ACM-W Connections–May 2019

  • Letter from ACM-W Chair
  • News from ACM-W Celebrations
  • News from ACM-W Scholarships
  • News from ACM-W Europe

Welcome from the ACM-W Chair

On April 12-13, ACM-W once again hosted a group of international guests to attend the 2019 CRA-W Grad Cohort Workshop in Chicago, IL (https://cra.org/cra-w/events/grad-cohort-2019/).  This year’s attendees hailed from Turkey, Pakistan, Kuwait and the Philippines.  This amazing group of eight women observed the two-day event, learning much about the impact that the effort has in the lives of the graduate students who participate.  As I interacted with the invited guests it was clear that they were impressed by the event they witnessed and that they hope to replicate the program in their home countries in the near future.  I wish to personally thank Erik Russell, Daniela Cardenas, and Alejandra Guzman for the effort they put forward to ensure our guests had a good experience.  I also want to thank the entire CRA-W Board for their continued commitment to the grad cohort program.  It has truly been my pleasure to be a part of this partnership that has resulted in three global grad cohort workshops to date with the promise of many more to come.

Reminder: Seeking Nominations for ACM-W Leadership Positions

ACM-W is currently seeking nominations for leadership positions within our new organizational structure, which is scheduled to roll out July 1st, 2019.  Nominations for these positions are being collected through a form accessible from our web site. Currently, we are seeking to fill the positions of Chair, ACM-W North America and Chair, Rising Star Award Committee.  Please visit the web page (https://women.acm.org/leadership-opportunities/) and consider nominating yourself or another qualified person for positions of interest.

Other ACM-W News

Also appearing in this month’s newsletter:

  • The ACM-W Scholarship Committee announces the recipients of the April awards.
  • The 4th KYCC-WiC is highlighted in the Celebrations report.
  • ACM-W Europe features the She Figures 2019 report from the European commission along with several announcements of upcoming women in computing events in Europe.

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

Jodi Tims
ACM-W Chair

News from ACM-W Celebrations

The 4th Biennial KYCC Women in Computing Celebration Held at OCTC

Students, faculty, and industry partners from across Kentucky, Indiana, and North Carolina celebrated Women in Computing (WiC) at the 4th biennial Kentucky Community College (KYCC) event at Owensboro Community and Technical College (OCTC) on March 22 – 23, 2019. This conference is the first WiC celebration event designed explicitly for community colleges.

The theme for the celebration was “Busting Barriers in the Bluegrass”. The conference had presentations and panel discussions covering a wide range of computing topics, but many were focused on improving the number of women in the computer field.  Several speakers presented many great ideas/proven methods on getting more young women interested in a computer science/information technology career.  The conference also had student-focused presentations on beginning a career.

The conference was attended by more than one hundred participants from the Kentucky Community & Technical College System, Northern Kentucky University, Eastern Kentucky University, Kentucky Wesleyan College, Forsyth Tech Community College, Ivy Tech Community College, University of Southern Indiana, and several industry partners.  Dr. Scott Williams, president of Owensboro Community and Technical College, opened the conference with a warm welcome.

The first keynote speaker was the award-winning novelist of African-based science fiction and fantasy, Nnedi Okorafor. She is the co-author of the Black Panther comics from Marvel Comics. Born in the United States to Nigerian immigrant parents, Dr. Okorafor is known for weaving African culture and folklore into creative, evocative settings with memorable characters. Dr. Okorafor inspired the participants by encouraging women to pursue their career goals, and to be strong and never give up.

The second keynote speaker was Smita Bakshi, CEO of Zyante. Dr. Bakshi is a high-tech professional with over fifteen years of experience spanning product management, business development, engineering and education across several software industries. Her specialties include Education Technology and Enterprise Software. One of her passions is encouraging young women to seek careers in STEM fields. Her presentation was titled “Women in Technology: You Can and You Must”, and it was inspiring to our young women just starting their careers.

There were many opportunities to learn and to network at the conference.  Some of the topics covered were digital forensic tools, use of unmanned aerial vehicles, curricular guidelines for cybersecurity, manufacturing & IT, and the impact of technology in politics.  Conference attendees enjoyed the Kentucky hospitality, nationally acclaimed BBQ, and a trip to the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

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 of the previous round of scholarships. Two of our students, Alexandra Chronopoulou, from Athens, Greece and Kritika Agrawal from Hyderabad, India are going to   NAACL2019, the  North-American Association of Computational Linguistics annual conference in Minneapolis, MN, USA.

Two undergraduate students from Jaipur, India,  Aakanksha Chauhan, and Nisha Shekhawat are going to the prestigious  ACM Web Science Conference in Boston, MA, USA. And Uma Maheswari Gollapudi, also from Hyderabad, India is going to Amsterdam, Holland, for the 5th International Conference on Computational Social Science (IC2S2).

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

The next application deadline is June 15 for conferences taking place in August—September, 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

Rome, Italy  September 16-18, 2019
https://womencourage.acm.org

This year’s theme: Diversity Drives Societal Change

The Sixth ACM Celebration of Women in Computing will be held in the beautiful city of Rome,  Italy on September 16-18, 2019.

This year merit-based scholarships will be available to support registration and travel expenses for up to 100 participants. Find out how you can participate in womENcourage in the Call for Participation page.

The preparations for this year’s womENcourage is continuing with several side events supporting. 

Pink Hackathon Roadshow took place on the 6th of May 2019 (9:30-18:00) in several cities in the Lazio Region.

60 young students aged 15 to 19 met  for a computer marathon, on the subject of Energy Efficiency at home and at school. Two teams selected as winners of a scholarship to participate in womENcourage 2019.

Workshop organised by IBM Italy Foundation and Fondazione Mondo Digitale took place on the 8th of May 2019 (10:00-13:00) as part of STEM in the City initiative.

80 young female students aged 15 to 19 from the Caterina da Siena Institute attended the workshop which aims to support and inspire them to start a brilliant career in  science and technology. The workshop was followed by a dynamic in-depth discussion on Artificial Intelligence and new digital trends. Again, participants were selected to receive a scholarship to attend womENcourage 2019.

You can also learn current happenings about womENcourage on social media. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedin, and search for acmwomencourage on Instagram.   Facebook 2019 Forum is also up and running for the participants of womENcourage 2019. Feel free to ask questions, introduce yourself and chat with others, make travel and accommodation plans, and most importantly meet new people and make friends before coming to the event! Click here to join.