acm-w logo ACM-W Scholarship for Attendance of Research Conferences

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 for a scholarship. The scholarship exposes students to prominent researchers in their field, introduces students to new research, and excites them about doing research by themselves.

But everyone knows that with the Coronavirus Crisis we are living through, many of the Computer Science conferences are being delayed, made virtual and sometimes plainly cancelled. Everyone has had to adapt and the Scholarship Committee has decided to keep our deadlines as usual and to deal with the delays and cancellations as they arise.

Therefore, in April we will assign scholarships for the conferences officially scheduled in June and July. However, if the conferences is postponed or cancelled, the scholars will retain their scholarships for the same conference, or another later conference. In both cases, the scholar must inform the ACM-W Scholarship committee. Moreover, in the latter case, the ACM-W committee will decide if the other conference is suitable. In any case, the scholarship will not be lost.

If you’ve read our last newsletter we may have seen that we were planning some questionnaires to help us improve the communication with our readers and the  distribution of the scholarship awards. Given the severity of the coronavirus situation and the need for all of us to survive quarantine and all it implies, these plans are on hold for the time being.

We hope all of you and your loved ones are healthy and well. We will get through this together, hopefully stronger and  fairer in the long run!!

For more information and to apply visit: https://women.acm.org/scholarships/

To see previous winners’ reports on their conference trips visit https://women.acm.org/scholars/acm-w-scholars/?sch_year=2019.

The next application deadline is June 15 for conferences taking place in Aug 1 – Sep 30, 2020.  

If you have any questions, please contact the scholarship committee chair Prof. Viviana Bono, at bono@di.unito.it.

ACM-W North America

Visit and follow us online!

As we ramp up our regional committee, we are anxious to start sharing news and activities of many women in computing across North America. We will highlight more in our next newsletter. In the meantime, our website has launched! You can now learn more about our work at ACM-W North America and keep up to date by visiting us at https://acmwnorthamerica.acm.org/.

We have also started our new social media platforms to help promote and celebrate the many fantastic women in computing! Follow us on Facebook (@ACMWNorthAmerica) and Twitter (@acmwnorthameric).

Celebrations

Are you ready for a new way to Celebrate? While the ACM-W community was able to see two Celebrations in February, by mid-March many current and upcoming Celebrations were canceled. However, one adventurous organizer for the Women in Computing Celebrations at University of Minnesota Duluth (MinneWIC), Arshia Khan (Associate Professor of Computer Science), decided to launch the first virtual Celebrations in North America.

“We were scheduled to have a 1.5-day conference on March 20th and 21st. March 20th was our TensorFlow workshop, while the conference was on March 21st, ” says Khan, who also serves as chair of the Women in Computing committee.

“This was our second year hosting this conference, and I did not want to cancel it since it is very beneficial to our students. We had the first event (Undergraduate Research Workshop), where students worked with faculty mentors on various research projects. The conference culminated these projects with students presenting their research,” she continued. “We had to make sure the students’ almost yearlong work was acknowledged.”

This Celebration was held on Saturday, March 21st, with a welcome address from Dr. Wendy Reed followed by the keynote speaker, Katherine Rasley.

Arshia Khan, Associate Professor of Computer Science, University of Minnesota Duluth.
UMD WiC Celebrations
Saturday, March 21st
8:30am Welcome: Dr. Wendy Reed
8:45am Keynote Speaker: Katherine Rasley
10:00am Research Workshop: Dr. Alexis Elder
11:00am Graduate Program Panel
12:00pm Industry Panel
1:00pm Poster Presentations
2:00pm Lightning Talks

Khan said that the virtual Celebrations went very well, with 55 participants of the 98 originally registered. “The panels, keynote, and research presentations were very well received. I received several emails after the event commenting on how informational this conference was.”

ACM-W India Regional Celebrations Report

The Regional Celebrations 2020 of the Association for Computing Machinery – Women’s Council (ACM-W India) was held at Padre Conceicao College of Engineering, Verna, on 13th March 2020. The Annual mega-event was jointly organised by ACM, ACM-W, Padre Conceicao College of Engineering (PCCE), Indian Institute of Technology-Goa (IIT-Goa) and Goa University.

Ms. Revati Majumdhar, the Executive Director of Goa Electronics Limited, was the ChiefGuest for the Inaugural function. Rev. Fr. Anthony Castelo, Director of Agnel Technical Education Complex welcomed the delegates to the Campus. Ms. Maria D’Souza Chaudhary, Treasurer of ACM India, spoke about the purpose and initiatives of ACM. Also present on the dais were Dr. Mahesh Parappagoudar, Principal of PCCE, Dr. Sudhakshina Dutta, representing IIT-Goa, Assoc. Prof. Ramrao Wagh, representing Goa University and Ms. Razia de Loyola Furtado e Sardinha, Convenor of the event. Program Chairs Mr. Siddesh Sawant spoke aboutthe day’s eventsand Ms. Cassandra Fernandes proposed the vote ofthanks.

Chief Guest Ms. Revati Majumdhar, with other dignitaries and organizing team members, after the Inaugural Ceremony.
Keynote Address by Mr. Riyaz Walikar

The theme chosen for the celebration was “Security Technology”. Mr. Riyaz Waliker, Head of Security Research Team at Appsecco, Bengaluru, was the Keynote Speaker. Also hosted were the ACM-India National-level Prototype Presentation Competition and ACM-India National-level Poster Presentation Competition. Over 30 teams from colleges across India submitted their proposals on “Technology for Women Safety”. The Prototype Presentations were judged by Mr. Ryan Pinto, Director of Innovantix Systems Private Limited, Goa, Ms. Akshata Raikar, Team Lead at PSL Goa and Mr. Riyaz Walikar. The Poster Presentationswere judged by Mr. Madhav Rangannekar, COO of S J Innovations and Ms. Maria D’Souza Chaudhary of Oracle Systems.

Prototype Presentation Competition in progress

The highlight of the event was an entertaining and insightful panel discussion by eminent women technocrats Dr. Veena Thenkanidiyoor, Dean at NIT-Goa, Prof. Anusha Pai, Head of Computer Engineering, PCCE, Dr. Kavita Asnani, Asst. Professor at GEC, Ms. Maria Chaudhary, MTS at Oracle Systems, Dr. Sudakshina Dutta and Dr. Poonulakshmi V. K.,Asst. Professors at IIT-Goa, Ms. Lourdes Soares, Founder of SabrCare, Goa and Ms. Nadisha Kamat, Product Owner at Odessa-Bengaluru. The animated panel discussion on the topic“Does Gender Impact Technology” was moderated by Ms. Razia de Loyola Furtado e Sardinha, Asst. Professor, PCCE.

Beaming Competition Winners
Panel Discussion in Progress
Distinguished Panelists with organizing team members

ACM-W Scholarship for Attendance of Research Conferences Program

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 for a scholarship. The scholarship exposes students to prominent researchers in their field, introduces students to new research, and excites them about doing research by themselves.

But everyone knows that with the Coronavirus Crisis we are living through, many of the Computer Science conferences are being delayed, made virtual and sometimes plainly canceled. Everyone has had to adapt. The Scholarship Committee has decided to keep its deadlines as usual and to deal with the delays and cancellations as they arise.

Therefore, in April we will assign scholarships for the conferences officially scheduled in June and July. However, if the conference is postponed or cancelled, the scholar will retain their scholarship for the same conference, or another conference later on. In both cases, the scholar must inform the ACM-W Scholarship committee. Moreover, in the latter case, the ACM-W committee will decide if the other conference is equally suitable. In any case, the scholarship will not be lost.

If you have read our last newsletter we may have seen that we were planning some questionnaires to help us improve the communication with our readers and the distribution of the scholarship awards. Given the severity of the coronavirus situation and the need for all of us to survive quarantine and all it implies, these plans are on hold for the time being.

We hope all of you and your loved ones are healthy and well. We will get through this together, hopefully stronger and fairer in the long run!!

For more information and to apply visit: https://women.acm.org/scholarships/.  

To see previous winners’ reports on their conference trips visit https://women.acm.org/scholars/acm-w-scholars/?sch_year=2019.

The next application deadline is April 15 for conferences taking place in June 1 – Jul 31st, 2020.  

If you have any questions, please contact the scholarship committee chair Prof. Viviana Bono, at bono@di.unito.it.

ACM-W March Wikipedia Campaign

To celebrate International Women’s day, we will start a Wikipedia campaign that will aim to add as many Wikipedia articles about women that are in computing, and from as many European countries as possible. If you would like to join us in this effort,  please nominate women or directly write articles on Wikipedia about them and share it on social media with hashtags #CSWiki.

Do not miss us on social media to learn about the campaign and also nominate women you would like featured. Like our ACM-WE Facebook page, follow us on Twitter (@acmweurope) or Instagram (@acmweurope) to get the updates.

Call for Hosting Proposals for womENcourage 2021

Wish to organize womENcourage 2021?  Submit your Expression of Interest by 30 April 2020.

With womENcourage 2020 organization well underway, we are now looking for proposals to host womENcourage 2021. The proposal processincludes two phases:

  1. Expressions of Interest to be submitted by 30 April 2020.
    • Notification of successful Expression of Interest proposal by 15 May 2020
  2. Full Hosting Proposals by 19 June 2020
    • Notification of the final decision on 10 July 2020

Each Expression of Interest will be reviewed by the womENcourage Steering Committee and followed up by a conference call to discuss the proposal. The teams that are shortlisted for the second phase will be provided with a budget template and advice on submitting the full proposal. The full proposals are due on 19 June, including the detailed proposed budget.

The template for Expression of Interest can be found here.

Completed Expression of Interest needs to be submitted in the PDF format through the Google form.  

We look forward to receiving your proposal. Should you have any questions or require further information, please send email to the womENcourage Steering Committee: ACMWE_SC@LISTSERV.ACM.ORG.

Blog Series: Reflections on womENcourage 2019

If you are wondering about how it feels to join the womENcourage events, we have been inviting participants to reflect on their experiences from womENcourage 2019, in Rome on our ACM-Women Europe blog series. This month, we are hosting Gunay Abdullayeva, who got her master’s degree at the University of Tartu and specialized in Data Mining, Machine Learning, Neural Networks. Read about Gunay’s journey in computing so far and the amazing experience she had at womENcourage 2019 Hackathon in Rome on our blog.

The hackathon in womENcourage 2019 was a full-day activity attended by 100 participants. The majority of them were master’s degree students (42%), but there was also a significant representation of undergraduates (22%) and doctoral students (22%). The remaining 16% were high school students and early-career professionals. 64% of them considered programming as their area of expertise, 27% were experts in design and 17% — in business. 69% of them have never attended a hackathon before. Gunay and her team competed in the Circular Economy Award challenge sponsored by Eni.

Gunay writes: “The feedback from the jury was quite positive and we were delighted to hear that we were the winning team! As a reward, we got the three-days free entry for the conference SingularityU Italy Summit 2020. All costs (accommodation, and flight) were covered by the company Eni.” “I would encourage you to believe in yourself, and apply to attend WomENcourage. Never give up, and create your story!”

womENcourage 2020 preparations in Baku, Azerbaijan are going full speed!

ACM womENcourage Celebration of Women in Computing is an exciting event, organized annually by ACM Women Europe, each year in a different European country to provide opportunities for women from diverse technical disciplines to come together and exchange knowledge, ideas and experiences. womENcourage attendees take part in hackathon projects, workshops, tutorials, keynotes, technical talks, panels, and poster presentations and expand their professional network through socializing. The Celebration is supported by a number of companies and professional organizations who generously donate funds and take part in the Career Fair, presenting exciting employment opportunities.

womENcourage 2020 will be held at 24-24th of September 2020 in Baku, Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is a European country located at a major international crossroads of trade and culture between Europe and Asia. Baku is the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan, the metropolitan area has about 4 million inhabitants. It is also the largest city on the Caspian  Sea with traces of human settlements leading back to the stone age. The average temperature in September is 26C with very little rain.  There are many wonderful attractions including ancient sites from UNESCO World Heritage List such as the old city with the Shirvanshah’s Palace and Maiden Tower as well as modern architectural marvels such as the Heydar Aliyev Center that was designed by the world-renowned architect, late Zaha Hadid.

The venue this year is ADA University, and the event organisation is led by an experienced team headed by Araz Yusubov (Dean, School of IT and Engineering, ADA University). The team has been hosting the Ada’s Legacy ACM Celebration in Baku the last four years.

The theme for this year’s event is “The equation has two sides”. womENcourage this year aims to increase the number of male participants to break the women-only event stereotype. Inclusivity and involving all parties are crucial for resolving the diversity issues.

Participants will be encouraged to contribute to the event program through posters, workshops, panel discussions as well as inspiring keynote talks. Posters provide womENcourage participants with an opportunity to present their work, receive feedback, exchange knowledge and establish collaborations with others who share the same interests. We welcome poster submissions that present original ideas and research, and authors may submit ongoing, new work or versions of their previously published work.

The womENcourage steering and organising committees are working tirelessly to bring you an exciting program! Check the important dates below not to miss the deadlines for your contributions. Remember, scholarships are open to both men and women!

The event will have a very exciting social program, so, make sure to keep an eye on the womENcourage website in the coming months.

Important Dates

Poster Abstracts are due Poster notifications 1 May 2020 5  June 2020
Scholarships applications are due Scholarship notifications 15 June 2020 15 July 2020
Workshops proposals are due Workshop notifications 15th June 2020 15 July 2020
Registration opens Last day for early registration 1 July 2020 1 August 2020

History of ACM-W Scholarships with Elaine Weyuker

This month we take the opportunity of the remodeling of the ACM-W newsletter  to discuss a little of the history of the program of scholarships and its committee. There is no one better to describe the program and history that its initiator Professor Elaine Weyuker (See her in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elaine_Weyuker).

So we have asked Professor  Weyuker (EW below)  four questions on the Scholarships Program and its history. These questions and her replies are below. We hope you’ll enjoy reading about our history! Perhaps some of our readers will join us in sending other questions (historical or otherwise) to the Scholarship committee. We cannot guarantee answers, but we can try to find some responses for you on the issues of the Scholarship program!

Q1. When did the Scholarship program start? Who propose it initially and to whom?

EW: In 2004, Maria Klawe who was just ending her ACM Presidency (Dave Patterson was the new president) asked me to co-chair ACM-W with Ursula Martin, then a professor at St Andrews in the UK. I agreed and then after a year of working together, Ursula stepped down entirely and I became chair.

ACM-W was at the time a not-terribly active group. When I took on the chair position alone in 2005, I initiated several new projects. The one nearest and dearest to my heart was the scholarship program. ACM-W had a very small budget at the time and I carried enough money from that to fund I believe 5 young women to attend conferences during the year. I wrote to all of the degree-granting programs I could, and made presentations to the SIG board chairs asking them to help and waive conference registration fees. Any woman that won one of the scholarships, I wrote to their dean and told them how proud they should be of this remarkable young woman and asked them to provide matching funds. I asked Valerie Barr (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valerie_Barr), who I had known from the days when she was a beginning graduate student at NYU and I was a brand new faculty there, and asked her to help me run this program which I felt could be a wonderful recruitment/retention tool to help young women to aspire to something great. After the first year, I asked Valerie to continue running the scholarship program on her own while I continued as ACM-W chair through the reigns of the next 4 or so ACM presidents. When the program started to grow because we started getting outside funding, Valerie needed additional help and so I asked Adriana Compagnoni (Stevens Institute of Technology) to join and help Valerie with the program. Eventually, I think in 2012, Valerie succeeded me as ACM-W chair and Adriana took over running the scholarship program. When I stepped down at ACM-W chair, I became a member of the scholarship selection committee.

Q2. What do you think is the main motivation for the program?

I went to an undergraduate college and my family was working class, and I knew there were lots of women with wonderful talent who would never reach their full potential because they didn’t even know about research, or ever think of going to graduate school. So my motivation was to help these young women see that there was a whole world out there that might be wonderfully interesting and to give them a peek at this world and thereby encourage them to aspire to something great. My ideal recipient was an undergraduate who after going to a conference might say to herself: “Wow – I want to do that” The other perfect candidate in my eyes was a terminal Masters student who was also not involved in research. I hoped that by attending a research conference and finding out about how exciting research can be, she would want to continue on to a PhD. The other group that I hoped to target was the new graduate student who did not yet have research funding and was not at one of the “rich universities” that could afford to cover the costs. To me the goal has always been to help the young woman who is has never gone to a research conference get their first taste of research which I hoped could be a life-changer for them.

Q3. Did you think it would take this long to get women into computing?

Sadly no. I received my PhD in Computer Science in 1977 – the statistics have not changed significantly in terms of the percentage of women in the field in more than 40 years, but we keep trying!

Q4. What are your expectations for the program now?

I hope it will continue to grow with the help of people like you who are committed to expanding the pipeline, and the generosity of companies that understand that increased diversity means that there is more talent available which is good for everyone.

We thank Professor Weyuker for her admirable work on behalf of the ACM-W, of the students and especially for her dedication to the Scholarship program.

The next application deadline is April 15 for conferences taking place in Jun 1 – July 31, 2020.   

If you have any questions, please contact the scholarship committee chair Prof. Viviana Bono, at bono@di.unito.it.

ACM-W Scholarship for Attendance of Research Conferences Winners

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 for a scholarship. The scholarship exposes students to prominent researchers in their field, introduces students to new research, and excites them about doing research by themselves.

Applications are evaluated at 6 occasions each year, to distribute awards across a range of conferences, with usually 3-6 awards given for each group of applications. We ask students to share with us some of their thoughts on the conference they attend, preferably with a picture, so that we can show our readers and funders the diversity of our winners. The ACM Scholarships are made possible due to the generous support of Microsoft, Google and Oracle.

This month we have a big crop of winners, twelve in fact. Seven of them are undergraduate students. They are Hareem-E-Sahar (University of Alberta, CA), Varnika Kairon (Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi, India),  Aleksandra Koralczyk (Lodz University of Technology, Poland), RutujaTaware (Pune Institute Of Computer Technology, India), Lavinia Paganini (Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Brazil), Jaelle Scheurman (Tulane University, USA) and Ruba Abu-Salma (University College London, UK). The five graduate students are: Belgica  Valencia (CETYS University, Mexico), Maria Lydia Fioravanti (University of São Paulo, Brazil), Micol Spitale (Politecnico di Milano, Italy), Jingmei Hu (Harvard, USA),  and Anna Werner (LMU Munich, Germany).

We heartily congratulate all our winners and  hope they will be able to use their Scholarships! Given the current situation with the Coronavirus, travelling seems more complicated than ever!

For more information and to apply visit: https://women.acm.org/scholarships/

To see previous winners’ reports on their conference trips visit https://women.acm.org/scholars/acm-w-scholars/?sch_year=2019.

Now Recruiting: Website Editors

The ACM-W Communications Committee is recruiting for two volunteers to maintain our websites. Specifically, we are seeking an editor for the ACM-W wikipedia page and also for the ACM-W website.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ACM-W

RESPONSIBILITIES

The site editor’s primary responsibility is to ensure quality readership. Thus editor’s regular task may include, but are not confined to, the following: preparing and formatting content, reviewing articles, researching sources, editing grammar and content. It is expected that an editor will  spend less than 10 hours a month uploading content and editing existing pages.

SKILLS

The successful applicant will have experience with research and professional writing in the practice of similar assignments. The candidate will also have technical experience with WordPress, wikitext, visual editors and similar tools.

APPLICATION

Please send a letter of interest to bettina.bair@gmail.com. Include all meaningful and relevant experience.

Announcing ACM-W Downloadable Graphics

The Communications Committee is pleased to announce a new resource for ACM-W Chapters and Celebrations. Shareable graphics are now available from our website: https://women.acm.org/graphics/

Here you will find logos and posters and designs elements suitable for use in creating promotional materials for your group or event.

What can you do with these graphics? Download them! Print them! Edit them! Share them! Use them to make stickers, badges, web-pages, banners, posters, event notices, pamphlets, flyers, tee shirts, mugs, tote bags, social media identities, magnets, coasters… and so much more!