Student passionate about inspiring women to pursue education in computer science
Sanjana Ruhani Tammim received her first computer when she was just five years old and instantly fell in love with the endless possibilities it offered.
“I was very engaged with this computer from the day I received it,” she said. “My family wanted me to become a doctor as they believed that would be a suitable profession for me as a female. But I loved computers and I wanted to be an engineer. With computers, you can choose your own path.”
Not only did Tammim, a first-year doctoral student in computer science and software engineering, choose her own path – she’s passionate about helping young women pursue their computer education dreams and open pathways of their own.
“I dreamed about working with computers,” said Tammim, who earned undergraduate and master’s degrees in information technology from Jahangirnagar University in Bangladesh. “Not all women in my country envision themselves as engineers, however. I was privileged to choose the career path I wanted. Therefore, my vision and passion are to encourage women beyond race, color and backgrounds to pursue their dreams.”
Tammim works as a graduate research and teaching assistant in the college’s Laboratory for Education and Assistive Technology directed by Daniela Marghitu. She was invited to develop her skills as a computer scientist and collaborate with experienced professionals at the prestigious 2022 Computing Research Association Grad Cohort for Women April 21-23 in New Orleans.
“It is a great honor to attend this notable graduate cohort for women in computer science and engineering and I am confident this cohort will provide me with tremendous opportunities to meet people and build networks who have similar interests,” Tammim said. “Moreover, I will enjoy face-to-face, insightful learning moments from fellow female researchers and mentors. I am thrilled to meet a diverse group of women who, I am assured, will support me to believe that I am not alone and will encourage me to thrive on my PhD journey.”
Grad Cohort for Women attendees will spend two days interacting with 20 senior female computing-related researchers and professionals, who will share pertinent information on graduate school survival skills, as well as more personal information and insights about their experiences. The workshop will include a mix of formal presentations and informal discussions and social events.
“Women at the conference, like me, will gather to motivate students, share their experiences and research topics,” Tammim said. “We will learn fresh ideas that we can apply to our own academic careers and learn how we can follow their examples. I also look forward to learning from peer students.”
Tammim hopes to learn fresh approaches she can apply to her own research: developing systems for assistive technology.
“I am currently working on developing learning systems that help children with special needs,” said Tammim, already an experienced classroom lecturer, who desires a full-time academic role once her doctorate is completed. “Some of these tools include augmented reality and virtual reality. I began this research last semester. There’s still a long way to go.”
BY JOE McADORY
Sanjana Ruhani Tammim