ACM-W Connections – January 2018

Welcome from the ACM-W Chair

Happy New Year! This first issue of Connections in 2018 is packed full of reports on our various projects and the many activities of ACM-W over the past several months.  I am sure you will enjoy reading about the following:

  • ACM-W Europe announces womENcourage 2018, which will be held in Belgrade, Serbia in September.
  • ACM-W India has reports from the Grace Hopper India Celebration (Bangalore, November) and the 2nd National Hackathon (Chitkara, October).
  • Rachelle Hippler and Laura Spencer, introduced last month as our newest Council members chairing the Professional Chapters project lay out their goals and visions for the project in their report.
  • The Celebrations report highlights the Canadian Celebration of Women in Computing (CAN-CWiC), which drew nearly 600 attendees to Montreal, Quebec, Canada in November.
  • The Scholarships report announces the eleven awards that will enable student scholars to attend conferences in the coming months due to the generosity of our corporate sponsors – Oracle, Google, and Microsoft.
  • Aruquia Peixoto reports on the focus on Women in Computer Graphics and STEM associated
    with SIGGRAPH Asia’s conference held in Bangkok, Thailand in November.

If you are attending SIGCSE 2018 in Baltimore in February, plan to swing by booth 117 in the exhibit hall.  We’d love to hear about the many local and regional activities that you are leading as we work together to support, celebrate and advocate for women in computing.

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

Jodi Tims
ACM-W Chair

News from ACM-W Celebrations

The Canadian Celebration of Women in Computing (CAN-CWIC) took place on November 3/4th in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The event was chaired by Dr. Naouel Moha from the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). The event was attended by nearly 600 from across Canada including some attendees who came from New York to attend the event. The event featured a programming competition, a video welcome from our newly appointed Governor General, Julie Payette, keynotes given by Margaret-Ann Armour from the University of Alberta and Joëlle Pineau from McGill University, a poster session, graduate presentations, tech talks and numerous other panels and workshops. Our career fair with over 30 companies present was a huge hit and hopefully resulted in many job offers!

Although this was only the 2nd Canada-wide Celebration, this Celebration is in its 7th year. For 5 years, the Celebration was an Ontario-centric event and was run at 5 different universities across Ontario. We are excited to watch CAN-CWIC grow! CAN-CWIC 2018 will be held in Halifax on November 2/3rd, 2018 – to coincide with Dalhousie University’s 200th birthday as well as their initiative to double the number of women in their Computer Science program in the next year!

If you are interested in organizing a Celebration in your region, please contact the Chair of the Celebrations Committee, Wendy Powley for more information. International Celebrations are encouraged and welcomed!

News from ACM-W Professional Chapters

We believe that providing professional women with ways to stay connected to ACM-W will be a great source of personal support after graduation and support the next generation of technical women.  We have already met three times since our appointment and the following goals are emerging under our charge of establishing, connecting, and promoting ACM-W Professional Chapters.

  • Goal 1: Establish model ACM-W Professional Chapters.
    We will connect with existing professional chapters and work toward creating models to help new chapters get started.
  • Goal 2: Connect ACM-W professional chapters to ACM-W student chapters.
    We will facilitate communication between student chapters and professional chapters to help with outreach and mentoring projects.
  • Goal 3: Connect ACM-W professional chapters to ACM-W celebrations.
    We will facilitate communication between celebrations and professional chapters to help with conference participation.
  • Goal 4: Connect ACM-W professional chapters to ACM-W student chapter alumni.
    We will help professional chapters recruit recent graduates, especially those from colleges that have ACM-W student chapters.
  • Goal 5: Promote ACM-W professional chapters.
    Besides active involvement at Celebrations and conferences such as SIGCSE and NCWIT, we will work toward creating a web and social media presence to disseminate information and encourage participation.

ACM-W Professsional Chapter Commitee will be headed by

Rachelle Kristof Hippler
Associate Professor of Computer Science
Baldwin Wallace University, Berea, OH
25 years of experience in academia, industry, and K-12

Laura Spencer
Development Release Manager, Software Engineering Division
Ultimate Software, Florida based company ranked the #2 Best Workplace for Women by Fortune

News from ACM-W Scholarship

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 for a scholarship. Applications are evaluated at 6 occasions each year, in order to distribute awards across a range of conferences, with usually between 3 to 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, GECCO, and ICSE amongst others.

This time around we have the pleasure to congratulate eleven scholars in January! This beats our previous record in 2017. We offer our congratulations to Saumya Rawat, Kaya Deuser, Margaret Flemings, Vijini Mallawaarachchi, Iresha Rubasinghe, Yulia Zhiglova, Zhiglova, Amber Dryer, Trisha Garcis, Jaycee Holmes, Hafsa Zannat, and Ella Dagan Peled! A big crop for this time of the year and a large number of undergraduates. Saumya, Kaya, Margaret, Vijini, Amber and Trisha are undergraduate students. Iresha, Yulia, Jaycee and Hafsa are pursuing graduate studies, and Ella is doing a PhD. The conferences chosen are a little less diverse this time, five of our scholars are going to TEI (Tangible, Embedded and Embedded Interactions) in Sweden. Other conferences include AAAI, SIGSE, the ACM International Conference on Web Search and Data Mining, as well as Communications & Broadband Networking (ICCBN, Singapore), Software and Computer Applications (Malaysia) and Multimedia Modeling (MMM2018, Thailand). Well done every one!!! We hope you all will have plenty of fun, as well as learning lots in your conferences.

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 attend, preferably with a picture, so that we can show our readers and funders the diversity of our winners. We never cease to find truly inspiring stories!

The next application deadline is February 15 for conferences taking place in April and May 2018. For more information and to apply the scholarship section on the ACM-W webpage . If you have any questions, please contact the scholarship committee chair Prof. Adriana Compagnoni.

News from ACM SIG

Women at SIGGRAPH Asia 2017
The last day of SIGGRAPH Asia 2017, celebrated in November in Bangkok, Thailand, witnessed how several ACM, SIGGRAPH and animation related groups joined forces to organize a series of talks on women in CG and STEM. The events started with the panel entitled Girls in STEM, organized by the ACM-W SIG Liaison, together with the SIGGRAPH Asia 2017 Symposium on Education (SOE) and ACM SIGGRAPH International Resources Committee (IRC). This session had panelists from academic institutions including a university and a high school in Thailand. They shared insights into Thailand’s education and research environment, and discussed the gender balance in classroom and academic workplaces. This event was followed by the session Women in CG, organized by the IRC and the SIGGRAPH Asia 2017 Computer Animation Festival committee (CAF). This panel focused on the status of women in the animation and VFX industry on and behind the screen. The morning was closed by a get-together with delicious Thai food and take-aways sponsored by The Society of Animation Studies (SAS), Ani+Forum and Seoul Forum, where all attendees could share their stories and enjoy the final hours of SIGGRAPH Asia 2017. Many thanks to all the women and men involved in this initiative, we hope we can make it a tradition in all the SIGGRAPH’s to come, and we have an article in SIGGRAPH Blog with more detailed information about these meetings in December.

News from ACM-W India

GHCI 2017 – The Grace Hopper Celebration India 2017

The Grace Hopper Celebration of women in computing, India (co-sponsored by ACM) has become a flagship event in the Indian technology circles. Every winter, hordes of women technologists descend upon Bangalore to participate, learn and contribute to the conference that represents diversity and excellence at its core.

This year, with new leadership, a new venue and a new brand, GHCI brought together ~3700 women at their annual conference. The location of BIEC (being further away from the city) did not deter the ladies from showing up and partaking of the activities. As with every year, the tracks were unique and relevant and appealed to a wide variety of audiences. There were some familiar and known tracks like Career Mastery, Emerging Technologies, Human Computer Interaction and Systems Engineering and many new and exciting ones like AI, Data Mining & ML, Big Data, IoT and Cloud, and Techno Social Innovation. Each track was clearly defined and held enough unique appeal to showcase the myriad products and ideas that the women work on.

A full report on GHCI 2017 – The Grace Hopper Celebration India 2017 is available here.

ACM-W India 2nd National Hackathon for Women

ACM Student Chapter, Chitkara University in collaboration with ACM-W India and Oracle Academy organizedACM-W India 2nd National Hackathon for Women on October 2-3, 2017 and witnessed an ACM celebration of Women in Computing!

ACM-W India and Oracle Academy organized the hackathon to encourage & empower girls with an opportunity to exhibit problem solving talent using Computing Technology. The event witnessed the participation of 308 enthusiastic and tech-savvy teams from all over India with an idea which had the power to change the worldand transform the machinery on which the world works. The theme of the hackathon was ‘Digital India’. The event started with the registration of 308 teams, had three rounds in total and finally ACM-W celebrations. ‘Digital India’ is a campaign launched by the Government of India to ensure that Government services are made available to citizens electronically by improved on-line infrastructure and by making the country digitally empowered in the field of technology. The goal of this Digital India Hackathon is to get developers, designers and entrepreneurs come together, form connections and apply their skills to create something of value. The hackathon was an intellectually stimulating activity that will spur innovation and collaboration.

A full report on ACM-W India 2nd National Hackathon for Women is available here.

News from ACM-W Europe

ACM-W Europe Announce ACM-W womENcourage 2018

Join us in beautiful Belgrade, Serbia where the Sava and Danube rivers meet, for three days of technical discussions, making new friends and networking at ACM Celebration of Women in Computing: womENcourage 2018!

Belgrade is the capital of Serbia and one of the biggest cities in South Eastern Europe. It is also a city of youth with more than a 40% young people living in it. Belgrade stands between East and West for centuries and has a very turbulent history. Influences of many different cultures are still present in almost every part of the city and its spirit. The historic areas and buildings of Belgrade are among the city’s primary attractions. Annually, Belgrade hosts many international events, and it will be a pleasure for the local ACM-W chapter to host the next Womencourage conference!

Since 2016, an ACM-W chapter is active in Belgrade. A small, but a very dedicated group of people with various educational and professional backgrounds is organizing Belgrade’s ACM-W celebration, different coding workshops, and lectures during the year. With a strong mission to include and support the development of girls and women in ICT, the local chapter is having a big plan for the next year, and Womencourage is certainly a great part of it.