For one weekend every spring, in the halls of the Information Science Building in North Oakland, clusters of computer science students spend a sleepless weekend over their computer screens coding massive projects. This is SheInnovates, an annual hackathon hosted by Pitt’s Women in Computer Science — or, WiCS — club.
WiCS, which is open to students of all genders, is a club designed to foster diversity in the field of computing. According to senior computer science and political science double major and WiCS President Erin O’Rourke, WiCS is primarily for creating a community of support for its members.
“I was really lucky that the officers at the time [I joined WiCS] did a great job at making people feel included and really made it seem like an approachable space,” she said. “I think so often you can sit next to people in class all week and not get to know them super well and WiCS gave me the first taste at what a CS community would be like.”