ACM-W Connections. March 2016

Welcome from the ACM-W Chair

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

I am very happy to introduce a new feature of ACM-W Connections.  Starting with this issue, we will periodically run People of ACM-W.  A new subcommittee will be interviewing past and present ACM-W volunteers, the hardy folks who organize our ACM-W Celebrations, and some of the many people who support and advocate for ACM-W and the work we do.  This inaugural interview features Bettina Bair of Ohio State University.  I hope you enjoy it.  And thanks to Denise Case, Deborah Hughes, and Rose-Gaëlle Belinga, the new committee handling the interviews.  I think you will agree that this is a great addition to the newsletter!

In the rest of the newsletter we have news about recent Scholarship recipients, an update from the Chapters committee, and news about the most recent Celebration events.  There are also quite a number of announcements:  information on HACKHER, sponsored by ACM-W India; information about how to nominate someone for the Maria Petrou Prize for work in Pattern Recognition; and information on the RESPECT 2016 conference (Research in Equity and Sustained Participation in Engineering, Computing, and Technology); information on graduate fellowships in computational and data science; and information about a new award that will be presented by Informatics Europe, the 1st Minerva Informatics Equality Award.

A lot of people contact us about running job ads in ACM-W Connections.  Please note the ACM-W policy is that we do not accept job ads but, instead, encourage people to use the ACM Job Center for advertising and for job hunting.  Thanks for understanding.

Volunteer with us!
Planning is underway for the first New England ACM-W Celebration event which will be held in southern Maine in spring 2017.  If you are interested in joining the committee organizing this event, please contact Anne Applin,

Where’s ACM-W This Month?
We have 5 Celebration events coming up!  Locations are Philippines, New York City, upstate New York, Puerto Rico, and Southern California.  We should have lots of news from these events in the coming months.  Meanwhile, I’ll be meeting Jodi Tims (ACM-W vice chair) in Denver later this week.  In addition to working hard on ACM-W business and preparing for our ACM-W Council meeting in June, we’ll be meeting with ACM CEO Bobby Schnabel as well as with representatives of the Anita Borg Institute and the National Center for Women and IT. 

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

~Valerie Barr, ACM-W Chair

People of ACM-W

A role model, mentor and coach for women in computing at Ohio State, Bettina Bair works tirelessly to help attract and retain more women in computing majors. Working side-by-side with students while rounding up corporate support, she founded and supervises the group TWICE, The Women in Computer Engineering. She also founded a student chapter of ACM-W.

Bair has in the past been an active member of ACM-W, serving as part of a committee that developed recruiting materials to encourage middle- and high-school girls to consider careers in computing. Taking a passionate leadership role, Bair organized the first ACM-W Ohio Celebration of Women in Computing, held in 2005. Approximately 100 young women from 13 colleges and universities around Ohio and Michigan attended event. 

Bair has guest-written articles for the Columbus Dispatch highlighting the gender imbalance in computing and some of the local efforts to help correct the problem; participated in Women in Engineering workshops; taken young women to the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference; and presented papers and posters at international conferences while encouraging undergraduate women to do the same. She informs her students through organization and classroom listservs about interesting opportunities and encourages them to apply for grants, scholarships, jobs, conferences and school organizations.

Read an interview with Bair here.

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 some 6-8 awards given for each group of applications (This time around we are lucky and have ten awards!). 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:

Rekha Pai (National Institute of Technology Calicut, India) attended the thirteenth edition of Asian Symposium on Programming Languages and Systems held at Pohang, Korea from 30 November 2015 – 02 December 2015

She says: I am proud to be one of the handful of women presenters in this conference and felt elated to have presented my work to these greats in Computing. […]This trip was my first international travel and I have to admit I was a lot apprehensive.
But the untiring efforts by the lovely host – Prof Sungwoo Park (Gen Chair), the volunteers – Mr Kim and Mr Mai, and the hotel staff at POSCOIC, made my stay comfortable. [..]To sum up, this travel was productive in terms of both academics and personal. I thank APLAS and ACM-W for making this travel possible. I am looking forward to attending more international conferences and meeting like-minded people eager to share ideas leading to overall development of this computing community.

Shiri Dori-Hacohen, from University of Massachusetts Amherst, MA, USA, (blue coat on the right), attended SIGIR.

“Attending SIGIR was an absolutely incredible experience! I gave a talk at the Doctoral Consortium (“Controversy Detection and Stance Analysis”) an received positive and
constructive feedback from the attendees. […]During the main conference, I organized an informal lunch for researchers interested in my research area of controversy
analysis, an exciting new subfield; along with 7 other researchers, we discussed our existing work, future plans and research questions. […] I am extremely grateful for ACM-W’s support in allowing me to attend this conference, it was a truly unique experience and one that was extremely valuable to me: as a researcher, as a professional, and as a woman in Computer Science.”

Congratulations to the new scholars awarded scholarships in the latest voting  round: Marija Selakovic, Christina Kelley,  Manaswi Saha, Ruisha Ma, Soumyar Dash, Maria Rauschenberger, Cheihlin Wu, Radhika Gopi, Dhanya Krishnan and Caitlin Lustig. We’re  expecting more lovely trip reports from you, young ones!

The next application deadline is April 15for conferences taking place in June and July 2016.

News From ACM-W Celebrations

The arrival of Spring brings much to celebrate, and as a result the ACM-W Celebrations are in full swing!     Two Celebrations took place on the weekend of February 19th in two different locations in the US.  The Tri-State Women in Computing Conference was held in Cincinnati, Ohio and the Carolinas Women in Computing for North Carolina and South Carolina was held in North Myrtle Beach.   In total, 250 attendees took part in these events from all levels of academia (undergraduates, graduates and faculty of both universities and community colleges) as well as representatives from industry.

Both conferences featured guest speakers, workshops, poster presentations, a career fair, and plenty of time for networking and socializing.   Both conferences took advantage of an excellent collaboration between ACM-W and the producers of the film CODE:  Debugging the Gender Gap to screen this movie at their Celebration.

The Celebrations inspired and invigorated attendees.  Sumeet Ranu, Vice-President of ACM-W at UC says, “TRIWiC not only gave us the opportunity to learn from professionals and professors attending the conference, but also gave us the chance to talk to younger girls that are new to computing and give them advice based on our experiences. Speaking on the ACM-W panel was definitely the highlight of our experience. It gave us the chance to reflect on our journey in founding our ACM-W chapter. At the end, we truly realized the greater impact our community service and outreach through partnerships with companies like Microsoft and Google has had.

We are looking forward to upcoming Celebrations which will be held in the Phillipines, Southern California, upstate New York, New York City, and Puerto Rico.  Check the ACM-W Celebrations page for more information on these and other events.

If you are considering organizating an ACM-W Celebration in your location in 2016/2017, please contact Wendy Powley ( for more information.   We can help you get started!

News From ACM-W Chapters

The number of ACM-W chapters continues to grow; we now list 114 Chapters world-wide.  Spring 2016 is the perfect time to morph your Women in Computing group to an ACM-W chapter or to build a new chapter from scratch.  The NCWIT/Google Student Seed Fund grant offers a second round of competition for funding with its April 30, 2016 deadline.  The Start-Up Funding category provides $3000 to launch a new ACM-W chapter.



    Deadline for Submission of Nomination and Endorsement Forms is April 30, 2016.

    The Maria Petrou Prize is to be awarded biennially at ICPRs to a living female scientist/engineer who has made substantial contributions to the field of Pattern Recognition (or a closely related field), and whose past contributions, current research activity and future potential may be regarded as a model to both aspiring and established researchers. This Prize honors the memory of Professor Maria Petrou as a scientist and engineer of the first rank, and particularly in her role as a pioneer for women researchers and highly successful role model. She is widely recognized for her extensive contributions to the field of image processing and pattern recognition. She also made significant contributions to the growth of IAPR, covering significant leadership roles. Detailed information is available at

  • RESPECT 2016: Call for submission

    RESPECT 2016, Research in Equity and Sustained Participation in Engineering, Computing, and Technology

    August 11-13, 2016

    Atlanta, GA  USA

    RESPECT 2016 is the second international conference of the IEEE Special Technical Community on Broadening Participation.  As worldwide demand for computing professionals increases, it is essential that we create a more diverse workforce to drive creativity and provide equal opportunity. Research on how to address these factors is necessary to create a collective global strategy to improve participation in the computing sciences. We invite submissions of research papers of two types: full papers (8 pages in length) and short papers (4 pages in length) as well as experience papers (4 pages) on topics related to broadening participation in computing for all students, and for students from underrepresented groups in particular. Underrepresented groups in computing may differ according to location. In the United States, these groups include women, African Americans, Blacks, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Hispanics or Latino/as, socio-economically disadvantaged people, and all people with disabilities. 

  • ACM SIGHPC/Intel Computational & Data Science Fellowships

    ACM SIGHPC and Intel are excited to announce a new international program of graduate fellowships in computational and data science.

    Submissions open March 15, 2016 for the ACM SIGHPC/Intel Computational & Data Science Fellowships. The goal of this new graduate fellowship is to increase the diversity of students pursuing graduate degrees in data science and computational science, including women as well as students from racial/ethnic backgrounds that have not traditionally participated in the computing field. The program will support students pursuing degrees at institutions anywhere in the world.

    Interested faculty advisors and students can find more information on the fellowships, including a description of the online nomination process, at

  • 1st Minerva Informatics Equality Award

    2016 Edition “Developing the Careers of Female Faculty”

    Informatics Europe proudly announces the first Minerva Informatics Equality Award devoted to initiatives which seek to encourage and support the careers of women in Informatics research and education. It recognizes best practices in Departments or Faculties of European universities or research labs that have been demonstrated to have a positive impact for women.The first of this annual award will be made in October 2016 and will be sponsored by Google.

  • HACKHER : Hackathon for Women

    Date : 16th April 2016

    Time :  8Am – 8PM

    Sponsored by : ACM-W India

    Hosted by : Amrita University, Coimbatore

    Conducted by : GUVI, Chennai, India

    For Registration and more details:

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