DeltaHacks co-founder Alyssia Jovellanos wins prestigious Anita Borg award



Editor’s Note: Big congratulations to Alyssia Jovellanos (@alyssiacodes), very well deserved for her leadership in the McMaster community!


PALO ALTO, Calif., Mar 22, 2016: The Anita Borg Institute (ABI), a nonprofit organization focused on the advancement of women in computing announces the winners of the 2016 Women of Vision ABIE Awards, which highlights three women in computing for their achievements as a technical leader, an entrepreneur and student.

Michele D. Guel, Distinguished Engineer and Chief Security Architect of Cisco’s Security & Trust Organization and Pooja Sankar, CEO and Founder of Piazza, are the recipients of the Leadership and Technology Entrepreneurship ABIE Awards respectively. Alyssia Jovellanos, a computer science student at McMaster University, is the Student of Vision ABIE award winner.

“Michele, Pooja and Alyssia have each made remarkable contributions to the technology industry, and I’m excited to honor their achievements at the Women of Vision Awards Banquet,” said Telle Whitney, President and CEO of ABI. “ABI is committed to recognizing exceptional women in computing and elevating their accomplishments on a global stage through the ABIE Awards.”

Alyssia Jovellanos, Winner of the Student of Vision ABIE Award, presented by Capital One

Alyssia Jovellanos is an aspiring software engineer, highly motivated computer science student and advocate for women in technology who is passionate about the interdisciplinary nature of software engineering applications. Alyssia is the co-founder and co-director of one of Canada’s largest student hackathons, DeltaHacks, and was elected as both the youngest and first female Computer Science Society President. She recently founded McMaster University’s first Women in CS group.

Michele Guel, Winner of the Leadership ABIE Award, presented by eBay

Michele joined Cisco in 1996 as the founding member of Cisco’s internal security team, and in 2010, she was promoted to Distinguished Engineer, one of eight women in that role across the company. She recently co-founded the Cisco Women in Cybersecurity Community, which focuses on developing the next generation of women cybersecurity leaders. Michele is also an avid participant, speaker, teacher, influencer and evangelist in the cybersecurity industry for nearly 30 years.

Pooja Sankar, Winner of the Technology Entrepreneurship ABIE Award

Pooja Sankar is the founder and CEO of Piazza, a college collaboration and recruiting platform that serves over one million students around the world. Prior to founding Piazza, Pooja was a software engineer at Oracle, Kosmix and Facebook. Piazza was born out of Pooja’s passion for social collaboration, which she tapped into as one of three women studying computer science at IIT.

About Women of Vision

ABI’s Women of Vision Awards Banquet honors women making significant contributions to technology. The event will take place on May 5, 2016 at the Santa Clara Convention Center. The event will feature a keynote from Dr. Mary Lou Jepsen, Executive Director of Engineering at Facebook and Head of Display Technologies at Oculus. Ana Pinczuk, ABI Trustee and Executive Vice President and Chief Product Officer at Veritas, will emcee the awards banquet.

Sponsorship opportunities for the Women of Vision Awards Banquet are available through Wednesday, March 23.

Registration for the Women of Vision Awards Banquet is now open — reserve your seats today!

Current event sponsors include: ADP, BNY Mellon, Capital One, Cisco, eBay, Facebook, HP, Juniper Networks and Symantec.

About ABI

The Anita Borg Institute (ABI) connects, inspires and guides women in computing and organizations that view technology innovation as a strategic imperative. Founded in 1997 by computer scientist Anita Borg, our reach extends to more than 65 countries. We believe technology innovation powers the global economy, and that women are crucial to building technology the world needs. ABI is a not-for-profit 501(c) 3 charitable organization.

Follow the Anita Borg Institute on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.

Media Contact

Vicki Cook
Email Contact

Introduction to machine learning this Wendesday



Microsoft: Intro to Machine Learning

Registration link:

When: Mar 23, 2016 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM


McMaster University
Institute for Applied Health Sciences Bldg.
Room: B102
1400 Main Street West, Hamilton Ontario L8S 1C7

Why should I come?

Hear from Microsoft Technical Expert about Machine Learning and the power of prediction

Get free access to Azure Machine Learning Studio tool compliments of Microsoft

Enjoy food on us

Participate in a live challenge to win prizes – Who doesn’t like to win?!

No previous knowledge of Machine Learning is required to complete this challenge.

Join the Challenge!

YOU WILL NEED A LAPTOP to participate in the event.

For this challenge we will provide you with an introduction to Machine Learning and Machine Learning Studio.Once you have the basics, we will provide you with a data set to analyze and a value to predict. Your challenge will be to train the model with the highest prediction accuracy! You can change the columns analyzed, change the algorithm used for analysis, or change the parameters of the algorithm to do more in depth analysis. Any of these have the potential to improve your accuracy.

MacQuest released by Wireless System Research Group

MacQuest is an APP developed by the Wireless System Research Group (WiSeR) from the Department of Computing and Software, McMaster University. It provides on-campus navigation and other campus-related services to visitors to McMaster University, McMaster students, staff and faculty. Its main features include but not limited to:

Comprehensive McMaster campus map and building floor plan visualization
– Outdoor: buildings, path ways, parking lots
– Indoor: rooms, bathrooms, elevators, stairs, and hallways

Building index
– Easily find a target building and display its location on the map

– Any pairs between rooms, buildings, arbitrary on-campus locations

Hot spot search
– Nearest bathroom, stairs, elevators

– Mainly for outdoor

Next bus
– Check last, next and following bus arrival time near campus by bus stop and route number

MacQuest is also a research platform for location-based services and mobile participatory sensing. To better serve you, please help us improve the quality of maps and contribute location data by clicking the button “I am here” in the popup box of your current room or location.




Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 9.55.41 PM


Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 9.55.30 PM


Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 9.55.16 PM


Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 9.55.02 PM


Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 9.54.44 PM


Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 9.54.28 PM


Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 9.54.09 PM


Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 9.53.53 PM

McMaster Software Outreach looking to visit local schools



McMaster Computing and Software (@MacCASOutreach) is running Software: Tool for Change workshops for local schools in May and June. Workshop lengths range from all-day workshops to 20 minute workshops.

Contact if you would like your school to participate, or would like to arrange a school visit.


Example workshop

Our first workshop was held at Parkway Public School on May 5th with Grade 7 and 8 students in the Enrichment Program! They were introduced to the functional programming language ELM where they created shapes with colours and eventually animations of a heart and beyond. The students also beta tested our teaching apps; Image 2 Bits, which was developed to teach the concept of binary bits using simple user created images, a graph based text adventure game designer, as well as a coconut cracking game, designed to introduce students to the most efficient search strategy.


Image 2 Bits

Our first outreach iPad app, Image 2 Bits, is also available for download:

Image 2 Bits teaches binary encoding using black and white images.

Coded images are shared with classmates wirelessly even if you do not have access to a network, and after decoding images, children can like them and then keep them in their picture gallery. Likes appear on the creator’s screen while they are decoding others’ images.

Basic help screens explain how everything in our digital world depends on binary encoding, and interactively demonstrates one method of decoding.

Bonus screens demonstrate addition and multiplication of binary numbers.

If you share iPads in your class, there is a restart button to enable a second child to create and share their own picture.

Troubleshooting: To enable sharing, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi should be turned on, but, for the unlikely case that an iPad will not talk to its peers, there are a few coded images built in.

Privacy: names, titles and images are transmitted to neighbouring iPads and may be intercepted by other network users. Quit the app to erase all stored information.














Nix Sensor talk at McMaster on February 25th

McMaster Alumni Matthew Sheridan and Zachary Strong of Nix Sensor will speak on starting up a hardware tech company, and their experience running a successful Kickstarter campaign.
About the company:

Nix Sensor Ltd. designs and manufactures color measurement tools for designers, creators, corporations, and color professionals in over 30 countries.

The first version of their consumer product, the Nix Sensor, raised $70,000 on Kickstarter and has been featured at the Consumer Electronics Show (Las Vegas), at The Next Web Europe Conference, and on the Discovery Channel.

When: Wednesday February 25th @ 6pm

Where: TwelvEighty @ McMaster University (1280 Main Street West)





Land a co-op job in 30 minutes with Beam

Editor’s Note: The below message is from the creators of Beam.

Finally a networking tool that gives you the ability to find recruiters in a room and more. Beam is the solution and all the questions will be answered Jan 22 at 5:30pm DSB 122A.

Beam is an Apple iOS application that make any event worth your time, it’s like Linkedin for Events. We make it super easy for people to exchange contact information instantly and show that its much for fun to talk about interests, as opposed of “What do you do”. Imagine being able to give your phone number or email to a new acquaintance without typing anything, that’s what Beam can do. All of this and much more will be revealed at the event. Did we mention that Beam is free, it really is.

Come down on Jan 22 to get the app on your iPhone, if you can’t make the meeting, don’t sweat it. Email us at to get a copy of the app sent to your phone. If you’re an Android lover, don’t worry we have a surprise for you in the pipeline. Reach us at @webeam, or request an invite on




Free public lecture on live coding



When: Saturday January 10th 2015 @ 8 pm

Where: MUMC (McMaster hospital) Ewart Angus Centre, Rm. 1A1 @ 1200 Main St W, Hamilton



Computer languages have always been intended for programmers and computers. However live coding often adds an audience. In live coding, individuals Cyber Orchestra players or groups create music (or other forms of artistic expres­sion) by programming, often sharing their code with an audience as it unfolds. McMaster University’s laptop orchestra, the Cybernetic Orchestra, has been exploring live coding since 2010, rehearsing weekly and performing at venues ranging from gal­ler­ies on James St North to international music festivals, as well as in online performances with musicians around the world. Live coding offers a dynamic environment for exploring music, computer languages, and new forms of human-computer interaction.

Dr. Ogborn, Cybernetic Orchestra director and McMaster professor in Communica­tion Studies and Multimedia, demonstrates musical live coding and talks about the applications of live coding to diverse problems beyond music

Creative Exchange at McMaster LiveLab December 9th


Originally posted on


We are very excited to announce that the McMaster Institute for Music & the Mind will be hosting the Creative Exchange in December! This Creative Exchange cannot be missed. The LiveLab is a one-of-a-kind research and recording facility on the McMaster University campus. The LiveLab is located in the Psychology Building (#34 on the following campus map), very close to the hospital, if you are coming in from the Main West entrance to the campus. For directions to the campus:

Mark December 9th in your calendars, 5 to 7 p.m.

The LIVE (Large Interactive Virtual Environment) Lab located in the Psychology Building at McMaster University is a unique 96-seat Research Performance Hall designed to investigate the experience of music, dance, multimedia presentations, and human interaction.

The space includes Active Acoustic Control; Sound Recording Equipment; and measurement of behavioural responses (96 tablets), Movement (motion capture), Brain Responses (EEG), Muscle Tension (EMG), Heart Rate, Breathing Rate, and Sweating Responses (GSR) in up to 96 people at a time.

The Creative Exchange is a casual networking event for professionals and entrepreneurs from the Film, Digital & Design Media and Music communities. Join us to reconnect with people or meet new contacts from this community.