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Bettina Bair
Founder OCWiC, ACM-W Communications Chair

Feb 24 3:30-4:30pm EST

Bettina Bair was a full-time lecturer at Ohio State University, teaching CSE, from 1998 to 2021. Prior to her career in academia, She worked in industry for nearly 20 years. This real-world experience, somewhat unusual at a research institution, has given her a unique and valuable perspective on the role of technology in business and society.

Bettina was consistently one of the top-rated instructors in her department, and very engaged with students at the undergraduate level. She received recognition for Teaching Excellence at the CSE Awards Banquet in 2020. She has received many awards for her work encouraging the recruitment and retention of women and underrepresented minorities in computer science. Bettina has created computer science content for TED-ED, and authored several research papers and articles highlighting the gender imbalance in computing.

In 2005, Bettina organized the first Ohio Celebration of Women in Computing (OCWiC), a well-attended statewide conference that was reported in the Chronicle for Higher Education as well as in the computing media. OCWiC is now one of the longest running and best attended regional celebrations of women in computing, delivering events and providing support and advocacy for women in computing. In 2018, Bettina founded the first ACM-W* Professional Chapter in the United States to provide ongoing community and leadership of the OCWiC community. Bettina is currently an active member of the ACM-W Executive Committee as Global Communications Chair.

In this talk, Bettina will share her OCWiC journey from founder to keynote speaker. She will reflect on what makes OCWiC unique and effective. How can we learn from the growth and success of groups like ACM-W and OCWiC to create a more hopeful, peaceful and equitable future?

*Association of Computing Machinery – Committee on Women

Keynote Session

Irma Olguin Jr
Co-Founder & CEO Bitwise Industries

Feb 25 1:30-2:30pm EST

For overlooked communities across the country, not unlike those right here in Ohio, the technology industry can feel like a foreign thing. This sense of unwelcomeness can create a gap between those who benefit from it and those who don’t. Bitwise Industries’ approach to building tech ecosystems is rooted in the lived experience of their founder and University of Toledo graduate, Irma Olguin Jr. 

She experienced the transformative power of the technology industry and has dedicated herself to creating pathways into the digital economy for others of similar backgrounds. This translated to an intentional approach that leverages three key components: Workforce, Technology, and Community. For communities not rooted in technology this looks like establishing digital literacy efforts that drive tech demand, supporting homegrown talent and nurturing a vibrant tech ecosystem to create successful outcomes. 

In this session, Irma Olguin Jr., CEO and co-founder of Bitwise Industries will discuss the company’s unique approach to developing tech economies in historically underserved/overlooked areas while motivating communities to leverage technology to not only transform the lives of some of the most vulnerable, but the city at large.