Greetings from the ACMW Communications Co-Chairs: Bettina Bair and Sarah McRoberts

The goal of the Communications Committee is to empower the communications of all chapters and levels of leadership with tools, frameworks, and our global platforms. We are growing our organizational communication to bring in the experiences from our chapters and celebrations and share our knowledge and support from our leadership. Especially during these challenging times, we want to help the ACM-W stay connected and informed.

We amplify ACM-W action.

We’re channeling this mission into two main efforts: reliable communication resources and rich social media presence.

Reliable Communication Resources.

Bettina Bair, Senior Lecturer, Ohio State University

Bettina Bair, ACM-W
Communications Co-Chair

I’m making core improvements to the way that  information is curated and archived for the community: website, Wikipedia, newsletter, printed matter and so on. Some of the things I have been working on lately include:

Volunteer recognition badges – these are little graphics that your members and volunteers can add to their professional web pages and emails. Check with your ACMW Chapter or Regional leader for more information.

New Website User Experience – We’re working with a small team of undergrad interns to collect user requirements and design a new website user experience that will empower you to focus on the ACMW content that is important to you.

Printable Graphics – these are logos, postcards, posters, stickers and other graphics that you can download and print for your chapter or celebration.

Booth Decorations – we’ve been investing in booth decorations, like reusable posters and swag, that will distinguish ACMW at GHC and regional celebrations.

Newsletter Process and Format. You’ve probably noticed that the format of our monthly newsletter has changed. We’ve also modified our editorial processes so that we give you a few really interesting stories each month, instead of dozens of briefs.

Sarah McRoberts, ACM-W
Communications Co-Chair

Rich Social Media Presence

Sarah McRoberts, User Experience Researcher, Google

My vision for ACM-W is making it easier for us to share our stories and stay up to date about ACM-W/ACM news and opportunities. Here is some work I’m starting up on behalf of ACM-W.

Growing our ACM-W community across the social media landscape – It’s important to us to be able to meet ACM-W members  on the platforms where they’re already sharing and collecting information about their work in computing. Perhaps you’re already following our Facebook page, but are you following us on Twitter @OfficialACMW? Or what about our LinkedIn Group? Soon, we’ll also be launching our official Instagram account. Make sure to tag us when you have local ACM-W events, we love to share what ACM-W chapters are doing around the world!

Recruiting social media champs for Communication Committee volunteers – Do you love learning about news and history in the world of women in computing? Do you need more excuses to practice photoshop? Do you feel like there’s still something missing from ACM-W’s social media pages? We might be missing you! We are currently recruiting student and professional ACM-W members as volunteers to join an experimental Communications Committee.

This commitment would be for 6 months and consist of 2 or 3 initial video calls, a group chat with fellow Communications Committee members, and about an hour a week of content editing/development/collection (but very flexible). The goal of this group would be to help develop our social media platforms to connect with our members. Communications Committee members would also participate in setting our expectations and practices. If you’re interested in joining or learning more about the group, please fill out this brief questionnaire by August 1st.

Challenges focusing our social media #brand – A question that I often wrestle with is, what are the obligations of the ACM-W platforms? We occasionally are forwarded job listings, scholarship opportunities, and events from outside of the ACM umbrella. While we would never want to withhold an opportunity from our members, we also want to make sure that we are not implicitly endorsing organizations that we don’t know very well. I’m currently developing policies for sharing/resharing to help us maintain transparency and trust on our platforms.

Interview about ACM-W Scholarships

In this newsletter, we have an interview with Prof Viviana Bono, the actual Chair of the Scholarship program. The interview was conducted by Dr Valeria de Paiva, of the Topos Institute, Berkeley, CA.

A few words with Viviana Bono, Associate Professor, Computer Science Department, University of Torino, Italy, the Chair of the Scholarship Program since August, 2018.

Viviana Bono, Chair, ACM-W Scholarships

VdP: Viviana, I know you’re very busy, but I thought the students and young professionals we usually work for in the Scholarships program might want to know more about your ideas on the history and future of the program. (We have this written conversation before and while the pandemic was hitting hard both Italy and the US, the places we work from.) So here are some questions for you!

1.  When did you join the Scholarship program? Who invited you to run it?

I joined the Scholarship program committee in 2012, invited by Adriana Compagnoni. At that time we were only three people, including Adriana, the chair. Adriana and I met long ago when I was a PhD student and she was a post-doc. We are in the same field of academic research (Foundations of Programming Languages) and we have become friends over the years. When her chair mandate was over, in 2018, she asked me if I wanted to take over and I accepted gladly.

2. I believe you are  the third “generation” managing the program and by this stage much more money from big companies like Microsoft, Google is available. However joining a moving train, like the ACM-W must be difficult, as they’re always trying to change and improve their ways,right? How difficult is it to be the chairperson of the scholarship program? What are the unexpected difficulties and pleasures of the job?

The ACM-W scholarship program was well-established when I was appointed chair. Up to then, as a member, I concentrated only on the single cycles of applications to select the scholars. Instead, suddenly I had to learn the rules of the trade: start to manage our funds, taking decisions on the behalf of the committee while trying to include all the different points of view and opinions, and make relations with the other chairs in ACM-W. It took me a year to feel comfortable. Certainly, it helped me to meet the ACM-W chair, Jodi Tims, and the other committee chairs in June 2019, in a general meeting in New York. Also, I still find important the advice of Elaine Weyuker, the founder of the scholarship program. What I love the most is to collect and read the reports that the scholars send to us post-conference: they are a source of enthusiasm and inspiration.

3. What do you think is the main motivation for the program? What are its positive points? I know that you’ve managed to get some of the computing systems working better for the program, for example, the awardee reports now get delivered directly to the report pages of the program, instead of having to be manually processed. Do you have more plans like that?

I believe it is important to encourage women to pursue a career in science in general. As computer scientists, we can do this at least within Computer Science. There are countries where the role models for women are still the old ones, wife and mother. And even if a woman has a job, the one in the family entitled to have a career is often the men, husbands and brothers. Being able to go to a conference in the early stages of the studies could be a powerful push for anyone, especially for women, in the direction of pursuing a successful computer science career in academia or in industry. About new plans: there are plans for a  general reconstruction of the ACM-W website, therefore stay tuned for possible novelties.

4. What do you think are the main challenges of the program?

I believe it is important to keep it up-to-date, that is, to go along with the scientific and societal changes. For instance, we are opening up to a broader scope, accepting applications of students not necessarily in CS departments, as long as they work on proper computing projects. This is because interdisciplinarity is becoming more and more important.

5. Did  you think it would take this long to get women into computing?

There were waves in this history. Think of the NASA programmers in the ’60s: they were almost all women. Then men took over. When I was an undergrad student, at the time of the spread of personal computers all over the world, women were back into computing. Now things look like we are going backwards again. I do not really know what the reason is, actually. However, I do think the problem is that interesting jobs are preferentially given to males, unfortunately.

6. What are your expectations for the program now? Do you have big new initiatives that you’d like to see implemented?

The pandemic situation stopped the flow of applications, unfortunately.

While it is important to have online versions of conferences to keep our research going, in-presence conferences are more fruitful in my opinion, as you can make alliances, working and from the human point of view alike, that will last very long. Let’s hope things will get back to normal for everything and everyone. As for new initiatives, the ACM-W scholarship program is well-established, therefore it will not change substantially, I expect. However you never know: once again, stay tuned!

VdP: Thank you Prof Bono, for your enthusiasm and dedication to research and in the Scholarships program!

We hope all of you and yours are staying healthy and well, surviving as best as we can the COVID-19 pandemic!

ACM-W Scholarship for Attendance of Research Conferences

The ACM-W Scholarship for Attendance of Research Conferences program provides support for women students in Computer Science and related programs who wish to attend research conferences. The student does not have to present a paper at the conference to be eligible for a scholarship. Applications are evaluated six times each year, to distribute awards across a range of conferences. The program was started in 2013 by Elaine Weyuker.

The ACM Scholarships are made possible by the generous support of Google and Oracle. We ask students to share with us some of their thoughts on the conference they attended, preferably with a picture, so that we can show our readers and supporters the diversity of our winners. We never cease to find truly inspiring stories! The full collection of previous reports can be found now at https://women.acm.org/scholars/acm-w-scholars/?sch_year=2020.

This month we report the names of the winners from the last round of the scholarship awards for conferences, which was decided at the beginning of May 2020. As we explained in the last newsletter, despite the cancellations and postponements forced on us by the coronavirus crisis, we decided to judge requests, as usual, assuming the earlier announced deadlines. Where conferences/workshops are canceled or postponed, we discuss with the students how to best use their awards.

In the penultimate cycle, we managed to contemplate eight students, three undergraduates, one graduate (Master’s program) student, and four doctoral students. The undergraduate students are Divya Yendapally (from the University of Georgia, Athens, USA), Lauren Bhagwandat (from Queen University, Canada) and Shafika Showkat Moni (from the University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky). Their interests are in very different areas, from EcoFeedback technology in HCI, to security of message passing in autonomous vehicles, via graphics and animation. The only masters’ graduate student is Vartika Agrahari, from the Indian Institute of Technology, Tirupat, India who is attending a meeting on teaching computing to novice programmers in Tartu, Estonia. The doctoral students are Zohreh Dehghani Champiri, from Simon Fraser University, Canada who’s attending HCI in Denmark; Elli Anastasiadi, from Reykjavik University, who planned to attend ICALP in Germany, Raazia Sosan,  from DHA Suffa University, in Karachi, Pakistan who plans to attend SIGGRAPH in Washington, DC and Aakriti Upadhyay, from the University at Albany, SUNY, New York, who plans to attend the Workshop on the Algorithmic Foundations of Robotics (WAFR), in Finland. As you can see, very different fields and very different personal situations. However, with the coronavirus crisis deepening, there were no applications in the last cycle, as the whole world has shut down for several months, as of this writing.

Anyhow, congratulations to all of our winners! We hope you do get to be part of your chosen research communities!

The next application deadline is August 15 for conferences taking place Oct 1 – Nov 30, 2020.  

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

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

Standing Committees Chairs’ Report – June 2020

Arati Dixit and Bushra Anjum, as ACM-W Standing Committees chairs, have been overseeing four committees for about a year now. These four vibrant pillars are the Rising Star Committee, the Scholarships Committee, the NextGen Committee, and the Professional Chapters Committee.We provide leadership advice and guidance, offer advocacy for the various initiatives, and serve as a liaison between the standing committees and the ACM-W core leadership. The ACM-W core leadership came together virtually for the annual meet up recently (picture attached) and together we acknowledged and celebrated various achievements of our standing committees. We are thankful for the leadership provided by the Rising Star Committee’s chair, Pamela Wisniewski, who successfully built a new initiative from the ground up. We also celebrate the renewed funding for the Scholarships Committee and the broadening of that project’s disciplinary focus, passionately led by its chair, Viviana Bono. Our continued focus remains on expanding the reach, viability, and success of the Professional Chapters and NextGen initiatives, and are thankful to their chairs, Rachelle Kristof Hippler and Priya Chawla respectively, for their continued work and effort. Below is a brief preview of each of the four committees. Please do consider volunteering with these amazing initiatives! Contact details are provided.

Rising Star Committee

The ACM-W Rising Star Award Committee has been formed in 2019 to recognize women whose early-career research has had a significant impact on the computing discipline. In the last year, our biggest achievements have been forming the inaugural committee and selecting the inaugural award recipient, Dr. Vivienne Sze. We would especially like to thank Andrea Goldsmith for her donation, which established the award, as well as the selection committee members, Drs. Pamela Wisniewski (chair), Samaher Al-Janabi, Lilia Georgieva, Bimlesh Wadhwa, and Tao Xie. If you are interested in knowing more or volunteering with us, please reach out to Pamela Wisniewski (pamwisATucfDOTedu).

Scholarships Committee

The ACM-W Scholarship program has been started in 2013 by Elaine Weyuker to allow early-in career woman students to travel to a research conference, to open their eyes to the world of research, and help them aspire to something they might not otherwise even consider.

In the last year, we were able to fund many students. You can read their stories at https://women.acm.org/scholars/acm-w-scholars/?sch_year=2019. We would especially like to thank our sponsors Google and Oracle for their support to achieve our goals. Looking forward, we are excited about starting to open to applications of woman students working on computing projects also in interdisciplinary environments. We have open positions of committee members. If you are interested in knowing more or volunteering with us, please reach out to Viviana Bono (vivianaDOTbonoATunitoDOTit)

NextGen Committee

The ACM-W Next Generation Committee was formed in 2018 to engage the next generation of computing talent and industry professionals to develop membership sustainment activities among future generations as they move from academic chapters to the career stage. Some of the highlights from last year are leading the “Design Thinking Workshop: Global Challenges for NextGen Women in Computing” at WomenENcourage conference in Rome, Italy, and establishing a Global Ambassadors Group to grow ACM-W NextGen volunteer base globally. Looking forward we are excited to work with the ACM-W Professional Chapters & Celebrations Committees to host virtual events for our members. If you are interested in learning more or volunteering with us, please reach out to NextGen committee chair, Priya Chawla (chawlprATgmailDOTcom).

Professional Chapters Committee

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. We recognize the work of our professional organizations around the world: ACM-W UK, Ankara, Azerbaijan, Belgrade, Chennai, Cyprus, Delhi, Greek, Northwest Ohio, Inhambane, Jamshoro, OCWiC, Pune, Tallinn, Trondheim, and Windhoek Chapter. Won’t you consider starting an ACM-W Professional Chapter near you?  Contact Rachelle Kristof Hippler (rhipplerATbwDOTedu) for more information.

ACM-W Europe June 2020 Report

Message from ACM-W Europe Chair

On behalf of all of the ACM-W Europe, I would like to thank you for continuing to be you. Covid-19 has caused stress for many of us. We worry about our health, our jobs and our general state of mind. We may not always feel ok, and this is fine. Everyone finds it hard sometimes. Whatever the world holds for us, there will be an end to the difficulties.

Perhaps this is a time to take on something new or perhaps it is a time to simply value all that we have. Do whatever is best for you. Do not feel under pressure to work longer and harder. Be kind to yourself.  We do not need to compete against ourselves. We decide what our measure of success is.

We hope to see you sometime soon at one of our many conferences and celebrations. For now, let’s celebrate and be proud of who

Ruth Lennon
ACM-W Europe Chair

womENcourage 2020 will run as an online virtual event

The womENcourage team has been closely monitoring the development of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. It’s now been decided that womENcourage 2020 will run as an online virtual event to ensure the health and welfare of our attendees. At this time, the team is still looking forward to your contributions – still not too late to submit workshop/tutorial proposals.

womENcourage 2020 virtual information session held at ADA’s Legacy

As a precursor to womENcourage, ADA University ran an online event on the 23-24th of April. The event was moderated by Araz Yusubov (Dean, School of IT and Engineering, ADA University).  On the 23rd of April, Sevinj Jafarli, Ilaha Manafova, and Lala Shahbandayeva shared their experiences of participating at womENcourage and how it helped with their career. Zeynab Rzayeva talked about poster submissions, and hints and tips for successful submission. Bev Bachmayer of womENcourage Steering Committee related the history of womEncourage and the team behind the scenes. On the 24th of April, Ulviyya Jafarli and Nijat Mursali talked about Big Data and AI education, and Samir Mammadov, and Natavan Akhundova talked about their Big Data and AI projects, and their advice for those who want to enter the field? These topics are also the themes of the womENcourage main conference.

Blog ACM-W Europe Blog

We’ve been hosting guest bloggers on our ACM-W Europe blog. Here is a selection.

System of Equations – Sabina Mammadova

One of the best things about womENcourage is its unique networking opportunity with women at all levels of their career from Europe in one place. So, let’s start with meeting people online! In April, a junior bachelor student in information technologies at Ada University, Sabina Mammadova, wrote for us about her career in computing and her thoughts on academic excellence. Read more on our blog.

Blog Series: Reflections on womENcourage 2019

The theme for womENcourage 2020 is “The equation has two sides”, as this year’s event aims to increase the number of male participants to break the women-only event stereotype. Inclusivity and involving all parties are crucial for resolving the diversity issues. So, May’s guest blogger is very timely – Burak Karabulut, who participated in womENcourage 2019, wrote about his experience of the event. Burak studies Computer Technology and Information Systems at Bilkent University in Turkey and is a Candidate Engineer at HAVELSAN. Read more from Burak on our blog.

BCSWomen Lovelace Colloquium by Adriana Wilde

A very timely blog article as womENcourage 2020 moves online. In May, we’ve had the privilege of Adriana Wilde writing her experience attending BCSWomen Lovelace Colloquium, which ran for the first time online due to the pandemic.  Adriana Wilde is part of the womENcourage steering and organizing committee and is pursuing a part-time PhD in Computer Science at the University of Southampton. We thank her for this marvellous account of the event, and the inspiration for participating in online events such as the upcoming womENcourage.  Read more here.

New Additions to Wikipedia!

In March, to celebrate International Women’s day, some members of our team started contributing to English Wikipedia with articles about women that are in computing, and from as many European countries as possible. We are delighted that three entries were accepted to be created. Click to read more on:

  1. Sihem Amer-Yahia (CNRS, University of Grenoble Alpes, France) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sihem_Amer-Yahia
  2. Geraldine Fitzpatrick (TU-Wien, Austria) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geraldine_Fitzpatrick
  3. Dita Přikrylová (Czechitas, Czech Republic) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dita_P%C5%99ikrylov%C3%A1

Join the ACM-W Europe Communications and Outreach Team

We are always on the lookout for new talent to join our communications team. You will be part of a dynamic volunteer team passionately working to disseminate information of interest to our community. The team publishes monthly newsletters, regular blog posts, and promotes relevant gender issues in computing and celebrates community success in social media (Facebook, and Twitter).

You can work with us on any number of our initiatives:

  1. The newsletter: Interview community members, and write articles
  2. Social media: Help create social media campaigns;  expand our reach in Linkedin.
  3. Website: Help maintain a dynamic website with up-to-date community news
  4. Blog: Write blog articles, or work with community members on blog series. 
  5. Outreach campaigns: E.g., reach out to ACM-W chapters for regular communication series
  6. Wikipedia campaign: Help us create a database of women in computing in Europe and regularly draft articles for Wikipedia.

 If you are interested, please contact us at acm_w_europe_outreach@acm.org  with a brief cover letter explaining why you would like to work with us.

acm-w logo ACM-W Scholarship for Attendance of Research Conferences

The ACM-W Scholarship for Attendance of Research Conferences program provides support for women students in Computer Science and related programs who wish to attend research conferences. The student does not have to present a paper at the conference to be eligible for a scholarship. The scholarship exposes students to prominent researchers in their field, introduces students to new research, and excites them about doing research by themselves.

But everyone knows that with the Coronavirus Crisis we are living through, many of the Computer Science conferences are being delayed, made virtual and sometimes plainly cancelled. Everyone has had to adapt and the Scholarship Committee has decided to keep our deadlines as usual and to deal with the delays and cancellations as they arise.

Therefore, in April we will assign scholarships for the conferences officially scheduled in June and July. However, if the conferences is postponed or cancelled, the scholars will retain their scholarships for the same conference, or another later conference. In both cases, the scholar must inform the ACM-W Scholarship committee. Moreover, in the latter case, the ACM-W committee will decide if the other conference is suitable. In any case, the scholarship will not be lost.

If you’ve read our last newsletter we may have seen that we were planning some questionnaires to help us improve the communication with our readers and the  distribution of the scholarship awards. Given the severity of the coronavirus situation and the need for all of us to survive quarantine and all it implies, these plans are on hold for the time being.

We hope all of you and your loved ones are healthy and well. We will get through this together, hopefully stronger and  fairer in the long run!!

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

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

The next application deadline is June 15 for conferences taking place in Aug 1 – Sep 30, 2020.  

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

ACM-W North America

Visit and follow us online!

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).

Celebrations

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.

Arshia Khan, Associate Professor of Computer Science, University of Minnesota Duluth.
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.”

ACM-W India Regional Celebrations Report

The Regional Celebrations 2020 of the Association for Computing Machinery – Women’s Council (ACM-W India) was held at Padre Conceicao College of Engineering, Verna, on 13th March 2020. The Annual mega-event was jointly organised by ACM, ACM-W, Padre Conceicao College of Engineering (PCCE), Indian Institute of Technology-Goa (IIT-Goa) and Goa University.

Ms. Revati Majumdhar, the Executive Director of Goa Electronics Limited, was the ChiefGuest for the Inaugural function. Rev. Fr. Anthony Castelo, Director of Agnel Technical Education Complex welcomed the delegates to the Campus. Ms. Maria D’Souza Chaudhary, Treasurer of ACM India, spoke about the purpose and initiatives of ACM. Also present on the dais were Dr. Mahesh Parappagoudar, Principal of PCCE, Dr. Sudhakshina Dutta, representing IIT-Goa, Assoc. Prof. Ramrao Wagh, representing Goa University and Ms. Razia de Loyola Furtado e Sardinha, Convenor of the event. Program Chairs Mr. Siddesh Sawant spoke aboutthe day’s eventsand Ms. Cassandra Fernandes proposed the vote ofthanks.

Chief Guest Ms. Revati Majumdhar, with other dignitaries and organizing team members, after the Inaugural Ceremony.
Keynote Address by Mr. Riyaz Walikar

The theme chosen for the celebration was “Security Technology”. Mr. Riyaz Waliker, Head of Security Research Team at Appsecco, Bengaluru, was the Keynote Speaker. Also hosted were the ACM-India National-level Prototype Presentation Competition and ACM-India National-level Poster Presentation Competition. Over 30 teams from colleges across India submitted their proposals on “Technology for Women Safety”. The Prototype Presentations were judged by Mr. Ryan Pinto, Director of Innovantix Systems Private Limited, Goa, Ms. Akshata Raikar, Team Lead at PSL Goa and Mr. Riyaz Walikar. The Poster Presentationswere judged by Mr. Madhav Rangannekar, COO of S J Innovations and Ms. Maria D’Souza Chaudhary of Oracle Systems.

Prototype Presentation Competition in progress

The highlight of the event was an entertaining and insightful panel discussion by eminent women technocrats Dr. Veena Thenkanidiyoor, Dean at NIT-Goa, Prof. Anusha Pai, Head of Computer Engineering, PCCE, Dr. Kavita Asnani, Asst. Professor at GEC, Ms. Maria Chaudhary, MTS at Oracle Systems, Dr. Sudakshina Dutta and Dr. Poonulakshmi V. K.,Asst. Professors at IIT-Goa, Ms. Lourdes Soares, Founder of SabrCare, Goa and Ms. Nadisha Kamat, Product Owner at Odessa-Bengaluru. The animated panel discussion on the topic“Does Gender Impact Technology” was moderated by Ms. Razia de Loyola Furtado e Sardinha, Asst. Professor, PCCE.

Beaming Competition Winners
Panel Discussion in Progress
Distinguished Panelists with organizing team members

ACM-W Scholarship for Attendance of Research Conferences Program

The ACM-W Scholarship for Attendance of Research Conferences program provides support for women students in Computer Science and related programs who wish to attend research conferences. The student does not have to present a paper at the conference to be eligible for a scholarship. The scholarship exposes students to prominent researchers in their field, introduces students to new research, and excites them about doing research by themselves.

But everyone knows that with the Coronavirus Crisis we are living through, many of the Computer Science conferences are being delayed, made virtual and sometimes plainly canceled. Everyone has had to adapt. The Scholarship Committee has decided to keep its deadlines as usual and to deal with the delays and cancellations as they arise.

Therefore, in April we will assign scholarships for the conferences officially scheduled in June and July. However, if the conference is postponed or cancelled, the scholar will retain their scholarship for the same conference, or another conference later on. In both cases, the scholar must inform the ACM-W Scholarship committee. Moreover, in the latter case, the ACM-W committee will decide if the other conference is equally suitable. In any case, the scholarship will not be lost.

If you have read our last newsletter we may have seen that we were planning some questionnaires to help us improve the communication with our readers and the distribution of the scholarship awards. Given the severity of the coronavirus situation and the need for all of us to survive quarantine and all it implies, these plans are on hold for the time being.

We hope all of you and your loved ones are healthy and well. We will get through this together, hopefully stronger and fairer in the long run!!

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

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

The next application deadline is April 15 for conferences taking place in June 1 – Jul 31st, 2020.  

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

ACM-W March Wikipedia Campaign

To celebrate International Women’s day, we will start a Wikipedia campaign that will aim to add as many Wikipedia articles about women that are in computing, and from as many European countries as possible. If you would like to join us in this effort,  please nominate women or directly write articles on Wikipedia about them and share it on social media with hashtags #CSWiki.

Do not miss us on social media to learn about the campaign and also nominate women you would like featured. Like our ACM-WE Facebook page, follow us on Twitter (@acmweurope) or Instagram (@acmweurope) to get the updates.

Call for Hosting Proposals for womENcourage 2021

Wish to organize womENcourage 2021?  Submit your Expression of Interest by 30 April 2020.

With womENcourage 2020 organization well underway, we are now looking for proposals to host womENcourage 2021. The proposal processincludes two phases:

  1. Expressions of Interest to be submitted by 30 April 2020.
    • Notification of successful Expression of Interest proposal by 15 May 2020
  2. Full Hosting Proposals by 19 June 2020
    • Notification of the final decision on 10 July 2020

Each Expression of Interest will be reviewed by the womENcourage Steering Committee and followed up by a conference call to discuss the proposal. The teams that are shortlisted for the second phase will be provided with a budget template and advice on submitting the full proposal. The full proposals are due on 19 June, including the detailed proposed budget.

The template for Expression of Interest can be found here.

Completed Expression of Interest needs to be submitted in the PDF format through the Google form.  

We look forward to receiving your proposal. Should you have any questions or require further information, please send email to the womENcourage Steering Committee: ACMWE_SC@LISTSERV.ACM.ORG.

Blog Series: Reflections on womENcourage 2019

If you are wondering about how it feels to join the womENcourage events, we have been inviting participants to reflect on their experiences from womENcourage 2019, in Rome on our ACM-Women Europe blog series. This month, we are hosting Gunay Abdullayeva, who got her master’s degree at the University of Tartu and specialized in Data Mining, Machine Learning, Neural Networks. Read about Gunay’s journey in computing so far and the amazing experience she had at womENcourage 2019 Hackathon in Rome on our blog.

The hackathon in womENcourage 2019 was a full-day activity attended by 100 participants. The majority of them were master’s degree students (42%), but there was also a significant representation of undergraduates (22%) and doctoral students (22%). The remaining 16% were high school students and early-career professionals. 64% of them considered programming as their area of expertise, 27% were experts in design and 17% — in business. 69% of them have never attended a hackathon before. Gunay and her team competed in the Circular Economy Award challenge sponsored by Eni.

Gunay writes: “The feedback from the jury was quite positive and we were delighted to hear that we were the winning team! As a reward, we got the three-days free entry for the conference SingularityU Italy Summit 2020. All costs (accommodation, and flight) were covered by the company Eni.” “I would encourage you to believe in yourself, and apply to attend WomENcourage. Never give up, and create your story!”