Electrical engineering’s Guler invited to two conferences for women

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State electrical engineering doctoral student Basak Guler is used to being one of only a few females in the lab, the classroom and her department. With her bachelor’s and master’s degrees also in electrical engineering, and her current research focus on interactive communication and computation problems and information theory, she and her adviser, electrical engineering Professor Aylin Yener are among the few female researchers in their field.

According to the American Society for Engineering Education, electrical engineering and computer engineering have the lowest percentages of female undergraduate students in all of engineering: 12.4 percent and 9.2 percent, respectively. So when Guler was awarded a scholarship to the Rising Stars in EECS Workshop, she was given a unique opportunity to network with other women in electrical engineering and computer science. 

“I think the conference will give students a better perspective on the possible challenges they may face in their future careers,” Guler said about the Rising Stars workshop. “I want to go because learning from the experiences of senior faculty members is important.”

The Rising Stars in EECS workshop, held in late fall, brings female electrical engineering and computer science students who are interested in a career in academia together for two days of scientific interactions and career-oriented discussion. Hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and held this year at the University of California, Berkeley, this prestigious conference allows students to present their research and have the opportunity to meet and receive career advice from faculty at UCB, MIT, Stanford University and other top universities.

“I’m looking forward to meeting and learning from the experiences of prominent women how to build the right career path and the possible challenges along the way, as well as presenting my research and receiving feedback on it,” said Guler.

In addition to the Rising Stars workshop, Guler received a scholarship to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, the world’s largest gathering of women technologists. Organized by the Anita Borg Institute and Association for Computing Machinery, the conference helps increase the visibility of female contributions to computing. Last year more than 7,800 women attended from 65 different countries, with more than 800 industry representatives present.

Guler’s  scholarship will cover travel expenses to the event in Houston, Texas; hotel accommodations; and admission to the October conference.

Yener said both workshops are very selective, and Guler’s invitations are great achievements. 

Last Updated July 27, 2015