ACM-W Connections – December, 2014

Welcome from the ACM-W Chair

Welcome to the December issue of ACM-W Connections. There’s quite a bit to read this month. I’ve collected together a number of announcements into one place. These include information from NCWIT, Codess, Microsoft about the Big Dream Movement, and a link to a video that Vint Cerf provided. We also have updates on ACM-W Europe, ACM-W Chapters, and Grace Hopper India, and an article on the importance to students of faculty mentoring.

Two ACM-W announcements, both exciting in their own way:

  1. ACM-W is seeking volunteers to form our new committee on professional chapters. There is lots of information at, and a form where people can express interest. Please share this widely!
  2. ACM-W has been invited by Google to be their partner for a pilot project called IgniteCS. The idea is to foster mentoring of middle and high school students by college students. U.S.-based ACM-W student chapters can apply to be part of this project (there’s financial support!). Read more at

Finally, as a follow-up to my comments in November about “The Imitation Game”, the new film about Alan Turing, I received a note from Kelly Gotlieb. For those who do not know Kelly, he is Professor Emeritus in Computer Science at the University of Toronto, and co-founded their computation centre in 1948. He has received many awards and accolades over the years, including being inducted as a Fellow of the ACM. Kelly wrote “You are absolutely right about Turing not being able to build that Manchester machine himself. I visited him in Manchester, April 1952, and talked with him on several occasions as he worked on that computer. It was built by a team in the University headed by Fred Williams. The machine had 10,000 vacuum tubes, and both the computer and air conditioner required full size rooms.” Thanks, Kelly, for sharing that, and for keeping up with ACM-W!

Happy holidays, and best wishes for 2015.

~Valerie Barr, ACM-W Chair

Articles of Interest

Faculty Mentorships for Female Participation in Computer Science

Gertrude Levine and Suzanne McIntosh discuss the importance of mentorship to women in computer science, as well as the opportunities available. Read the full article here.

News From ACM-W Chapters

As we close the 2014 ACM-W year, we again emphasize our sisterhood that spans the globe. We welcome a new ACM-W Chapter in Ireland; a new ACM-W Chapters Committee member, Virginia Grande, who teaches at Uppsala University (Sweden) and helps coordinate European Women in Computing; and a new professional ACM-W Chapter in the United Kingdom.

ACM-W will host a booth at the 2015 Richard Tapia Conference, February 18-21, 2015, in Boston, MA. The conference celebrates diversity in computing, so it links perfectly with ACM-W’s mission. Please talk with us at the booth and pick up an ACM-W Chapters ribbon for your badge. In 2015, we would love for more women around the world to join our chapters’ network! (Send inquiries to

Read a story about European Women in Computing.

Read more about Tapia.

News from ACM-W Celebrations

Ontario Celebration of Women in Computing Celebrates a Milestone The Ontario Celebration of Women in Computing (ONCWiC 2014) held its 5th annual conference on October 24-25th, 2014. Each year ONCWiC is held at a different university location. The University of Guelph played host to this year’s celebration, which was chaired by Dr. Rozita Dara. There were more than 300 registrants hailing from 12 different higher-educational institutions, some secondary schools, and 23 different companies. Many of the companies represented were sponsors of the event and were actively recruiting students for internship and post-graduation opportunities. Attendees ranged in age from 10 months (she helped her mom-to-be Chair last year’s event) to 85 years in age.

Keynote speakers included the founder of Let’s Talk Science and the Minister of Education for the province of Ontario. The program included workshops on resume writing and technical interviews as well as several technical talks, hands-on technical workshops using Arduino and Raspberry Pi, and a very
fun panel to conclude the event. Over 20 posters were presented at the poster competition and the first prize winner was Lili Wang, a PHD student from Queen’s University. ACM-W will sponsor Lili to attend the 2015 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, which will be held in Houston, TX.
The Friday evening social event was a Scratch programming competition where attendees made spooky Halloween games!

Congratulations to all of the organizers of the ONCWiC on your continuing success in supporting, celebrating and advocating for women in computing in Ontario!

News From ACM-W Europe

Congratulations to Lynda Hardman and Gabriela Anderst-Kotsis, ACM Distinguished Scientists! ACM-W Europe (ACM-WE) is proud to announce that two amazing women supporting its mission, as an advisor and as an ex-officio, have received Distinguished Scientist awards:

  • Gabriela Anderst-Kotsis from Johannes Kepler University, Linz, who also serves as Secretary on the ACM Europe Council and advisor to the ACM-WE executive committee
  • Lynda Hardman from Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica, Amsterdam, who also is on the Informatics Europe council and chair of the IE WIRE (Women in ICST Research and Education) working group who published More Women in Informatics Research and Education. On Friday, December 5, ACM officially announced the new members as part of their ACM Distinguished Member program. New members are selected for their individual contributions and singular impacts on the vital field of computing.

Call for Participation to womENcourage 2015

ACM-W Europe announces the Call for Participation for the second womENcourage 2015 Celebration of Women in Computing on September 24-26, 2015, hosted by the Uppsala University, Sweden. Join us at womENcourage with scholars and professionals in computing and related disciplines who will get together to present the results of their work and share their experiences with one another.

You are invited to contribute in the following ways:

  • Paper submissions,
  • Poster submissions (both for graduate and undergraduate students),
  • Proposal for panel discussions and workshops,
  • Contribute as a volunteer in the review process,
  • Become an industry or academic supporter,
  • Pass this call along to your students and colleagues.

Detailed information is available at:

We are thankful to the generous supporters that have confirmed as of today: INRIA and Google (Diamond), Bloomberg and Cisco (Platinum), and Informatics Europe (Silver) who will make it possible for students studying in Europe to receive scholarships to attend the event.

Please pass this on to your friends, students, colleagues and your company and encourage them to contribute.

Read more about ACM-W Europe in the July edition of Communications of the ACM.

News From ACM-W India

GHC India 2014, November 19 – 21, 2014 Bangalore

The 2014 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing India hosted a sold-out group of 1,600 attendees. It was a great learning and networking experience for women in technology. The program featured many events to support women in computing in India, including sessions on entrepreneurship, building confidence, and professional development, as well as technical presentations on topics ranging from wearable technology to machine learning. Leading women in industry giving keynote talks were Jayshree Ullal, President and CEO, Arista Networks; Lakshmi Pratury, Host, The INK Conference; and
Jane Moran, CIO, Unilever.

GHC India also hosted the final round of the All Women Hackathon (the previous round was in Chennai in July). More than 100 women developers built apps according to the theme “Tech for Good”; the three award-winning apps were a platform for job-seekers, an app to reduce fetal and neonatal mortality in a
rural community, and one to reduce time spent on apps for gaming and social networking and help with donations for social causes.

On the final day, the Women Entrepreneur Quest gave budding entrepreneurs the opportunity to compete for prizes by making pitches for their technology ventures to a panel of judges composed of investors, technology experts, entrepreneurs and mentors.

Grace Hopper India was co-presented by ACM and the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology. In the inauguration ceremony Dr. Srinivas Padmanabhuni, President, ACM India Council, highlighted the importance of ACM in Computing Community and urged the members to actively participate in ACM activities. Dr. Sheila Anand, ACM-W India Chairperson addressed the gathering and introduced them to ACM-W mission, events, and membership benefits. ACM had sponsored 40 women members from various Student and Professional Chapters across India.


  • From NCWIT, the National Center for Women & Information Technology:

    Introducing : EngageCSEdu, an online tool developed by the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) in partnership with Google. EngageCSEdu encourages the development of more inclusive learning environments in introductory computer science (CS) courses by helping faculty to easily browse, contribute, and review materials that will engage all of your students. This dynamic collection offers thousands of projects, homework assignments, and other course materials that are searchable by computer science knowledge area, programming language, and more. All course materials are developed by faculty members nationwide and evaluated for quality by an interdisciplinary team of computer scientists, learning scientists, and diversity experts. Start exploring and contributing
    today at, and become a part of diversifying the technology workforce.

  • From Codess:

    Microsoft initiated Codess in March 2013 to build a community of female coders. We wanted to create a forum for women to network, mentor, and share their advice and experiences. Since the Codess launch, we have held 19 events in eight countries, bringing together technical women from all over the world. Codess aims to inspire women to achieve their professional goals and continue advancing within the technical field. We want to change the future of the computer science by increasing the number of women working at the leadership level. Learn more about Codess at and read about it in the Telegraph

  • From Microsoft:

    The Big Dream Movement connects organizations, academia, and resources to girls around the world to help them pursue a future in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. The movement is anchored by Big Dream, a documentary film (underwritten by Microsoft) that follows the stories of seven young women who are breaking barriers and overcoming personal challenges to follow their passions in STEM fields. From small town Iowa to the bustling streets of the Middle East, Big Dream immerses viewers in a world designed by and for the next generation of girls. The Film launched last week at the Napa Valley Film Festival. Our hope is that this inspirational film will excite young women, their families, and friends to the possibilities inherent in science and technology. Starting in January organization can host a screening. Please register your screening request here and in early January we will send you details on how to download the film and a toolkit to help you organize your event with discussion questions and tools to share with the audience to help get more girls interested in computer science.

  • 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 /submit.