Blockchain Technology: What’s the big deal?

When? July 20th, 2022 12:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Register Now

Blockchain technology is a mysterious topic for many. Is it a network? A database? A cryptography algorithm? Is it the same as cryptocurrency? In this episode of “ACM-W Celebrating Technology Leaders,” we aim to demystify blockchain technology with the help of leading women technologists in the field. Join our panel, with host Bushra Anjum, as we talk about the core concepts, and learn how to differentiate blockchain hype from reality. We will also explore what problems are good candidates to be solved with this emerging technology.

Panelists

Lisa Calkins | CEO HalfBlast Studios

Tatiana Zander | Director Technology Innovation Ericsson

Zeenat Anjum | Founder & CEO Digiwrite

with host Bushra Anjum

Register Now

1st Greek ACM-W Chapter Winter School on Fairness in AI

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
GECSW22.

Introduction to GECSW22


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.

2 Full Days of Activities

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.

Working Group Assignment

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 Agenda

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!

Ruth Lennon selected as the next ACM-W Chair

Ruth Lennon

Ruth Lennon, current chair of ACM-W Europe, has been selected as the next Global Chair of ACM-W. Ruth is the director of Craobh Technology Consulting, an organization that provides personalized solutions to industry problems.

Ruth is also a Lecturer with 20 years of experience in the Department of Computing in Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Ireland. Ruth’s research interests focus on enterprise scale systems with a particular focus on DevOps and Cloud technologies. She has been a member of many technical panels and committees including chairing the NSAI/TC 2/SC 11 on cloud and distributed systems, and working on the IEEE 2675 DevOps standard. Ruth’s goal in DevOps is to ensure that security and performance are seen as core to development projects just as it is in configuration projects.

Ruth has been a member of the ACM for over 20 years and is the Chair of the ACM-W Europe. She has worked on projects to support and encourage women in computing and engineering career pathways for as long as she has been in the ACM. Highlighting the vital role that women can play in any technical team is core to her voluntary work.

When asked about her vision for ACM-W Ruth states, “I look forward to working with the team to define a strategic approach to build stronger international links in our global community of skilled, collaborative and enthusiastic researchers and practitioners. Over the next two years we will explore new ways to provide greater value to our members locally, regionally and globally.”

ACM-W Chapter News

ACM Student Chapter Excellence Awards – Apply by March 24th

It is that time of year again! The ACM Student Chapter Excellence Awards recognize outstanding ACM and ACM-W student chapters. All student chapters in good standing are encouraged to apply for this award in one or more of the following five key areas:

  • Chapter Activities
  • Chapter Website
  • Recruitment Program
  • Community Service
  • School Service

To be eligible, active chapters must have all required officers and at least 10 active chapter members listed on the Chapter Admin Interface. Each category has its own online application. To be considered for one or more of these awards, complete the applications found at: www.acm.org/chapters/student-chapter-excellence-awards by Thursday, March 24, 2022 at 11:59 pm EST.

Winning chapters in each of these categories will receive $500 and a “best of” icon to proudly display on their chapter’s website. Also, these chapters will be recognized on the ACM website and in ACM MemberNet.

Chapter Spotlight: Cyprus ACM-W Chapter

Cyprus ACM-W Chapter launched the FeSTEM community platform (festem.network) on International Day of Girls and Women in Science (February 11).

While there’s a growing representation of women in science, several structural, social, and institutional barriers still remain. FeSTEM network is an e-mentoring platform that aims to link Higher Education (HE) students in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) with experienced mentors in the field. The platform was developed as part of the FeSTEM project (festemproject.eu) that is co-funded by the Erasmus+ program and supported by the Cyprus ACM-W Chapter (acmwomencyprus.wordpress.com).

Welcome to Our Newest Chapters

  • AITR ACM-W Student Chapter – Indore, India (Student)
  • GEU ACM-W Student Chapter – Dehradun, India (Student)
  • ITU ACM-W Student Chapter – Istanbul, Turkey (Student)
  • MUJ ACM-W Student Chapter – Jaipur, India (Student)
  • PSU-H ACM-W Student Chapter – Middletown, PA (Student)
  • Sathyabama Institute ACM-W Student Chapter – Chennai, India (Student)
  • Western Colorado University ACM-W Student Chapter – Gunnison, CO (Student)

ACM-W North America: Designing for Sustainability and Inclusion

Monica McGill
Dr. Monica McGill, Immediate Past Chair,
ACM-W North America
A. Nicki Washington, Ph.D.
Chair, ACM-W North America

In the summer of 2019, the ACM-W North America Executive Committee began the task of formally organizing. Led by Immediate Past Chair Dr. Monica McGill, the Committee embarked on the mission of supporting, celebrating, informing, and advocating for women and nonbinary people in computing across Canada, the U.S., and Mexico.

Suffice it to say that this was a heavy lift. Not only were we a small committee of volunteers. We were also starting from the ground up. Over the course of the 2019-2020 academic year, the Committee worked to ensure that sustainability and inclusion were at the forefront of all activities. As such, we implemented the following things to support these goals.

Creation of Constitution & Bylaws

It was extremely important for us to establish governance early, to ensure that all current and future members followed a process that supported the ACM-W mission and our ideals as founding members of the North America Committee. These were approved by members of the Executive Committee and address everything from responsibilities of subcommittees and chairs to the addition/removal of new members (including subcommittees) and processes for amending the bylaws.

Examples of this intentionality include the required representation of the Committee:

Members from systemically marginalized races/ethnicities shall represent a minimum of 50% of the ACM-W North America Committee.”

Given that approximately 78% of all women in computing racially identify as white and Asian, this requirement ensured that those identifying as Black, Indigenous, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, and Latina were not pushed to the margins for leadership positions.

Creation of the Empowerment of Marginalized Communities Subcommittee

The Empowerment of Marginalized Communities (Empowerment, for short) Subcommittee leads efforts to empower, support, and connect individuals who have been systemically pushed to the fringes in computing. It promotes computing in communities throughout North America that are underserved due to the detrimental effects of slavery, colonialization, and continued marginalization.

The Executive Committee recognizes the ways in which women and non-binary people from marginalized communities have been intentionally decentered in conversations related to gender diversity, equity, and inclusion in computing. This Subcommittee provides valuable programming and strategies that center those who’ve long been pushed to the margins. In addition, at least one member of the Empowerment Subcommittee must also serve on the Nominations Subcommittee [which is responsible for identifying, vetting, and/or presenting potential candidates for ACM-W North America (including the Executive Committee)].

Creation of Student Co-Chairs

The Committee recognizes that our student chapters drive our regional activities. As a result, it is important that they participate in the sustained support across the region. Each North America Subcommittee (Celebrations, Communications, Student Chapters, Nominations, and Empowerment) shall include at least one student chair, who helps to also serves as a liaison between the Committee and student chapters/members throughout North America. We are currently soliciting self-nominations for student chairs. Interested students should review the self-nomination information and apply here no later than April 1, 2022.

The ACM-W NA Executive Committee understands the importance of designing to include. While there are sure to be unexpected changes in the future, we are proud of the intentionality we used to create a regional Committee that prioritizes inclusion and equity for generations to come.

We welcome you to learn more about and join us in this important work.

Mental Health, Wellbeing, and Self-Care: A Candid Discussion with Women Technologists

When? Mar 16, 2022 12:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Watch on Demand

Whether it is the stress and responsibilities of ordinary life, job-related pressures, or pandemic created conditions, numerous stressors challenge our mental wellbeing. In this episode of “ACM-W Celebrating Technology Leaders,”, leading women technologists open up on the issue of mental health and wellbeing. They share stories of personal struggles, growth, and resilience and provide strategies for managing such challenges. We also explore the topic of self-care, small steps you can take yourself, and when you may need professional help.

Join host Bushra Anjum and her panelists for an honest and timely discussion on recognizing the signs of mental distress in yourself and some of the best practices for supporting personal wellbeing.

Panelists

Tertia Labuschagne | Digital Transformative Executive at Massmart and Independent Holistic Health Coach (INHC)

Katie Panciera, Ph.D. | Assistant Professor at Milwaukee School of Engineering

 Courtney Thurston-Del Buono | Software Engineer at Microsoft

 Virginia Grande | Ph.D. Student at Company NameUppsala University

with host Bushra Anjum

Previous episodes of “Celebrating Technology Leaders” can be viewed here.

ACMW- Rising Star Award Recipient: Minlan Yu

ACM-W would like to announce Dr. Minlan Yu as this year’s recipient of the ACM-W Rising Star Award. The ACM-W Rising Star Award recognizes a woman whose early-career research has had a significant impact on the computing discipline. 

Minlan Yu is a Gordon McKay Professor at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University. Dr. Yu’s research focuses on redesigning the large-scale network infrastructure and making it fundamentally easier to manage many heterogeneous devices while achieving high performance and reliability for diverse applications. In particular, Dr. Yu has made groundbreaking contributions to network telemetry, performance diagnosis at fine timescales, offloading L4-L7 functions to programmable switches, and SDN-based network management. Dr. Yu’s work goes a full circle from important practical problems, transformative architectural design, creative algorithms and data structures, to end-to-end system design and implementations. 

Dr. Yu was recognized by various awards such as the NSF CAREER award, 10 Women in Networking/Communications That You Should Know in 2016, faculty awards from Google, Facebook, VMWare, and SIGCOMM doctoral dissertation award. Many of her works have led to deployed systems in the world’s largest production networks and adopted designs in commercial switch chips.  Her work has also resulted in IETF standards, patents, and open-source tools for developers and researchers. Before Harvard, Dr. Yu was faculty at Yale University and University of Southern California, a postdoctoral researcher at UC Berkeley, and obtained her Ph.D. in Computer Science from Princeton University.

News from Africa

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.

AfricaCWIC 2022

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.

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