Mission Statement

ACM-W supports, celebrates, and advocates internationally for the full engagement of women in all aspects of the computing field, providing a wide range of programs and services to ACM members and working in the larger community to advance the contributions of technical women.

Our Corporate Supporters

We are very grateful for the support of several corporate sponsors. At present, ACM-W has funding from Oracle (through Oracle Academy), Microsoft Research, and Google for our scholarships, from Google for the Athena Lecturer Award, and continuing support from Microsoft Research for the Celebrations. Thanks to their generosity in helping us to support, celebrate and advocate for women in computing.

Letter from ACM-W chair

Welcome to the September, 2015, issue of ACM-W Connections. Before we get to news on ACM-W activities, I want to thank those companies that are supporting us during the 2015-2016 year. Google continues to support the scholarship program, and also supports the development of new ACM-W Chapters through their funding of the project we are launching with NCWIT. Microsoft Research (MSR) continues to support our Celebrations of Women in Computing, and has given us additional funding this year for events specifically for women at community colleges. MSR has also contributed funds to the scholarship program, specifically so that we can encourage more early PhD students. Finally, Oracle has given us funds for the scholarship program that we will be dividing over the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 fiscal years. Thanks to these companies, and to the people within them who work with me each year to secure these funds!

There’s quite a bit of news as we head into another exciting year of ACM-W activities. In this newsletter you’ll find a lot of information from ACM-W Europe as they prepare for the upcoming womENcourage event. There is also information about the Ada Lovelace Symposium, coming up in December at Oxford University. And check the announcement from ACM-W chapters – there’s an opportunity to apply for funding for your chapter to help engage students at other schools!

One of our Scholarship recipients, Chao Charity Mbogo, University of Cape Town, passed her PhD defense and will be graduating in December. She very kindly included ACM-W on the thank you message she sent out to “all who encouraged and supported me along the way”. Congratulations Chao, we’re thrilled that we were part of your journey.

You may recall that ACM-W was supporting the TechKobwa summer program for girls in Rwanda. They had 60 girls and 10 teachers this summer, and there’s lots of information at http://www.egr.msu.edu/techkobwa/ and a blog at http://rwandancampforgirlsinit.blogspot.com/

We have so much going on these days, I think we need a new monthly feature, so here’s the first edition of.....

Where’s ACM-W This Month?

We are looking forward to womENcourage, in Uppsala, Sweden, running September 24-26. Next is the ACM-W India Celebration of Women in Computing (AICWiC 2015) at Ahmedabad, Gujarat on October 3. Many of us will be the Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC) in Houston, TX, October 14-17. Overlapping with GHC is MinkWiC, the Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas Celebration of Women in Computing, October 15-16.

If you are attending Grace Hopper, stop by the ACM-W booth (#S13) and pick up one of our new Ada Lovelace tech tattoos for your laptop!

~Valerie Barr, ACM-W Chair

What's NEW

Check out news from celebrations, scholarships, chapters and our international partners in Europe and India in the August 2015 issue of ACM-W Connections.

Special Tribute: Celebrating the 200th birthday of Ada Lovelace

In 2015 the University of Oxford will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of computer visionary Ada Lovelace.  The centrepiece of the celebrations will be a display at the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Library (13 October – 18 December 2015) and a Symposium (9 and 10 December 2015), presenting Lovelace’s life and work, and contemporary thinking on computing and artificial intelligence.

Ada, Countess of Lovelace (1815–1852), is best known for a remarkable article about Charles Babbage’s unbuilt computer, the Analytical Engine. This presented the first documented computer program, to calculate the Bernoulli numbers, and explained the ideas underlying Babbage’s  machine – and every one of the billions of computers and computer programs in use today. Going beyond Babbage’s ideas of computers as manipulating numbers, Lovelace also wrote about their creative possibilities and limits: her contribution was highlighted in one of Alan Turing’s most famous papers ‘Can a machine think?’ Lovelace had wide scientific and intellectual interests and studied with scientist Mary Somerville, and with Augustus De Morgan, a leading mathematician and pioneer in logic and algebra.

The display, in the Bodleian’s new Weston Library, will offer a chance to see Lovelace’s correspondence with Babbage, De Morgan, Somerville and others, and her childhood exercises and  mathematical notes.  The Symposium, on 9th and 10th December 2015, is aimed at a broad audience interested in the history and culture of mathematics and computer science, presenting current scholarship on Lovelace’s life and work, and linking her ideas to contemporary thinking about computing, artificial intelligence and the brain. Confirmed speakers so far include Lovelace’s direct descendant the Earl of Lytton, Lovelace biographer Betty Toole, computer historian Doron Swade, historian Richard Holmes, computer scientist Moshe Vardi, graphic novelist Sydney Padua, ACM Vice President Vicki Hanson, and ACM-W Chair Valerie Barr. Other activities will include a workshop for early career researchers, a “Music and Machines” event, and a dinner in Balliol College on 9th December, the eve of Lovelace’s 200th birthday.

Oxford’s celebration is led by the Bodleian Libraries and the University of Oxford’s Department of Computer Science, working with colleagues in the Mathematics Institute, Oxford e-Research Centre, Balliol College, Somerville College, the Department of English and TORCH. External sponsors include ACM, AdaCore, BCS, BCSwomen, Clay Mathematics Institute, Google, Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, and the London Mathematical Society. 

Oxford has a remarkable history of programming research, with two winners of the ACM A M Turing Award, the Nobel Prize for Computer Science, and the unique breadth and depth of Oxford’s expertise brings a variety of perspectives to understanding Lovelace and the remarkable intellectual community around her, whose ideas underpin modern computing.

For more information or to register see http://blogs.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/adalovelace/

ACM-W Celebrations Transitions to a New Year

~Jodi Tims

As Valerie announced in her opening remarks, I am pleased to welcome Wendy Powley (Queens University, Ontario, CA) to the role of ACM-W Celebrations chair. Wendy has been deeply involved with the project, having been a lead organizer of the Ontario Celebration (ONCWiC) for several years. Wendy was instrumental in the effort to combine previous regional Celebrations in Canada to create the All Canada Celebration (CAN-CWiC), which will be held for the first time in January 2016. Wendy also has been a part of the Celebrations committee during the 2014-2015 academic year as communications chair, a role she will now be seeking to fill (any interested readers?).

I have mixed emotions personally as I step out of the role of Celebrations chair and into the newly created role of ACM-W Vice Chair. The past few years have seen rapid growth of the project and I anticipate more growth in the coming years, particularly on the international front. It has been fun and rewarding to meet and interact with all of the Celebrations coordinators and each has enriched my experience in some way.

I'd like to extend my heartfelt thanks to my committee – Rachelle Hippler (survey coordinator, Bowling Greens – Firelands), Martha Kosa (branding and swag coordinator, Tennessee Tech) and Wendy Powley. I would not have been able to manage the project were it not for the tireless efforts of these women and am confident that the project is in good hands going forward. I also want to thank Valerie Barr and Gloria Townsend for giving me the opportunity to be Celebrations chair back in 2012.

As I look forward to my new role as Vice Chair, I am excited about the many possibilities that exist for ACM-W as we continue to find new ways to support, celebrate, and advocate for women in the computing field. The opportunity to partner with Valerie in this effort is truly exciting!

Finally, I encourage you to visit the Celebrations web page (http://women.acm.org/celebrations) and see the numerous events that are being planned for the 2015-2016 academic year. Return to the page from time to time as information will be added as it becomes known.

Why You Should Join ACM-W

If you think it is important to recruit and retain as many women as possible in the computing field, you should join ACM-W! Together, we will help celebrate, inform and support women in computing:

  • Celebrate: One of the most popular ways to celebrate women in computing is by starting and/or attending an ACM-W Celebration of Women in Computing; the accomplishments of women in computing are at the heart of ACM-W's e-Newsletter and Blog. And ACM-W encourages its members to celebrate the work of prominent women by nominating them for Awards -- such as the Athena Award & Lecture -- as well as ACM Advanced Grade Membership.
  • Inform: Via ACM-W's student scholarship program, young women are informed about the research going on, and become acquainted with the researchers, in their field. Members of ACM-W Student Chapters are informed about the educational and career opportunities available to them.
  • Support: Lend your enthusiasm, inspiration, and support to ACM-W, and help make a difference in the global computing community!

When you join ACM, or renew your membership, check the box for ACM-W. You will be added to our email list and receive our ACM-W Connection newsletter.

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