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ACM-W Connections. October 2015

Welcome from the ACM-W Chair

Welcome to the October, 2015, issue of ACM-W Connections.  There’s a lot going on in ACM-W’s world.

The big news is that the ACM Executive Committee has approved a new charter for ACM-W!  I’ll highlight just a few of the changes.

  1. There is no longer an ACM-W Executive Committee.
  2. The ACM-W Council now consists of the chair, vice chair, ACM-W India chair, ACM-W Europe chair, and the committee chairs.  This gives us a larger, but not unwieldy, decision making body.  More importantly, it brings to the table everyone who is leading the different activities of the organization.  Everyone else who is involved with ACM-W will either be a member of a committee or will be on an ad hoc project and will report directly to the chair or vice chair.
  3. We will begin to adhere to the ACM policy on limited terms of office -- a limit of two consecutive two-year terms in the same position.  This means that we will continually bring new people into ACM-W.  We are always on the lookout for new volunteers and hope that many of you reading this will be interested in stepping up to join our efforts.  Send me an email and let me know what you want to work on!

I want to thank all of those who have been working hard for ACM-W in the last few years.  Their work has led to growth of all of our programs, and we see increased recognition of ACM-W among people in computing, not just among women in computing.

Where’s ACM-W This Month?

While you are reading this, many of us are at the Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC) in Houston, TX.  Stop by the ACM-W booth (#S13) and pick up one of our new Ada Lovelace tech tattoos for your laptop!

Overlapping with GHC is MinkWiC, the Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas Celebration of Women in Computing, October 15-16. 

October 28th will be Inspire 2015, organized by the ACM-W UK chapter.

Finally, November 13-15 is SEWiC, the Southeast Celebration of Women in Computing.

~Valerie Barr, ACM-W Chair

News From ACM-W Celebrations

- letter from Wendy Powley, ACM-W Celebration Chair

I would like to thank Valerie and Jodi for their warm welcome in the August newsletter.   I am delighted to be taking on the role as Chair of the Celebrations project, an initiative that I am very passionate and excited about.

In 2010, my friend Kelly Lyons informed me of the ACM-W’s initiative to launch Celebration events to provide young women with the inspiration and experience that comes from attending a conference filled with enthusiastic, like-minded women.    She e-introduced me to Gloria Childress Townsend and Elaine Weyuker who were heading up the project at the time.   I downloaded Gloria’s One Hundred One Ideas for Small Regional Celebrations of Women in Computing guide, gathered some keen students from our School, and got to work on the first Ontario Celebration of Women in Computing (ONCWIC) event.   This was completely out of character for me.  It was risky and scary.  Where would the funding come from?   I had no industry connections.  I had never been involved in large-scale fund-raising.  I worried that no one would come to the conference.   The one thing that kept me focused and determined was Gloria’s comment “Organizing a Celebration event was the single most rewarding thing I have done in my life”.

The first event was a huge success and since then ONCWIC has been organized by four different universities across Ontario.  This year we are extremely excited to be launching the first Canadian Celebration of Women in Computing (CAN-CWiC).   This conference represents a merging of three Canadian Celebrations: the Ontario Celebration of Women in Computing, the Pacific Northwest Celebration of Women in Computing, and the Atlantic Canada Celebration of Women in Computing.

There are many Celebrations planned for the 2015/2016 year with at least a dozen events planned in areas across the US, two events in India, and Celebrations in Cuba, Puerto Rico and Europe.  Check out the ACM-W Celebrations page to find an event near you!

If you are interested in organizing an event, I would be happy to talk with you about what it entails.  Seed funding is available for all events from ACM-W and Microsoft Research, and many supports are in place to assist with planning and execution of events. 

Perhaps you are not quite ready to organize your own Celebration yet, but you would like to help out in some way with the Celebrations project?  We are looking for new members to join the Celebrations committee.   The workload is light, but your help would really be appreciated.

I can be reached by email at wendy@cs.queensu.ca.  I look forward to getting to know all the Celebration organizers over the coming months and working with you to make your Celebration a huge success.  And, for the record, I agree with Gloria that organizing a Celebration was the single most rewarding thing I have done in my life.  Try it!  When you see the smiles on the faces of your young attendees, you are sure to agree with us.

News From ACM-W Scholarships

The ACM-W Scholarship for Attendance of Research Conferences program provides support for women students in Computer Science and related programs who wish to attend research conferences. The student does not have to present a paper at the conference to be eligible. Applications are evaluated in 6 occasions each year, in order to distribute awards across a range of conferences, with 1-6 awards given for each group of applications. The 2014-2015 ACM-W Scholarships are made possible due to the generous support of Google, Microsoft  and Oracle.

The scholarships expose students to prominent researchers in their field, introduce students to new research, and excite them about doing research themselves. We ask students to share with us some of their thoughts on the conference they attended and we never cease to find truly inspiring stories. Here are some recent examples.


Jasmine Davis (pictured on the right), HCI undergraduate student at Wellesley college, went to the Spatial User Interaction (SUI) and the User Interface Software and Technology (UIST) meetings last April in Hawaii. Jasmine says: “I admit I was a bit nervous to be attending SUI and UIST. Nervous to the point of being scared, but I am so incredibly glad I reached for it. I'm also glad I was at SUI before UIST. Being at the smaller, one-track conference gave me a chance to settle into things, get over my nerves, and learn what conferences are all about. I had great discussions with professors from Canadian colleges to graduate students from Stanford. [...] Presenting my work at SUI reaffirmed that just because I'm an undergrad doesn't mean my work is any less valid or comparable to that of older and more experienced scholars in attendance at the conference.

Most recently, in September 2015 we had another round of awards and we are pleased to congratulate  Katrin Krieger (Otto-von-Guericke-Universitaet, Germany), Susana Gomez Burgos (University of Colorado Boulder, USA),  Arooba Javed (Wayne State University, USA), Megan K. Hofmann (Colorado State University,), Jialing Zhang (University of Massachusetts Lowell, MA, USA) and  Lisa KOPF (Michigan State University, USA) for their new awards.  We are hoping for some more exciting descriptions and photos.

The next application deadline is December 15 for conferences taking place in February and March 2016. For more information and to apply visit women.acm.org/scholarship.  If you have any questions, contact scholarship committee chair Prof. Adriana Compagnoni.

News From ACM-W Chapters

Create and Expand ACM-W Groups on Campus: Call for Proposals (Deadline, 10/30/2015)

Applications for the new NCWIT Student Seed Fund (now sponsored by Google.org) will open soon! Any existing ACM-W student chapter or women in computing (WIC) group interested in becoming affiliated with ACM-W is eligible to apply.

This year, grants will be awarded in the following categories:

  • Trailblazer Grant (up to $15,000): Funding at this level is for well-developed groups with a history of institutional support that are interested in institution-wide projects such as funding large-scale events or course development.
  • Amplification Grant (up to $5,000): Funding at this level is intended for existing groups interested in expanding their impact through existing and new programs on their campus and in their geographic region.
  • Start-Up Funding (up to $3,000): Students looking to start a new ACM-W chapter on campus can apply for funds to help launch their group.

The application deadline is October 30, 2015. Winners will be notified by January 2016. In order to be eligible, the host institution must be an NCWIT non-profit Academic Alliance Member within the United States.

To become a member, simply submit the Academic Alliance Membership Form here for Student Seed Fund and here for Academic Alliance Membership.

News From ACM-W India

Report of All India celebration of Women in Computing

All India celebration of women in computing was organized by AESICS, ACM-Women Chapter of Ahmedabad University in association with ACM Ahmedabad during 1st and 3rd October, 2015 under the theme “Entrepreneurship and Career Development in Computer Science and Information Technology”.

The inaugural ceremony started with prayer and e-lighting a lamp. Ms. Heena Timani, Vice Chairman, ACM Ahmedabad welcome and introduced all guests to the audience.


(L to R) Ms..Heena Timani, Ms.Sweta Chawla, Dr.Arati M. Dixit, Ms.Bhagyesh Soneji, Mrs.Maria Choudhary, Mrs. Smriti Dagur

During ceremonial address, Dr. Arati Dixit, Member, ACM-W India Executive Council, briefed about Association of Computing Machinery as largest computing education society worldwide that strives unconditionally to raise the bar of students by helping them in terms of career resources, mentoring, workshops, conferences and publications She elucidated the objective of AICWIC’15 to support, motivate and inspire women researchers in India by providing them a platform where they can candidly interact with others and hence explained the importance of ACM-W Chapter. She talked about the facilities given by ACM and also discussed about the awards given by ACM.

The chief guest for the inaugural function Ms. Bhagyesh Soneji, Chairperson –Western Region ASSOCHAM (Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industries), threw a light on e-commerce business. She emphasized creativity and higher success ratio at younger age.

The Keynote addresses were conversed by Ms. Shweta Chawla and Mrs. Smriti Dagur. Ms. Shweta Chawla, an entrepreneur, Head and Chief Investigator at SC Cyber Solutions, Forensic Investigations Pune, shared her experiences at the SC Cyber Solutions. She encouraged students, especially girls to join the field of Forensic Investigations as an interesting field with ample of opportunities. She demonstrated cloning of data using a tool that attracted the audience. The other keynote speaker Mrs. Smriti Dagur, President, Institution of Electronics & Telecommunications Engineers (IETE) delivered a talk which motivated students to pursue higher studies. She highlighted on smart cities and village with powering inspiration.

The session continued with Panel Discussion on theme “On choosing Career Path: Academics, IT, Research and Entrepreneurship”. The Expert Panelists were Mrs. Vandana Raj, Director, Vama Communications, Mrs. Maria Choudhary, Chief Engineer, Oracle Systems, Pune and Ms. Sweta Chawla. The Panel Discussion was moderated by Dr. Arati M. Dixit on their career, goal and challenges in respective industry, career opportunities for IT student freshers in respective field of panelist.

As a part of Celebration on 3rd October the participant presented Work-in-progress research poster followed by Q & A by expert. The Valedictory session started with an address on Women in Computing by Dr. Bhusan Trivedi, Sr. Member, ACM Ahmedabad. It was followed with Award ceremony and Certificate distribution. The trophies and winning certificates were awarded to students for holding first and second rank in Programming Contest and IT Quiz respectively organized on 1st October as a part of AICWIC’15. It was also awarded to participants of IT Quiz, Programming Contest and participants of Work-in-progress research poster. More than 300 students and professionals. Concluding Remark was given by Dr Nilesh Modi, Chairman, ACM Ahmedabad. Dr Kuntal Patel, Membership Chair, proposed vote of thanks. Celebration was successfully completed under the encouraging support and guidance of Prof. Bipin Mehta, Director, School of Computer Studies, Ahmedabad University and Mr. Chandrashekhar Sahasrabudhe, Persistent System Ltd and Dr. Sheila Anand, ACM-W Chair India.

News From ACM-W Europe

womENcourage 2015 Celebration of Women in Computing

It’s confirmed!  Women Love Tech!  And the participants of ACM-W Europe womENcourage Celebration of Women in Computing deemed that the Celebration was a huge success!   Over 200 participants from 28 countries attended in at an impressive venue, they participated in keynote addresses, panel discussions, technical paper sessions, workshops, ... See the photos, view the recorded sessions.

Google, Inria, Oracle, Bloomberg, Cisco, Facebook, IAR, Intel, Informatics Europe, Microsoft Research, and FreeBSD supported the celebration, allowing us to provide 55 students with travel scholarships. 

You can:

  1. Look at the summary here
  2. streamvideos of sessions you missed;
  3. read some of our accepted papers;
  4. or peruse the conference photo gallery.

Additionally see below articles (article1 and article2) and blogs from Sept 2015.

News of womENcourage 2016 3rd Celebration of Women in Computing is coming soon.  Stay Tuned.

WOMEN in HPC Blog

Two years ago, the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre (EPCC) set up the Women in High Performance Computing to address the gender imbalance in High Performance Computing (HPC).  Women in HPC is a network that supports collaboration and networking by bringing together female HPC scientists, researchers, developers, users and technicians from across Europe. Read more here.

Announcements

  • ADA Lovelace 200th Birthday Symposium
    Join in Oxford to celebrate Ada Lovelace’s 200th birthday.
    10 December 2015 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Ada Lovelace, chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage’s early mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine.  The Symposium is aimed at a broad audience of those interested in the history and culture of mathematics and computer science, presenting new discoveries for the Oxford archives, current scholarship on Lovelace’s life and work, and linking her ideas to contemporary thinking about mathematics, computing and artificial intelligence.
    Click here for more details about the symposium and registration information.
  • ACM-W UK Workshop at Imperial College London on Wednesday 28th October 2015
    ACM-W UK and the Computing Department at Imperial College London will be presenting the inaugural ACM-W UK Celebration Workshop on Wednesday, 28 October 2015 at Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus. Registration is open!   This event is sponsored by ACM-W, Department of Computing-Imperial College London, Microsoft Research, and Imperial WSET society.
  • Would you like to contribute an article to the ACM-W Newsletter?
    With a distribution list reaching thousands of ACM-W members, contributing to the newsletter is a wonderful opportunity to share ideas and information across a wide audience. Submit a proposal for an article http://women.acm.org/submit.