Archive for October, 2008

Grace Hopper Conference

October 1-4, 2008: Keystone Resort, Colorado

Day 1 began at 5:15AM on Wednesday. A taxi picked up Trishan and Myles, and then came to Trinity for Rachel and I. After we piled our stuff in the trunk, we were on our way to Bradley Airport. We got some breakfast and ran into Professor Ingrid Russell, who would be joining us on our panel discussion. She was taking a later flight, and we’d see her in Colorado. The flight there was fairly uneventful: we had a pit stop in Philadelphia, where Myles happily got a Philly Cheese Steak, and then landed in Denver. We took the shuttles to the rental car place, where we saw many other Grace Hopper attendees—women, in groups, some with posters. We got our trusty GPS and a car, and off we went to Keystone.

The resort, with mountains in the backgroundLet me just say how amazingly beautiful it was. Jagged mountains already snow-capped, tall aspens all around, and a nearby lake to top it all off.  We got to the (huge!) resort and waited in line with all the other women at the front desk (oh, poor Myles and Trishan). We got all our keys and then checked in at the Conference Center, where we got small computer bags filled with goodies: about 20 different pens, pads of paper, a hand-powered flashlight, some cheap binoculars, a post-it-note booklet, 4 different kinds of chap stick, a water bottle, and Facebook mints, to name only a few. Then we checked out the condo: wow. We had a kitchen, dining table, gas fireplace, living room, 2 bathrooms, and 3 bedrooms.
But to the conference. Read the rest of this entry »

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Chamindra de Silva Wins Prestigious Award

Chamindra de SilvaChamindra de Silva, founding member and current leader of the Sahana project, has been awarded MIT’s prestigious Globus Indus Technovator Award (GITA) in the Grass Roots / Developmental category. The purpose of GITA, sponsored by the MIT Indian Students Association, is to honor “any person of Indus origin, resident anywhere in the world, under the age of 45 who has made outstanding technological or entrepreneurial contributions.”

As described here, Chamindra reacted to news of the award in his usual modest and self-effacing way:

As much as I value this award, in the humanitarian response domain, awards are not the focus, as we work mainly to make a difference to those in need.  A lot of credit for what we have been able to achieve and build upon is thanks to the many passionate volunteers and contributors in Sri Lanka and around the world, who wanted to make a difference by using their skills for the greater good.

The GITA award now joins a growing list of awards and recognition received by the Sahana project, including the Free Software Award for Social Benefit (Feb 2007), Sourceforge Project of the Month (June 2006), Software 2006: Good Samaritan Award (April 2006, US) and Network World’s top 10 Open Source Companies to Watch (Aug 2006).

Congratulations Chamindra! Well deserved!

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