I Chose STEM 2019

I Chose STEM 2019


In support of International Day of Women and Girls in STEM

When we encourage women to pursue science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers, we double the world’s potential to solve problems. Join us on February 11, 2019 in San Francisco to recognize, celebrate, and learn from those who have chosen STEM careers. As we commit to greater investments in STEM education and career opportunities for both women and girls, we are setting the stage so that all can benefit from their future ground-breaking contributions.

PhD students, candidates for PhD programs, and graduate students are invited to attend.


Time (PST) Session
10:00 AM–10:10 AM
Welcome | Gretchen Huizinga
10:10 AM–10:45 AM
Opening Keynote | Asta Roseway
10:45 AM–11:30 AM
Panel – Career Paths | Rian Buckley, Miki Heller, Karin Strauss, Lauren Washington
11:30 AM–12:15 PM
Fireside Chat | Erica Lockheimer
12:15 PM–1:15 PM
1:15 PM–2:15 PM
Panel – Fail Fast, Fail Often | Rian Buckley, Riva Tez, Edaena Salinas Jasso, Lauren Washington
2:20 PM–2:50 PM
Afternoon Speaker | Mary Czerwinski
2:50 PM–3:30 PM
Afternoon Keynote | Kitty Yeung
3:30 PM–5:00 PM
Networking Reception


Rian Buckley

At the age of 26, Rian Buckley founded Fitcode—a fashion data company that enhances the shopping experience by focusing on fit, not size. In just three years, she secured $3.7M in funding, grew Fitcode to over 300,000 users, and developed partnerships with powerhouse brands and retailers like JOE’S Jeans, AG Jeans, Hudson Jeans, Silver Jeans and more. Rian is passionate about identifying problems and innovating award-winning solutions to help retailers provide personalized, differentiated experiences. She escapes the startup grind with her husband, newborn son Zane and their 130-pound Rhodesian Ridgeback, Zu.

Mary Czerwinski

Mary Czerwinski is a Research Manager of the Visualization and Interaction (VIBE) Research Group.

Mary’s research focuses primarily on emotion tracking, information worker task management, health and wellness for individuals and groups. Her background is in visual attention and multitasking. She holds a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Indiana University in Bloomington. Mary was awarded the ACM SIGCHI Lifetime Service Award, was inducted into the CHI Academy, and became an ACM Distinguished Scientist in 2010. Mary became a Fellow of the ACM in 2016. She also received the Distinguished Alumni award from Indiana University’s Brain and Psychological Sciences department in 2014 and a Distinguished Alumni award from the College of Arts and Sciences from Indiana in February, 2018.

Miki Heller

Edaena Salinas Jasso

Edaena Salinas is a Software Engineer at Microsoft. She’s currently working on building applications in the following areas: cloud native, infrastructure, machine learning, data processing. Prior to that, Edaena worked in the Knowledge Technologies and Intelligent Experiences at Microsoft Research and other teams at Microsoft.

On her free time, Edaena started The Women in Tech Show, a weekly podcast featuring technical interviews with prominent women in tech. The podcast serves as a platform where others can learn about technology, entrepreneurship, leadership, and find role models.

Edaena is an ambassador for TECHNOLOchicas. TECHNOLOchicas is a national initiative to raise awareness among young Latinas and their families about opportunities and careers in technology.

Other interests include: cats, drawing, cooking and exercising.

Erica Lockheimer

Erica Lockheimer has been at LinkedIn for 8 years and most recently held the role of Sr. Director of Engineering heading the Growth Engineering team, where her focus was on increasing growth in new members and deepening engagement with members across LinkedIn’s products.  She started the Growth Team from the ground up to now a high performing 120-person team.  In January 2018 she moved on to her next play at LinkedIn and is now the head of Engineering for the LinkedIn Learning team, formerly known as Lynda.com.  She is also responsible for LinkedIn’s Women In Tech (WIT) initiative that is focused on empowering women in technical roles within the company.  Prior to LinkedIn, she worked at Good Technology as Director of Server Engineering to securely manage and synchronize e-mail and calendar data between Exchange and mobile devices.  She loves the challenge of starting with something nascent and carving out the right strategy, hiring the best people, and plotting a course to drive results.  In 2014 and 2015, Erica was also voted amongst the top 22 women engineers in the world by Business Insider.  Erica is a San Francisco Bay Area native, has 2 kids, loves to run and is a graduate from San Jose State University with a B.S. in Computer Engineering.

Asta Roseway

I am a “Fusionist” working in Human Computer Interaction at Microsoft Research. My focus lies primarily around the intersection of Art, Technology, and Science and how this combination could help generate the next generation of emerging solutions for the Environment, Emotional Health, Social Consciousness, and Sustainability.

My research often begins with the same question “What if?” which often leads to unconventional explorations in human computer interaction which would include projects such as DuoSkin, temporary interactive tattoos, and Lightwear, wearable light therapy for seasonal affective disorder. I’m also a strong advocate for a diverse and inclusive culture, and I helped to establish Microsoft’s first ever Artist in Residence program that enables Artists to work collectively with our Researchers. Some of the art that has come out of this program has been showcased at venues such as Ars Electronica, Biofabricate in NY, and the Seattle Art Museum. I also co-founded Digigirlz, one of Microsoft’s longest running diversity programs that aims to educate and inspire high school girls about the Tech Industry.

Karin Strauss

I am a principal researcher at Microsoft (MSR). I am also an affiliate professor at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at University of Washington.

My research lies at the intersection of computer architecture, systems, and biology. As traditional semiconductor scaling has started to slow down, I investigate alternative approaches to continue the improvement we have been seeing in computer systems over the last few decades. Approaches I have been studying include hardware accelerators for machine learning, emerging memory technologies, and the use of biotechnology to the benefit of the IT industry. I also work on system software for these new architectures.

Lately, my focus has been on creating an end-to-end system that stores digital data in DNA, for which I was named one of the 2016 “100 Most Creative People in Business” by Fast Company. I have the privilege to work with a team of brilliant researchers and we have been making quite a lot of progress. Check out one of our announcements. The DNA data storage project has been chosen as “Best of What’s New” by Popular Science in 2016 and highlighted by influential publications such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, MIT Technology Review, and Scientific American.

I received my PhD in Computer Science from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2007. During my studies, I’ve collaborated very closely with top-notch researchers at IBM Research, where I also worked on the Blue Gene project. After graduating, I worked for almost 2 years at AMD Research, where I also had amazing colleagues.

For a complete list of publications, please click the tab “Publications” above.

If you are interested in DNA storage, click here.

Riva Tez

Riva-Melissa Tez co-founded an early-stage artificial intelligence focused venture fund based in San Francisco (Permutation Ventures). Her written works includes essays on artificial intelligence and financial tools, including a 2016 Microsoft campaign for The Economist. She is currently co-authoring a paper on economic policy and is interested in tools and policy changes to unlock innovation. She was a 2017 Forbes 30 Under 30 recipient for Finance.

Lauren Washington

Lauren is the cofounder of Fundr, a platform that removes bias from the seed investing process by automating due diligence and portfolio creation for startups and investors. In 2017, she co-founded Black Women Talk Tech to help black women create billion dollar tech companies. Through its conferences, workshops and promotion of black women in the industry, it’s impacted over 500 tech founders and helped get 13 funded. As CEO of her first company, KeepUp, Lauren was one of 11 winners out of 7000 applicants for the 43North competition- the largest global business competition- winning $250K and a year of office space and mentorship.

Throughout her career, Lauren has been on the cusp of innovation and digital strategy in various industries and over a multitude of brands. She helped drive some of the first social media and mobile marketing efforts early in her career at both InStyle magazine and TVGuide.com. At Neutrogena Cosmetics, Lauren worked in the innovation department to guide the development and launch of new products. As an in-house consultant for Omnicom Group, she rotated through DDB, Interbrand, PHD and Sterling Brands, creating and bringing brand strategy to life for top global companies. In her most recent role as the Director of Strategy at the digital and social media firm, Attention, she led a department of qualitative and quantitative research and strategic planning for all clients.

Lauren received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a major in Journalism and Mass Communication and her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management with majors in Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Marketing and Finance. She was the Board Vice Chairman of the non-profit, The Global Language Project, the head of the Social Impact Committee in the Kellogg Alumni Club of New York and a Management Leadership for Tomorrow mentor.

Kitty Yeung

Kitty Yeung is a physicist, artist, maker, fashion designer and musician based in Silicon Valley, California. She currently works as a creative technologist and manager at the Garage, Microsoft.

Kitty’s earlier career had been focused on hardcore scientific research and academic training while pursuing artistic endeavors through painting, music and graphic novel creations. She received her Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Harvard University and a M.Sci., B.A. and M.A. in Natural Sciences from University of Cambridge. After conducting research at Intel, Kitty found the perfect way to integrate art/design with science/technology. Her work focuses on applying cutting-edge technologies to both garment design and manufacturing processes and quantum computing education. See work on www.artbyphysicistkittyyeung.com