by Adriana Alvarado Garcia, Karla Badillo-Urquiola, Brianna Posadas, Wendy Roldan
Latina women, historically underrepresented in computing , face additional challenges starting their careers. To bring awareness to this issue, we organized the panel “Becoming a Latina Computing Professional: Barriers and Accomplishments” for the 2022 Tapia Conference. We enjoyed reconnecting at Tapia and sharing our lived experiences with current Latinas navigating the job market and the recruiters of future generations of computing professionals. Based on our conversations and collective reflections, we summarize three key takeaways:
Job Searching as an Interdisciplinary Scholar Takes Persistence
A key theme in our conversations was navigating the job market as interdisciplinary scholars. Wendy shared how her research on children and families, equity, and design education positioned her well to interview for academic, non-profit, and industry roles, but it also came at a tradeoff. Brianna shared her experience positioning her work in a new space like agriculture. Being on the job market as an interdisciplinary scholar can be tricky, as the candidate can be “too much” or “not enough” of one discipline depending on the institution. It also makes the job search longer, as finding an institution that appreciates and supports an interdisciplinary research agenda takes more discussion and negotiation.
Career Choices are Informed by Personal Values and Virtues
Navigating the job market during COVID-19 helped illuminate the importance of centering our values and the kind of life we wanted to live. For example, managing the dissertation and the academic job market simultaneously contributed to Karla’s stress-induced illness. She had to prioritize her health and family when choosing the right department. Likewise, when comparing her job options, Wendy faced the challenging position of letting go of her dream to become a professor. Instead, she prioritized her happiness and lifestyle. Growing up in Mexico City, one of the largest cities in the world, Adriana prioritized large cities over small towns.
Community is the Key to Success
Our stories demonstrated how critical it is to have a strong support system to learn about the “hidden curriculum” of the job search. We all built a network of peers and mentors who share our identities in the Human-Computer Interaction and Computer Science fields by attending mentoring events such as the CHI-Mentoring workshop (organized since 2010). In addition, the Tapia conference is a prime resource for connecting with other Latino computer scientists. Our mentors advised us through our job search, educated us on the unspoken rules of interviewing, and served as sounding boards as we debated offers. We also asked them questions about aspects of the position that were important to us, but not always covered by recruiters: Is there a strong Latino community? Is there a Spanish-speaking Catholic church? Is there support for spousal hires?
We call on the computing community to create supportive spaces for the underrepresented and to promote transparency in the process of recruiting for academia, industry, and other career paths. We look forward to continuing these discussions in more spaces for other Latina computing professionals to share. We thank Dr. Manuel Perez Quiñones for being our strong ally.
by Alexia Giouroukou
The 4th Summit on Gender Equality in Computing (GEC’22) took place in Thessaloniki on June 16th -17th, 2022. GEC’22 summit was opened with the welcome talks from Efstratios Stylianidis (Vice-Rector for Research and Lifelong Learning of Aristotle University in Thessaloniki) and Panagiota Fatourou (chair of the Greek ACM-W Chapter). The first keynote speaker, Dr Alexandros Triantafyllidis (Professor at the School of Biology AUTh), shared uplifting messages of solidarity and social responsibility to support at-risk researchers based on his involvement in Inspireurope, a Horizon Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action.
The summit continued with the very interesting workshop entitled “Act Together – The Role of H2020 Projects and EU Initiatives & Their Impact on Gender Equality in STEM”, organized and implemented by the EU H2020 programme, so-called “Sister Projects”, with the main subject the presentation of the impact of each EU project on the EU gender equality targets and the settings in which they are addressed. The project’s aim is to form a strong and sharing society by changing the stereotypes and giving equal opportunities.
During the first-day poster session, intriguing flash talks were given by undergraduate, graduate and PhD students, as well as young researchers and professionals of any gender, to disseminate their research work and discuss their ideas with the other GEC participants. The day concluded with a keynote talk and an inspiring discussion with Dr Marily Nika (AR Product Lead at Google and a Fellow at Harvard Business School), who provided a perspective on being a woman in tech and shared her lessons learnt on leveraging AI towards creating value.
The Dean of the Faculty of Sciences of Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Prof. Hara Charalambous, opened the curtain of the second day with an inspiring welcome talk. The keynote talk by Prof. Evimaria Terzi (Professor of Computer Science at Boston University) covered and discussed various approaches to creating the “best” team and the open problems in this emerging area with a vibrant Q&A with the audience.
The industrial panel entitled “Career Pathways & Opportunities in Computing” revealed a more sensitive and personal aspect of the event, as it gave the opportunity to acclaimed employees from Pfizer, Accenture, Vodafone, Deloitte Greece and Netcompany-Intrasoft, to share their experiences in the marketplace, how they overcome the
obstacles and difficulties and give valuable advice to younger employees.
The young researchers continued to share their work and innovative ideas and findings during the second poster session. Following the poster session, Dr Antonia Gogoglou (Machine Learning Software Engineer for Meta/Facebook in the USA), gave a very personal keynote speech, where she shared her experiences in both academia and industry as a woman in tech, talked about her personal views on gender equality in the field of Computer Science and the emerging challenges the field faces.
Then it was time for creative and playful experiences! We had the honour to host Dr Hanne-Louise Johannesen (CEO and Co-founder of Diffus Design), who organized an exciting and interactive workshop. Altogether, a visual matrix representing core aspects of GEC’22 was created. The matrix contained combinatory understandings of different technological terms (e.g., AI, ML, HHI, HCI) and key topics (e.g., gender, ethics, community, equality), while the outcome was fascinating.
The workshop “Becoming Better Together – Learning Through Mentoring”, was organized by Prof. Geraldine Fitzpatrick (Professor of Technology Design and Assessment and header of the Human-Computer Interaction Group in the Informatics Faculty at TU Wien Austria) and Prof. Panagiota Fatourou (Université Paris Cité, France & University of Crete and FORTH, Greece). The workshop aimed to inspire a culture of mutual support where Greek academic women, students and young researchers identify and promote each other’s talents and achievements, recognize their strengths and investigate the potential of contributing as mentors to younger peers.
Last but not least, Amalia-Michaela Sotiropoulou (Resourcing Consultant of Vodafone), was excited to present Vodafone’s journey from Telco to Techco and its youth opportunities for employment.
During the 2-day event, five of GEC’22 sponsors (Accenture, Deloitte Greece, Netcompany-Intrasoft, Pfizer and Vodafone) were present in the exhibition/posters area, willing to develop fruitful discussions about their companies’ opportunities with young, promising researchers, while at the same time networking with all the summit’s participants.
The entire event has been recorded and is made available on the Greek ACM-W Chapter’s YouTube channel.
GEC’22 would like to thank its supporters and sponsors, all who contributed to making this event so successful, and of course, its attendees for their participation and enthusiasm!
Starting this year, the Greek ACM-W Chapter, with the support of the ACM Europe Research Visibility working group (ACM Europe RAISE), organizes a series of annual winter schools, on timely computer science related topics. The main goal of the school is to offer the opportunity to young computer science professionals to learn, interact and make a difference.
The inaugural edition of the Greek ACM-W Chapter Winter School (GECSW22) took place online on February 24-25, 2022. Living the revolution of AI, with issues of biased treatments, exclusion, and unfairness being raised, the topic could not be anything else than “Fairness in AI”. Participation was free but limited to facilitate interactions. After the selection process, more than 60 participants from more than 20 countries had the opportunity to be part of the
Top scientists from around the world presented their exciting work on the topic in the two-day event. Participants learned, through scientific talks and tutorials, the fundamental theory behind algorithmic fairness, the state-of-the-art in ranking, recommendations, web search, online markets, computer vision & some software tools. Also, they understood the need for a broader, multidisciplinary treatment including police, education, legal, philosophical and societal views.
For a more engaging and interactive virtual school, participants were divided into working groups. Each working group (7 people) had to complete a small task (see image). At the end of the conference, the participants presented their work and voted for the best presentation.
The entire event was live-streamed with the help of people from Athena Research Center and has been recorded on the Greek ACM-W Chapter’s YouTube channel. (Respecting the personal data of the students, their presentations have not been recorded)
The full program of the event is still available on the official website of GECSW22.
GECSW22 would like to thank its supporters and sponsors, all who contributed to make this event so successful, and of course its attendees for their participation and enthusiasm! Until the next GECSW, see you at the 4th Summit on Gender Equality in Computing by the Greek ACM-W Chapter!
Submitted by Abigail Oppong, Ashesi University ACM-W Student Chapter, Ghana
Edited by Jennifer Goodall, ACM-W Connections Newsletter Editor
Over the years, the ACM-W Community has been very instrumental in having the activities of ACM-W in Africa. Diversity and Inclusion is key to ACM-W as we see some. Currently, there are about 18 ACM chapters from Africa with about five ACM-W student chapters from Nigeria, Malawi, Ghana, and Ethiopia. The ACM-W community is working to help build more chapters across the continent.
The chapters have been very active in organizing activities that will help serve members. Webinars were organized to have women working in the industry share their knowledge and experiences. The webinar aims to help the students connect school studies to the outside world. There are many other more webinars to come this year.
Student-Led Community Initiatives
The students have been engaged in impactful community works to help the younger generation have more interest in STEM. The ACM-W chapter from Ashesi University embarked on a community-led initiative by engaging senior high school students on STEM related programs. The program started with an online science show from CERN, which presented different science experiments to help the high school students understand the theory they learn in school. They ended with a career talk in STEM related fields and in computing.
International Sign Language Day
During the celebration of the international Sign Language day, members from Ashesi University joined the sign language club to show the impact of technology in sign language. They educated the community of sign language processing and machine learning.
The 1st Annual ACM Celebration of Women in Computing in Africa: AfricaCWIC 2022 conference is just right the corner. The event will be hosted virtually in Africa. The event includes a Hackathon, Workshops, Posters, Technical Talks and Panel Discussions, and is sure to have something for everyone. Visit the website at https://africacwic.acm.org/2022/ Do you also want to be a proud sponsor of this event, kindly check poster and website for more details.
Finally, the ACM-W community is working hard to get the ACM-W Africa committee established as we believe in diversity and inclusion. The need to help increase the number of ACM-W student chapters and professional chapter is essential.
Anyone interested in joining to make an impact in Africa is welcomed.
womENcourageTM 2021 that is going to be virtual (coordinated from Prague, Czech Republic), 22-24 September, 2021.The slogan of this year’s event is “Bridging Communities to Foster Innovation”. In an increasingly technology-driven world and a rapidly changing economic environment, the field of computing cannot reach its full innovation and creativity potential if formed of homogeneous expertise, represented unevenly only by a fraction of the population. To foster innovation, we shall stop compartmentalising scientific progress by disciplines and encourage innovation across boundaries.
Here are 5 reasons to join us at the womENcourage 2021 this year:
- For inspiration and connection: Continue building the future of opportunity. Get inspired by the leading figures in computing, many of which are women. Inspire others and make connections. Find your voice among a diverse community of early-career to mid-career or transition to new directions (retired / returning) colleagues. Pave the way for cooperation by meeting and connecting with like-minded individuals and top minds in your field.
- For challenge and validation: Challenges are important parts of life that shape us. Learn to understand the value of your ideas and push them from the drawing board into reality. Continue growing your self – esteem and appreciating the ideas you bring to the table.
- For encouragement and support: We all have faced struggles and obstacles and, at one point or another, have not always seen the best in ourselves. If you feel like you could use a bit of help from others in your area of expertise, this is a conference for you. After all, #womENcourage embeds the support in the title itself.
- For purpose: Research/poster sessions that represent the social impact on challenges facing our communities and the world. Join or start projects that might bring breakthrough progress to our society.
- For opportunity: Women in computing across sectors are making change real and possible across a changing business, policy, and cultural landscape. From employment to partnerships to investment, learn what’s happening around the world and how you can grow opportunities for yourself, your company, and your networks.
Get A Scholarship
Thanks to the generous womENcourageTM supporters, local and international alike, you have a chance to receive a participation scholarship to join the event. Together with our supporters we are proud to announce scholarships to a number of students, who actively participate in the conference (with poster, workshop, tutorial, hackathon). A small number of scholarships will be offered to students who do not contribute to the program actively, but have shown exceptional interest in the relevant fields, and are preferably in the first year(s) of their studies
|Registration open||June 1, 2021|
|Scholarship applications due||June 10, 2021|
|Hackathon interest to participate due||August 10, 2021|
To learn more, follow this link to the Call to Take Part.
Wish to organize the 2023 womENcourage? – Call for Proposals Open
The call for hosting womENcourage 2022 is now closed. The venue will be announced on 24 September 2021 during the closing session of womENcourage 2021. We are now looking for proposals to host womENcourage 2023.
The proposal process includes two phases (all the templates you will need are provided at the end):
- Expressions of Interest (EoI) to be submitted no later than 17 June 2021 23:59 AoE, but earlier submissions are welcome and indeed highly recommended. Submitting an EoI does not constitute a firm commitment to hosting. It is a first step towards a conversation with ACM-W Europe which will help you navigate the process of applying to be a host venue, by thinking early about what you need to have in place to fulfill the requirements to host the event. Notification of a successful EoI proposal will be communicated via email by 2 July 2021.
- Full Hosting Proposals to be submitted by 12 August 2021 23:59 AoE. Notification of the final decision on 10 February 2021.
Here are the links to the call documents:
|Expression of Interest Due||17 June 2021 23:59 AoE|
|Notification of a successful Expression of Interest proposal||by 2 July 2021|
|Full Proposal deadline||12 August 2021 23:59 AoE|
|Notification of a successful Full Proposal||by 1 October 2021|
Contact: Carmen Gaskins, firstname.lastname@example.org
DATES: 2021-09-09 – 2021-09-10
REGION: North America
Kentucky Community College Women in Computing (KYCCWIC) is a regional ACM-W Celebration of Women in Computing. KYCCWIC connects technical women who are working/studying in Kentucky. This conference, “Embrace Change and Achieve Success”, gives women an opportunity to learn from leaders in various technical fields. The goal of the conference will concentrate on building relationships, preparing women for the future in technical fields, and celebrating women in computing. The 2021 conference will focus on computer security, computer programming, data analytics, and employment.
A virtual ACM W regional celebration India was organised by ACM W Pune Professional chapter in association with Pimpri Chinchwad College of Engineering on 3rd March 2021
The event started with the welcoming of all the dignitaries and the participants.
To begin the event well, we paid our respects to Goddess Saraswati with the Saraswati Vandana. Then, we had Prof. Rahul Patil, SDW coordinator to address the event. After that, our mentor Dr. K. Rajeswari, HoD, Computer Dept., PCCoE, and Vice-Chair of ACM-W PCCoE guided us and motivated us towards entrepreneurship and all the opportunities that are provided to develop ourselves. Then we had Dr N. B. Chopde, Director, PCCoE to address us further.
At the end, Dr. Heena Timani, ACM-W India Council Chair and Director of iananyadatalytix , Pvt Ltd. guided us about the ACM-W Chapter and the importance of entrepreneurship.
We had Ms. Maggie Inbamuthiah as the Keynote Speaker for the event. She gave a brief description of her career and shared her thoughts and experiences in her journey of entrepreneurship. She introduced us to the attributes needed to be developed to be a successful entrepreneur. She explained how yoga can be helpful in managing various problems on our own. She made us aware of the importance of equity and inclusion with the help of various examples.
The seminar concluded with a Q & A session in which she answered questions regarding some life lessons about choosing the way we lead our life, managing fear, etc.
Ms. Nikita Gandhi gave a Technical Talk on Flutter. Firstly, she introduced us to the basics of Flutter and Dart. She explained the difference between Dart and the other programming languages. Then moving towards the concepts in detail, she explained how to add an image , how to add basic widgets and other components in order to make an app. She gave a complete roadmap that should be followed to become a skilled Flutter developer.
She also gave insights about the events that
Google plans for the Flutter community. At the end she shared resources to explore and excel in Flutter.
Dr. Vidhi Bhanushali gave a talk on her startup “Dental Dost”. She explained how their team found out various problems regarding dental health and its treatment. They tried to solve these problems and the solutions that they have built up are very useful. She gave a brief idea about this startup and motivated us to work towards solving such problems and how to take proper decisions. Along with this, she also explained about the technologies that they have used in this startup (for eg. flutter).This gave students great insights about how technology can be used in the medical field.
Mrs. Sarika Panhalkar had an Open interaction on Women Entrepreneurship. She gave a brief description of her career journey and Tarpan Foundation. She guided students by sharing her personal experiences. She inspired students to explore innovative ideas and gave valuable tips to work towards them.
Then moving forward, she introduced different government schemes which are available for the startups that are led by women entrepreneurs.
Seminar concluded with a Q & A session in which she highlighted an important point, “Believe In Yourself And Always Keep Learning”.
An interactive session by Dr. K. Rajeswari and Ms. Prajakta Joshi began with the self-introduction of Prajakta Joshi. She gave a brief description of her career journey as an academician and then as an entrepreneur. She shared about the hurdles that she faced during her transition from academician to entrepreneur.
Further, the session took an interesting turn when Dr. K. Rajeswari started an entrepreneurial conservation with Mrs. Prajakta Joshi.
This conversation led to various important points such as the importance of networking, time management, being ready for challenges, every day is a new learning, SWOT analysis, etc.
“It’s never too late to start a new thing” is a valuable advice given by Ms. Prajakta Joshi from her personal experience. Seminar concluded with an engaging Q&A session.
The Valedictory ceremony started with the prize distribution, where the winners for the Blog writing competition and the poster making competition were announced. Then the winners shared their experiences of the competition.
Carrying forward the session and to make it more interactive and lively, attendees were asked to express their views on the seminars conducted on ACM-W Regional Event day. The Regional Celebration concluded with amazing feedback by attendees.
The New York Celebration of Women in Computing 2021 (NYCWiC’21) was held virtually on April 9-10, 2021. Organizers used a combination of real-time interaction through Gather, Zoom, and Slack. Over 200 students, faculty and industry representatives registered for this conference which included welcome remarks from Lt. Governor Hochul, a poster session & career fair, research talks, workshops and community events. After a year of zoom calls, the organizers wanted to give attendees a space to rest their eyes and brains and offered sessions on well-being in the pandemic, yoga, and a maker event with 3D printed spinner rings and paper airplanes.
Boxes of goodies includes snacks for the poster session, late night game night, and coffee talk and sponsor swag, plus the maker event materials were sent ahead of time and attendees were told not to open until NYCWiC. We did a community un-boxing which many people found delightful and quite fun.
Keynote speaker Doris Conti, Vice President, IBM Public Cloud Release Manager, spoke about her journey and gave recommendations to attendees on how to succeed. One tip was to find your “girl gang” which prompted one attendee to create a GroupMe for whoever wanted to join and many of the attendees joined immediately so they could carry through the support of the group beyond the conference.
We held a question and answer session with Jen Oneal, Executive Vice President, Development, Blizzard Entertainment. ACM-W Chair Jodi Tims joined us for the session and led an informative and interesting discussion about Jen’s non-traditional path through game development.
The conference utilized a platform called Gather.town. UAlbany student Andy Xu built a multi-room world with rooms named after famous women in computing, a video arcade, and a beach. The platform is proximity-based, so as avatars got closer, they could see and hear each other, much like in a “real life” setting. It also utilized zoom so when you entered certain rooms, it would take you into a zoom session for the actual presentations. The career fair, networking and poster session were held entirely in Gather with small group discussions and easy navigation from one booth or table to another.
Slack was also used to facilitate discussions, submit raffle tickets, share slides, and cultivate a sense of community. The Slack space will stay open.
With all the technology underlying the event, a class of 40 UAlbany interns assisted the organizers by working at an info booth, managing Slack, sharing information and being Zoom captains. Savanah Crouch, graduate student from the MS in Information Science program at UAlbany managed the extensive raffle with prizes provided by sponsor SUSE. Conference organizations included Jennifer Goodall, University at Albany, Conference General Chair; Caroline Buinicky, Emma Willard School, Program Chair; Chris McEvoy, Velan Studios, Registration Chair; Pablo Rivas, Baylor University, Budget & Sponsorship Chair; Catherine Parker, University at Albany and Cynthia Worrad, Career Fair Co-Chairs; and Michael Leczinsky, University at Albany, Technical Chair. Marketing and promotion support offered by Quinn Miller, Velan Studios.
The team is planning to offer an in-person NYCWiC in April 2022 at the Fort William Henry Hotel in Lake George, NY.
It has been a whole year since the pandemic suddenly changed our lives. Uncertainty has been the major obstacle hindering us from making plans. We never lost our hopes for a brighter future and the additional responsibilities that came with the pandemic kept us busier than ever. Vaccinations starting around the globe are helping to keep our hopes at the same level. All activities requiring mobility either turned out to be organized online or postponed to an unknown date. It looks like the war against COVID19 is going to continue. Until everybody feels safe, online events will continue. For those who have not lost their hopes but would like to stay on the safe side we want to share our suggestions for virtual celebrations.
Although it is not like in-person events there are advantages of virtual events like capacity, cost, and flexibility. ACM-W may schedule Zoom Meeting and Webinar platforms as the schedule permits.
If you are in one of the ACM-W regions, notice that each region has specific instructions besides the one included in this document. Make sure to check that information in your region’s website, which includes contact persons. As of March 2021 ACM-W Regional Committees are Asia Pacific, Europe, India and North America. For celebrations organized from these regions applications will be made as explained on the website. Applications from other regions will be evaluated by ACM-W Regional Activities team.
If you are planning to organize a virtual ACM Celebration of Women in Computing please check with your regional ACM-W celebrations committee and get prepared to answer the questions in their application form. For each celebration a page will be reserved on the related ACM-W website. The celebration organizers choose the official language(s) of the celebration to reach out to more participants.
For applications to ACM-W Regional Activities Team use the Virtual Celebration Application Form and submit at least 3 months before the proposed celebration date. In order to complete this form you will need to have to indicate total expected expenses in US Dollars and explain the major expense items. You can find a template for preparing a budget for your virtual celebration here.
Approval process and sharing the results will take no longer than two weeks. Please contact ACM-W Regional Activities Chair in case you do not hear at the end of two weeks.
Minimum requirements for an event to be funded (please note that if you do not comply with these requirements, funding will not be granted):
- The event must be at least one day in length (preferably two half days)
- The event must be branded as an “ACM Celebration of Women in Computing” event in the event’s title or as a subtitle.
- Registrants must be drawn from several chapters, institutions, regions. The number of registrants is an important information for evaluating the application.
- Events should loosely follow the Celebration model; keynotes, panel sessions, speakers, student presentations, poster sessions, hackathon, career fair etc.
- A summary of the event suitable for inclusion in ACM-W media channels must be provided at the end of the event to ACM-W Communications Chair, who can be found on ACM-W Contact Information page.
womENcourage 2021: Preparing for Prague
womENcourage 2021 is to be held in Prague, Czech Republic. The slogan of the event this year is “Bridging Communities to Foster Innovation”. In an increasingly technology-driven world and a rapidly changing economic environment, the field of computing cannot reach its full innovation and creativity potential if formed of homogeneous expertise, represented unevenly only by a fraction of the population. To foster innovation, we shall stop compartmentalising scientific progress by disciplines and encourage innovation across boundaries.
The community behind the scenes of womENcourage 2021 conference, is Czechitas. This Czech non-profit organisation emerged in 2014 to empower and encourage girls and women to engage in computing education or career transition. Czechitas strives to demonstrate that tech is an exciting career direction that is not necessarily difficult nor, more importantly, limited to one gender. Initially established to provide female students in the Czech Republic with an opportunity to put their hands on programming, it now aims at achieving a significant social change. Find out more about Czechitas.
ACM recognizes two European Women as Fellow and Distinguished Member
In January 2021, ACM recognised Prof. Olga Sorkine-Hornung (ETH Zurich) as Fellow for contributions to digital geometry processing, computer animation, computer graphics and visual computing. On the last days of December 2020, Prof. Maribel Fernandez (King’s College London) as a Distinguished Member for Outstanding Contributions to Computing. We congratulate them for their brilliant work and being outstanding role models to all women working in Computing.
We caught up with Prof. Maribel Fernandez in January. Her research interests include programming languages, models of computation and security. She develops tools for the specification, analysis and verification of complex systems (e.g., biochemical systems, financial systems, programming languages, software applications).
“I find it fascinating that there are so many different ways of understanding computation. In addition to the classical models of computation which gave rise to the current computer architectures, there are new models of computation inspired by biochemical processes, by agent interactions, by quantum mechanics.”
ACM-W Europe blog
We are delighted to host guests on ACM-W Europe blog, and this quarter we had fantastic contributions.
Breath of Fresh Air: Diversity Heroes – Toni Collis As a community, we embrace our diversity; diversity makes us better, stronger. We cannot do enough to applaud all of our heroes in their diversity. They are people who are ACM members, volunteers or experts in their field. Starting from June 2020, we have reached out to several heroes about their tech career journey, about their perspective on intersectionality and reflect on initiatives for equality. Our December guest was Dr Toni Collis, the CEO of Collis-Holmes Innovations, a Strategic Innovation Leader, Trainer, Consultant and Leadership Coach for women in tech Toni’s career has focused on facilitating the use of technology, with a particular emphasis on parallel computing and supercomputers, for the advancement of research and innovation in both academia and industry. Early on in her career, Toni realised that knowledge was not the only barrier to the uptake of parallel computing in research, but culture limited the participation of women and minorities. As Founder of Women in High-Performance Computing (WHPC), Toni developed and led innovations to diversify the HPC workforce, providing HPC tutorials for women academics and students worldwide, training and consultancy on building inclusive workforces, and research into how to improve the representation of women. Read more from Toni on our blog.
Blog Series: Telling our Stories Each year we meet wonderful women at womENcourage. This year was no different, and in the rest of the year, we will have womENcourage participants telling their stories in blog posts.
Viviana Bastidas December 2020 postwas by Viviana Bastidas, a PhD Student at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Ireland, and a Lero member—the Irish Software Research Centre, Limerick, Ireland. Viviana wrote about her experience attending the “Social Networks Analysis: Theory and Practice” workshop, given by Dr Deniza Alieva and Gulnoza Usmonova. “ I would like to invite other students to participate in the next versions of ACM womENcourage. We must support each other and continue to encourage other women to develop their careers in computing. We have many opportunities to change small or big things in society, and computing helps us to find solutions to do so.”
Marjana Prifti Skenduli January 2021 post was written with passion for STEM is by Marjana Prifti Skenduli, a full-time lecturer of Computer Science and a Computer Science PhD candidate at the University of New York Tirana (UNYT). “I define myself as an enthusiastic Computer Science educator and a passionate Information Technology professional, who takes great pride in being a mother to two wonderful daughters. Perhaps I am a lucky person, for being able to combine my daily job with my passion and translate it into a bold mission: that of getting people of all ages and backgrounds excited about the immense possibilities of STEM education.” Read more from Marjana on our blog.
A Virtual Event – 5th September, 2020- Report
ACM India celebration of women in computing –a virtual event was organized by ACM-W India, ACM Nagpur Professional Chapter in association with ACM Nagpur Student Chapter of Yeshwantrao Chavan College of Engineering, Nagpur, Shri Ramdeobaba College of Engineering and Management, Nagpur, Priyadarshini College of Engineering, Nagpur and Persistent Systems Ltd. on 5th September,2020 under the theme “Covid 19: Innovation in IT” . The inaugural ceremony started by Dr. Mukta Paliwal Technical Expert of Persistent Systems. Due to the current pandemic, the event was organized in virtual mode on the online platform zoom webinar.
She introduced the ACMW India, described recent events held and how the organization has played a vital role in motivating the women including professionals, researchers and students in technology. She mentioned how the tech industry has collectively demonstrated remarkable leadership in responding to the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic while explaining about the theme of the event.
Main objective of AICWiC 2020 was to provide an explicit platform for women in technology to showcase their innovation and ideas and motivate others to take up the challenge and help the nation in becoming Independent technologically during these tough times.
She introduced Dr Heena Timani, ACM W India Council Chair, Data Scientist, Co-Founder, Director iAnanya Datalytix Pvt. Ltd. to deliver the welcome address and as a session chair for the keynote speech. As this event being the flagship event under ACM celebration women in computing Dr. Heena envisioned and heilighted the entire operational and key benefits of ACM-w membership and took the opportunity to brief about past events and upcoming events going to be held under the canopy of ACM India. She took initiative to provide the platform for women to showcase their talent and insisted on numerous opportunities for women scholars to grab several scholarships to the candidates under ACM-w India Chapter. She has always been a key inspiration to all young technocrats and actively involved in supporting and organizing computing events for women in India under ACM-Women Council.
Dr. Heena welcomed Prof. Reyyan Ayfer, Vice-Chair, ACM-W & Professor, Bikent University, Turkey for the keynote address. She contributed her expertise to international committees, most notably as a council member of ACM Europe and as the Founding Chair of ACM Women in Computing Europe Committee as well as leading a community of students who have formed the first international ACM-W Student Chapter. She is now serving for women in computing as the chair of Regional Activities of ACM-W. She received the Anita Borg Change Agent Award in 2008 after serving as the ACM-W Ambassador of Turkey for 8 years.
Dr. Reyyan delivered a keynote on “Changes, Challenges, Opportunities” and she began with saying that Our lives changed suddenly when the novel coronavirus spread throughout the world. We faced many challenges both in our personal and professional lives. Are there any opportunities in this especially for women in computing? She discussed some of the success tips and strategies for the budding innovators. Her address was mainly based on how COVID-19 has changed everyone’s lives and meanwhile impacted the opportunities for the students.
Prof. Devishree Naidu, session chair of second keynote introduce Dr. Jaya Sreevalsan Nair from IIIT Bangalore. She leads the Graphics-Visualization-Computing Lab and is one of the core team members of the E-Health Research Centre at IIITB. Her research interests in data visualization, scientific computing, computer graphics, and computational geometry. She has projected many data modeling concepts for visualizations and identified appropriate visualizations for complex datasets in data science workflow. The most interesting research that includes semantic classification of LiDAR point clouds, spatial and statistical analysis of population surveys, automated data extraction from chart images, community detection in biological and brain networks, and virtual world reconstruction of traffic scenes from monocular images. She has been supported by grants from SERB, DST, GoK, Intel, IBM, to name a few. She is an ACM member and IEEE Senior member. Her keynote specifically brought attention to “Data Dissemination during COVID-19: The Rise of Visualizations” in which she discussed the significance of data dissemination techniques discovered during the present COVID-19 scenario and tools used by computer scientists to make a lay-man understand complex facts and figures. She elaborated about 5 V’s Velocity, Veracity, Volume, Variety and Value of data. She also made all aware about Florence Nightingale as a data science who was also a pioneer in data visualization with infographics effectively used for graphical presentations of statistical data. Dr.Jaya discussed some of the research that took place at Karnataka region for showing statistics of Covid-19 and explored about the tools with additional futuristic which opened an eye for key research in the field of data science.
A panel discussion was organized during AICWiC2020 on theme ”Innovation Opportunities for New Normal during Pandemic”.A panel was moderated by Dr. Lipika Dey, Principal Scientist at the TCS Research and Innovation Labs. , faculty at the Department of Mathematics at IIT Delhi. (till 2007).The panelist were Dr. Maya Ingle, Director,DDU-Kaushal Kendra at DAVV Indore, Mrs. Rachna Patrikar,Senior Manager-Enterprise application and emerging technologies, Mahindra and Mahindra),Dr.Manik Gupta, Assistant Professor at BITS Pilani Mrs. Vandana Gupta, Director at Multivirt India Pvt Ltd & FNN Media Pvt Ltd ,28 years of experience in IT industry.
The Panel discussion started with a poll as a quick activity. The poll was conducted to know the experiences of the participants about Innovations during Covid-19 pandemic. After the poll chairperson of the panel Dr Nita Thakare welcomed all and briefed about the objective of panel discussion. She welcomed and introduced moderator of the panel Dr Lipika Dey. Dr Lipika Dey introduced the panel members and panel discussion was divided in to three phases. In the first phase all panel members have shared their experiences about the current scenario of innovations and their thought on the opportunities for IT innovations during covid pandemic. They discussed the Innovation Opportunities for New Normal during Pandemic in brief.
Moderator of panel Dr Lipika introduced panelist and coordinating with panel members. Dr Maya Ingle talked about the role of IT in education sector. She also discussed about the reasons for change in education methodologies and the opportunities for the educationalist and researchers during COVID 19 pandemic. Also she shared some examples on how practices changed from Offline classes to Online Classes. Mrs Rachana Patrikar ,discussed about current situation of Covid 19 pandemic and its effect on lifestyle of people also she talked on increase in usage of online market and online transaction. Dr Manik Gupta talked about latest technologies being used in innovations. She also discussed,how online platforms are helpful in pandemic and how blessed it is to share our knowledge with the community through virtual conference. Dr Vandana Gupta presented various products developed by her company to cater the pandemic situation.
She also discussed about innovations opportunities during Pandemic and motivated the participants to implement innovative ideas. During question – answer session, the Moderator Dr Lipika asked questions on behalf of the participants to panel members. The participants benefited by the answers of experts. The session ended with the concluding remark by Dr. Deveshree Naidu.
Poster Presentation Competition was part of Virtual Event for celebration of Women in Computing by ACM India. The competition was specially organized for UG/PG girl students of CS/CE and IT branches to boost innovative ideas. There were total three round in poser presentation competition. Education , Health care, Environment / Ecosystem / Waste Management , Age of Sustainable Development (Sustainable Cities and Communities) themes were decided for poster presentation competition. We received maximum posters in Health Care domain. We got good response from various reputed institutes of India, total 105 teams registered for poster presentation competition.
These groups were divided into 6 Teams of judges for evaluation and selection purpose. From this 24 teams were selected for second Skype interview round. Total 6 posters were selected for presentation in the final round during event.
Dr. Gauri Dhopavkar, Head, Department of Computer Technology, Yeshwantrao Chavan College of Engineering, Nagpur hosted the finale round of poster presentation competition on 5th September 2020 .Dr. Heena Timani, Chairperson, ACM-W, India, Dr. Rituparna Chaki, Professor, A K Choudhury School of IT, University of Calcutta, Dr. Tejaswini Apte,ACM-W Pune Professional Chapter Chair and ACM-W India council member, Mr. Darshan Kansara, Senior Consultant with Anblicks, Ahmedabad, were the judges for the finale.
During finale round, each finalists’ posters and videos explaining the detailed concept was presented to all audience. This round was followed by question/answer session to the poster presenters by judges. Out of 105 groups registered for this competition, 6 groups were shortlisted for finale round. Cash prizes were sponsored by Tata Consultancy Services.1st Prize: Rs.16,000, 2nd Prize: Rs.12, 000,3rd Prize: Rs. 8,000
A result of the virtual poster presentation was declared by Dr.Heena Timani. Below is the list of poster presentation winners
|Rank||Name of Student||Project Title||Institute Name|
|1||Soundarya Krishnan||Network Community Analysis based enhancement of Online Discussion forums||BITS Pilani, Goa Campus|
|2||Sona S||Technovid 2020||Thiagarajar College of Engineering,Madurai|
|3||Shradha Sehgal||Sab Jeevika: Enabling job search for the deprived sector||International Institute of Information Technology. Hyderabad|
In concluding remarks Dr.Heena Timnai thanked organizing team Dr. Devishree Rohit Naidu, Asst. Prof. ,Shri Ramdeobaba College of Engineering and Management,Dr. Gauri Dhopavkar , HoD, Yeshwantrao Chavhan, College of Engineering, Nagpur,Dr. Mukta Paliwal ,Technical Expert -Data Science, Persistent Systems Nagpur,Dr. Nita Thakare, Associate Prof. and Head, DCT, Priyadarshini College of Engineering, Nagpur,Dr. Swati Hira, Asst. Prof., Shri Ramdeobaba College of Engineering and Management, Nagpur,Mr. Vinit Kapoor ,Chief Architect, Persistent Systems Nagpur and Dr. Rutvi Shah Assistant Porf at Chimanbhai Patel Institute of Computer Applictions. She also thanked the poster prizes sponsors Tata Consultancy Services and Platinum partners of ACM Google, Persistent, Icertis.Mr. Chandrashekhar Sahasrabudhe,COO, ACM India congratulated team for their successful smooth completion of virtual event using Zoom Webinar.
Dr. Mukta Paliwal thanked to Keynote speakers, Panelists, ACM India, ACM W India and ACM International office bearers Various sponsors, Partner Industries, Partnering institutes, Participating institutes, Committee members, Evaluators/Judges, Students who took part in poster competition, Finalists, the Organizing team & all those who are directly or indirectly involved in the organization of this event. Everyone agree with the promise of staying connected to each other through these events, as a supportive and strong women community in the field of computer science education, research, and industry.
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As we ramp up our regional committee, we are anxious to start sharing news and activities of many women in computing across North America. We will highlight more in our next newsletter. In the meantime, our website has launched! You can now learn more about our work at ACM-W North America and keep up to date by visiting us at https://acmwnorthamerica.acm.org/.
We have also started our new social media platforms to help promote and celebrate the many fantastic women in computing! Follow us on Facebook (@ACMWNorthAmerica) and Twitter (@acmwnorthameric).
Are you ready for a new way to Celebrate? While the ACM-W community was able to see two Celebrations in February, by mid-March many current and upcoming Celebrations were canceled. However, one adventurous organizer for the Women in Computing Celebrations at University of Minnesota Duluth (MinneWIC), Arshia Khan (Associate Professor of Computer Science), decided to launch the first virtual Celebrations in North America.
“We were scheduled to have a 1.5-day conference on March 20th and 21st. March 20th was our TensorFlow workshop, while the conference was on March 21st, ” says Khan, who also serves as chair of the Women in Computing committee.
“This was our second year hosting this conference, and I did not want to cancel it since it is very beneficial to our students. We had the first event (Undergraduate Research Workshop), where students worked with faculty mentors on various research projects. The conference culminated these projects with students presenting their research,” she continued. “We had to make sure the students’ almost yearlong work was acknowledged.”
This Celebration was held on Saturday, March 21st, with a welcome address from Dr. Wendy Reed followed by the keynote speaker, Katherine Rasley.
|UMD WiC Celebrations |
Saturday, March 21st
8:30am Welcome: Dr. Wendy Reed
8:45am Keynote Speaker: Katherine Rasley
10:00am Research Workshop: Dr. Alexis Elder
11:00am Graduate Program Panel
12:00pm Industry Panel
1:00pm Poster Presentations
2:00pm Lightning Talks
Khan said that the virtual Celebrations went very well, with 55 participants of the 98 originally registered. “The panels, keynote, and research presentations were very well received. I received several emails after the event commenting on how informational this conference was.”