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Former NASA astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison to headline IU’s annual tech conference

Hundreds of IT staff from all campuses converge on Bloomington for learning, networking

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Dr. Mae Jemison, the first woman of color to go into space, will deliver the keynote at IU’s annual tech conference, Statewide IT, October 16-17 on the Bloomington campus. An engineer, professor, and NASA astronaut, Jemison will speak on the importance of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education at 10:45am Tuesday, Oct. 16, in the IU Auditorium.

Dr. Mae Jemison
Dr. Mae Jemison

Now in its 23rd year, Statewide IT brings together nearly 1,000 IU IT staff to learn about new technologies and initiatives, plan for the future, and share ideas with their counterparts on other campuses. This year’s theme is “The Smart Machine & Me.”

The learning begins at 9am, Oct. 16, in the IU Auditorium with the opening keynote by IU's VP for IT and CIO and Vice President for Communications and Marketing Brad Wheeler and VP for Research Fred Cate. In sync with the smart machine theme, Wheeler and Cate will explore how technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence affect individuals—both in the workplace and in our everyday lives.

Both keynotes are free and open to the public. Jemison’s keynote is co-sponsored by IU’s Center of Excellence for Women in Technology, PIER Group, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

For registered Statewide attendees, the no-cost conference is a professional development highlight of the year. This year features 72 breakout sessions on topics ranging from “Typography: My secret to a better User Experience” to “Modern data ecosystem futures.”  All breakouts take place in the Indiana Memorial Union.

After a day of professional development, conference-goers are encouraged to network with their colleagues. Here are a few opportunities:

  • 5:30pm, Oct. 15: IT5K Fun Run and Walk — As we did last year, UITS is teaming up with the IU Simon Cancer Centerin Indianapolis to organize this friendly 5K fun run/walk fundraiser, while raising funds to go towards colon cancer screening test kits to aid in early detection and treatment. 
  • 5:30pm, Oct. 16: Staff Appreciation Celebration – All members of the IU IT community (Statewide IT registrants, UITS staff, and IT Pros) are invited to attend this annual party to commemorate the past year’s successes.

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