Welcome from the ACM-W Chair

Welcome to a new year of ACM-W activity!  This promises to be a year of much transition and change on many fronts.  The first of those is that this newsletter, which had been appearing in your inbox monthly for many years, is (with this issue) transitioning to a quarterly publication.  We feel this change will enable our communications team and the volunteers that lead our many projects to compile deeper and more interesting articles about the exciting things that are happening globally.  In the coming months, we also will be transitioning the format of the email to more of a “digest” approach (think ACM-W Tech News, e.g.) in order that readers may be introduced to each article on the email with the option to read the full article posted on our web site.

As the newsletter transitions both in format in content, we invite you to stay connected to ACM-W in an ongoing manner by connecting into our Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter feeds.  We use those channels to post timely articles and information that are valuable resources for the women in computing community and to boost postings made by our various regional committees and student chapters.  So use the links at the bottom of this newsletter to tap in and stay connected!

It is my pleasure as we begin this new year to introduce two new members of our ACM-W leadership team – Chunlei Tang (Co-Treasurer) and My Thai (Standing Committees Co-Chair). You can learn more about Chunlei and My via their biographies that appear later in this newsletter. 

There are two additional changes to our global leadership efforts.  Arati Dixit, who had served the past two years as Standing Committees Co-Chair, has transitioned to the positions of Region Committees Co-Chair, a new position that will provide additional assistance to support our growing global community.  For the past two years, Reyyan Ayfer has capably led the regional committees chairs in ACM-W Asia-Pacific, ACM-W Europe, ACM-W India, and ACM-W North America.  With increasing ACM-W activity occurring in Africa and South America, Arati’s partnership with Reyyan will assist in the onboarding of these new regions to ACM-W.  Much more on that upcoming in the next year.

Nutan Limaye, formally Vice Chair of ACM-W India, has accepted a newly created position of Global ACM Celebrations Chair. In this role, Nutan will support the ongoing efforts of our regional committee Celebrations chairs and also assist those organizing events outside of regions where ACM-W has established committees.  We are excited to have Nutan involved and look forward to continued growth of the project in the coming year.

Another exciting development this year is the launch of the ACM-W Chapter Five Star (5*) Buddy System.  This project was proposed by Arati Dixit and approved by the ACM-W leadership team in July to launch this fall with a goal of virtually connecting ACM-W chapters with other chapters and SIGs and fostering shared understanding of the global impact that ACM and ACM-W are having on behalf of women in computing.  You can learn more about this project in a full article below.

Additional project information:

  • Nominations for the ACM-W Rising Star award are open until October 30th. Visit our website (https://women.acm.org/awards/rising-star-award/) for more information, including a link to the nominations form
  • Google renews support for the ACM-W Scholarships program (see below)
  • ACM-W Professional Chapters report by Rachelle Hippler (see below)
  • Next ACM-W Celebrating Technology Leaders webinar on October 21st (see below)

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

Jodi Tims
ACM-W Chair

ACM-W thanks Google!

Google has been a steadfast supporter of our Scholarships project for many years. ACM-W has received a donation of $20,000 from Google that will provide funding for students to attend technical conferences in the coming year.  We are very grateful for this generous support. For more information on the Scholarships project and the application deadlines for this year, please visit our website (https://women.acm.org/scholarships/).

Meet Nutan Limaye, Global Director, Celebrations Project

Dr. Nutan Limaye is an associate professor in the Computer Science Department at IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Before this, she was an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Bombay, India. She finished her Ph.D. at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMSc) Chennai, India in 2009. She did a one-year postdoc stint at TIFR Mumbai, before joining IIT Bombay in 2010. She was associated with the Association of Computing Machinery, India (ACM, India) as the vice-chair of the ACM-W from 2019 to 2021. She was also the treasurer for Indian Association for Research in Computing Science (IARCS), India from 2018 to 2020. She is an Associate Editor for ACM Transactions on Computation Theory (TOCT). She received the IRCC IIT Bombay Research Publication Award 2019. She has been on program committees of reputed theoretical computer science conferences such as STOC, FOCS, ITCS, and ICALP. Her research interests are in theoretical Computer Science. Specifically, she is interested in Algorithms and Complexity Theory. Her recent research has focussed on Algebraic Complexity Theory and Lower Bounds. 

Meet My T. Thai, ACM-W Standing Committees Co-Chair

Dr. My T. Thai is a University of Florida (UF) Research Foundation Professor of Computer & Information Science & Engineering and Associate Director of UF Nelms Institute for the Connected World. Dr. Thai’s current research interests include responsible AI, AI security and privacy, and optimization. The results of her work have led to 7 books and 250+ publications in highly ranked international journals and conferences, including several best papers awards from the IEEE and ACM.  

Dr. Thai has received many recognitions, notable ones including UF Research Foundation professorship, IoT Term Endowed professorship, NSF CAREER Award, and DTRA Young Investigator Award. She is an IEEE Fellow. Among many professional activities, Dr. Thai currently serves as an Editor-in-Chief (EiC) of the Journal of Combinatorial Optimization, EiC of the IET Blockchain journal, and a book series editor of Springer Optimization and its Applications. 

Meet Chunlei Tang, ACM-W Co-Treasurer

CHUNLEI TANG as a new member of the ACM-W leadership team is a research associate at Harvard Medical School. Tang received her PhD degree from Fudan University in Shanghai, China. Tang’s work begins with an innovative data-mining method built upon her doctoral work and applicable to various fields (e.g., finance, transportation, economics, insurance, bioinformatics, and sociology). She then endeavored to better match data products with their marketing capabilities by tackling business innovation. Inspired by business, she implemented a theoretical innovation for Data Science and proposed the (now-mainstream) definition of the data industry in 2013, stating that the data industry aims to bridge the gap between data science and economics. Being an author of The Data Industry: The Business and Economics of Information and Big Data (Wiley; 2016) and Data Capital: How Data is Reinventing Capital for Globalization (Springer; 2021), Dr. Tang is a recognized advocate for the Data Economy. She also serves as the Founder President of the Harvard Data Entrepreneurship Club. Her current focus is on applying innovation in healthcare, and she believes precision medicine is an application of the data industry.

Supporting, Celebrating, and Advocating for Women in Computing

Professional chapters work with student chapters and industry leaders to advocate for equity and diversity in the tech industry. We celebrate the work of our ACM-W professional chapters and are grateful for the work they do to empower women in IT.

  • ACM-W UK Chapter, United Kingdom
  • Ankara ACM-W Chapter, Turkey
  • Azerbaijan ACM-W Chapter, Azerbaijan
  • Chennai ACM-W Chapter, India
  • Cyprus ACM-W Chapter, Cyprus
  • Delhi ACM-W Chapter, India
  • Greek ACM-W Chapter, Greece
  • Hibernia ACM-W Chapter, Ireland
  • Jamshoro ACM-W Chapter, Pakistan
  • Kharkiv Information & Communication Technologies ACM-W Chapter, Ukraine
  • Northwest Ohio ACM-W Chapter, USA
  • OCWiC ACM-W Chapter, USA
  • Pune ACM-W Chapter, India
  • Tallinn ACM-W Chapter, Estonia
  • Trondheim ACM-W Chapter, Norway
  • Windhoek ACM-W Chapter, Namibia

And, we welcome our newest chapter:

  • Ibadan ACM-W Chapter, Nigeria


Spotlight on the Ibadan ACM-W Chapter

Interview with Dr. Oluwasefunmi Arogundade, Ibadan ACM-W Chapter Chair

When did you get your chapter charter?

We got our chapter chartered in February, 2021.

Why did you decide to form an ACM-W Professional Chapter?

We have been members of ACM professional chapter but we see the need to form ACM-W professional chapter because of the peculiarities of women in computing starting from low participation to challenges due to gender issues. We see it as an avenue to directly impact women in Tech and connect more women to ACM activities and benefit; and interestingly inspire African girl child to choose  Computer Science as career through educational workshops and mentor-ship.

What strengths does your chapter have?

The strength of our chapter is the coverage of our members all over the country. We have members in all of the geopolitical zones of Nigeria. This makes it easier for us to hold programmes in different zones at the same time because each will be anchored by our members in that zone. Our chapter is blessed with hardworking, dedicated, determined  team who are ready to increase the visibility of  ACM -W agenda to every corners of the nation.

Where do you see your chapter in five years from now?

In the next five years we hope to see our chapter covering 90% of Higher Education institutions in Nigeria in terms of membership.

Do you have photos of your team?

We have photos of our Chair, Vice-Chair and Treasurer and the fliers for the first few programmes. We don’t have a group picture yet because we started our chapter when Covid was ravaging.

What projects have you completed?

Since we chartered in February we have been up and doing to keep the ball rolling for our chapter. We have completed a career symposium for secondary school students in celebration of Girls in ICT day which attracted more than 100 participants, mainly from high school. We also held a six week summer school on Digital Marketing for our students that are on holidays.

What projects are you currently working on?

We are planning to have a web based and mobile responsive platform to serve as a career clinic for high school and university undergraduate students. The platform will serve as a communication and interactive platform for the concerned categories of students to answer questions that concern their career in computing and related fields. This is to serve as a follow-up on the symposium we already completed. We are planning to have our website and social media handles up and running.

What connections do you have with university students? What activities do you do?

We do collaborate with the ACM student chapter to hold programmes like the one we had in June tagged Career Pathfinder in Computing where we invited seasoned young researchers in academia and industry to reveal what it takes to have a successful career in academia and industry. We also collaborated with the ACM-W student chapter to have tech talks on deep learning. The following fliers testify to this.

What connections do you have with K-12 students? What activities do you do?

We had connections with state ministries of education, science and technology in some of the states. The goal is to get the stakeholders involved in the programme. One of the educators from the government agency joined us in the symposium. We celebrated GIRLS in ICT day on April 22nd, 2021. We organized symposiums in four geopolitical zones of Nigeria. The title of the symposium was Career Prospects in Computing. We planned to join this celebration every year by organizing a unique programme for K-12 students.

If there is a local ACM-W Celebration near you, what involvement do you have?

Presently we are not aware of any ACM-W celebration but if we have anyone we will graciously give our support as may be required with the consideration of necessary virtues for successful collaboration.

What benefits do the members of your chapter gain from your connections?

The following are the professional, social and support our members stand to gain from the connections:

  1. Exposure / acquiring new ideas and knowledge in the field of computing by organizing lecture series, seminars, webinars and workshops for all members
  2. Organizing national and international conferences for both members and non-members to attend
  3. Organizing inter-tertiary institutions talent hunt and quiz competition for membership institutions to participate and prizes and awards are giving to the best institutions
  4. Providing sponsoring or soft loans for members to attend international conferences, to publish journals and to make progress in their academic pursuits.
  5. Providing mentorship to all the mentees
  6. Organizing career/ social get-together for both our members and non-members in order to know each other better
  7. Providing enable environment for collaborations for all members
  8. Providing assistance ranging from financial, emotional to physical to all members who are in need.

ACM-W Professional Chapters give you a local voice for change with the backing of an international organization.  Professional chapters work with student chapters and industry leaders to advocate for equity and diversity in the tech industry. Our chapters around the world organize conferences, hack-a-thons, fundraisers, lecture series, community service, and networking events that gather together local students and IT professionals. Start one today!

Contact Rachelle Kristof Hippler (rhippler@bw.edu) for more information.

https://www.acm.org/chapters/professionals/how-to-start-a-professional-acm-w-chapter

Celebrating Technology Leaders – Machine Learning Careers: Looking Beyond the Hype

So what is the gap between the popular (mis)understanding of ML potential and what the tools can actually deliver today? In the next episode of ACM-W “Celebrating Technology Leaders”, scheduled for October 20th at 3:00 PM ET/12:00 PM PT we seek practical guidance and pointers for our future ML workforce.

Join us for a panel discussion with successful ML professionals, Dafna Shahaf (Associate Professor, Data Science, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Dhivya Chinnappa (ML Research Scientist, Thomson Reuters), Fatma Tarlaci, Ph.D. (Machine Learning Scientist, OpenTeams), and Koyuki Nakamori (Head of Machine Learning, Headspace) where we focus on:

1. How to best identify problems that are suitable candidates for an ML-based solution?
2. How do we determine the “success” of an ML-based solution?
3. What mindset shift is required as we move from course work and projects to solving real-world business problems?
4. What does it take to successfully maneuver a career in the ever-changing ever-evolving landscape of ML?

Together, we will find our nuggets of wisdom and inspiration from our panelists’ personal stories and professional opinions.

with host Bushra Anjum [Register Now]