ACM-W Connections. February 2016

Welcome from the ACM-W Chair

Welcome to the February, 2016, issue of ACM-W Connections.  

This month we have news from the first all-Canada ACM-W Celebration, and a report on a recent event in Ireland.  There are also announcements from the Chapters committee and information on recent Scholarship recipients.

Thank you Google!

Thanks to Vint Cerf, former ACM President and staunch supporter of ACM-W, Google has provided another $50K in support for the ACM-W Scholarships.  We are deeply grateful to Google and to Vint for these funds which continue to make it possible for us to send women computing students to research conferences.

Need to get the word out about an event?

If you are organizing an event or need volunteers and you would like to get the word out to ACM-W people in your local area, let us know.  ACM Headquarters is very helpful in this regard as they can send a message to a targeted sublist of the 36,000 people who receive ACM-W Connections.  ACM-W is working with AAUW and other groups to run a TeenTech program at Seton Hall University in June, and targeted email to people in New Jersey was very successful, resulting in several people who will be presenting or assisting with workshops and who are helping with planning of the event. 

Where’s ACM-W This Month?

We have three Celebrations taking place between now and our next issue of Connections:  TriWiC (covering parts of Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana); CWiC-Carolinas; CAPWiC (covering the Washington, DC, region).   A number of us will also be staffing the ACM-W booth at SIGCSE (shared with our friends from CSTA and ACM-CCECC).  Please stop by if you are going to be there.

Thanks, as always, for your work on behalf of women in computing!

~Valerie Barr, ACM-W Chair

News From ACM-W Scholarships

The ACM-W 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. Applications are evaluated in 6 occasions each year, in order to distribute awards across a range of conferences, with 1-6 awards given for each group of applications. The ACM-W 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, ICDIPC, Women in Cyber Security, ACM EC, SIGCSE, IEEE Conferences, DIS, IPDPS, ICCC, ACM CHI, AAMAS, FLAIRS, WIMS, CSCW, New Interfaces for Musical Expressions, GECCO, SpringSim, 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 themselves. We ask students to share with us some of their thoughts on the conference they attended and we never cease to find truly inspiring stories:

Gizem Sungu, undergraduate student from Marmara University, Turkey, presented on the Genetic Evolutionary Computation Conference, in Madrid, Spain, July, 2015.

“The discussion after the presentation with the researchers was a great opportunity for me to get guidance regarding my future  research directions.”

Hannah Leleux, undergraduate student at Lamar University, Texas, USA, attended SIGITE in Chicago, Illinois, USA.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my experience in Chicago attending the SIGITE 2015 conference. The conference was very informative and had an amazing keynote speaker.[..] One of the talks I enjoyed was the Computer Forensics talk. The thing I found most interesting about the presenter was that he used hands on activities in his courses. The teacher said he used real cellphones from real criminal cases for testing. He tested the students on cellphones donated from law enforcement.”

Irina Petrova, Master’s student at the optical-computer science university attended GECCO’15 in St. Petersburg, Russia.

“GECCO’15 is the biggest and most serious conference which I attended. I have presented a poster "Selection of Auxiliary Objectives in the Travelling Salesman Problem using Reinforcement Learning”.  This topic relates to my master thesis. It was great experience for me to present a poster for the first time.  I was able to contact a lot of people and talk about my research.”

We offer our congratulations to the first 2016 scholars, awarded scholarships in the latest round of applications!

The next application deadline is February15 for conferences taking place in April and May 2016.

News From ACM-W Celebrations

 The inaugural ACM-W Canadian Celebration of Women in Computing (CAN-CWiC) conference took place on January 22/23rd in the Nation’s Capital, Ottawa, Ontario.   The event attracted over 500 attendees from across Canada with attendees from nine different provinces, the US, and India.

The event began with a banquet and opening remarks from Dr. Sheila Anand, the chair of ACM-W India.  The evening keynote was presented by Krista Shibata, the newly appointed Leader of the IBM Canada Women in Technology initiative.

Saturday was jam-packed with 3 parallel tracks including a technical track, skills development, and an outreach track.  The day began with a keynote by Jennifer Stott from RBC and concluded with a “Day in the Life” panel featuring four outstanding women with varied career paths.  The graduate forum and poster session allowed students a chance to share their work and to obtain valuable feedback from the many in attendance.   The career fair was a huge success with 25 exhibitors seeking new talent and showcasing their companies.

The CAN-CWiC Programming challenge, sponsored by IBM and TD Bank, offered students from across Canada a chance to develop and pitch novels ideas in the domain of Lifestyle Banking.  Participants used IBM’s Bluemix platform to develop a prototype.   The five top teams from the first round competition were invited to CAN-CWiC to compete in the final competition.  The teams were mentored by senior technical women from IBM and TD Bank to prepare for the final competition.  The top team was awarded a $1000 cash prize.

A pre-conference meeting brought together more than 40 female Computer Science faculty from across Canada to discuss issues relating to women in academia.   This group plans to continue their discussions and work on an action plan over the coming year to tackle some of the more pressing issues.

Thanks to our tireless Celebrations organizers, we have four upcoming events in February and March: 

  • TRIWiC – Tri-State Women in Computing, February 19/20, 2016 in Cincinnati, OH
  • CWiC – Carolinas Women in Computing, February 19/20, 2016 in Myrtle Beach, SC
  • CAPWIC – Capital Region Celebration of Women in Computing, March 4/5, 2016 at Christopher Newport University, Newport News, Virginia
  • PHIWiC – Phillipines Women in Computing Conference, March 16, 2016

News From ACM-W Chapters

ACM-W Chapters is delighted to announce four new networking grants. Our Chapters Project Leaders (Lindsay and Alan Jamieson) awarded four grants to: Florida Atlantic University (USA), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (USA), ACM-W Cyprus, and India’s SA Polytechnic. Watch the ACM-W Chapters Facebook site to see the results of these grants.

/chapter gives information about applying for a new grant in the next round of applications – under the heading, ACM-W Networking Awards. The next application deadline for fall events is April 15. Please join FSU, RPI, Cyprus, and SA Polytechnic in helping to network the women in your corner of the world!

News From ACM-W Europe

Letterkenny Institute of Technology Women In Computing event

A number of the industry speakers with Dr. Gertie Taggart, Head of the School of Science, Letterkenny Institute of Technology. Absent from Photo: Mr Thomas Dowling, Head of Department of Computing.
Note: Not all of the speakers were present at the time of the photograph. Photographs of the attendees could not be taken due to Data Protection Laws in Ireland.

On January 22nd Letterkenny Institute of Technology hosted a Women In Computing event. The event was focused on encouraging young women of 15-18 years of age to consider computing as a career. Five hundred young women registered to attend the event. On the day 20 industry speakers spoke to 370 young women about their career path towards computing. They discussed why they chose a career in computing and why their jobs are so varied. Following this a number of young women currently on computing courses spoke to the attendees. This interactive session was provided to dispel many myths about computing and to provide local and national role models for the attendees. The event was sponsored by ACM-WE, Pramerica and other local companies which enabled the attendees to network over lunch after the presentation and take home some goodies!


  • 3rd ACM-W Europe Celebration of Women in Computing: womENcourage 2016
    September 12-13, 2016

    Announcing the next ACM-W Celebration of Women in Computing: womENcourage 2016 ( on September 12-13,  2016 at Johannes Kepler University, in Linz Austria.  The program is online and will include inspiring keynote speakers, panel discussions, a Career Fair and Posters on both days of the Celebration.

  • 23-24 MAY 2016 – SAN JOSE, CA – LEAD BEYOND.
    2016 IEEE WIE International Leadership Conference (

    Join over 1100 women May 23 and 24th in San Jose, California for the 2016 IEEE Women in Engineering International Leadership conference. Targeting Mid and Senior level women in engineering, the exciting inspiration packed program has more than 50 speakers delivering session on Leadership, Entrepreneurship, innovation and emerging technology.

  • Deadline Approaching: Informatica Feminale

    The University of Bremen, Germany, invites women experts in computer science/informatics to contribute to the 19th Informatica Feminale. The international summer university will take place from August 08 to August 26, 2016 in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Bremen University.

    Furthermore we invite companies to sponsor the summer university.

    There will be various chances to meet graduates of computer science and engineering at both the parallel summer universities Informatica Feminale and Ingenieurin-Sommeruni.

    Every year, Informatica Feminale offers compact teaching in informatics/computer science for women students of all types of universities and colleges as well as for women professionals interested in further training. In this regard, entering higher education, developing a student career, transition into labor market and lifelong academic learning are equally applied. International lecturers and students meet at the summer university in Bremen to exchange and to use the place for experimentation, with the intention to develop and imply new impulses in informatics. The summer university is aiming at the professional networking of students and the advanced training for computer scientists on an academic level.

  • Deadline Approaching: Google CS4HS Awards

    Google’s annualComputer Science for High School (CS4HS) Awards program provides funding to universities, colleges, and nonprofit organisations dedicated to providing exemplary computer science professional development for teachers. Those who meet oureligibility criteria can apply for a CS4HS Award on theCS4HS website. The deadline to apply for funding is midnight (GMT), 15th February 2016.

    Successful applicants will receive funding of up to $15,000 each for their project. However, additional funding is available for projects with regional reach and the potential to scale nationally. You can read more about the awardhere.

     Please reach out to the CS4HS team ( if you have any questions.

  • HPC Summer School in Slovenia! Feb. 15 deadline to apply

    Feb. 15 is the deadline to apply for the International Summer School on HPC (high performance computing) Challenges in Computational Sciences. Seats are reserved for US, Japanese, European, and Canadian graduate and postdoc-level scholars. Candidates with some parallel computing and/or HPC exposure are preferred, and applications from female and minority scholars are especially welcome.

    Successful candidates will travel to Slovenia for a week where they will learn about computational and data science (and more) from experts who work in a range of scientific domains. I helped with that program’s predecessor when I worked for TeraGrid; it’s an amazing opportunity!

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