ACM-W Connections–November 2019

Welcome from the ACM-W Chair

Several times over the past three years, I have mentioned ACM/ACM-W’s participation in the Gender Gap in Science project (https://gender-gap-in-science.org/).  This project had three major parts – a global survey of scientists aimed at understanding the experiences of men and women in science worldwide; an analysis of publication patterns of men and women in research journals; and the development of a database of best practices around recruiting and retaining girls and women in STEM.

The project held its culminating conference at the International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste, Italy on November 4-8.  ACM-W had five representatives in attendance: Tracy Camp (keynote speaker), Reyyan Ayfer (Regional Committees Chair of ACM-W), Catherine Lang and Annemieke Craig (representatives from Oceania), and myself. 

During the conference, we discussed major findings and recommendations of the project and heard from a variety of speakers spanning multiple scientific fields and many different countries.  The final report of the project will be available after the project’s official end on December 31st.  When it is released the link to access it will be provided in this newsletter.

On a personal level, I was deeply affected by the information that was presented, which made clear that the experiences and participation of women in many of the STEM fields still lags behind in comparison to those of men in science.  I was again reminded why I remain committed to the work that ACM-W does to support, celebrate and advocate for women in computing globally through our Celebrations, Chapters, and Scholarship programs.

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

Jodi Tims
ACM-W Chair

International Grad Cohort program: 2020 applications being accepted

For the past three years, ACM-W has been sponsoring teams of 2-3 people from countries outside of North America to attend the CRA-WP Grad Cohort workshop for women in hopes that this successful program replicates in areas around the world.  To date, events have been held in Greece, India, Ireland and Spain.  Additional events are being planned in Kuwait, the Philippines, and Turkey.  This year’s Grad Cohort workshop will be held April 16-18, 2020 in New Orleans, LA. We invite applications to attend now through January 15, 2020.  You can find the form to apply at https://bit.ly/34WQvaK.

Other ACM-W News

Also appearing in this month’s newsletter:

  • The Northwest Ohio Professional Chapter is featured in the Professional Chapters report.
  • ACM-W Europe report features the new ACM Europe chair and announces womENcourage 2020.
  • A report from Grace Hopper India is contributed by ACM-W India.
  • The ACM-W Scholarships report announces the latest round of awardees.  Congratulations to the recipients!

News from ACM Scholarships Committee

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 at 6 occasions each year, to distribute awards across a range of conferences, with usually 3-6 awards given for each group of applications. The ACM 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, Women in Cyber Security, ACM EC, SIGCSE, IEEE Conferences, DIS, IPDPS, ICCC, ACM CHI, 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 simply report the award winners for the last round of the scholarship decisions. We are pleased to welcome five lucky winners:  one  undergraduate student,  Yasmeen Asali (from Columbia University, Astrophysics Dept), two Masters’ students (Sarah Brockman –  the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Vanessa Ann Beddoe Sawkmie – the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay), and two PhD students, Chhavi Sharma – IIT, Bombay and Nayantara Kotoky, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, India. 

Yasmeen is going across the country from New York City to Honolulu, Hawai’i, US, to present at the 235th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society. Sarah is going across the Northern border to the recently renamed NeurIPS,  the 33rd Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, happening this year in Vancouver, Canada. Like Sarah, Chhava is also going to NeurIPS in Canada, but all the way from  the IIT Bombay, Mumbai in  India.  Nayantara from the IIT, Guwahati is going to Boca Raton, Florida for the 18th IEEE International Conference on Machine Learning and Applications. Finally, our last winner, Vanessa, a graduate student at IIT Bombay, Mumbai, pursuing her final year in Operations Research is going to Macau, China for the IEEE  IEEM  2019  International  Conference for  Industrial  Engineering  and  Operations  Research. We are very proud to see our students going places. Congratulations to our five awardees!!

The next application deadline is December 15 for conferences taking place in Feb 1 – Mar 31, 2020.  

For more information and to apply visit: https://women.acm.org/scholarships/

To see previous winners’ reports visit https://women.acm.org/scholars/acm-w-scholars/?sch_year=2019

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

ACM-W Professional Chapter: Spotlight on Northwest Ohio ACM-W

On Friday, October 18th, five student chapters from four different universities helped kick-off the NWO Professional Chapter 2019-2020 networking series. After an inspiring keynote from NASA’s Kristin Bury, Integration Manager, European Service Module Integration Office, each student chapter reported on their activities and shared ideas for how the professional chapter can support their members’ career development.  The next NWO ACM-W event invites students and local professionals to tour and network with the OnPoint Group, a technology company that supports distribution/logistics systems.  Check out the NWO ACM-W facebook page for more event ideas: https://www.facebook.com/NorthwestOhioACMW/

We want to shine a spotlight on your ACM-W Professional Chapter activities. Please send us your event summaries and pictures (Rachelle Hippler – rhippler@bw.edu).

News from the ACM-W Communications Committee!

Announcing ACM-W Downloadable Graphics

The Communications Committee is pleased to announce a new resource for ACM-W Chapters and Celebrations. Shareable graphics are now available from our website: https://women.acm.org/graphics/

Here you will find logos and posters and design elements suitable for use in creating promotional materials for your group or event.

What can you do with these graphics? Download them! Print them! Edit them! Share them! Use them to make stickers, badges, web-pages, banners, posters, event notices, pamphlets, flyers, tee shirts, mugs, tote bags, social media identities, magnets, coasters… and so much more!

Now Recruiting: Website Editors

The ACM-W Communications Committee is recruiting for two volunteers to maintain our websites. Specifically, we are seeking an editor for the ACM-W Wikipedia page and also for the ACM-W website.

RESPONSIBILITIES

The site editor’s primary responsibility is to ensure quality readership. Thus editor’s regular task may include, but are not confined to, the following: preparing and formatting content, reviewing articles, researching sources, editing grammar and content. It is expected that an editor will  spend less than 10 hours a month uploading content and editing existing pages.

SKILLS

The successful applicant will have experience with research and professional writing in the practice of similar assignments. The candidate will also have technical experience with WordPress, wikitext, visual editors and similar tools.

APPLICATION

Please send a letter of interest to bettina.bair@gmail.com. Include all meaningful and relevant experience.

News from ACM-W Europe

ACM Names Prof. Susanne Boll as Distinguished Member

ACM has named Prof. Susanne Boll, professor of Media Informatics and Multimedia Systems at the University of Oldenburg, one of 62 computer scientists worldwide to be recognized this year as Distinguished Members for their outstanding contributions in computing.

The ACM Distinguished Member program recognizes up to 10% of ACM worldwide membership based on professional experience as well as significant achievements in the computing field. Prof. Boll is the only female computer scientist from Europe recognised for this honour this year.

“Each year it is our honour to select a new class of Distinguished Members,” said ACM President Cherri M. Pancake. “Our overarching goal is to build a community wherein computing professionals can grow professionally and, in turn, contribute to the field and the broader society. We are delighted to recognize these individuals for their contributions to computing, and we hope that the careers of the 2019 ACM Distinguished Members will continue to prosper through their participation with ACM.” Read the ACM news release.

Prof. Susanne Boll:  A research leader in Multimedia – A true champion for diversity

Prof. Susanne Boll is a full professor for Media Informatics and Multimedia Systems at the University of Oldenburg and a member of the board of the OFFIS-Institute for Information Technology. OFFIS belongs to the top 5% research institutes among the non-university institutes in computer science in Germany. Prof. Boll has an excellent track record in the field of interactive multimedia and human-computer interaction, with an impressive number of peer-reviewed scientific publications. Prof. Boll has done an outstanding and continued professional service to the ACM community as an active member of both SIGMM and SIGCHI. The research community has recognized her leadership and scientific competence and has entrusted her with chairing important conferences and serving on steering committees, members of editorial boards.

Over her entire academic career, Prof. Boll has been championing equal opportunities and diversity. She is particularly interested in the factors and environments inspiring young girls to choose STEM subjects in their higher education and leads a research project that explores role models and curricula in Computer Science for high school girls (Smile Smart Future Me). This year, Prof. Boll has been appointed as the Director of Diversity and Outreach in the Executive Committee of ACM SIGMM. You can read Prof. Boll’s views on improving diversity in her field in this interview.

Heartfelt congratulations to Prof. Susanne Boll!

New Blog Series: Reflections on womENcourage 2019

Starting from this month, we will be featuring a series of guest blogs from womENcourage 2019 participants. They will share their career journeys, their challenges but what they also love most about this field, and how womENcourage inspires them.

Our first guest blogger is Enxhi Shkurta from Albania. She graduated from the Polytechnic University of Tirana, in Telecommunications Engineering and is currently doing a Master of Science in Telecommunications at the University of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain.

She writes:  “Finding a female engineering role model in college was like finding a needle in a haystack. BUT, at the womENcourage events, you can meet and talk with many inspirational tech female leaders from every corner of Europe and deep dive into tech trends that are changing the face of computing.”

Read more on our blog.

GHCI 2019 – The Grace Hopper Celebration India 2019

 November 6-8, 2019, Bangalore, India

The 10th edition of Grace Hopper Celebration India was organized by Anita Borg at Bangalore International Exhibition Centre during 6-8 November 2019. This was co-presented by ACM India.

In GHCI, a  student scholar connect session was organized on 8th November by ACM-W specifically to cater to the needs of students. This was a panel discussion on “Looking into the Future: Preparing for the jobs of Tomorrow”. This panel was moderated by one of the ACM-W India council members, Dr.Chitra Babu Prof. and Head SSN College of Engineering, Kalavakkam. The panelists were Dr. Meenakshi D’Souza, Associate Professor from IIIT Bangalore, Dr. Medha Atre from Persistent Systems Ltd and Dr. Sukanyya Misra, Senior Vice President, Master card. This panel discussed how the students can acquire technical as well as non-technical skills and competencies that are essential for the future job roles that don’t even exist today.

L-R : Chitra Babu, Sukanyya Misra, Medha Atre, Meenakshi D’Souza

There were interesting insights about how industry and academia should join hands in inculcating/nurturing these skills. It was well-received by the student community and there were lots of interactions with the panelists at the end of the session.

Interactions with the panelists during GHCI 2019

A small meet up of ACM Sponsored Scholars was organized on 7th November during GHCI2019.  ACM India  sponsored 40 participants which included students and 7 faculty/industry members. ACM-W India council chair Dr. Heena Timani along with 3 council members, Dr. Chitra Babu, Dr. Maushumi Barooah and Ms, Gunjan Lal attended the event. ACM student  representatives shared their experiences, learning and various activities they are organizing  on their campus under ACM chapter to motivate girls students .They interacted with the student members from various colleges, discussed the activities that have been happening in their respective colleges and also created awareness regarding various other opportunities that  they could make use of. Some of the opportunities include programming competition for girls, National level Hackathon for girls, girls in tech community services. ACM W strive to create a community for women in technology where they can come together to learn from each other, bond, network, discuss ideas, and encourage each other. All the ACM Chapter participants got opportunities to network with other ACM student chapters representatives.

ACM W Council Members with students  during GHCI 2019