Fourth year College of Computing & Informatics (CCI) student Muneera Cadersa, BS data science and mathematics, recently received recognition for her dedication to tech both inside and outside of the classroom by being invited to attend the prestigious 2023 Google Cloud Next Conference in San Francisco in August 2023.
Cadersa’s travel, accommodations were sponsored by CCI and Women in Product, an organization dedicated to the advancement of women and non-binary people in product management careers, of which she is a member.
The three-day conference — Google’s largest cloud conference in America — drew people from across the world, all who represented companies that use Google’s Cloud Services. Cadersa describes the overall experience as overwhelming but rewarding, as she received insight about Google’s future opportunities in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cloud technology while networking with top innovators, executives and leaders in the tech field. The conference also offered Cadersa an exclusive, behind-the-scenes preview of Google’s new cloud products and services.
Cadersa, who hails from Mauritius, serves as a Dean’s Ambassador and coordinator for CCI’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Council. She is a member of the Drexel Women in Computing Society (WiCS), Society of Women Engineers (SWE), Drexel Muslim Students Association (DMSA), Drexel University Model United Nations (DUMUN), and Google Women Techmakers. She is currently pursuing minors in Software Engineering & Management Information Systems (MIS).
Cadersa shares her reflections on her extraordinary experience at Google here:
“The Google Cloud Next 2023 conference, a prestigious gathering of tech visionaries, was an event like no other. Among the bustling crowd of industry leaders and innovators, I had the honor of being among the very few privileged students who were able to attend this conference, all thanks to the unwavering support of Drexel CCI and Women in Product. This was an opportunity that many students dream of, and I felt incredibly fortunate to represent both Drexel CCI on this grand stage.
At the conference, we were among the first to witness the unveiling of a host of transformative technologies, including Cloud TPU Version 5, Google Vertex AI, and Anthos 3.0. Cloud TPU Version 5 promises to revolutionize AI with unprecedented speed and efficiency in machine learning, with potential applications spanning healthcare to finance. Complementing this, Google Vertex AI simplifies machine learning model development and deployment, democratizing AI for organizations of all sizes. Meanwhile, Anthos 3.0 enhances multi-cloud application management, offering unparalleled flexibility in a complex cloud landscape. These innovations, amongst others, represent the future, and we were there to see it unfold. Alongside these groundbreaking technologies, the conference provided remarkable networking opportunities, allowing me to connect with industry leaders, fellow tech enthusiasts, and experts who share my passion for innovation and diversity in tech, further enriching my experience.
As the CCI DEI council coordinator, my role in fostering diversity, equity and inclusion in the tech community held particular significance. The conference wasn't just about technology; it also emphasized the vital importance of DEI in the tech industry. Sessions and keynotes highlighted the need for diverse perspectives and an inclusive environment. This resonated deeply with me, and it was inspiring to witness leaders from various backgrounds championing these ideals. The DEI keynote on "Targeted Universalism - DEI 2.0" was a thought-provoking session that explored innovative strategies to move beyond traditional DEI practices and create more equitable and diverse workplaces. It was a powerful reminder that progress in technology should be accompanied by improvement in fostering inclusive tech ecosystems.
The conference wasn't just about cutting-edge technology and discussions. It also featured a rare and captivating sight for sports enthusiasts: the Golden State Warrior Trophy (even though I am not a Warriors fan, 76ers fans do not come at me HAHA). Amidst the whirlwind of innovation and discussions, I also took the opportunity to venture beyond the conference walls and explore the wonders of the Golden State. I was able to catch both a mesmerizing sunset and the rare blue supermoon at the Golden Gate Bridge. The following day, I embarked on a solo adventure to Yosemite National Park, and I can only express that it provided me a much-needed retreat and escape that I was seeking.
In reflection, my journey at the Google Cloud Next 2023 conference was nothing short of transformative and profoundly enriching. It encompassed not only the unveiling of cutting-edge technologies such as Cloud TPU Version 5, Google Vertex AI, and Anthos 3.0, which are poised to reshape the tech landscape, but also the invaluable discussions on DEI that underscored the importance of fostering a more inclusive tech community. What made this experience truly exceptional was the privilege of representing Drexel CCI. It was a recognition of the commitment to nurture the next generation of tech leaders and innovators. As I return from this extraordinary experience, I carry with me not only enhanced knowledge but also a profound sense of purpose and a steadfast belief in the limitless possibilities that lie ahead in the ever-evolving world of technology.”