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The IFCA welcomes students from Murcia, Valencia and Cantabria, participants in the 7th edition of the comic contest


The main characters of the drawings have been women who dedicated their work to computing and data

In Santander, 13 June 2024

This is the seventh year that the Institute of Physics of Cantabria (IFCA), a joint centre of the CSIC and the University of Cantabria (UC), opens its doors to receive the students of ESO and Bachillerato participating in the 7th edition of the IFCA comic contest, this year dedicated to women who work today, or did in the past, in computing and data (robotics, AI, programming, etc.). 

A total of six students from schools in Valencia, Murcia and Cantabria were able to get a closer look at the centre's facilities and the research staff, in particular the women scientists working in the Advanced Computing and e-Science Group

The day began with a welcome from the current IFCA Vice-Director of Dissemination and Transfer, Ana Quirce, followed by a presentation of the work of Lara Lloret, María Peña, Judith Sáinz-Pardo, and Marta Obregón, researchers in the IFCA Computing and e-Science Group. They also connected remotely with Aída Palacio and Miriam Cobo, IFCA colleagues who are currently on a research stay in Bologna and Amsterdam. 

Afterwards, they had the opportunity to get to know the IFCA in a guided tour by the research staff of its facilities, such as the LHC model, the Metrology laboratory, the Clean Room, the Data Processing Centre (DPC), or to see the sun in the observatory located in the dome. They learned how a supercomputer and parallel computing works, with a demonstration of a Raspberry-Pi4, and received a small model in pieces of the CMS particle detector, created with the new 3D printer that the centre has recently acquired. 

Silvia Martínez Núñez explaining how the IFCA observatory works.​

The visit ended with the presentation of prizes to the winning students, Mario Cambres (4º ESO, IES Sanje) for his work dedicated to Grace Murray Hopper, in the 'Digital' category, and Laia Zuriaga (4º ESO, Colegio Vamar) for her cartoons about the life of Jude Milhon, in the 'Paper' category. 

The winner from Murcia, Mario Cambres, emphasized that, with his comic about Grace Murray Hopper, "I wanted to give visibility, as she was not a well-known woman". "I did some research on her and saw that she was not a well-known person, and I realized​ that she specialized in computing, which is what attracted me to talk about her and make her known", he said. 

Laia Zuriaga, the Valencian student who won in the paper category, drew about Jude Milhon because "he conveyed many values, he wanted computing to be for everyone, he was a feminist, he sought justice and respected the privacy of others".  

The finalists also received recognition for their work. In the 'Paper' category, the winners were Isabel Jiao (1st Baccalaureate, Colegio Maristas Champagnat) for "Hedy Lamarr", and Jimena Girao (2º ESO, Sagrada Familia) for "Melody Dieng". And in the 'Digital' category, María Aganzo (3º ESO, Colegio Torrevelo-Peñalabra) for "Ada Lovelace", and Eva Migoya (4º ESO, Sagrada Familia) for "Mujeres en computación".

For IFCA researcher Lara Lloret, "this type of initiative forces the boys and girls to research different women scientists, to get into their lives, to imagine what their lives were like, and then to represent it, to draw it," she says, "and I think that today we have been able to give them a very good vision of everything that is done at the institute", she says. 

Family photo of the winning and runner-up students with the IFCA researchers. ​

Rebeca García / IFCA Communication​
  • Joint Centre with the combined effort of Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and University of Cantabria (UC)

    Instituto de Física de Cantabria
    Edificio Juan Jordá
    Avenida de los Castros, s/n
    E-39005 Santander
    Cantabria, Spain

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