Microsoft

  • Learn how to create Windows 8 Apps! Participants with Macs will need to install Parallels, Windows 8 and Visual Studio, which we will provide after sign up. Led by: Jim O’Neil

Windows 8 Games Workshop - Microsoft

  • Learn how to create a Game for Windows 8 and make one! Participants with Macs will need to install Parallels, Windows 8 and Visual Studio, which we will provide after sign up. Led by: Michael Cummings

Getting Started with Openstack Workshop - Rackspace

  • Curious about open source project but never known where to start? Engineers from Rackspace will onboard participants to the OpenStack platform and will be around for support during the hackathon. Led by: Iccha Sethi, Dana Bauer, Egle Sigler, Amy Truong

OCaml 101 Workshop - Jane Street

  • Explore typesafe and functional programming with OCaml. Learn the basics of the language, how it can improve your coding, how it's used in industry by Jane Street, a proprietary trading firm in New York.

Grad School Workshop - Jean Yang, Radhika Nagpal

  • Research is another name for invention, and some people do it for a living. What does it mean to get a PhD? What is graduate school like, and how do you know if it is for you? What do people do after they've gotten their degree? Come find out in this interactive session everything you ever wanted to know about graduate school, and get one-on-one advice on applying and navigating the process. With Harvard's Professor Radhika Nagpal and MIT's Jean Yang.

Google App Engine Workshops - Google

  • Get started with Google App Engine, which lets you run web applications on Google's infrastructure. These are easy to build, easy to maintain, and easy to scale, without having to worry about servers. Some experience with Python or Java is helpful although knowlege of a similar language is enough! Led by: Em Rauch, Stacy Wong, Nancy Chen

Square Connect API Workshop - Square

  • Learn the tools to use Square credit card readers in your projects with their Connect API. Led by: Vida Ha

Entreupeneurship Workshop - Diane Williams

  • What is entreupeneurship? What is the role for it in tech? Come explore these questions and get ready to come up with your own ideas. Led by: Diane Williams

User Needs with Palantir Workshop - Palantir

  • Ever wonder how you can anticipate your user’s needs before even they think about them? Do you want to learn how to cater your project to your targeted users? We’ll start from an idea and prototype several possible designs targeted at different types of users. You’ll also learn what questions to ask when starting a new project and you’ll develop tactics for gaining useful feedback from your users throughout the entire development process. All experience levels welcome. Please come prepared with an idea for a cool project. Led by: Julia Bortz

From Idea to Launch: Planning a Product Execution - Thoughtworks

  • Join us for a hands-on workshop where you’ll be introduced to practical tools and agile techniques used in product visioning and project management for software development! This will be a facilitated workshop where you have a chance to get your hands dirty and actually learn how to transition an idea through to a product concept. Collaborate with your peers in a fun, casual environment, while your facilitators guide you through various activities along the way.

Agile Workshop - Thoughtworks

  • We are excited to present a two-part agile workshop. In the first half, we will discuss agile methodologies such as TDD and paired programming that are used in a real world software development setting. The second half will then exercise these practices with a fun coding problem. The participants will be able to get their solve a problem using these techniques. The aim of the workshop is familiarize the participants with real world software development, TDD and agile style.

Parse Workshop - Facebook

  • Learn to quickly build a web app with Parse, a cloud app platform that enables you to quickly spin up new projects without worrying about server management. We’ll be walking through building a sample app, and work on your own apps if we have time. Prereqs: familiarity with HTML/CSS/Javascript, interest in web programming. Led by: Jess Lin, Laney Kuenzel

Session Events:

Lightning Talks

10-15 minute TED-style talks designed to inspire. No sign-up needed

From Insecure to Self-Assured: Learning to Span the “Confident Interval”

   Briana Whelan (APT)

  • The “confident interval” – the gap in experience and time that differentiates an uncertain hypothesis from a well-grounded conclusion – can seem too far to traverse. But there are steps we can take towards making informed choices and feeling more confident in the decisions we make.

New Computational Approaches to Structure-Based Drug Discovery

   Melanie Lahti (DE Shaw Research)

  • Take a closer look at our work on parallel algorithms and machine architectures for Anton, a special-purpose supercomputer designed by our group to execute high-speed molecular dynamics simulations. We will show simulations that have helped elucidate the dynamics and functional mechanisms of proteins and other biological macromolecules relevant to the understanding and potential treatment of disease.

The Secrets of Body Language: Become an Expert Communicator

   Rohan Puri

  • TYou will learn how to use your gestures to reinforce the messages you're trying to communicate, as well as simple tactics and techniques you can use to read the body language of others.

The Evolution and Ubiquity of Virtualization

   Adam Leventhal (Delphix)

  • The evolution and ubiquity of virtualization. From IBM in the '60s, VMware's rise to preeminence, and the nascent frontiers of virtualization

Reliability Matters

   Abhay Kumar (Square)

  • In this talk, Abhay will walk through why reliability should be considered a core feature of all services and how Square has built software and hardware to provide merchants with a trusted way to grow their business.

Why We Build

   Sammi Krug (Facebook)

  • "A talk on zooming out of the details and remembering who we are building for.  I'll discuss what launching products at Instagram means to me, and how we put the community first."

All roads lead to Rome: Grad School, Startups and Large Companies

   Manasi Vartak (GW6 at MIT)

  • With the help of popular literature and media references, and a little math, I’d like to help the audience appreciate the various paths they can take and hopefully aid them in choosing one for themselves.

Mobile Applications in Finance

   Soomin Hu and Kathy Chen (Goldman Sachs)

  • With mobile applications, companies and organizations have found better and more innovative way to interact with customers and provide them with the best services.

Cheap, Reliable and Secure, pick three. Producing Square-shaped credit-card readers at Scale

   Diogo Monica (Square)

  • "I will go over the lifecycle of the conception design and manufacturing of a credit-card reader, with an emphasis on the security challenges we have to overcome to keep your data safe."


One-hour long discussion on three new and important topics emerging in technology. No sign-up needed

Big Data

   Joe Blitzstein (Harvard), Sumitra Ganesh (Goldman Sachs), Panna Pavangadkar (Goldman Sachs), Doug Doan (Palantir)

  • Big Data is a recent phenomenon that is believed to change the world in the near future. What exactly is Big Data? What kinds of benefit is it bringing to the database community and people in general? This panel will address these questions and more. The panelists will discuss the current role and future projections of Big Data in technology along with their experience and observations in the field.

Social Impact Technology

   Christy White (Dimagi), Marzyeh Ghassemi (Sana), Emily Wang (Vecna Cares), Annie Feighery (mWater)

  • This panel will focus on the impact technology has had on society, and potential directions in expanding positive impacts. The panelists will discuss the role that technology plays in accomplishing the mission of their companies.

Tech and Education

   Ricarose Roque (MIT Media Lab), Jennifer Jacobs (MIT Media Lab)

  • The various aspects of the intersection of technology and education, such as how technology has transformed the learning process and what obstacles are currently present in the edtech world, will be discussed in this panel. The panelists will also share the experiences and insights that they have gained through their innovative works.

Frequently asked questions:

How can I register?

  • Registration for the conference is completely through the Eventbrite at www.wecode.eventbrite.com
  • Registration for the hands-on workshops will be available on the Workshops tab above once the information is finalized

Where is the conference?

  • Saturday registration begins at Maxwell Dworkin at 33 Oxford St Cambridge MA 02138
  • Sunday registration begins at the Harvard Innovation Lab at 125 Western Ave Boston MA 02134

How do I get to Harvard?

  • The Maxwell Dworkin building (Saturday) and the Harvard Innovation Lab (Sunday) are both within walking distance upon arrival in Harvard Square through the Red Line T subway.
  • Parking spots, though few, are available in Harvard Square. See Map
  • A complete map of Harvard's campus can be found here

Is housing provided?

  • We can match you up with a Harvard WICS member for Friday, Saturday, or Sunday night. Please fill out this form as soon as possible

Is attendance required for the entire conference?

  • You may register for either Saturday or Sunday if you have a conflict on a single day. Attendance for the entire duration of the conference on that day is required

Can I be reimbursed for travel?

  • Currently, we do not offer reimbursement for travel since the conference registration and all meals are completely free of charge
  • In select cases, if attendees exhibit significant financial need, we provide a transportation scholarship on a case-by-case basis due January 15th. Apply now

What are the expenses for the conference?

  • Registration is completely free along with breakfast and lunch on Saturday as well as all meals on Sunday. Dinner on Saturday is not covered but can be available for purchase at the Queen's Head mixer or in Harvard Square
  • Housing, as mentioned above, will be on a first come, first serve basis and attendees will be matched with WiCS members at Harvard free of charge as well

What are hotels in the area? Parking in the area?

  • A list of hotels within walking distance to Harvard's campus and the conference destination can be found at this site
  • Parking options are available at the hotels listed above or can be found at here
  • Overnight parking may be possible at the Harvard Innovation Lab. Please contact us for further details.

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