ACM-W Connections–April 2019

  • Letter from ACM-W Chair
  • News from ACM-W Celebrations
  • News from ACM-W Student Chapters
  • News from ACM-W Professional Chapters
  • News from ACM-W Scholarships
  • News from ACM-W Europe
  • News from ACM-India

Welcome from the ACM-W Chair

On April 1st, the ACM Council approved an organizational restructuring plan for ACM-W.  The goal of the new structure is to better support global growth and strategic visioning for our organization.  Over the coming months, more information about the new structure will be posted on our ACM-W web site and highlighted in the newsletter.

One of the major changes of the new structure is the formation of an ACM-W North America Committee. For several years, ACM-W Europe and ACM-W India have provided the organizational infrastructure for building ACM-W activity in those regions.  The creation of ACM-W North America enables similar support for regional activity in the United States and Canada and establishes a consistent and easily replicable model for growth into other regions.

As we transition to the new structure, we will be looking to fill several leadership positions.  Nominations for those positions will be collected through a form accessible from our web site. The first two leadership positions (Chair, ACM-W North America and Chair, Rising Star Award Committee) have been posted on the site and more will be added in the coming weeks.  Please visit the web page ( and consider nominating yourself or another qualified person for positions of interest.

ACM-W Workshop, Chengdu, China

This May, ACM SIGCSE is launching the ACM Global Computing Education Conference.  ACM-W will be hosting a pre-conference workshop during which attendees will learn about the activities and programs of ACM-W and encouraged to initiate efforts in their regions.  If you are attending the conference and are interested in attending this workshop, you are welcome. It will be held on the afternoon of May 15th and the morning of May 16th.  Specific details of time and room location in the conference venue will be distributed as they become available.

Other ACM-W News

Also appearing in this month’s newsletter:

  • The ACM-W Student Chapter report has information about obtaining chapters stickers for use as swag at chapter events.
  • The Professional Chapters report presents a model for building membership in a chapter.
  • Highlights from MinneWiC appear in the Celebrations report.
  • Read the Scholarship Committee report to learn about the impact this program has for those who receive awards.
  • The ACM-W Europe report features information about ACM-W participation in an upcoming global AI summit.
  • ACM-W India announces the 2019 ACM India Celebration of Women in Computing (AICWiC 2019).

Thanks for standing with us as we work to fulfill our mission.

Jodi Tims
ACM-W Chair

News from ACM-W Celebrations

MinneWIC Regional Computing Conference

The University of Minnesota Duluth hosted an undergraduate research workshop in Fall 2018, followed by a series of meetings culminating in a two day conference in Spring 2019.  The objectives were  not only to make undergraduate students aware of research,  but also to create an opportunity for hands on research activities and projects led by faculty and industry leaders in the areas of biomedical engineering, virtual reality, security, machine learning, natural language processing, robotics and artificial intelligence.

A two day conference concluded the students research experience. Opening with a good hearty breakfast of crepes, fruit, Nutella and peanut butter made the get-together fun. There were two simultaneous sessions:one for the undergraduates and another for the graduate students. For the undergraduates, the day started with the mentees and mentors meeting in the morning to discuss next steps and future goals of their research. Next were the research presentations by the undergraduate students, training them to present research and share their findings and methods. This was a short 10 to 15  minute presentation per team. This activity was extremely informational in terms of realizing the various research topics and ideas for future research ideas and collaborations.

The faculty and graduate student mentors had an opportunity to hear all the presentations, giving them opportunities to network and collaborate. This was an excellent medium to share the research that faculty are doing through their students.

MinneWIC 2019

During this period the graduate students were attending sessions on research writing, issues with writing, overcoming writer’s block and other topics on writing. They also attended a presentation on how to work towards an academic career, how to write teaching statements, how to write research statements, looking for a faculty position and more.

After an elaborate lunch  there was a poster session/competition and job fair/grad fair. The faculty served as judges for the competition and spent the entire afternoon judging the posters. Several companies came for the job fair. The evening started with the great talk by the academic keynote speaker, Dr. Tawanna Dillahunt, discussing the results of several studies that investigate how ICTs could improve employability, particularly among job seekers with limited digital skills, education, and income, and those who are geographically and socially isolated. A speaker from Google  shared how they work and discuss the work he does at Google. Students were intrigued by Google’s work discipline and mechanism and asked several questions. This was a very interesting hour long discussion. Lightning sessions were conducted where the graduate students presented their research. This session was extremely beneficial for the undergraduate students to experience and learn about the grad level research.

The second day of the conference started off with a keynote speaker from industry, Dr. Tonya Custis from Thomson Reuters. Dr. Custis spoke about AI, NLP, auto news report generation, search assistance for attorneys and her work at Thomson Reuters. Then there was a career panel discussion where panels represented various sectors of industry and academia. This was very well received with many questions from the students. Next there was a presentation on “Ethics in IT” by Dr. Alexis Elder, where she discussed various potential issues that can be categorized as ethical issues in research. After a healthy lunch there was a panel on graduate school where we had panels from masters, to Ph.D, postdocs and professors share their perspectives on why they chose graduate school and the dos and don’ts of graduate school.

News from ACM-W Student Chapters

We’d like to welcome our new chapters at Poornima College of Engineering, UBC Okanagan, Michigan Tech, and The Federal University of Technology, Akure.

We are happy to announce that we will be making our face stickers available for student chapters to use as swag at chapter events. See our web page for more information!

Congratulations to St. Mary’s College of Maryland and the Universitat Politècnica de València for winning our March Facebook contest! Each chapter will receive $50 to help celebrate their accomplishments.

Jen Mince from St. Mary’s posted:

The St. Mary’s College of Maryland ACM-Women and Minorities chapter assisted the SMCM hacking club with their hackathon event on Saturday, March 2nd. We assisted with keeping the students on track and engaged in activities such as cup stacking and an app design contest. The event was open to all local students, especially aimed at high school and college age.

St. Mary’s College of Maryland Hackathon

Lucia Pons of UPV wrote:

¡Hi! Last week A Coruña (Spain) held the fourth edition of Informática Para Tod@s (, the Spanish annual ACM-W Celebration. It’s a two-day event with a poster session, technical talks as well as a very lively discussion panel. There was also a Career fair and presentations from Spanish communities of women in technology. Our chapter of ACM-W UPV (currently the only ACM-W Chapter in Spain) was present once more, being one of its members chair of this edition. We are looking forwards to next year’s edition!

Thanks for sharing your news and inspiring us all! The April Facebook is happening now! Just post about your chapter’s activities within 30 days to our Facebook page and you’ll be eligible for the monthly contest.

News from ACM-W Professional Chapters

Developing Membership

The OCWiC ACM-W Professional Chapter generated a lot of excitement and interest in membership at the OCWiC conference in February.  Many students and professionals visited the ACM-W hosted table during the Expo/Career fair to ask questions about starting regional chapters and becoming members of the OCWiC ACM-W chapter. 

Since OCWiC ACM-W Professional Chapter members come from different stages of their career, from different domains and with different needs and interests, the chapter offers membership with services and benefits for everyone.  Membership is available with flexible requirements at each level, and the value of membership grow with the members’ career (

Student members give the Chapter its energy and purpose. Student members get a lot: local and regional events calendar, discounted registration at affiliated events, listing in the resume DB, connection with employers, weekly newsletter.

Members at the professional level are the power and strength of the OCWiC ACM-W Professional Chapter.  Professional members get all of the benefits of student membership, plus they are able to vote and take a larger role in the Community.

Leadership members are the Chapter MVPs – Most Valued Professionals. At this level, members oversee the events, projects and communities of OCWiC. They get all of the benefits of Professional Membership, plus write for the blog/newsletter and attend our annual Leadership Summit.

Affiliate members provide the Chapter with deep professional networks, mentors, and financial support. Affiliates get Professional memberships for employees and have increased access to job seekers and volunteers. Affiliate memberships are offered to institutions, such as schools, companies, non-profits.

The OCWiC ACM-W membership drive is ongoing.  For more information about the chapter and organization, please visit

News from ACM-W Scholarships

The ACM 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. 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. The ACM Scholarships are made possible due to the generous support of Microsoft, Google and Oracle.

If the award is for attendance at one of the ACM special interest group conferences (SIG conferences), the SIG will most likely provide complementary conference registration and a mentor during the conference. The number of free registrations available varies from SIG to SIG. ACM-W has helped students attend a wide range of meetings including SIGGRAPH, SIGCHI, Women in Cyber Security, ACM EC, SIGCSE, IEEE Conferences, DIS, IPDPS, ICCC, ACM CHI, AAMAS, FLAIRS, WIMS, CSCW, GECCO, ICAPS, and ICSE, amongst others.

The scholarship exposes students to prominent researchers in their field, introduces students to new research, and excites them about doing research by themselves. 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. We never cease to find truly inspiring stories!

This month we report a personal impression from a previous winner of the scholarship.

We made it anonymous, as it is “from the heart” and while it is great to be able to share it with our readers, it may be too candid for some. It speaks of the “impostor syndrome” that we all have heard about. Our winner says:

I was incredibly fortunate to go to my first science conference as a student volunteer last week, and I had no idea what to expect. As a female undergraduate with no paper or poster to present, I was nervous about proving my place there and not making a fool of myself, even though I factually was a fool compared to the industry researchers and PhD students I met. But surprisingly, once I was at the conference, the gap in knowledge between me and these accomplished people was never a source of intimidation. The other student volunteers were incredibly welcoming and receptive to my questions about their research, never losing patience when I asked questions out of ignorance of computer science (I asked many of these questions). It was amazing to hear about the different projects they were developing, and what they were doing to make wide the spectrum of computer science’s applications, whether it was in medicine or the arts or in a classroom setting.

The experience that had the strongest impact on me was of the student volunteer who immediately shared all of his research with me when it became apparent that it would help my own. I mentioned that my group for my class was having trouble finding the hardware we needed to properly simulate the sensation of a guiding hand through a bracelet. The student volunteer’s demeanor seemed to change completely, coming into focus. and he told me that his lab had developed an entire glove for virtual reality with similar technology, He launched into a speech about the varying progress his lab had made, showing me demos and user studies and explaining exactly what materials I’d need to build my own glove. He didn’t seem at all concerned as to whether I’d credit him and his lab for their help; he was entirely concerned with making sure that I would be able to make progress and that I knew I could email him anytime with questions. After spending thirteen years as a student in highly competitive schools, I needed a reminder that I wasn’t absorbing knowledge just to raise my own grades and better myself, but also to share it with other people in my communities and better them as well. It finally occurred to me that the whole purpose of scientific conferences was the mass sharing of information in the name of scientific progress, and not a show of who had accomplished more in the past year.

This was so nice to hear. It makes all the work in the Scholarship project worth its trouble. Thank you, friend!

The next application deadline is April 15 for conferences taking place in June—July 2019.   For more information and to apply visit:

If you have any questions, please contact the scholarship committee chair Prof. Viviana Bono,

News from ACM-W Europe

womENcourage 2019 – ACM Celebration of Women in Computing

Rome, Italy  September 16-18, 2019

This year’s theme: Diversity Drives Societal Change

The Sixth ACM Celebration of Women in Computing will be held in the beautiful city of Rome,  Italy on September 16-18, 2019. The celebration programme offers something for everyone. We invite all the students, faculty members, professionals and researchers to come to the event, take part in the hackathon and workshops, and attend the invited talks and research presentations. The participants will enjoy social activities, opportunities for networking and establishing new collaborations and hearing about exciting job opportunities at the career fair.

Come and join us for:

  • The hackathon – Through teamwork, work on new concepts and ideas and enjoy the collaborative and competitive spirit. Winning teams will get prizes.  Hackathon participants are all eligible for scholarships.
  • The career fair – Meet representatives from international companies that have generously sponsored the Celebration
  • Keynotes, workshops, panels and interdisciplinary research tracks – Get inspired by presentations from prominent speakers. You will hear about fascinating topics and learn about new interdisciplinary research in Coding Conscious Cities and Artificial Intelligence and Health.

This year merit-based scholarships will be available to support registration and travel expenses for up to 100 participants. Find out how you can participate in womENcourage in the Call for Participation page.

You can also learn more about womENcourage on social media. Follow us to keep up-to-date with the preparations. We are on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and search for acmwomencourage on Instagram.   Facebook 2019 Forum is also up and running for the participants of womENcourage 2019. Feel free to ask questions, introduce yourself and chat with others, make travel and accommodation plans, and most importantly meet new people and make friends before coming to the event! Click here to join.

Important Dates

Poster submissions                         15 April 2019
Workshop/tutorial proposals         15 May 2019
Scholarship applications                  27 May 2019
Last day for early registration        15 July  2019

womENcourage 2020 – Call for Hosting Proposals

Wish to organize womENcourage 2020?

Submit your Expression of Interest by 15 April 2019.

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

With womENcourage 2019 organization well underway, we are now looking for proposals to host womENcourage 2020. The proposal processincludes two phases:

1.           Expressions of Interest (EoI) to be submitted by 15 April 2019. Notification of successful EoI proposal by 15 May 2019.

2.            Full Hosting Proposals by 15 June 2019.Notification of the final decision on 5 July 2019.

Each EoI will be reviewed by the womENcourage Steering Committee. Teams will shortlisted proposals will be invited to submit a full proposal and provided with a budget template and advice. The full proposals are due on 15 June.

The template for EoI can be found here. The template for Full Hosting  Proposal can be found here. Completed EoI 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.

News from ACM-W India

ACM India Celebration of Women in Computing 2019

ACM India Celebration of Women in Computing 2019 (AICWiC 2019),  at Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India  brings in a unique opportunity of collective learning, interacting with experts and peers and showcasing your work-in progress research to an enlightened audience for getting their valuable insights. This two-day celebration has several intellectually enriching opportunities for women students and professionals in the field of computing. ACM- W India aims to support, celebrate and advocate full engagement of women in computing across the nation.

Theme: Soft Computing for Global Development
Date: 12-13 July 2019
Venue: Computer Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India

Highlights of AICWiC 2019:

  • LADY ADA National Level Programming Contest for Women(Final Round on July 12, 2019 , 2:00pm to 5:00pm )
  • Invited Talks
  • Poster and full presentation of the selected Work-in-Progress research of  graduate (Ph.D. or Master level) women students
  • Panel Discussion

ACM India Summer School on Algorithmic Game Theory (for women only)

ACM India is pleased to announce ACM-W India Summer School 2019, Co-sponsored by Oracle Academy after the highly successful summer schools held in last two years. This school is designed to encourage research culture in women students who are pre-final year undergraduate or postgraduate students (or other years in exceptional cases).

Venue: Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India
Dates: 2 – 14 July 2019 (2- weeks)

Topics of Interest:

  • Basic solution concepts, computational issues, Complexity of finding Nash equilibria
  • Introduction to mechanism design, Preference aggregation: voting and election problems
  • Mechanisms without money: stable matchings, More on matchings: popular matchings
  • Overview of fair division, Survey of domain restrictions