Jean Bartik Computing Symposium


Connecting to our Past to Lead in the Future

Overview: Hosted by the Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science at the United States Military Academy, the Jean Bartik Computing Symposium (JBCS) brings women and underrepresented minorities from computing disciplines at the service academies together with their counterparts in the military and government who are computing professionals. This 1.5 day event seeks to promote fellowship among women and minorities in computing majors at the service academies and provide technical training through interactive workshops that will make them competitive for their future careers in service to the Nation.

The symposium is named after Jean Bartik, a pioneer of early computing. Due to her status as a woman, she did not receive recognition for her important contributions until near the end of her life. This symposium seeks to highlight the contributions of those in government and military computing that are not usually recognized, and help us celebrate our rich history.

The principle objectives of JBCS include to: a.) promote fellowship amongst the women and minorities in computing at the different service academies; b.) offer meaningful workshops and sessions that will promote their advancement into military and government professions of their choice; and c.) make it easier for the military and government to identify promising young candidates for computing opportunities at their organizations.


Event Information

Founding Co-Chairs:

Matthews Sarmiento
Dr. Suzanne J. Matthews
Dr. Adina Crainiceanu
Lt. Col. Traci Sarmiento
U.S. Military Academy
U.S. Naval Academy
U.S. Air Force Academy


Distinguished Speakers

Easterly Todd
Jen Easterly
Angie Messer
Kim Todd
Morgan Stanley
Booz Allen Hamilton
J.J.B. Computing Museum


Thursday, January 31, 2019


Opening Reception (1830 - 2130)

Bugajska Cummings"" Easterly Leonard
Magda Bugajska
Dr. Danielle Cummings
Jen Easterly
Dr. Leslie Leonard
Angie Messer
Naval Research Labs
Morgan Stanley
U.S. Army ERDC
Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Conference Welcome
  • Panel: "Diverse Pathways to Success in Computing"
  • Ice Breaker Activity
  • Heavy hors d'oeuvres



Friday, February 1, 2019


Morning Reception (0745-0910)

  • Breakfast
  • Opening Keynote: "West Point to the West Wing to Wall Street: Leadership in a Complex World" - Jen Easterly, Global Head of the Cybersecurity Fusion Center, Morgan Stanley

    Jen Easterly will discuss her current role as Global Head of Morgan Stanley's Cybersecurity Fusion Center and key lessons learned from a career in military intelligence, counterterrorism, and cyber.


Student Presentation Competition (0920-1120)

Jones Yan
1LT Lisa Jones 1LT Jinny Yan



  • Inspiring presentations by current students at the service academies and two recent graduates (1LTs Lisa Jones and Jinny Yan) about current research.
  • 1LTs Jones and Yan will help the co-chairs with the judging.
  • Attendees will also have the opportunity to vote for their favorite student presentation!


Lunch Reception (1130-1245)

  • Lunch
  • Fireside Chat with Angie Messer, Chief Transformation Officer, Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Interviewer: 1LT Jinny Yan

A heart-to-heart chat with the CTO of Booz Allen Hamilton about her personal journey, the importance of persistence and grit, and how best to feel empowered in today’s changing world.


Workshop Session 1 (1330-1500)

Bugajska Cummings Leonard
Magda Bugajska Dr. Ruth Cheng Dr. Danielle Cummings Dr. Leslie Leonard
Naval Research Labs U.S. Army ERDC DOD U.S. Army ERDC



  • Apache Spark: Enabling HPC-Driven Big Data Analytics
    Presented by: Dr. Leslie Leonard and Dr. Ruth Cheng, U.S. Army Engineer Research & Development Center (ERDC)
    This workshop will introduce participants to Big Data Analytics using Apache Spark on top of a High Performance Computing (HPC) environment. As the Big Data and HPC worlds collide, it is becoming increasingly important that these worlds integrate with and leverage each other's abilities. Participants will be guided through the process of logging-on and submitting HPC jobs. They will receive hands-on experience with the Apache Spark framework via Jupyter Notebook and understand the potential benefits of integrating cluster-based analytics software with an HPC batch environment.
  • Marshmallow in the Room: Challenging Your Assumptions in Innovation
    Presented by: Dr. Danielle Cummings, Department of Defense
    Interested in learning new innovative approaches to tackle your most challenging mission problems? Join us for a brief introduction to Lean Startup and discover how a human-centered design methodology can help accelerate your mission outcomes. This session provides a fast-paced, interactive learning experience to teach you entrepreneurial tools and tactics pioneered in Silicon Valley and adapted for the DoD context.
  • Autonomous Robots
    Presented by: Magda Bugajska, Naval Research Labs
    What is autonomy? Autonomy is the ability to make your own informed decisions. The design of a robotic system determines its ability to gather information, to make decisions, and to execute the actions. In this workshop, participants will explore several robotics paradigms and their impact on sys tem’s autonomy and level of performance.


Workshop Session 2 (1530-1700)

Chewar Ladny McMinn Ordun
COL Christa Chewar Kristof Ladny Capt. Lucille McMinn Catherine Ordun
U.S. Military Academy Booz Allen Hamilton U.S. Air Force Academy Booz Allen Hamilton


  • Malware Reverse Engineering
    Presented by: Capt. Lucille McMinn, U.S. Air Force Academy
    Students working in small groups will learn introductory hands-on reverse engineering techniques to include basic software and network static and dynamic RE techniques. The context of the workshop will focus on a scenario similar to the Mirai botnet DDOS leveraging the internet of things. Specifically students will be reverse engineering a botnet program which is controlling a local set of networked "zombie" systems. In addition to learning hands-on RE skills, students will learn valuable problem solving techniques in the context of cyber security. Students will also learn about the difficulties associated with securing the internet of things, a growing concern for future generations.
  • Magic Hogwarts Pictures with Augmented Reality
    Presented by: COL Christa Chewar, U.S. Military Academy
    Learn how to use Apple’s ARKIT 2 augmented reality to make pictures come to life, just like in Harry Potter’s Hogwarts! Have some fun creating and sharing this augment reality experience, while you learn about some key features of the development kit. Ideal for someone who has never done any software development work on Apple platforms, this workshop will also provide a gentle introduction to using XCode for iOS app development and creating video media with an iPad. Enough macBooks and iPads will be available for small team use during the workshop.
  • Building a Recurrent Neural Network
    Presented by: Catherine Ordun and Kristof Ladny, Booz Allen Hamilton
    In this interactive session, members of our Senior Data Science Team at Booz Allen will guide attendees through a deep learning tutorial on how to build a recurrent neural network (RNN). RNN is a special type of model that is ideal for training on sequences of data like time series or words in a sentence and one type of algorithm we will explore is the Long Short-Term Memory Unit (LSTM) RNN. LSTMs operate according a to a series of mathematical operations that regulate how much sequential data is written to and outputted by the cell to subsequent sequences upstream. In essence, these regulatory “gates” enable LSTMs to “remember” sequences of data from the past in order to make predictions for the future.


Closing Reception (1800-2130)

  • Dinner
  • Awards Announcements
  • Dessert + Speed Mentoring
  • Closing Remarks


How Can I Attend?

Due to limited funding, the inaugral Jean Bartik Computing Symposium is by invite only. Students at West Point, USNA, and USAFA should get in contact with the associated co-chair from their institution listed at the top of this page. Non-student attendance will be restricted to invited faculty and speakers.