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What are female leaders’ opinions about the future of computing? What are industry leaders’ visions on Digital Twin, Security and Social Network? How is a world with 5G, Quantum Computing and AI going to change our lives? 20 distinguished speakers and 150+ conference attendees convened at Oracle Santa Clara Campus on May 9th to share their knowledge, experience and ideas which will influence the future of computing. Here is a brief summary of each session during this unforgettable day of learning and empowerment. 



Welcome and Introduction

Jeewika Ranaweera, Principal HW Engineer at Oracle

Jeewika passionately introduced the program, the audience, all the speakers and the planning committee. She played a video about Digital Transformation which set the stage for the summit today. You are very welcome to watch this video and review the details in her presentation slides.


Keynote: Transitioning to Leadership: Mastering the Foundations

Mary Ellen Kassotakis, Executive Director, Oracle Women’s Leadership

Leadership brand is what others say about you, based on their experience with you. The benefits of having a good leadership brand include: DifferentiationCredibility,Consistency, and it gives you Foundation for decisions and actions, as well as Personal satisfaction that your work matters.

How do we build up a leadership brand? Here are the ”Building blocks” for self-reflection and assessment:

  • Knowing your personal values

  • Knowing your personal strength 

  • Knowing what gives you energy

  • Knowing your area of expertise


Data Stewardship and Digital Twins

Katalin K.B. Walcott, Intel

Digital twins will bring about a data explosion. As a result, there is significant complexity involved in the data stewardship of digital twin. Guardianship and ownership of data is key. We need to create an entity that manages and controls your data on your behalf.

Some questions related to Data, security and rights are:

  • Who is using it?

  • How long have they had it?

  • How do I manage permissions and rights of use?

  • How do I withdraw from it?

  • How do I track it?


Building the trusted foundation for our data-centric world

Isaura Gaeta, Vice President at Intel

The nature of security threats will continue to evolve. 

A “Security First” strategy can be realized through Security researchArchitectural leadershipIncident responseProduct governanceCommunications and policy, as well as Security marketing.


The 5G Future

Mary Gendron, SVP and CIO at Qualcomm

In a world where everyone and everything is intelligently connected, 5G is foundational to what’s next. It is fueling a new era of innovation with: 

  • Enhanced mobile broadband

  • Mission-critical services

  • Massive internet of things

The Evolution of computing started from Mainframe model, to Client-server model, and now the Cloud model. It is predicted that the next phase is Distributed model through edge computing, enabled by 5G. Driverless cars is an important use case. In order to avoid the latency caused by sending all the data back, we need to perform computation on the edge. 

5G rollout is happening much faster than 4G. 20+ Operators and 20+ OEMs already have made announcements. Qualcomm predicted that 5G enabled goods, serviced could generate up to $12 trillion till 2035.


Elucidating mechanism of recurrent disease in cancer by merging molecular biology techniques with scientific computing

Hasini Jayatilaka, Cancer Researcher at Stanford University

Hasini is currently using high dimensional proteomic modalities to study mechanisms of recurrence in diseases such as B Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and Neuroblastoma. In her talk Hasini spoke about the value to merging her wet lab techniques with computational techniques that have allowed her to push forward the boundaries of understanding of pediatric cancers and develop new therapeutics.


Social Media in the Age of AI

Layla Revis, Vice President at Oracle

In her talk, Layla shared the use of AI in Social Media, which includes AI insights, AI user experience improvement and AI enabled content creation:

  • AI Insights: track user behavior online

  • AI user experience improvement: Face recognition, Photo optimization, Content categorization, Profile suggestion, Give search result based on user preference, etc.

  • AI enabled content creation: Automatically generates earnings reports, news headline, and interview or webinar transcripts.

She closed her presentation with the Pros and Cons of using AI in Social Media:

AI Pros

AI Cons

Monitor comments, interactions

Content misinterpretation

News stream filters

Confirmation bias

Target audiences


Personalized content, recommendation

Spread of misinformation


Career Panel: Leading in the digital age

(from left to right)

Lorri Brady, Senior Leader at Oracle (Moderator); Liliane Peters, Director at Ericsson; Anna Luo, VP at Jivox; Alka Jarvis, Sr. Director/Distinguished Engineer at Cisco; Win Chang, Director at Oracle

One key discussion topic was “What kind of job skills are most important in this digital disruption age?” Panelists agreed that: 

  1. Change is constant – Understand where the trend is going 

  2. Ability to scale yourself – keep learning

  3. Ability to solve problems – ask the right questions

The panel also discussed roadblocks in their career and how they managed to get over it and advice for women that left jobs to take care of family. The key message was “Be bold, Be gutsy, and Be authentic”.


Quantum Computing Fundamentals

Kayla Lee, Quantum Consultant at IBM

In quantum computing, a qubit or quantum bit is the basic unit of quantum information. Kayla showed this statistic to the audience –  

Computing power grows exponentially:

  • 30 Qubits = a very powerful laptop

  • 40 Qubits = a supercomputer

  • 80 Qubits = all the classable computers on earth

  • 160 Qubits = all of the silicon atoms on earth

She also shared 3 Key applications for Quantum computing:

  1. Simulating quantum systems: quantum chemistry, Material science

  2. Artificial intelligence: model training and pattern recognition

  3. Optimization/Monte Carlo Simulation: optimization and risk simulation

The Future of Java 

Heather Vancura, Director at Oracle

Heather described Java Stewardship through Java Community Process (JCP) and introduced the most recent JAVA releases. JAVA SE Platform is investing heavily on:

JAVA SE Platform Investments

  • Security as #1 priority

  • Improving Java developer productivity and compatibility (Amber, Panama, Loom)

  • Increasing density (Valhalla)

  • Improving startup time (AOT, App CDS)

  • Improving predictability (zGC, Shenandoah)

  • Simplifying serviceability and profiling (JR , JMC)


Entrepreneurship Panel: Launching your Tech Startup and Challenges in Making it a Success

Selvam Raju, Advanced Lead Engineer at Knightscope (Moderator); Yaping Cheng, Innovation Manager, GE Appliances; Dhivya Sashidhar, CEO and Founder at WattsKitchen; Jocelyn Tan, CEO and Co-Founder at SISU

The panelists shared different opinions from startup perspectives versus corporate innovations perspective on topics such as technology, strategy and team.

Female founders also discuss their personal experience about gender bias in the startup world. Some take-aways are:

  1. Yes, gender and age bias do exist. 

  2. If you ask the right question during a conversation, the other person would recognize you are smart and respect you.

  3. If you feel someone is judging you, invite him over for a coffee and indulge in a thought experiment. In this process, he will get a much better understanding of you.

  4. Never discount your own feelings. Express yourself.

  5. Owning up to the fact that you are doing something of importance. Be confident.


Thank you to everyone who joined us at the 2019 IEEE  Women in Computing Summit! 


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