ECE Students Connect With Women’s Issues


April 21, 2004

ECE students Russell Borum, Soila Pertet, and Shuheng Zhou volunteered for Mosaic 2004, Carnegie Mellon's sixth annual conference on women's issues. Russell, a senior, helped set up the sessions and promote the event through the planning committee. Graduate students Soila, from Nairobi, Kenya, and Shuheng, a Chinese native, spoke on a panel about the roles of women in their cultures.

Russell heard about the conference last year as a Resident Assistant (RA). He is active on the CMU Student Government as the Student Body Dining Committee Chair, representing his classmates' needs to Dining Services and administration. A member of The Diversity Advisory Council (DAC), he is from Bridgewater, New Jersey.

At a session called "woman…mujer…femme…frau…donna…mulher," Soila and Shuheng discussed their experiences as women students in the United States and abroad. They were recruited for Mosaic by the Office of International Education (OIE) at CMU, a liaison to the university for foreign students, researchers, and professors.

Soila participates in the Middleware for Embedded Adaptive Dependability (MEAD) Real-Time Fault-Tolerant CORBA and Java Middleware project with her advisor, Priya Narasimhan, Assistant Professor of ECE and CS. A member of the Institute for Complex Engineered Systems (ICES) and the General Motors Collaborative Laboratory at CMU, she is also in ECE's Engineering Graduate Organization (EGO). Last summer, she enjoyed interning for General Motors, concentrating on fault tolerance in drive-by-wire systems. Planning on earning her M.S. in ECE in May, followed by a Ph.D. within the MEAD project, Soila one day hopes to start up a technology-based business and attends a seminar series "Starting a Technology-Based Venture."

Shuheng received her M.S. in ECE at CMU in 2000 and studies computer systems, networking, large scale distributed systems, theory and algorithms, and is on the Parallel Data Lab's (PDL) team. She has used her engineering skills for Laurel Networks, Inc. in Pittsburgh, and Hewlett Packard Laboratories, Aspect Communications, and Sun Microsystems, all in California. Her advisors are Greg Ganger, Associate Professor of ECE and CS; Director, PDL, and Bruce Maggs, Associate Professor of CS and ECE. In the future, she would like to expand her work to cover biology and economics, too. A modern dance performer, she demonstrates for beginner's classes on campus.

This year's Mosaic conference theme was "Our Stories, Our Voices: Listen, Act, Inspire." The MOSAIC site states, "MOSAIC was founded in an attempt to provide information, inspiration and support to women on campus."

Russell Borum

Soila Pertet

Shuheng Zhou


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