SFU Professor Dr. Lesley Shannon Awarded Five-year Term to Promote Opportunities for Women in Science and Engineering
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA – May 22, 2015 – Today Simba Technologies Inc.®, the worldwide leader in Big Data connectivity announced it is partnering with Simon Fraser University (SFU) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) to fund the Chair for Women in Science and Engineering for BC and Yukon. The chair – one of two new NSERC chairs awarded in Canada this term – is subsidized for five years, and will be held by Dr. Lesley Shannon, associate professor in SFU’s School of Engineering Science.
“Women are underrepresented in science, technology, math, and engineering education, and in high-tech industries,” says Amyn Rajan, Simba Technologies CEO. “This investment gives us a chance to do something about it. I’m excited to contribute to funding Dr. Shannon’s chair at SFU to foster opportunities for women to pursue careers in STEM fields.”
Dr. Shannon, recipient of the 2014 Teaching Award of Excellence from the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia (APEGBC), teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in computer engineering at SFU. She has long been an advocate of increasing student and worker diversity in science- and engineering-related fields. Her research focuses on non-traditional computing system design, such as reconfigurable computing, heterogeneous computing, and application-specific architectures, with applications in areas as diverse as machine learning, data analytics, medical imaging, space robotics, and bimolecular analysis.
“Support from Simba, SFU, and NSERC enables my team to collaborate and develop strategies to raise women’s participation in science and engineering as students and professionals,” says Dr. Shannon. “We will work to encourage girls to pursue STEM education and strive to increase post-secondary science and engineering enrollment for women. We want to promote aspirational female role models within science and engineering fields and identify and help eliminate barriers for women to pursue science and engineering careers and leadership roles in these companies.”
Simba’s Rajan will deliver today’s opening keynote at the “Creating Connections 4.0” event at Simon Fraser University. His speech — “The Business Case for Gender Diversity in the High-tech Workplace” – posits a new model for gender diversity in corporate environments. In the presentation, Rajan will challenge companies to embrace gender equity goals.
“This is not about altruism,” notes Rajan. “At Simba Technologies, we’re building an inclusive workplace culture and supporting women in STEM careers because we want smart people to come work for us. We can’t achieve that goal if we’re leaving half the population behind.”
In addition to the NSERC SFU chair, Simba Technologies sponsors scholarships at several Western Canada universities, including the University of British Columbia, University of Victoria, and Simon Fraser University.
Rajan, a Simon Fraser University alumnus, received a scholarship to attend SFU. The NSERC SFU chair is part of his personal commitment to provide opportunities for SFU students and to repay his $12,000 scholarship…one hundred times over.
About Simba Technologies Inc.
Simba Technologies (www.simba.com, @SimbaTech) is the recognized world leader in standards-based data access and analytics products and solutions for both relational and multi-dimensional data sources. Simba provides data connectivity solutions to many of the world’s leading companies on various platforms, including Windows, Mac, UNIX, Linux and many mobile device platforms. Simba’s data connectivity products support multiple interfaces, including ODBC, JDBC, OLE DB, OLE DB for OLAP (ODBO), XML for Analysis (XMLA), ADO, ADO.NET, ADOMD and ADOMD.NET.
Simba’s software is used worldwide. Its customers include leading independent software vendors and global enterprises like Alteryx®, Altiscale®, Cloudera®, Couchbase®, Databricks®, Datastax®, Google®, Hortonworks®, MapR®, Microsoft®, Oracle®, Qubole®, SAP®, Splunk®, Tableau®, and Teradata®.
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