Gearing up for GHC 2017

‘Twas the night before GHC and all through the house,

Several items were stacking, plus a computer mouse.

The suitcases were placed by the front door with care,

In the hopes that all contents would arrive safely there.

As you can tell, I’m looking forward to GHC 2017!  I’ll be volunteering as a Blogger and Note-Taker for 6 presentations.  My AWM (American Women in Math) mentees are eager to hear about my experiences when I get back.  I’m particularly looking forward to the following:

  • Thursday Keynote featuring Debbie Sterling, founder and CTO of GoldieBlox.  I had the pleasure of hearing Debbie deliver the morning keynote at the 2014 Texas Conference for Women.  She was an inspiration.  Her anecdote about her high school guidance counselor’s career recommendation was delightful.  The counselor recommended that Debbie study engineering; her reaction to this suggestion was, “Is this woman crazy?  Why would I want to be a train driver?!”  Debbie went on to explain how the lack of female role models in STEM fields had given her a limited perspective on what engineers do.  She founded GoldieBlox to encourage young girls to perceive building things as “something girls can do and enjoy”.  It will be great to hear her again.
  • Seeing my alma mater, the University of Waterloo (proud export of Canada, eh?) at the Expo Hall.  I display the Waterloo Alumni sticker on my car’s windshield and here in the U.S., not many people recognize it!  It will be great to see Waterloo at GHC so that more Americans can become familiar with it.  When I applied, Waterloo took the average of 6 grades – 5 from regular high school courses (Finite Math, Algebra, Calculus, Computer Science, etc.) and the 6th from a 3-hour Math Contest:  the Descartes.  Imagine a 3-hour Math Contest carrying the same admissions weight as a 4-month course!  How’s that for pressure?  Despite this, the Math Contests are some of my fondest memories from high school, so much so that I still take pleasure in matching names to grade levels (as you can see they were all named after famous mathematicians):
    • Grade 9 | Pascal
    • Grade 10 | Cayley
    • Grade 11 | Fermat (the elusive proof to Fermat’s Last Theorem was finally achieved by Dr. Andrew Wiles and made headlines around the mathematical community while I was a student at Waterloo.  So exciting!)
    • Grade 12 | Euclid
    • Grade 13 (we had this in Canada until the 21st century) | Descartes

I attended GHC for the first time last year in my home city of Houston.  At GHC 2016, I greatly enjoyed Susan Cain’s lecture on Quiet:  The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.  This topic resonated with me and I got some great mileage out of the book as well.  I loved Susan’s anecdotes about visiting Harvard Business University and attending Tony Bennett’s motivational seminars.  Her reactions as an introvert often mirrored my own!

I’ll continue with my preparation now and blog more upon arrival!  I’m looking forward to seeing all the other 18,000 attendees (in my own introverted way!).


About Saranya Murthy

Voracious reader, aspiring writer, wordplay and personal growth enthusiast, English language and nature lover, 96.3FM fan, software developer
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