Meet Nutan Limaye, Global Director, Celebrations Project

Dr. Nutan Limaye is an associate professor in the Computer Science Department at IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Before this, she was an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Bombay, India. She finished her Ph.D. at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMSc) Chennai, India in 2009. She did a one-year postdoc stint at TIFR Mumbai, before joining IIT Bombay in 2010. She was associated with the Association of Computing Machinery, India (ACM, India) as the vice-chair of the ACM-W from 2019 to 2021. She was also the treasurer for Indian Association for Research in Computing Science (IARCS), India from 2018 to 2020. She is an Associate Editor for ACM Transactions on Computation Theory (TOCT). She received the IRCC IIT Bombay Research Publication Award 2019. She has been on program committees of reputed theoretical computer science conferences such as STOC, FOCS, ITCS, and ICALP. Her research interests are in theoretical Computer Science. Specifically, she is interested in Algorithms and Complexity Theory. Her recent research has focussed on Algebraic Complexity Theory and Lower Bounds. 

Meet My T. Thai, ACM-W Standing Committees Co-Chair

Dr. My T. Thai is a University of Florida (UF) Research Foundation Professor of Computer & Information Science & Engineering and Associate Director of UF Nelms Institute for the Connected World. Dr. Thai’s current research interests include responsible AI, AI security and privacy, and optimization. The results of her work have led to 7 books and 250+ publications in highly ranked international journals and conferences, including several best papers awards from the IEEE and ACM.  

Dr. Thai has received many recognitions, notable ones including UF Research Foundation professorship, IoT Term Endowed professorship, NSF CAREER Award, and DTRA Young Investigator Award. She is an IEEE Fellow. Among many professional activities, Dr. Thai currently serves as an Editor-in-Chief (EiC) of the Journal of Combinatorial Optimization, EiC of the IET Blockchain journal, and a book series editor of Springer Optimization and its Applications. 

Meet Chunlei Tang, ACM-W Co-Treasurer

CHUNLEI TANG as a new member of the ACM-W leadership team is a research associate at Harvard Medical School. Tang received her PhD degree from Fudan University in Shanghai, China. Tang’s work begins with an innovative data-mining method built upon her doctoral work and applicable to various fields (e.g., finance, transportation, economics, insurance, bioinformatics, and sociology). She then endeavored to better match data products with their marketing capabilities by tackling business innovation. Inspired by business, she implemented a theoretical innovation for Data Science and proposed the (now-mainstream) definition of the data industry in 2013, stating that the data industry aims to bridge the gap between data science and economics. Being an author of The Data Industry: The Business and Economics of Information and Big Data (Wiley; 2016) and Data Capital: How Data is Reinventing Capital for Globalization (Springer; 2021), Dr. Tang is a recognized advocate for the Data Economy. She also serves as the Founder President of the Harvard Data Entrepreneurship Club. Her current focus is on applying innovation in healthcare, and she believes precision medicine is an application of the data industry.

Supporting, Celebrating, and Advocating for Women in Computing

Professional chapters work with student chapters and industry leaders to advocate for equity and diversity in the tech industry. We celebrate the work of our ACM-W professional chapters and are grateful for the work they do to empower women in IT.

  • ACM-W UK Chapter, United Kingdom
  • Ankara ACM-W Chapter, Turkey
  • Azerbaijan ACM-W Chapter, Azerbaijan
  • Chennai ACM-W Chapter, India
  • Cyprus ACM-W Chapter, Cyprus
  • Delhi ACM-W Chapter, India
  • Greek ACM-W Chapter, Greece
  • Hibernia ACM-W Chapter, Ireland
  • Jamshoro ACM-W Chapter, Pakistan
  • Kharkiv Information & Communication Technologies ACM-W Chapter, Ukraine
  • Northwest Ohio ACM-W Chapter, USA
  • OCWiC ACM-W Chapter, USA
  • Pune ACM-W Chapter, India
  • Tallinn ACM-W Chapter, Estonia
  • Trondheim ACM-W Chapter, Norway
  • Windhoek ACM-W Chapter, Namibia

And, we welcome our newest chapter:

  • Ibadan ACM-W Chapter, Nigeria


Spotlight on the Ibadan ACM-W Chapter

Interview with Dr. Oluwasefunmi Arogundade, Ibadan ACM-W Chapter Chair

When did you get your chapter charter?

We got our chapter chartered in February, 2021.

Why did you decide to form an ACM-W Professional Chapter?

We have been members of ACM professional chapter but we see the need to form ACM-W professional chapter because of the peculiarities of women in computing starting from low participation to challenges due to gender issues. We see it as an avenue to directly impact women in Tech and connect more women to ACM activities and benefit; and interestingly inspire African girl child to choose  Computer Science as career through educational workshops and mentor-ship.

What strengths does your chapter have?

The strength of our chapter is the coverage of our members all over the country. We have members in all of the geopolitical zones of Nigeria. This makes it easier for us to hold programmes in different zones at the same time because each will be anchored by our members in that zone. Our chapter is blessed with hardworking, dedicated, determined  team who are ready to increase the visibility of  ACM -W agenda to every corners of the nation.

Where do you see your chapter in five years from now?

In the next five years we hope to see our chapter covering 90% of Higher Education institutions in Nigeria in terms of membership.

Do you have photos of your team?

We have photos of our Chair, Vice-Chair and Treasurer and the fliers for the first few programmes. We don’t have a group picture yet because we started our chapter when Covid was ravaging.

What projects have you completed?

Since we chartered in February we have been up and doing to keep the ball rolling for our chapter. We have completed a career symposium for secondary school students in celebration of Girls in ICT day which attracted more than 100 participants, mainly from high school. We also held a six week summer school on Digital Marketing for our students that are on holidays.

What projects are you currently working on?

We are planning to have a web based and mobile responsive platform to serve as a career clinic for high school and university undergraduate students. The platform will serve as a communication and interactive platform for the concerned categories of students to answer questions that concern their career in computing and related fields. This is to serve as a follow-up on the symposium we already completed. We are planning to have our website and social media handles up and running.

What connections do you have with university students? What activities do you do?

We do collaborate with the ACM student chapter to hold programmes like the one we had in June tagged Career Pathfinder in Computing where we invited seasoned young researchers in academia and industry to reveal what it takes to have a successful career in academia and industry. We also collaborated with the ACM-W student chapter to have tech talks on deep learning. The following fliers testify to this.

What connections do you have with K-12 students? What activities do you do?

We had connections with state ministries of education, science and technology in some of the states. The goal is to get the stakeholders involved in the programme. One of the educators from the government agency joined us in the symposium. We celebrated GIRLS in ICT day on April 22nd, 2021. We organized symposiums in four geopolitical zones of Nigeria. The title of the symposium was Career Prospects in Computing. We planned to join this celebration every year by organizing a unique programme for K-12 students.

If there is a local ACM-W Celebration near you, what involvement do you have?

Presently we are not aware of any ACM-W celebration but if we have anyone we will graciously give our support as may be required with the consideration of necessary virtues for successful collaboration.

What benefits do the members of your chapter gain from your connections?

The following are the professional, social and support our members stand to gain from the connections:

  1. Exposure / acquiring new ideas and knowledge in the field of computing by organizing lecture series, seminars, webinars and workshops for all members
  2. Organizing national and international conferences for both members and non-members to attend
  3. Organizing inter-tertiary institutions talent hunt and quiz competition for membership institutions to participate and prizes and awards are giving to the best institutions
  4. Providing sponsoring or soft loans for members to attend international conferences, to publish journals and to make progress in their academic pursuits.
  5. Providing mentorship to all the mentees
  6. Organizing career/ social get-together for both our members and non-members in order to know each other better
  7. Providing enable environment for collaborations for all members
  8. Providing assistance ranging from financial, emotional to physical to all members who are in need.

ACM-W Professional Chapters give you a local voice for change with the backing of an international organization.  Professional chapters work with student chapters and industry leaders to advocate for equity and diversity in the tech industry. Our chapters around the world organize conferences, hack-a-thons, fundraisers, lecture series, community service, and networking events that gather together local students and IT professionals. Start one today!

Contact Rachelle Kristof Hippler (rhippler@bw.edu) for more information.

https://www.acm.org/chapters/professionals/how-to-start-a-professional-acm-w-chapter

ACM-W Rising Star Award Nominations Open!

ACM-W Rising Star Award Nominations Open!

Nominations are due by October 30, 2021.

The ACM-W Rising Star Award is an award that recognize as woman whose early-career research has had a significant impact on the computing discipline. The recipient will receive a framed certificate and $1,000 stipend.

This award was established based on a donation from Andrea Goldsmith. ACM-W would like to thank Dr. Goldsmith for her generous donation and commitment to promoting the success of women in computing!

More details about the nomination process and the submission form are available at: https://women.acm.org/awards/rising-star-award/

Welcome from the ACM-W Chair – June 2021

We’ve reached the end of another year of programming for ACM-W. And what a year it has been!  In spite of the challenges we’ve faced, ACM-W activity worldwide continued in the form of virtual Celebrations, Chapter activities, and our webinar series, Celebrating Technology Leaders. My heartfelt thanks to those who worked hard and used creativity to ensure that we could continue to support, celebrate and advocate for all women in computing.

As has become customary, the ACM-W leadership team will be taking a little time off in the coming weeks and then working in earnest to plan for the next year’s activities.  Consequently, there will not be a newsletter in July or August, but we’ll look forward to connecting again in September.

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

Jodi Tims, ACM-W Chair

ACM-W Scholarships Update

Attending conferences in person allows young and upcoming researchers to make meaningful human connections leading to strong collaborations, sometimes life-long ones, and to aspire to be more than they might otherwise do. The pandemic is still not over, and its impact and consequences have been felt across the world. We, the ACM-W scholarship committee, feel sorry especially for those female students who are at the beginning or in the middle of their PhD, when attending a conference in person can be a true life-changer. 

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. This program was started in 2013 by Valerie Barr.

The student does not have to present a paper at the conference to be eligible for a scholarship. Applications are evaluated on 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.

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.

Scholarships Awarded – Congratulations to the Recent Winners!

This month we report the names of the five lucky winners who will be attending conferences in July 2021. In undergraduate; Majoring in Computer Science, Abigail Oppong from Ghana to attend Computing, Computational Modelling and Application in Ghana. Majoring in Mathematics, Hetvi Jethwani from India to attend The Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference (GECCO) 2021. In Graduate School; The following students from Italy will also be attending GECCO 2021, Masters in Engineering, Giorgia Nadizar, Masters in Computer Science, Lara Dal Molin (studying in UK) and PhD in Engineering student, Erica Salvato.

 Apply for Next Scholarship

The deadline is October 15 for conferences taking place between Dec 1 – Jan 30, 2022. For more details and to apply visit:  https://women.acm.org/scholarships/

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

 Other Awards that May be of Interest

Grant: Helmut Veith Stipend for Female Master’s Students in Computer Science – Scholarship for women in mathematics/computer science at http://www.vcla.at/helmut-veith-stipend/

Annual Deadline: November 30

Announcements from the ACM-W Scholarship Committee

We welcome Dr. Catherine Inibhunu, the new ACM-W Scholarship Committee Member. Catherine is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Ontario Tech University in Canada. https://businessandit.ontariotechu.ca/ai4hw/researchers/post-doc/index.php.

We look forward to when some normalcy may suffice as we continue to advance science and technology in virtual settings.

How does remote work affect early-career women in computing?

Jessica Hair, Jaelle Scheuerman, Gürkan Solmaz, Pam Wisniewski

A recent survey of early-career computing professionals found that although many people benefit from the flexibility of remote work, many groups, particularly women and minorities, face challenges while working remotely. A volunteer team from the ACM Future of Computing Academy (FCA) explored the impacts of the new era of remote work after COVID-19 on early-career computing professionals. They conducted a survey to understand how remote work affects many aspects of early-career computing professionals’ personal and work lives, including their productivity, mental health, and well-being. The survey also asked how working remotely is impacting the usability, accessibility, privacy, security, diversity, and inclusion of work environments. The survey was completed in July 2020 with 253 respondents, 39.3% of which identify as women. Some questions asked people to rank how positively, or negatively, they felt about various aspects of remote work. Other questions were open-ended, asking respondents to highlight the most significant impacts of remote work.

Survey responses indicated that remote work affects people in a variety of different ways. When asked to rank how positively remote work impacted diversity and inclusion efforts, 36% of women reported seeing a positive effect on diversity and inclusion compared to men, of whom only 12% reported positive effects on diversity and inclusion. Respondents mentioned benefits, such as how flexible work hours and reduced commutes have allowed them to spend more time with family. Others noted the benefits of virtual conferences and meetings for diversity and inclusion efforts. Participants also mentioned many drawbacks faced by women in remote work. Video calls and chat rooms made some women feel isolated and unheard. Mothers faced many challenges juggling child-care with work. For example, some noted that some decision-making meetings were scheduled during times they were unavailable due to child care. 

Overall, the survey highlighted that while many people benefited from remote work, many experienced drawbacks as well. As many organizations begin implementing long-term remote work, it is vital that they carefully design their remote work policies and environments to address the unique challenges faced by early-career professionals and women. 

A blog series describing the insights gathered from the survey, including the benefits and drawbacks of remote work and recommendations for coping with the major challenges, can be found on Medium at: https://medium.com/p/5d7ed50c923/.

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 – Barbora Buhnova Our March 2021 guest was Barbara Buhnova, is a Co-Founder and Governing Board member of  Czechitas,  the community behind the scenes of the womENcourage 2021 conference. This Czech non-profit organisation emerged in 2014 to empower girls and women to engage in computing education or career transition. Bara is an Associate Professor and vice-dean at Masaryk University (MU), Faculty of Informatics in Brno. She leads multiple research teams at the Faculty of Informatics MU (software architecture), the Institute of Computer Science MU (big data analytics), and the Czech CyberCrime Centre of Excellence C4e (critical infrastructures). Bara is a leading member of multiple initiatives engaging more women in tech (e.g. Czechitas, Informatics Europe working group Women in Informatics Research and Education (WIRE), EU COST Action: European Network for Gender Balance in Informatics) reaching across the entire Europe. Read more from Barbora on our blog.

Blog Series: Telling our Stories: Aayesha March 2021 postwas by Aayesha, who recently completed her MS in Computer Science from Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST), Pakistan. Her research focuses on automating the detection of epileptic seizures using machine learning techniques.   “When I enrolled for MS in computing, I was confused about picking my research topic, and I could not find assistance from my teachers. After several days of searching on the web, I chose machine learning-based epilepsy detection as a research topic. I wrote a complete thesis on this topic as well as two research articles.”   Well done Aayesha for persevering and discovering your passion! Read more from Aayesha on our blog.

How to organise an ACM-Women Europe Celebration in 10 Steps In April 2021, we caught up with Laura Castro from the Spanish celebrations to share their insights and lessons learnt. Laura Castro is a professor at the University of A Coruña, where she has been teaching since 2005 on Software Architecture and Software Validation. Her research focuses on software testing (automated, model and property-based testing), applied to software in general, and distributed, concurrent, functional systems in particular (mainly working with Erlang/OTP and Elixir). She shared with us the top lessons she learnt for creating a new celebration. It starts with: A few friends that want to make a difference can come together and create a celebration! For the rest visit our blog!

5 Reasons to Join Us at womENcourage 2021

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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

Important Dates

Registration openJune 1, 2021
Scholarship applications dueJune 10, 2021
Hackathon interest to participate dueAugust 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 Due17 June 2021 23:59 AoE
Notification of a successful Expression of Interest proposalby 2 July 2021  
Full Proposal deadline12 August 2021 23:59 AoE
Notification of a successful Full Proposalby 1 October 2021

Letter to ACM-W Chapters

Whew.  What a year it has been.  And you survived.  Or maybe, even found a way to thrive.  I want to let you know that we see the work you are doing, and we appreciate your dedication to supporting, celebrating, and advocating for women in computing. This dedication has come in many different forms, all valid and important.  In some cases, that dedication was the hard decision your team had to make to cancel your celebrations.  I know how agonizing those decisions were to cancel events that we know the students need.  I applaud you for taking care of yourself and focusing on what you can do well.  ACM-W student chapter leaders, we know all the different ways you and your students were stretched and understand that academics had to come first and in some cases that consumed the totality of your time. ACM-W professional chapter leaders, you had to balance ever changing professional obligations and had to make hard decisions not to hold outreach events that normally would bring us much joy and satisfaction. In some cases, your dedication meant finding ways to hold virtual events and we are amazed by your efforts.  In some cases, even with zoom-fatigue, you found just one more hour that you could bring together your chapter members.  We are impressed and grateful for your work.  We celebrate all the wonderful things you accomplished this year and look forward to a new year with new hope and new creative ideas to support, celebrate, and advocate for women in computing worldwide. 

Rachelle Hippler, ACM-W Professional Chapters 

Welcome from the ACM-W Chair – April 2021

by Jodi Tims, ACM-W Chair

“There is no such thing as a free lunch” – or so the saying goes.  In spring of 2012, I accepted the invitation of Gloria Townsend, then ACM-W Celebrations Chair, to attend an ACM-W luncheon at the close of the SIGCSE Technical Symposium.  Prior to this time, my knowledge of ACM-W was focused primarily on the Celebrations project as I had been serving in various positions on the organizing committee of the Ohio Celebration (OCWiC).  Little did I realize, I would walk out of the luncheon that day having agreed to take on the role of Celebrations Chair as Gloria transitioned to the role of Chapters Chair.  Over the next few years, we saw rapid global growth in both of these projects.  In subsequent years, I served as ACM-W Vice Chair and worked alongside Valerie Barr, then ACM-W Chair, learning the ins and outs of leading a global women-in-computing organization through the inspiring example that Valerie set.  As I assumed the role of ACM-W Chair, I was humbled to have the honor and privilege to work alongside many capable members of our leadership team that are the heart and soul of ACM-W.  As I reflect back over my involvement with this organization, I can honestly say that that lunch in 2012 turned out not to be free, but the efforts I have invested in ACM-W have led me on a truly amazing journey that I will be forever grateful to have taken.

ACM-W Committee Volunteer Opportunities

If you have a passion for supporting, celebrating and advocating for women in computing, I invite you to consider joining the ACM-W Leadership Team.  We are currently looking for enthusiastic volunteers to fill two vacant positions:

  • Standing Committees Co-Chair – this role oversees ACM-W’s standing committees of Professional Chapters, Scholarships, and the Rising Star Award Committee. In addition, standing committees chairs determine the creation of new standing committees or ad hoc committees that are formed to address shorter term efforts.
  • Treasurer Co-Chair – this role oversees the operating budget of ACM-W and works with the ACM-W Chair to develop strategies for fundraising and philanthropic activity on behalf of the organization.

The selected applicants will serve a two-year term of office beginning July 1, 2021 and ending June 30, 2023.  Leadership terms can be extended for one additional term depending upon the approval of the ACM-W Chair.

Nominations can be submitted via this form, https://forms.gle/K9LpCzAGbUeKswkk6, and will be accepted until May 20, 2021.  Individuals may self-nominate.  We ask that nominations on behalf of others be made only if the individual is willing to accept the nomination.

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