ACM-W Connections–March 2019

  • Letter from ACM-W Chair
  • News from ACM-W Celebrations
  • News from ACM-W Student Chapters
  • News from ACM-W Professional Chapters
  • News from ACM-W Scholarships
  • News from ACM-W Europe

Welcome from the ACM-W Chair

Each year ACM presents the Athena Lecturer Award to a woman researcher who has made fundamental contributions to Computer Science.  This year’s recipient, Andrea Goldsmith, is grateful for having received this honor and is motivated to give back to the women in computing community by establishing the ACM-W Rising Star Award.  The award recognizes a woman whose early-career research has had significant impact on the computing discipline, as measured by frequent citation of the work, creation of a new research area,  a high degree of technology transfer and/or other positive influences.  In Andrea’s own words:

“I’m thrilled to see the ACM-W Rising Star Award, recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of young women researchers in Computer Science and related fields, come into fruition. This award is meant to boost the visibility of the most promising young women in these fields as the future leaders of our profession. I also hope that showcasing the accomplishments of these rising stars will encourage more women to enter these fields. We need their diversity of experiences and ideas to ensure our profession will continue to thrive long into the future.”

ACM-W will be establishing an awards committee that will solicit nominations for the award annually at the beginning of August.  The call for nominations will appear in this newsletter, on social media channels and on the ACM/ACM-W web sites.   The winner will be recognized at a conference of their choosing, pending the approval of the program committee for that conference.  The ACM-W Chair or his/her designee will attend to present the award. The awardee will receive a framed certificate and $1000 stipend to be used at her discretion.

On behalf of all of ACM-W, I express my deepest appreciation to Andrea for making the ACM-W Rising Star Award possible!

Other ACM-W News

Also appearing in this month’s newsletter:

  • The ACM-W Student Chapter report welcomes seven new chapters and announces the winner of the March Facebook Contest.
  • Professional Chapters highlights the OCWiC (Ohio) ACM-W Professional Chapter.
  • An overview of all the March Celebrations appears in the Celebrations section.
  • The Scholarships Committee announces the most recent awardees.
  • The contribution from ACM-W Europe highlights the high level of activity going on across Europe.

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

Jodi Tims
ACM-W Chair

News from ACM-W Celebrations

ACM Celebrations gather women that work or study within the same region together to connect, network and celebrate their mutual interests of Computer Science and technology.     Celebrations typical include keynote speakers from academia or industry, panel sessions on topics such as what to expect in your CS career or the impostor syndrome, workshops on resume writing, communication, interview skills or new technologies, a career fair and opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students to present their work.  Celebrations are organized by volunteers and most agree that organizing a Celebration is one of the most rewarding things that they have done.   ACM will provide some seed funding along with support from Microsoft.  We also can provide web-site hosting, handle your finances and provide plenty of advice and assistance on organizing a Celebration.   Celebrations happen worldwide!  If you are interested in organizing, contact us to discuss!

The following Celebrations are taking place in March:

March 16:  Ankara Celebration of Women in Computing, Turkey Turkey March 16, 2019 Turkish
March 22/23: Kentucky Community Colleges Women in Computing, an ACM Celebration Event, Kentucky Kentucky March 22 & 23, 2019 English
March 22/23: ACM Capital Region Celebration of Women in Computing, Virginia James Madison University, Harrisonburg VA March 22 & 23, 2019 English
March 28/29:  ACM-W: Informa¡tica para tod@s, Spain   A Coruña,Spain March 28-29, 2019 Spanish

For more information, please contact the Celebrations Chair, Wendy Powley (wendy@cs.queensu.ca).

News from ACM-W Student Chapters

We’d like to welcome our new chapters at University of Alabama, SAGE University, St. Claret College, Pimpri Chinchwad College of Engineering, Kalasalingam Academy of Research and Education, Adelphi University, RCC Institute of Information Technology, and Birla Institute of Technology, Pilani – Dubai.

We’d also like to congratulate North South University for winning our March Facebook Contest. Chapter member Taslima Mozumder Priyanka posted about their robotics event held in February:

“In modern world having knowledge on robotics is becoming a must for engineering students and basic robotics will provide the platform to start various projects. Knowing the basics will enable the participants to demonstrate their skills, creativity and innovative thinking in the field of robotics. And that’s why NSU ACM-W SC has organised a workshop on basic robotics only for female students of NSU, “Introduction to Robotics” on 15th February, 2019. 
It was an open workshop for all female students of North South University, which was focused on the basics of robotics and the equipment’s were provided. The participants were introduced to Arduino, learned the uses of sonar sensors, motor controls and wireless control etc. Then they learned how to make RC bots. Also, the participants were given two tasks to practice what they learned and showcase a project within a fixed deadline. We hope and wish the teams will be participating in various competitions with their project around the country!”

Thanks for sharing your news and inspiring us all!

North South University will receive a $50 prize that they can use for future activities.

Your chapter could win a monthly Facebook Post contest too. Just post about your activity or event within 30 days and you’ll be eligible to win.

ACM-W Professional Chapters – Recruiting Members at Your Celebration

The OCWiC ACMW Professional Chapter kicked off its Membership Drive in a big way during OCWiC19, the eighth Ohio Celebration of Women in Computing event.  The 260+ attendees were greeted by the Chapter’s Chair and Vice Chair, Bettina Bair and Rachelle Hippler, who gave an overview of the new chapter’s mission and scope. Printed “OCWiC Today” newspapers were available in common areas with more details. (https://ocwic.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/ocwicToday.pdf)

The OCWiC ACMW Professional Chapter has been described a kind of meta-chapter that fosters traditional local and regional chapters. For example, the NW Ohio Professional Chapter is led by Janelle Vickers, who is also a Leadership Level Member of OCWiC ACMW. And presidents of ACMW Student Chapters have been invited to participate in the OCWiC ACMW Professional Chapter at the Leadership Level as well. Having OCWiC ACMW in place helps the chapters stay connected with each other

For more information about the OCWiC ACMW chapter and celebration, please visit ocwic.org.

News from ACM-W Scholarships

The ACM 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 six times each year, to distribute awards across a range of conferences. There are usually 3-6 awards given for each group of applications. The ACM Scholarships are made possible by 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, Women in Cyber Security, ACM EC, SIGCSE, IEEE Conferences, DIS, IPDPS, ICCC, AAMAS, FLAIRS, WIMS, CSCW, GECCO, ICAPS, 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 by 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!

This month we report the names of the winners from the last round of the scholarship awards for conferences happening in May 2019. We managed to contemplate seven students, six undergraduates and one graduate (Master’s program)  student. This was Azizah Roisatul, originally from Indonesia, studying in Sweden. Azizah is going to CHI 2019 in the United Kingdom. CHI is a very popular conference. Five of the undergraduates are also going to CHI. They are Sofia Ayuso, originally from Venezuela, but studying in the US, Grete Helena Kutt, originally from Estonia, also studying in the US and Gabrielle LaBorwit and Emilyann Nault, both originally from the US and studying in the US. In addition Iliuza Gizzatullina from the Russian Federation and studying there, is also going to CHI. Finally, the undergraduate Vrinda Mittal, originally from India and studying there, is going to ICASSP 2019, the International Conference on Accoustics, Speech and Signal Processing.

Congratulations to all of our winners! We hope you do get to be part of your chosen research communities.

The next application deadline is April 15 for conferences taking place in June—July, 2019.   For more information and to apply visit: https://women.acm.org/scholarships/

If you have any questions, please contact the scholarship committee chair Prof. Viviana Bono, bono@di.unito.it

News from ACM-W Europe

womENcourage 2019 – ACM Celebration of Women in Computing

The Sixth ACM Celebration of Women in Computing will be held in the beautiful city of Rome,  Italy on September 16-18, 2019. The three-day event includes a Hackathon, Workshops, Posters, Technical Talks, Career Fair, Panel Discussions, and Interdisciplinary Research Tracks. Join us to socialize, share knowledge and experiences, learn about exciting opportunities in research and professional careers, and celebrate the achievements in the Women in Computing.

Find out more on the Call for Participation page.

Interdisciplinary Research Tracks and One-day Passes

This year, womENcourage 2019 is featuring two interdisciplinary research tracks in which prominent scientists will inspire the audience by illustrating new and innovative research areas that intersect information technology with other disciplines.

Participants who prefer attending only a specific track may register using the “one-day pass”. More information here.

Track 1 – Coding  Conscious Cities on September 17th

The world around us is increasingly controlled by algorithms that predict and react to our needs. As we blur the boundaries between the physical and digital realm, who will be responsible for defining our relationship with the homes, offices, and streets we inhabit?

Track 2 – Artificial Intelligence and Health on September 18th

AI applied to human health presents a range of professional challenges and raises critical ethical questions: can the integration of human and computing technologies be achieved in a principled and ethical manner.

Read more about both tracks here.

Meet the Amazing Local organizers: Tiziana Catarci and Paola Velardi

This month we interviewed the local organizers of the womENcourage 2019, Prof Tiziana Catarci and Prof Paola Velardi from La Sapienza University. Their radiating energy and creativity are captured in these fascinating portraits by Gérald Bruneaux courtesy of Fondazione Bracco.


Tiziana Catarci graduated from Electronic Engineering in February 1987 at the University of Rome La Sapienza, where she received her Ph.D. in Computer Science in October 1992. Since November 2000 she is a Full Professor of Information Processing Systems. For many years Prof Catarci has been actively involved in gender issues in the STEM subjects and the spreading the STEM culture among girls. For these activities, she won an award from Levi Montalcini Association in 2017.

Paola Velardi is a Full Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Roma “La Sapienza”. She received her “Laurea” Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Roma “La Sapienza” in 1978. Her research interests include Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning, and the Semantic Web. With her inspirational work, Prof Velardi aims to debunk the myth that computer science is a man-oriented and “inflexible” discipline.

Why is the conference important to you?

“Despite the various initiatives undertaken in recent years, the results in terms of attractiveness of IT for girls are still disappointing. It is necessary to do more, change the mentality, make people feel that IT is cool and it is not for the geeky few but it is the future. ACM womENcourage is in this direction and will be a terrific event.”

Read more from them on our blog.