ACM-W Connections – February, 2015

Welcome from the ACM-W Chair

I anticipate that 2015 will be a year of numerous exciting announcements from ACM-W as we continue to grow and increase our reach and activities around the world. The first bit of exciting news has to do with our Celebration activities, but I won’t say more here – please read the announcement from Jodi Tims in her monthly update.

This issue also includes a report about the all-India event that was co-hosted by ACM India and ACM-W India, an update on the upcoming ACM-W Europe womENcourage event; and a reminder for student chapters about the ACM chapter awards.

In this issue was also have a fabulous interview with Dr. Fran Berman that was done by ACM-W volunteer Sarah Loos. In addition to wearing her many professional hats, Fran has been a staunch supporter of and advocate for women in computing, has participated several times in our New York Celebration of Women in Computing, and we thank her for taking the time to sit down and talk so candidly with Sarah. Though focused on the early career issues that face a new PhD, the interview is full of advice that will be useful for every reader.

For those of you in cold climates, I hope that you are managing okay during this fierce winter. I understand from Reyyan Ayfer, chair of ACM-W Europe, that there was snow in Ankara, Turkey! And check out our Facebook page – after a recent flurry of activity, we now have over 1870 people who Like our page, with more people joining almost daily. If you haven’t taken a look yet, we post news and information about women in computing, and promote ACM members whenever we can!

~Valerie Barr, ACM-W Chair

Articles of Interest

Fran Berman, the Edward P. Hamilton Distinguished Professor of Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Chair of the Research Data Alliance / US, and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, is interviewed by Sarah Loos, a senior Ph.D. student at Carnegie Mellon University and former Student Trustee of the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology. Berman’s gives advice all reader’s can apply, with a special focus on early career development. Read the full interview here .

News From ACM-W Chapters

It is time to think about applying for an ACM-W Chapter award. ACM holds a contest in April every year for several categories, including: best service project, best website, best activity. The ACM chapter webpage contains detailed information about the contect; expect more information closer to the April deadline for applications. We would love to see an ACM-W Chapter’s name on the list of winners next year!

News from ACM-W Celebrations – Canadian Celebrations Unite!

We are thrilled to announce the launch of the Canadian Celebration of Women in Computing (CANCWiC), reaching out to women across the entire country, with a first conference in Ottawa in Spring, 2016. Canada has a rich history of ACM-W Celebrations. In 2014, the Ontario Celebration (ONCWiC) held its 5th conference, and the Pacific Northwest Celebration (PNW-WiC) was launched in Vancouver that same year. In October 2012, the Atlantic Canadian Celebration (ACC-WiC) was held in Amherst, Nova Scotia. After so many successful local events, CAN-CWiC came about when the ONCWiC steering committee was reorganized to include industry representation and participation from the leadership of PNW-WiC. Wendy Powley (Queen’s University, Kingston) has led the ONCWiC committee since its beginning, while Ann Condon (University of British Columbia, Vancouver) represented the PNW-WiC leadership in the discussions. Wendy and Ann have been amazing leaders of their independent celebrations and we cannot thank them enough for their efforts to extend ACM-W’s activities in Canada. Their combined leadership makes the upcoming CAN-CWiC conference a much anticipated event. The future vision of the CAN-CWiC committee is to vary the location of CAN-CWiC each year to encourage broad participation from Canadian institutions.

News From ACM-W Europe

womENcourage 2015 Poster Ready for Distribution

The womENcourage poster is ready for distribution. Please print it and post in your work area!

womENcourage 2015 Poster Submissions Deadline: March 25, 2015

There is still time to submit a poster for womENcourage 2015. Poster submissions are due on March 25th. Posters will be on display the entire 2.5 days of womENcourage celebration of women in computing.

Check out the website and social media pages to stay up-to-date on all the details of womENcourage celebrations.

Detailed information is available at

womENcourage 2015 is supported by INRIA and Google (Diamond), Bloomberg and Cisco (Platinum) and Informatics Europe and Microsoft Research (Silver.) Support is used to help students studying in Europe to attend the celebration.

Please pass this on to your friends, students, colleagues and your company and encourage them to contribute! And check us out on Facebook and Twitter.

News From ACM-W India

For the 6th year in a row, ACM India and ACM-W India hosted the annual event celebrating computer science in India. As per precedent, we brought in some truly esteemed guests and speakers to make the event the great success that it was. Feb 5th, 6th and 7th saw many esteemed ACM professional and student chapter members descend on the BITS Pilani, Goa campus for a few days of invigorating talks and presentations. The event was hosted by the ACM Goa Professional chapter.

Day 1 saw the re-instating of Inter Research Institute Student Seminar (IRISS). This provided a forum for research scholars from Indian academic institutes to present their work and was followed by a poster presentation for the delegates to view and interact with the students. 16 of the best PHD students also presented their work as talks. Professor Krithi Ramamritham, IIT Bombay delivered an engaging keynote address on “Smart things”. Professor S Srikanth of IIT Bombay delivered a invited talk and the day closed with many potential employers presenting their problem statements for the benefit of the researchers.

Day 2 dawned bright and early and held the main agenda for the ACM India event. The inauguration happened in the presence of Professor Alexander Wolf, President of ACM and Professor at Imperial College, UK, Fabrizio Gagliardi, ACM Europe chair, Dr Srinivas Padmanabhuni, ACM India Chair, Dr Sheila Anand (ACM-W India Chair), Prof K E Raman, Acting Director of BITS Pilani Goa Campus and Shri Chandrashekar Sahasrabudhe, CEO, ACM India. The morning was made more exciting by the announcement of the “Best Dissertation award” to Rijurekha Sen from IIT Bombay for her work on “Different Sensing Modalities for Traffic monitoring in Developing Regions”. Prof. Kathy Yelick from University of California, Berkeley delivered a keynote on “Antisocial Parallelism: Avoiding, Hiding and Managing Communication” to an enraptured audience.

The afternoon session was kicked off by a keynote address by Prof. John Hopcroft, winner of the 1986 A M Turing prize. His address on the “Future of Computer Science” was very relevant and interesting to the large student population.

Prof. Susan Rodger from Duke University capped the evening by her talk on “Computer Science Concepts Come Alive”.

On Day 3, ACM India was proud to launch the Special Interest Group for Computer Science Education (SIGCSE). It was a privilege to have the global SIGCSE champion Prof. Susan Rodgers with us for this. Prof. Madhavan Mukund of CMI Chennai chaired a panel discussion on “Overcoming challenges within the university system” – a much needed and hotly debated topic.

The local organizing committee including members from ACM Goa Chapter, faculty members and student volunteers from Goa University and BITS Pilani Goa campus and ACM members from Persistent Systems, Verna worked tirelessly to make this event a successful and memorable one. The event was sponsored by Oracle Academy, Google, TCS, Microsoft and Persistent.

The ACM-W India Executive Committee with Susan Rogers.


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