ACM-W Connections – December, 2014

Welcome from the ACM-W Chair

Welcome to the December issue of ACM-W Connections. There’s quite a bit to read this month. I’ve collected together a number of announcements into one place. These include information from NCWIT, Codess, Microsoft about the Big Dream Movement, and a link to a video that Vint Cerf provided. We also have updates on ACM-W Europe, ACM-W Chapters, and Grace Hopper India, and an article on the importance to students of faculty mentoring.

Two ACM-W announcements, both exciting in their own way:

  1. ACM-W is seeking volunteers to form our new committee on professional chapters. There is lots of information at http://tiny.cc/65x2qx, and a form where people can express interest. Please share this widely!
  2. ACM-W has been invited by Google to be their partner for a pilot project called IgniteCS. The idea is to foster mentoring of middle and high school students by college students. U.S.-based ACM-W student chapters can apply to be part of this project (there’s financial support!). Read more at http://tiny.cc/oaxrqx

Finally, as a follow-up to my comments in November about “The Imitation Game”, the new film about Alan Turing, I received a note from Kelly Gotlieb. For those who do not know Kelly, he is Professor Emeritus in Computer Science at the University of Toronto, and co-founded their computation centre in 1948. He has received many awards and accolades over the years, including being inducted as a Fellow of the ACM. Kelly wrote “You are absolutely right about Turing not being able to build that Manchester machine himself. I visited him in Manchester, April 1952, and talked with him on several occasions as he worked on that computer. It was built by a team in the University headed by Fred Williams. The machine had 10,000 vacuum tubes, and both the computer and air conditioner required full size rooms.” Thanks, Kelly, for sharing that, and for keeping up with ACM-W!

Happy holidays, and best wishes for 2015.

~Valerie Barr, ACM-W Chair

Articles of Interest

Faculty Mentorships for Female Participation in Computer Science

Gertrude Levine and Suzanne McIntosh discuss the importance of mentorship to women in computer science, as well as the opportunities available. Read the full article here.

News From ACM-W Chapters

As we close the 2014 ACM-W year, we again emphasize our sisterhood that spans the globe. We welcome a new ACM-W Chapter in Ireland; a new ACM-W Chapters Committee member, Virginia Grande, who teaches at Uppsala University (Sweden) and helps coordinate European Women in Computing; and a new professional ACM-W Chapter in the United Kingdom.

ACM-W will host a booth at the 2015 Richard Tapia Conference, February 18-21, 2015, in Boston, MA. The conference celebrates diversity in computing, so it links perfectly with ACM-W’s mission. Please talk with us at the booth and pick up an ACM-W Chapters ribbon for your badge. In 2015, we would love for more women around the world to join our chapters’ network! (Send inquiries to gct@depauw.edu.)

Read a story about European Women in Computing.

Read more about Tapia.

News from ACM-W Celebrations

Ontario Celebration of Women in Computing Celebrates a Milestone The Ontario Celebration of Women in Computing (ONCWiC 2014) held its 5th annual conference on October 24-25th, 2014. Each year ONCWiC is held at a different university location. The University of Guelph played host to this year’s celebration, which was chaired by Dr. Rozita Dara. There were more than 300 registrants hailing from 12 different higher-educational institutions, some secondary schools, and 23 different companies. Many of the companies represented were sponsors of the event and were actively recruiting students for internship and post-graduation opportunities. Attendees ranged in age from 10 months (she helped her mom-to-be Chair last year’s event) to 85 years in age.

Keynote speakers included the founder of Let’s Talk Science and the Minister of Education for the province of Ontario. The program included workshops on resume writing and technical interviews as well as several technical talks, hands-on technical workshops using Arduino and Raspberry Pi, and a very
fun panel to conclude the event. Over 20 posters were presented at the poster competition and the first prize winner was Lili Wang, a PHD student from Queen’s University. ACM-W will sponsor Lili to attend the 2015 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, which will be held in Houston, TX.
The Friday evening social event was a Scratch programming competition where attendees made spooky Halloween games!

Congratulations to all of the organizers of the ONCWiC on your continuing success in supporting, celebrating and advocating for women in computing in Ontario!

News From ACM-W Europe

Congratulations to Lynda Hardman and Gabriela Anderst-Kotsis, ACM Distinguished Scientists! ACM-W Europe (ACM-WE) is proud to announce that two amazing women supporting its mission, as an advisor and as an ex-officio, have received Distinguished Scientist awards:

  • Gabriela Anderst-Kotsis from Johannes Kepler University, Linz, who also serves as Secretary on the ACM Europe Council and advisor to the ACM-WE executive committee
  • Lynda Hardman from Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica, Amsterdam, who also is on the Informatics Europe council and chair of the IE WIRE (Women in ICST Research and Education) working group who published More Women in Informatics Research and Education. On Friday, December 5, ACM officially announced the new members as part of their ACM Distinguished Member program. New members are selected for their individual contributions and singular impacts on the vital field of computing.

Call for Participation to womENcourage 2015

ACM-W Europe announces the Call for Participation for the second womENcourage 2015 Celebration of Women in Computing on September 24-26, 2015, hosted by the Uppsala University, Sweden. Join us at womENcourage with scholars and professionals in computing and related disciplines who will get together to present the results of their work and share their experiences with one another.

You are invited to contribute in the following ways:

  • Paper submissions,
  • Poster submissions (both for graduate and undergraduate students),
  • Proposal for panel discussions and workshops,
  • Contribute as a volunteer in the review process,
  • Become an industry or academic supporter,
  • Pass this call along to your students and colleagues.

Detailed information is available at: http://womencourage.acm.org/

We are thankful to the generous supporters that have confirmed as of today: INRIA and Google (Diamond), Bloomberg and Cisco (Platinum), and Informatics Europe (Silver) who will make it possible for students studying in Europe to receive scholarships to attend the event.

Please pass this on to your friends, students, colleagues and your company and encourage them to contribute.

Read more about ACM-W Europe in the July edition of Communications of the ACM.

News From ACM-W India

GHC India 2014, November 19 – 21, 2014 Bangalore

The 2014 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing India hosted a sold-out group of 1,600 attendees. It was a great learning and networking experience for women in technology. The program featured many events to support women in computing in India, including sessions on entrepreneurship, building confidence, and professional development, as well as technical presentations on topics ranging from wearable technology to machine learning. Leading women in industry giving keynote talks were Jayshree Ullal, President and CEO, Arista Networks; Lakshmi Pratury, Host, The INK Conference; and
Jane Moran, CIO, Unilever.

GHC India also hosted the final round of the All Women Hackathon (the previous round was in Chennai in July). More than 100 women developers built apps according to the theme “Tech for Good”; the three award-winning apps were a platform for job-seekers, an app to reduce fetal and neonatal mortality in a
rural community, and one to reduce time spent on apps for gaming and social networking and help with donations for social causes.

On the final day, the Women Entrepreneur Quest gave budding entrepreneurs the opportunity to compete for prizes by making pitches for their technology ventures to a panel of judges composed of investors, technology experts, entrepreneurs and mentors.

Grace Hopper India was co-presented by ACM and the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology. In the inauguration ceremony Dr. Srinivas Padmanabhuni, President, ACM India Council, highlighted the importance of ACM in Computing Community and urged the members to actively participate in ACM activities. Dr. Sheila Anand, ACM-W India Chairperson addressed the gathering and introduced them to ACM-W mission, events, and membership benefits. ACM had sponsored 40 women members from various Student and Professional Chapters across India.

Announcements

  • From NCWIT, the National Center for Women & Information Technology:

    Introducing : EngageCSEdu, an online tool developed by the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) in partnership with Google. EngageCSEdu encourages the development of more inclusive learning environments in introductory computer science (CS) courses by helping faculty to easily browse, contribute, and review materials that will engage all of your students. This dynamic collection offers thousands of projects, homework assignments, and other course materials that are searchable by computer science knowledge area, programming language, and more. All course materials are developed by faculty members nationwide and evaluated for quality by an interdisciplinary team of computer scientists, learning scientists, and diversity experts. Start exploring and contributing
    today at www.engage-csedu.org, and become a part of diversifying the technology workforce.

  • From Codess:

    Microsoft initiated Codess in March 2013 to build a community of female coders. We wanted to create a forum for women to network, mentor, and share their advice and experiences. Since the Codess launch, we have held 19 events in eight countries, bringing together technical women from all over the world. Codess aims to inspire women to achieve their professional goals and continue advancing within the technical field. We want to change the future of the computer science by increasing the number of women working at the leadership level. Learn more about Codess at http://www.codess.net and read about it in the Telegraph

  • From Microsoft:

    The Big Dream Movement connects organizations, academia, and resources to girls around the world to help them pursue a future in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. The movement is anchored by Big Dream, a documentary film (underwritten by Microsoft) that follows the stories of seven young women who are breaking barriers and overcoming personal challenges to follow their passions in STEM fields. From small town Iowa to the bustling streets of the Middle East, Big Dream immerses viewers in a world designed by and for the next generation of girls. The Film launched last week at the Napa Valley Film Festival. Our hope is that this inspirational film will excite young women, their families, and friends to the possibilities inherent in science and technology. Starting in January organization can host a screening. Please register your screening request here and in early January we will send you details on how to download the film and a toolkit to help you organize your event with discussion questions and tools to share with the audience to help get more girls interested in computer science.

  • Would you like to contribute an article to the ACM-W Newsletter?

    With a distribution list reaching thousands of ACM-W members, contributing to the newsletter is a wonderful opportunity to share ideas and information across a wide audience. Submit a proposal for an article /submit.

ACM-W Connections – November, 2014

Welcome from the ACM-W Chair

Welcome to the November issue of ACM-W Connections. Our issue is a bit small this month, but well worth reading all the same: wonderful news about the new ACM-W chapter at Pacific University, a write-up about the poster competition winners from our ACM-W Celebrations of Women in Computing, and a very comprehensive article by Kathryn McKinley about building your research community. Kathryn’s article has information for researchers at all levels, from graduate student on up.

In other news, Big Dream film premiered last week, and the Big Dream Movement site is live. Please check it out at http://www.bigdreammovement.com/. ACM-W is a supporter of this effort to help provide girls with examples of people like them who have followed “their passion in science, math, computing & engineering”. Check it out, and consider hosting a screening for a group of girls near you!

There were two ACM-W Celebrations in October, one in Ontario, Canada, and one in the Rocky Mountain region, US. We hope to have reports about these in our December issue of ACM-W Connections.

On a personal note, I was happy to be able to attend last week’s ACM event that followed the announcement that, henceforth, Turing Award laureates will receive $1 million. The program included a showing of the new film about Turing, The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley. If you are planning to see it, skip to the next paragraph now! I liked the film, but it isn’t perfect. The important role of women codebreakers is reduced to a single character. And Turing, as brilliant as he was, is portrayed as much more of a hardware genius than seems warranted. I also thought they went a little ahistorical at the end. They have Turing building a computer in his flat in Manchester. I’m a software person, but am I wrong to think that nobody in 1951 would have sufficient electricity service in their flat to run a computer? If you see the film, let me know what you think.

Finally, if you are on Facebook, please Like the ACM-W page, https://www.facebook.com/women.acm.org. We put up a lot of links to current stories about women in computing and women in technology. There’s a lot of activity these days with many groups generating interesting information and interventions.

Thanks, as always, for supporting ACM-W and women in computing. More next month…..

~Valerie Barr, ACM-W Chair

Articles of interest

From Graduate Student to Fellow: Research Community, Membership Levels, and Recognition

Kathryn S McKinley, a Principle Researcher at Microsoft, discusses the importance of joining the Computer Science Professional Societies (AAAI, ACM, IEEE, and USENIX) here.

News From ACM-W Chapters

ACM-W Chapters People, be sure to share your chapter stories on the ACM-W Chapters Facebook page. Here’s a message from our wonderful Ron Tenison in Oregon – long-time supporter of ACM-W:

   

“I just wanted to share with you a little about the new ACM-W chapter at Pacific University. They have outstanding support in the form of faculty advisor Shereen Khoja, but it was the chapter officers running the program.   They formed a chapter last spring and got a scholarship for the president (Alexandrea Beh) to attend GHC last month.  They also got an Academic Alliance grant for outreach.  This is a great group of hard working young women, and they have doubled the number of women in the CS Program (and chapter) in a year.  Two weeks ago, they hosted a chapter outreach event using that grant money.  It was a very successful afternoon that included a panel of speakers from local industry, a career fair, a mixer challenge, and dinner with the speakers.  About 50-60 people attended.  They hosted our Regional Aspirations Award winning girls from last spring (the ones still in high school).  They also invited the girls from the local community colleges and neighboring high schools.  I was invited to host an NCWIT / ACM-W information table at the event.  It was well run student-planned event that we can all be proud of.”

ACM-W Celebrations

Many of the ACM-W Celebration events include poster competitions which give undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to present their research and project work. During the 2013-2014 academic year, ten Celebrations held poster competitions. We congratulate the following winners!

Undergraduate Division

Xinjie GuanUniversity of Missouri – Kansas City
Lalla MouatadidUniversity of Toronto
Kylie ModenTrinity University
Safurah Abdul JalilUniversity of Auckland
Ashley ConardDepauw University
Ashley ConardDepauw University
Jheanelle LintonJohnson C. Smith University
Farheen AzamVirginia Commonwealth University
Miranda ParkerHarvey Mudd College
Toni JacksonTransylvania University
Monir HajiaghayiUniversity of British Columbia

Graduate Division

Tara Michels-ClarkUniversity of Tennessee-Knoxville
Giulia FranchiIndiana University
Berthel TateBowie State University
Mahsa BadamiUniversity of Louisville

ACM-W provided sponsorships for nine of these women to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, which was held in Phoenix, AZ on October 8th-10th. Another of the winners had funding for GHC from another source. While in Phoenix, the women were invited guests at the ACM-W Reception where there was opportunity for them to meet many ACM-W Council members and other guests. We are very appreciative of the volunteers who help judge the poster competitions at the Celebration events. This is an important part of the Celebration because it is very rewarding to the students who present their work, and informative for the rest of the conference attendees. ACM-W is happy to be able to help bring some of these extraordinary young women to Grace Hopper each year.

Announcements

Would you like to contribute an article to the ACM-W Newsletter? With a distribution list reaching thousands of ACM-W members, contributing to the newsletter is a wonderful opportunity to share ideas and information across a wide audience. Submit a proposal for an article /submit.

ACM-W Connections – October, 2014

Welcome from the ACM-W Chair

Welcome to the October issue of ACM-W Connections. And what an exciting month it has been since our September issue! This issue includes a write-up about the ACM-W Celebration event in Goa, India. We have a very interesting article about the “applauds project” at Lawrence Livermore Lab, a project that should be replicable elsewhere. We also have a report from a group of very committed high school students in Mason, Ohio, who put together a summer camp for middle school girls.

I’ve just come home from the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. Amazingly, I have now attended 13 of the 14 GHCs that have taken place, including the very first one in 1994. As some of you reading this already know, the conference was huge this year! There were 8000 attendees, over 2800 students from 441 schools, and attendees from 67 countries. The exhibition hall was a beehive of activity and we had a lot of traffic in the joint ACM/ACM-W/ACM CCECC/CSTA booth, making lots of great contacts amongst our various constituencies.

We have some very exciting news that I announced first at the Hopper conference. ACM-W is working with Mentornet with a goal of getting at least half of all undergraduate women CS students in the U.S. mentored via the Mentornet platform. Microsoft Research is supporting this effort by providing funding to Mentornet and encouraging their staff to sign up to be mentors (though we fully expect that mentors from many many companies will eventually be needed). We will be sending our ACM-W student chapters information on how to join and sign up for a mentor. If you know of an ACM-W chapter that has lapsed, encourage them to sign back up so that they don’t miss out on this opportunity.

In a last note about the Hopper Conference, I would be remiss if I did not address the uproar about the remarks made by Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. In case you missed it, in response to a question asked by Maria Klawe (president of Harvey Mudd College and member of Microsoft’s Board of directors), Nadella said that women should not ask for pay raises (in truth, he said nobody should ask for raises, but Maria’s question was specifically about women). He said he trusted in the review system, and that if someone’s work is good it would eventually be rewarded. As you can imagine, the conference and the web lit up, followed soon thereafter by all other forms of media as well.

Here are my thoughts on this matter:

  1. As a result of the ruckus, the Grace Hopper Celebration and the situation for women in computing got more press and more visibility than ever before. That’s a very good outcome.

  2. The situation provided a great opportunity for people to talk about the fact that meritocracy does not work when there is implicit bias. Nadella may think that the Microsoft review process is fair and unbiased, but given that women in tech in the U.S. earn only $0.86 for every $1.00 earned by men, he should seriously research what the actual numbers are for Microsoft, and then adjust salaries accordingly.

  3. This incident provided a very valuable lesson for the students at the conference. The companies recruiting at Hopper are trying very hard to improve their diversity statistics. The conference gives them access to a lot of women job candidates, and they treat the students very well (fancy swag, food, private events, interview booths, raffles, etc.). It would be easy for the students to be deluded into thinking that everything is great now in the tech world and women are always well treated. Nadella’s comments serve as a reminder that women entering the field still have to be prepared to advocate for themselves when they negotiate starting salaries and subsequent raises.

  4. I don’t doubt for a minute that Nadella, along with many other tech CEOs right now, considers himself a strong advocate for women in computing. He is noteworthy for being the first tech CEO of that level to come to Hopper, and he spent a lot of time there. He still has some things to learn, as do many people in this field. As we know, there are many hearts and minds that need to be changed, and more to be learned by even some of our best allies.

Thanks, as always, for supporting ACM-W and women in computing. We still have a ways to go in our efforts.

~Valerie Barr, ACM-W Chair

Articles of interest

Applauding Livermore Women in Computing

A new project of the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory Women’s Association recognizes the technical and administrative of women at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Read more this project and women it recognizes here.

Research Focus: Learning Game Design Characteristics through the Study of Flow and the
Elemental Tetrad in the World of Warcraft & Minecraft. By Dr. Quiana Bradshaw, DCS

Dr. Quiana Bradshaw researches the design of education games. Learn more about her latest work read the full article here.

Introduction to Computing Summer Camp. By Jessica Xiang and Sara Xiang

The AspireIT Middle School Outreach Program by the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) introduces middle school girls to computer science through innovative curriculum lead by near-peer high school and college students. For more information about this program, read the full article here.

News From ACM-W Chapters

The ACM-W Chapters project leaders met many chapter leaders at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. One woman told us to give Zarina (at ACM Headquarters in New York City) a big hug for all of the help with setting up her chapter. Remember that ACM @NYC can give you one-on-one help in chartering a chapter, in writing the brief annual report, etc. In fact, there is a wonderful one-on-one webinar for all new chapters. For more information, email chartering@acm.org.

~Gloria Townsend, chair of the ACM-W Chapters Committee

ACM-W Celebrations

All India Celebrations of Women in computing conference at Goa University on 26th September.

Dr Satish Shetye, Vice-Chancellor, Goa University inaugurated the All India Celebrations of Women in Computing 2014 conference organized by ACM-Goa in association with ACM-Women India and Goa University on 26th September at 9.30 am at the conference hall of the Goa University.

ACM-W aims to support, celebrate and advocate full engagement of women in computing across the globe. It facilitates women’s academic and professional journey in the field of computing through mentoring or role modeling and works with the ACM community of computer scientists, educators, employers and policy makers to improve working and learning environments for women.

This event is ACM-W Goa’s first ever Regional Celebration of Women in Computing. This one-day celebration had several intellectually enriching opportunities for women students and professionals in the field of computing. It brought together a unique opportunity of collective learning, interacting with world class researchers and peers and discussing the work-in progress research to an enlightened audience and getting their valuable insights.

Caption: Dr Silvia Giordano (ACM Distinguished Speaker from Switzerland), Dr. Srinivas Padmanabhuni, (President, ACM-India), Dr. Sheila Anand (Chair, ACM-W India), and Mr Chandrashekhar Sahasrabudhe (Persistent Systems, Pune) graced the occasion at the inaugural ceremony.

Dr Silvia Giordano who is an ACM Distinguished Speaker and professor and head of the University of Applied Science, Switzerland delivered a keynote address on Mobile Hoc Networking: Cutting edge Directions. This was followed by a Tutorial on Visualization by Jaya Sreevalsan Nair, International Institute of Information Technology – Bangalore (IIIT-Bangalore). Rashmi Mohan,of Yahoo! Labs talked about ‘What does my machine learn about me?’.

Dr Arati Dixit, Savitribai Phule (Pune) University spoke on the “Life and Work of Shafi Goldwasser”. This was followed by Work in Progress Presentations by a eminent group of researchers.

Dr. Nutan Limaye, IIT Bombay enthralled the audience with her lively talk on “Theoretically speaking: The Why and How of Efficient Computation”.

Shailaja Sardessai, Directorate of Education, Goa moderated the Panel discussion on Career- “Break Ke Baad?” featuring panelists such as Silvia Giordano (ACM DSP), Sheila Anand (ACM-W India Chair), Geetha Kannan (Head, Anita Borg Institute), Suji Gopalan (Oracle Academy) and Pallavi Desai (Persistent HR) who provided their valuable insights on how women can keep abreast of technologies, continue networking, and overcome hurdles in getting back to work after a break in their career.

The chief guest at the closing ceremony, Prof. Vijayendra P Kamat, Registrar, Goa University, presented the prizes to the winners of the first Lady Ada National Programming Contest for girl students that were held as part of this conference. The Lady Ada National Programming Contest was sponsored by Oracle Academy and held in collaboration with ACM India and ReliScore.

The conference was sponsored by Microsoft Research, Oracle Academy, Google, Persistent Systems, Directorate of Information Technology, Goa Goverment, and Goa Tourism Development Corporation, and ACM-W.

An organizing committee under the chairmanship of Dr V V Kamat, Head, Dept of Computer Science & Technology along with ACM Goa members Ramrao Wagh, Maria and Amish Choudhary, Arati Dixit, Ambuja Salgaonkar, Jyoti Pawar, Venkatesh Prabhu, Shailaja Sardessai, Girish Bharne, Sanjay Joshi, Anay Kamat and the students of the Computer Science Department of Goa University worked tirelessly to make this conference a success.

Announcements

  • Would you like to contribute an article to the ACM-W Newsletter? With a distribution list reaching thousands of ACM-W members, contributing to the newsletter is a wonderful opportunity to share ideas and information across a wide audience. Submit a proposal for an article /submit.

ACM-W Connections – September, 2014

Welcome from the ACM-W Chair

Welcome to the September issue of ACM-W Connections. Before I say anything about this issue, I want to thank all of you for reading. I’ve received quite a number of positive comments about ACM-W Connections, and I appreciate any input and feedback you have.

As you know (since we only put out one summer issue), ACM-W volunteers took time during the summer to recharge, work on research projects, and focus on their jobs (in some cases that included moving cross-country). Though we get various types of support from ACM Headquarters, I continue to be amazed by and grateful for the incredible effort put forward by our ever growing team of volunteers – for this newsletter, and for all of our other projects that you read about here.

In this issue we have a look at the coming year of ACM-W Celebrations of Women in Computing, as well as a note from our Chapters chair. Meanwhile, I know that I promised information about new activities ACM-W will be working on during 2014-2015, the result of a wonderful Executive Meeting we had in May. There are two main areas of focus. First, we would like to foster the development of ACM-W Professional Chapters. We think it would be particularly fruitful to do this in areas that have both thriving computing companies and university programs. This will allow for joint activities between practitioners, faculty, and students which could benefit all parties. Please contact me if you would be interested in working on a chapter in your area. Second, we are going to use some technology ourselves in order to better match the needs we have for volunteers with the interests of those who would like to participate in ACM-W. Keep an eye out in the coming months for more information about this. Finally, we will be improving analysis of our own programs, primarily addressing impact of the Celebrations events, but also taking a look at the impact of other programs as well.

Thanks, as always, for supporting ACM-W and women in computing.

~Valerie Barr, ACM-W Chair

News From ACM-W Chapters

I just saw Reyyan Ayfer in New York City at ACM Headquarters. Seeing her makes me remember that I have a sister half-way around the world. Reyyan and I both sponsor ACM-W Chapters. Increasingly, ACM-W reaches an international audience. Reyyan’s Turkey now has three chapters; her own chapter was founded in 2006, and two more chapters were recently chartered. ACM-W Chapters emphasize women’s common goals and common interests, no matter what their worldwide locations may be. View some of Reyyan’s chapter’s activities (http://www.bilwic.bilkent.edu.tr/?page_id=9)and “take a tip from Turkey.”

~Gloria Townsend, chair of the ACM-W Chapters Committee

ACM-W Celebrations Heads Into a New Year

The 2014-2015 academic year promises to be another exciting one for the Celebrations Project. This fall will see conferences in Goa, India (September 25-26), Ontario, Canada (October 24-25), and the Rocky Mountain region (October 23-25). During the spring semester, there will be 10 additional celebrations including anticipated first-time events in Abu Dhabi and Cuba.

Information on starting new Celebrations and resources that can aide in conference planning can be found on our web site (/celebrations). Please contact me for any additional assistance (jltims@bw.edu) and I’ll be happy to help.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to publicly thank all of the women on the Celebrations committee who help support the project:

Laura Dillon – Michigan State University

Rachelle Hippler – Bowling Green State University, Firelands Campus

Martha Kosa – Tennessee Technological University

Wendy Powley – Queen’s University at Kingston, Ontario

The hard work and dedication of this group of volunteers is invaluable! Each month’s ACM-W Connections will include a report from a recent Celebration, so be sure to read those and see the amazing impact that this project is having on the students, faculty, and industry attendees at these events. We are once again grateful to Microsoft Research for their continued support of the Celebrations project, providing funding for each of the 2014-2015 events. Raytheon Corp. has also provided support for several of the upcoming events. This corporate support helps make it possible for us to celebrate women in computing all over the world.

~Jodi Tims, Celebrations Project Chair

Announcements

  • The 3rd Annual International Women’s Hackathon at Grace Hopper and Around the World on Oct. 11, 2014. The International Women’s Hackathon is a network of concurrent events that are designed to empower young women leaders in computer science. By providing a fun and safe environment in which to explore computing, the hackathon encourages and supports university women around the world to become producers of future innovations in technology and help solve challenges in the world today. Sign-up today to participate at Grace Hopper or organize an event on your college or university Campus.

    Learn more at: http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/events/womens-hackathon2014-
    october/default.aspx

    Register at: https://surveys.research.microsoft.com/s3/International-Women-Hackathon

  • Microsoft Research is accepting applications for the 2015 Microsoft Research Graduate Women’s Scholarship Program. Applicants must be full-time, female students, enrolled in their first year of a graduate program with an accredited university, with a research focus in Computer Science, Information Science, Mathematics, or Electrical Engineering. The deadline for submission of applications is Friday, October 17, 2014, at 11:59 P.M., Pacific Time.

    For qualifications and application procedures, please see: http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/collaboration/awards/fellows-women.aspx

  • Would you like to contribute an article to the ACM-W Newsletter? With a distribution list reaching thousands of ACM-W members, contributing to the newsletter is a wonderful opportunity to share ideas and information across a wide audience. Submit a proposal for an article /submit.

ACM-W Connections – August, 2014

Welcome from the ACM-W Chair

– Valerie Barr, ACM-W Chair

Welcome to the summer issue of ACM-W Connections. Our hard working communications team is taking a well-deserved break by putting out only one issue for both July and August. We really appreciate the incredible effort they have put in since we launched this newsletter in January. In this issue we feature a piece by Audrey Gendreau about the challenge of work-life balance that ultimately, and unexpectedly, led her to complete a PhD. We also highlight an article from the July issue of Communications about ACM-W’s efforts in Europe. We’ll be back on schedule in mid-September with information about new activities ACM-W will be working on during 2014-2015, the result of a wonderful Executive Meeting we had in May. Thanks for supporting ACM-W and women in computing.

News From ACM-W Europe

Don’t miss the article in the July issue of Communications of the ACM about European Women in Computing.

News From Our Contributors

In pursuit of a balance between family and self, Audrey Gendreau encourages women to take chances and assume roles that are uncharacteristic of them, in turn, goals that were otherwise unconceivable can become attainable. Audrey Gendreau shares her story about earning an unanticipated Ph.D. by making career choices that were otherwise uncharacteristic of her, and because of that, unimaginable goals became attainable.

Read the full article here.

Announcements

Would you like to contribute an article to the ACM-W Newsletter? With a distribution list reaching thousands of ACM-W members, contributing to the newsletter is a wonderful opportunity to share ideas and information across a wide audience. Submit a proposal for an article /submit.

ACM-W Connections. June, 2014

Welcome from the ACM-W Chair

– Valerie Barr, ACM-W Chair

Welcome to the June issue of ACM-W Connections. This month we feature research highlights from three researchers:Sarah Loos, one of our tireless ACM-W volunteers; Jasma Balaangameshwara; and Madhavi Vaidya. I think you’ll find their work very interesting. You can also read a summary of the 2013-2014 Celebrations of Women in Computing and catch a preview of 2014-2015, plus read about the next ACM-W Europe womENcourage event.I hope you enjoy this issue!

News From Our Contributors

The Heidelberg Laureate Forum – Promoting Careers

Alev Kaynak discusses the opportunities available to young researchers at the Heidelberg Laureate Forum. The Heidelberg Laureate Forum brings together students and award winning researchers in a relaxed environment with opportunities for network building, mentorship, and scientific exchange. Read the full ariticle here.

Research Spotlights

Learn about three interesting areas of ongoing research:

  • Verification of Safe Aircraft Separation , by Sarah Loos of Carnegie Mellon
  • A Survey of Fault Tolerant Scheduling and Load Balancing for Cloud Computing , by Dr. Jasma Balaangameshwara of Atria Institute of Technology
  • Leveraging Thermal Power in Data Processing Frameworks by Madhavi Vaidya

Reach the full article here..

ACM-W Celebrations News: A Year in Review and A Look Ahead

— Jodi Tims, Celebrations Project Chair

The Celebrations project has many reasons to celebrate as we close out the 2013-2014 year:

  • There were a total of 14 events held in 2013-2014, including first-time conferences in Puerto Rico, Europe, and the Vancouver/Washington state region. Over 2000 students, faculty members, and sponsors attended these events.
  • ACM-W sponsored eight student poster winners and several conference coordinators to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration in Minneapolis, MN in October, 2013. In most cases this was the first opportunity that these women had to experience GHC and all were positively impacted by the experience.
  • With the help of two of my Baldwin Wallace University students, Jayme Frantz and Deanna Biesan, a web application has been developed to support the administrative side of the Celebrations project. We are rolling this out very soon and each conference will be able to provide relevant data for its events. We will also be able to use the site to broadcast communications to coordinators and provide access to resources.
  • Over the summer a survey will be developed that can be used by all Celebrations to evaluate their events. Details on this project will be forthcoming as we approach the fall semester.

As we look forward to 2014-2015, we anticipate 13-15 Celebrations will be held including new international ones in Abu Dhabi and Cuba! A list of Celebrations can be found at /celebrations and will be updated as details become available.

I want to extend a heart-felt "Thank you!" to all of the women (and men) who have worked so hard to make the Celebrations project such a huge success. The tireless effort of the volunteers involved makes it possible for us to impact the lives of many women in computing.

News From ACM-W Europe

WomENcourage 2015 – Uppsala, Sweden. September 24th-26th, 2015.

Save the Date! September 24th to 26th, 2015, is the time to be in Uppsala, Sweden: the second edition of ACM-W Europe’s celebration of women in computing, womENcourage 2015 is planned. The first edition was celebrated March 1, 2014 at Manchester University in Manchester, UK. Over 250 attendees engagingly listened to high profile women speakers, interacted with positive female role models in panels, discussed with like-minded peers in unconference sessions and mingled with others interested in empowering women to pursue their goals in Computer Science and Information Technology.

September 2015, Uppsala University will host the next event: with more attendees, more activities, more variety of topics, and much more! In order to accomplish this, volunteers are an essential asset. Would you like to collaborate with us? Please email acm-w-europe@acm.org indicating your interests (e.g. reviewing poster/paper submissions, on-site assistance).

Announcements

  • Would you like to contribute an article to the ACM-W Newsletter? With a distribution list reaching thousands of ACM-W members, contributing to the newsletter is a wonderful opportunity to share ideas and information across a wide audience. Submit a proposal for an article /submit.

ACM-W Connections – May, 2014

Welcome from the ACM-W Chair

– Valerie Barr, ACM-W Chair

In addition to our usual updates (ACM-W India, scholarships, chapters), this issue of ACM-W Connections features two very interesting stories. Judith Hill, at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has provided a very interesting piece about the rich opportunities afforded by working at a U.S. national lab (if there are comparable experiences in government facilities elsewhere, please consider writing an article for us!). Poornima Padmanabhan and Susan Daniel, at Cornell University, have written about the Cornell Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Women’s Group. While you may not have a lot of interest in chemical and biomolecular engineering, there is a lot of interesting material in their article about outreach, mentoring, engaging activities, how to engage younger women and their parents. Enjoy!

News From Our Contributors

On CBE Women and on how we developed W.O.M.E.N. at Cornell University

Poornima Padmanabhan and Susan Daniel describe strategies to recruit and retain women in graduate and post-doctoral levels in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, at Cornell University. Their suggestions are broadly applicable to undergraduate and graduate levels across STEMS disciplines. Read more here.

An Alternative Career Path: A Glimpse at Opportunities at the National Laboratories

Judith C. Hill, a Research and Development Associate in Computational 
Mathematics at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, discusses the opportunities available to computing professionals in national laboratories sponsored by the U.S. government. Read more here

ACM-W ACM-W India

Celebration of Women in Computing, Goa, India.

ACM-W India is happy to announce that the Celebration event of Women in Computing is to be held at Goa, India on September 25-26, 2014. The events planned include All India Programming Contest for women, Poster Sessions for students, tutorials, as well as interesting and inspiring talks and panel discussion. For more details refer to the ACM Goa website at http://goa.acm.org/.

News from ACM-W Scholarships

Congratulations to the most recent recipients of the ACM-W scholarships to attend research conferences! The awardees are Joanna Misztal, Zeineb Chelly, Shaza Hanif, Jingyu Li, Hanna-Liisa Pender, Roghayeh Barmaki, Sonal Aggarwal, Tejaswinee Kelkar, Laura Moreno, Alegria Baquero, Elaine Wah, Gloria Leticia Amador Angulo, Jessica Jones, and Martha Pulido . They come from Poland, Tunisia, Pakistan, China, Estonia, Iran, India, Colombia, Ecuador, USA, and Mexico, and they will attend conferences in Slovenia, Canada, Spain, Greece, UK, India, and the USA.

Remember the next round of scholarships is fast approaching. Apply by June 15. Students do not need to have a paper accepted to qualify. For more details, visit /scholarship

News from ACM-W Chapters

Last month we wrote about the positive correlation between having an ACM-W Chapter and having a large number of female majors. Our May theme concerns the relationship between ACM-W’s Celebrations of Women in Computing and ACM-W Chapters. Chapters help sustain the energy created from a Celebration until the time of the next conference. Many of our new Chapters are popping up in regions where Celebrations occur. The thought for May: Chapters and Celebrations work hand-in-hand to provide continuous, year-round support for women in computing.

Announcements

  • Would you like to contribute an article to the ACM-W Newsletter? With a distribution list reaching thousands of ACM-W members, contributing to the newsletter is a wonderful opportunity to share ideas and information across a wide audience. Submit a proposal for an article /submit.

ACM-W Connections – April, 2014

Welcome from the ACM-W Chair

– Valerie Barr, ACM-W Chair

In this issue of ACM-W Connections, we have news about some exciting recent activities organized by ACM-W India and follow up information from the March 1 womENcourage Celebration of Women in Computing organized by ACM-W Europe. We have a report from the first Caribbean Celebration of Women in Computing, information about recent recipients of the ACM-W Scholarships, and a call for information about ACM-W Chapters.

As we head toward the end of the 2013-2014 academic year, ACM-W would like to extend our hearty thanks to Jeff Dean, Senior Fellow at Google. Jeff made a generous donation to ACM-W that has funded the majority of our scholarship awards this year. We are extremely grateful for Jeff’s support for women in computing in general, and our ACM-W scholarship program in particular.

News From ACM-W India

Talk by Women IT Professional at Chennai, India

A talk on Cloud Computing is scheduled for April 25th, 2014 at Chennai. The talk will be delivered by Ms. Hemalatha Bhaskar Senior Cloud Solutions Architect and Technical Leader, Hewlett Packard, Bangalore. The talk will broadly cover the following aspects: why Cloud over traditional IT; Cloud Characteristics; Deployment and service models.

CODhER Hackathon

CODhER was a first-of-its-kind initiative to promote participation among women in technical events. This was a one-day event held on 23rd March. The event was organized and hosted by the ACM Student Chapter, College of Engineering, Guindy, Chennai. This event was exclusively for women programmers who have a passion for application development and coding in general. The event was supported by Jugadoo.com and sponsored by ACM-W India and Indix. There were 92 registrations from various colleges all through India. On the actual day, there were only 19 teams (46 participants). The task was to develop either a web application or a mobile application. Time was allotted for each team to present their idea and code. The best three ideas (teams) were awarded prizes.

News From ACM-W Europe

ACM-W Europe womenENcourage Celebration of Women in Computing

“I am full of positive feelings after the conference. I don’t feel alone any more, knowing that there are so many successful women all over the world with very similar experiences like mine.”

Feedback from conference attendees shows that 95% of attendees agree with the above quote. Attendees are more inspired from the speakers and role models. Eighty-five percent of the attendees have learned the importance of increasing their network and confirm that they plan using this chance to meet with experienced women to improve their career.

Additionally feedback, messages, and posts from the attendees clearly show their expectations were fulfilled by the womENcouage celebration of women in computing and that the event had a positive impact on the attendees. One student wrote that she was on the verge of dropping her PhD due to insufficient funding but attending womENcourage encouraged her to act immediately to find support so she could continue. She is one of the 80% of attendees who are more committed to their career because of the event.


We were successful in reaching the goal for this first event of ACM-W Europe which was to encourage and inspire undergraduate and graduate female students and increase their commitment to pursuing their careers. Inspiring role models like Wendy Hall, Carole Goble, Yasemin Altun, amazing panelists, and the unconference session inspired and motivated the attendees as evidenced by their enthusiasm.

With generous support from Google, Intel, Microsoft, Bloomberg, Facebook, Yahoo and Cisco it was possible to fund 54 students to attend the event. ACM-W Europe thanks all the organizers, volunteers, sponsors, supporters, speakers, panelists and the attendees for contributing to reach our goal.

Please add yourself to the womENcourage mailing list.

The next ACM-W Europe womENcourage Celebration of Women in Computing will be held at Uppsala University, Sweden in September 2015.

Save the Date – 18-29 August 2014 Informatica Feminale

Informatica Feminale – the 17th international summer university for women students and professionals in computing will be organized by University of Bremen in Germany from 18-29 August 2014. Every year Informatica Feminale offers compact teachings in computer science for women students from all types of universities and colleges as well as for women IT professionals interested in further training.

You will experience two weeks of studies, earn certificates and credit points, and establish a network with women having manifold backgrounds, all in a friendly and stimulating environment at the University of Bremen. Courses will be taught in English and German.

Registration will start in May. More on www.informatica-feminale.de/en/.

New from ACM-W Celebrations

– Jodi Tims, Celebrations Chair

Last month we mentioned that the Celebrations project would be rolling out new web pages aimed at facilitating the gathering and dissemination of information related to the conferences. Coordinators of each Celebration should expect to receive an email before the end of April that will provide details for creating a login and registering your Celebration as well as providing details of each event as it is planned and after it has occurred. Development of the web project was aided by two of my students at Baldwin Wallace University – Jayme Frantz and Deanna Biesan. I thank them for their efforts and am confident that we will be better able to support our conferences going forward because of their hard work.

The First Caribbean Celebration

The First Caribbean Celebration of Women in Computing (CCWiC 2014) was held in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, on February 27-28, 2014. The participation of 192 women included 38 high school girls, 29 parents and teachers, 52 graduate and undergraduate students, and 73 attendees from academia and industry. CCWiC 2014 promoted diversity with efforts that address the decline of women who choose computing related professions. CCWiC 2014 offered opportunities for mentoring, networking, and technical/career development for women in computing.

Four keynote addresses were held during the conference. Nagin Cox, a NASA engineer, made a presentation on the Mars curiosity project. AJ Brush, Senior Researcher at Microsoft talked about her work as Director of the Lab of Things. Brian Gonzalez, Director of the Global Education Sector at Intel, spoke about Intel’s work in supporting technology education in developing countries. Karen Alkoby, faculty at Gallaudet University and the first deaf women to hold a PhD in Computer Science, presented a talk entitled “Overcoming the Impossible”.

The conference also included the Aspirations in Computing Award Ceremony held by Georgia Tech University and the National Center for Women in Technology. Fourteen High School girls were either award winners or finalists in this competition which is held annually in Puerto Rico.

CCWiC included an academic fair for promoting computing programs at Higher Learning institutions in PR and the US, and a job fair for graduate and undergraduate students. In addition, a research poster session was held in which high school students visited posters by graduate and undergraduate student working in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Computational Math, and Information Technology. Panels on the status of women in computing in PR were presented along with technical talks.

In addition to ACM-W, CCWiC 2014 was sponsored by the College of Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez (UPRM), the Computer and Networking Laboratory at UPRM, Microsoft Research, the Computing Alliance for Hispanic-Serving Institutions (CAHSI), Texas Instruments, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Rock Solid Technologies, Google, Travelers, and CIAPR (Colegio de Ingenieros y Agrimensores de PR).

News from Scholarships

Congratulations to the most recent recipients of the ACM-W scholarships to attend research conferences! The awardees are Adedoyin Adegoke Marcela Araujo, Diana Darabi, Anita Gilbert, Carly Karas, Nadin Kökciyan, Irene Manotas Gutierrez, Phaedra Mohammed, and Jesmin Tithi. They come from Bangladesh, Nigeria, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, and the United States.

The ACM-W scholarships will allow them to attend the following conferences: Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems; Spring Simulation Multi-Conference; International Conference on Software Engineering; International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems; International Parallel and Distributed Processing Symposium; InSITE 2014: Informing Science + IT Education Conferences:Australia; 1st Women in Cyber¬security Conference; 27th International FLAIRS Conference.

The scholarship program accepts applications six times every year on February 15, April 15, June 15, August 15, October 15, and December 15. Students do not need to have a paper accepted to qualify. For more details, visit our website.

Announcements

  • What is the correlation between having an ACM-W Chapter and having a large percent of women in the Computer Science 1 course (CS1)? We would love to hear from schools with a large correlation: Post a note on our ACM-W Chapters Facebook Group page to tell us about your school. Two schools with ACM-W Chapters have told us that their CS1 classes are approximately 50% women. How about your school? If you do not have an ACM-W Chapter yet, we would love for you to follow easy instructions on the website: /chapter If you do not belong to the ACM-W Chapters Facebook group, join now. It’s a private group, so send a request to gct@depauw.edu.
  • Would you like to contribute an article to the ACM-W Newsletter? With a distribution list reaching thousands of ACM-W members, contributing to the newsletter is a wonderful opportunity to share ideas and information across a wide audience. Submit a proposal for an article /submit.

ACM-W Connections – March, 2014

Welcome from the ACM-W Chair

— Valerie Barr, ACM-W Chair

Welcome to the third edition of ACM-W Connections! Thanks to a great team, and contributions from around the world, we are in our third month of this new communications vehicle. I hope you continue to find it a useful way to keep up-to-date with ACM-W activities, and enjoy the contributed articles.

The past month has been very busy for ACM-W, as you’ll see. I had the pleasure of attending womENcourage, the first ACM-W Europe Celebration of Women in Computing. You can read more detail about the event, but I thought it was a wonderful way to establish ACM-W’s presence in Europe. I expect that in April we will have a full report on the first Caribbean Celebration. And I look forward to reporting myself next month on the first Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS, http://www.csc.tntech.edu/wicys/) conference, being held April 11-12. There are over 300 women planning to attend!

Like our Facebook page for pointers to 5-7 new stories each week, gleaned from around the Web, https://www.facebook.com/women.acm.org. Thanks for your support.

News From ACM Chapters

One of ACM’s main strengths is its international membership. A message from a single ACM-W friend in India brought us over a hundred new ACM-W Chapters Facebook group members. Never underestimate the power of one person! If you have not joined the Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/201119703378118/), please send a request (to gct@depauw.edu), because the group is private.

Additionally, Thapar University ACM-W Student Chapter (India) became our 61st new ACM-W Student Chapter. ACM-W India is a powerful presence!

News From Our Contributors

The Working Mother Myth: Merging Parenting and Programming

The Working Mother Myth – Kathryn Rotondo questions whether returning to work after the birth of a child is necessarily the best choice for new moms’ careers in the long run. Read more here.

5 Ways she++ Encourages Women to Pursue Computer Science

Five Ways to Promote Tech to a New Generation – she++ Co-Directors, Rachel Mellon and Saguna Goel discuss ways she++ is working to break down gender stereotypes in tech. Read more here.

ACM-W Celebrations News

February and March have been active for the Celebrations project. There were two first-time celebrations. The first Caribbean Celebration of Women in Computing (CCWiC) was held in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, on February 26-27. WomENcourage, the first ACM-W Europe Celebration was held on March 1st in Manchester, UK. Several other celebrations also occurred recently including Australasia (AWiC), Carolinas (CWiC), Indiana (INWiC) and Northern Kentucky (TRIWiC). In this issue of ACM-W Connections you can also read about the women’s day at the annual ACM India event.

Many of the Celebrations coordinators were in attendance at our annual birds of a feather (BOF) gathering at SIGCSE 2014 in Atlanta. The BOF was standing room only, and it was great to hear about several of the celebrations.

If you are involved in organizing a celebration, watch for an email in April as we begin to wind down this academic year. Among other things we will need contact information for poster winners in order to award their scholarships to attend the Grace Hopper Conference in October. Finally, we will soon be rolling out some new features to the Celebrations web page. Details will be coming in April’s newsletter.

The ACM-W India Annual Flagship Event

The ACM-W India annual flagship event was held on 14th February 2014 at IIT Delhi Campus. The number of participants for the event was around 120.

Radia Perlman was the plenary speaker for the Women’s event. Radia is a software designer and network engineer, who is most famous for her invention of the spanning-tree protocol for operation of network bridges while working with Digital Equipment Corporation. In her talk entitled “People, protocols and Plexi-glass” she shared her experiences about being a female in a male-dominated group. Laced with humor, her talk asserted that the sole requirement to survive in the world of technology is knowledge, positive attitude, and self-confidence. According to her, women should learn to ignore the trivia. There is no need to blush or rush to protest whenever men curse and swear at work-place, maybe while trying to tame a piece of code to handle exceptions! Take it in your stride, she says. It is all in a day’s work! It is important to distinguish between personal insults and informal work-environments. While men can be allowed to be men, women also need not conform to the persona of being shy or coy or wear high-heels even if they are uncomfortable, she added. The key take-away – stereotypes should be shattered – be it of a woman in her own mind or in the minds of her male counterparts.

Ponnurangam Kumaraguru of IIIT Delhi and Laura Hass of IBM Research spoke about their work on Cyber-security and Big-data integration respectively. Ritu Anand, who handles HR at TCS, re-asserted the fact that women need to aspire more in order to succeed more often. While glass-ceilings have been broken, the sticky floor still holds back a large number of women from fulfilling their dreams. Several young women researchers and professionals had questions for Barbara Owens who made a presentation on Computing as a career for women. One of the most interesting and tough questions was from a research-scholar from IIIT Delhi – when one faces the moral dilemma of choosing between aspirations and ethics at the crossroads of a career, which one should a woman choose? The question stretched beyond ethics. It was also about personal commitments to parents, spouse or children versus career. Barbara’s answer was simple yet profound. Humans are not robots that can be pre-programmed to do this or that. It is for the woman to choose, but choice should be made with conviction, understanding of the future and not to regret whatever decision she takes.

The programme concluded with a panel discussion in which eminent faculties from IIT Delhi, IIT Kharagpur, JNU and National Law School, Delhi engaged to discuss “Sexual harassment at Workplace”. The aim was to encourage people to discuss uncomfortable and taboo topics that are usually swept under the carpet. There is a school of thought that news about such issues act as a deterrent for women. Yet another school of thought was that complaints such as these would make it tough for women to gain admission to corporate and educational institutions. The flip side could be that the “true gentlemen” – who had never violated the code of conduct in their lives – felt more threatened about their reputation. The panel discussion was about understanding the various statutes on this issue but, however, cautioned that laws to ensure safety of women should not back-fire on women themselves.

While the achievers proved that women have definitely made great strides, the questions and interactions also emphasized beyond doubt that much more needs to be done. Conflicts, within and outside, have to be resolved, through knowledge, discussions, and sharing of ideas. It was a unanimous acceptance that while individual achievements of women do deserve applause, it is also important for such achievers to be mentors and role-models for other women. Organizations like ACM-W, dedicated to celebrate, support and advocate for women professionals in computing, have a major role to play in encouraging more women to break the glass ceiling and rise to the top of their profession.

ACM-W Europe womenENcourage Celebration of Women in Computing

On March 1, 2013, we experienced the first ACM-W Europe womENcourage Celebration on Women in Computing (womencourage.acm.org), in Manchester, UK. Eva Navarro Lopez opened the conference of 240 participants, from 31 different countries with a moving welcome. Additionally ACM-W Europe, ACM-W, and ACM representatives, including Vicki Hanson, Mashhuda Glencross, Valerie Barr, Reyyan Ayfer, and George Eleftherakis, warmly welcomed the delegates. Valerie, ACM-W Chair, emphasized the importance of this event as a conference on women in computing and not of women in computing.

The day provided many networking opportunities for participants, and was filled with inspiring talks, panels and an unconference session. The 54 travel grant recipients are shown ready to be inspired by the events of the day.

Professor Dame Wendy Hall proved the importance of networks as she shared her life and career story in her talk “How to enjoy a career as a woman in computing: the power of networks”. Prof. Hall advised young researchers to “have the courage of their convictions”, and create networks that will support them throughout their career. Beryl Nelson (Google) led panelists Claire Vishik (Intel), Cornelia Boldyreff (University of Greenwich), Philip Su (Facebook), and Christine Flounders (Bloomberg) to answer questions about career opportunities.

All the panelists marked the importance of developing fundamental skills and getting rid of self-limiting beliefs. Then Technical talks by Carole Goble (University of Manchester) and Yasemin Altun (Google) were followed by “Unconferences”, during which the attendees assembled in small groups to discuss key issues suggested earlier in the day. The day ended with a lively panel session led by Lynda Hardman (IE), during which Jessa Lingel (Microsoft Research), Flora Ponjou-Tasse (University of Cambridge), and Luz Rello (Universitat Pompeau Fabra) shared their passion for changing the world. A world, where “we do not need to have women in computing events” (Valerie Barr), where men realize that “Women in computer science: It is not a women’s problem, it is a men’s problem” (Dame Wendy Hall).

Finally, next years co-chairs, Maria Andreina Francisco and Virginia Grande (both Uppsala University) announced womENcourage 2015 will take place in Uppsala, Sweden. Watch for further announcements. If you are interested in volunteering send an email to acm-w-europe@acm.org

The night prior to the celebration of women in computing approximately 200 participants met with the generous supporters of ACM-W womENcourage 2014. The travel grants were funded by: Google, Bloomberg, Intel, Microsoft Research, Facebook, Yahoo Labs and Cisco. Both the representatives of the companies and the attendees thought it was a great opportunity to meet and discuss the different career paths. ACM-W Europe thanks the supporters who made the womENcourage celebration of women in computing and Career Fair a success.

Announcements

  • Would you like to contribute an article to the ACM-W Newsletter? With a distribution list reaching thousands of ACM-W members, contributing to the newsletter is a wonderful opportunity to share ideas and information across a wide audience. Submit a proposal for an article /submit.

ACM-W Connections – February, 2014

Welcome from the ACM-W Chair

Welcome to the second edition of our new ACM-W Connections! This month I want to mostly use my spot to address the two questions: who should join ACM-W and why? But before I do that, I have just a few quick announcements!

I’m very happy to announce that ArabWIC (Arab Women in Computing) is now affiliating with ACM-W, and their annual conference in May will be an ACM-W Celebration of Women in Computing.

In additional conference news, ACM-W is a sponsor of the first Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS, http://www.csc.tntech.edu/wicys/) conference, being held April 11-12. Interest is so high that the organizers have had to find more hotel rooms!

Who should join ACM-W and why?

What does someone have to do to join ACM-W? It’s really quite simple. When joining ACM or doing a membership renewal, there’s a box to check for ACM-W. Everyone who checks that box goes onto our ACM-W distribution list and gets counted as part of ACM-W.

So who should join, who should check that box on their ACM membership? In our view, everyone who cares about women in computing should join ACM-W. We welcome all ACM members, women and men, who are interested in helping us support, celebrate, and advocate for women in computing. We all have work to do in order to achieve a “level playing field”, so that the path into computing for girls and women is as smooth as (or at least no bumpier than) the path for boys and men.

Of course, someone might say “Gee, another women in computing organization? Don’t we have plenty of those?” ACM-W works closely with our sister organizations, but each serves a slightly different purpose and reaches a different audience. ACM-W has the distinction of being the only organization that is based on individual membership. Through student and professional chapters, small-scale celebrations of women in computing, student scholarships to attend research conferences, and the Athena Lecturer Award, we carry out our mission internationally. Through ACM-W Connections and social media we promote news about women in computing, doing our part to insure that women’s contributions to computing are recognized and publicized. We believe that, through this combination of efforts, through the support of our more than 20,000 ACM-W members, we are helping to create an environment in which women’s contributions to computing are recognized and women in the field can thrive. I hope you will keep active your membership in ACM-W and encourage your computing friends and colleagues to also “check the box” when they join ACM or renew their membership. We welcome your participation in our celebrations, your contributions of news about the accomplishments of women in computing, your role as mentor, program committee chair, and all opportunities you seize to support women in computing.

Finally, feel like a monthly newsletter isn’t enough? We can’t give you ACM-W news more often than that, but if you want more news about women in computing and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), Like our Facebook page for pointers to 5-7 new stories each week, gleaned from around the Web, https://www.facebook.com/women.acm.org. Thanks for your support.

– Valerie Barr, ACM-W Chair

News From ACM Chapters

Our ACM-W Connections note last month brought us several new ACM-W Chapters Facebook group members and we are now more than 200 strong! If you have not joined the group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/201119703378118/), please send a request (to gct@depauw.edu), because the group is private!   Also, please visit our ACM-W booth at SIGCSE 2014 (http://sigcse2014.sigcse.org/): We have ACM-W Chapters ribbons for your badges and ACM-W materials to hand out. Hope to see you in Atlanta!

News From Our Contributors

Ask Judy Judy Olson, the 2011 ACM-W’s Athena Lecturer, gvies you her best advice about the ever-present issue of time management. How do you get so much done? This is the second of a special two part series in the Ask Judy column. Read it here.

News from ACM-W India

Talks by Women IT Professionals ACM-W India is organizing a series of talks by women experts at Chennai. This programme is being jointly organized with Madras Management Association (MMA), an affiliate association of the All India Management Association (AIMA). The intended audience would comprise company executives, professionals, administrators, consultants and students.

The joint programme was inaugurated on Friday, 20th December 2013 at Hotel Deccan Plaza, Chennai. The first talk on “Managing IT Services” was delivered by Ms Vijayalakshmi Shankar and Ms Venkata Vaijayanthi of Steria India, Chennai. The talk gave an overview of IT Service Management and covered the various models of service management contracts, customer view point and broad expectations.
The second talk was delivered by Ms.Rashmi Mohan, Senior Engineering Manager, Yahoo, Bangalore on 24th January 2014. The talk was on “Understanding User Engagement – Smart Phones to Wide Screens” . The focus of the talk was on maintaining the attention span of users and how to measure the parts of the website that users were most interested in.

The next talk is likely to be scheduled in April 2014. Details will be posted on the ACM_W India website.

ACM-W India Celebration The next ACM_W India celebration event will be in September 2014 at Goa. The activities being planned include technical talks, tutorials and panel discussions. For more details, please check the ACM_W India website http://india.acm.org/.

ACM India Annual Event The ACM India Annual Event was held on Friday, Feb 14. An exciting line-up of speakers included Radia Perlman, Dave Patterson, Shafi Goldwasser and other eminent speakers. More information is available at the ACM India website e http://india.acm.org/.

Announcements

  • Applications for the 2nd annual Heidelberg Laureate Forum (HLF) are being accepted through February 28th. The HLF is an annual gathering of Abel, Fields and Turing Laureates in Heidelberg, Germany. Young researchers (undergraduate, graduate, or post-doc) in the field of mathematics or computer science are invited to apply. http://www.heidelberg-laureate-forum.org/call-for-application/.
  • Registrations open for the ACM India Annual Event being held in February 2014. The ACM-W event is scheduled on Friday, Feb 14. An exciting line-up of speakers which includes Radia Perlman, Dave Patterson, Shafi Goldwasser and other eminent speakers. More details are available at ACM India website http://india.acm.org/
  • Upcoming conferences:
    • CCWiC, the first Caribbean Celebration of Women in Computing, Feb. 26-27, 2014
  • Upcoming deadlines:
    • scholarship application, Apr. 15. 2014
  • Would you like to contribute an article to the ACM-W Newsletter? With a distribution list reaching thousands of ACM-W members, contributing to the newsletter is a wonderful opportunity to share ideas and information across a wide audience. Submit a proposal for an article here.

ACM-W Connections – January, 2014

Welcome from the ACM-W Chair

Welcome to ACM-W-Connections, our updated newsletter. In each issue we will bring you updates about ACM-W programs (celebrations, scholarships and awards, and chapters) as well as contributed articles and announcements of upcoming events. In this first issue you’ll find news from India and Europe, and our regular AskJudy column, by Judy Olson, the 2011 ACM-W Athena Lecturer. We also have contributions from Jaime Teevan about child-friendly conferences and from Kimberly Oakes about her process of applying to graduate school. Please let us know what you think of ACM-W-Connections and what sorts of material you’d like to see here. I’d like to thank Yuqing Melanie Wu who has led our effort to revamp our website and set up this newsletter infrastructure, and thank Katie Siek and Sarah Loos who continue to solicit contributed articles and work with the authors. What you’ll be seeing in each issue is the result of the efforts of those three.

News From Our Contributors

Ask Judy
Judy Olson, the 2011 ACM-W’s Athena Lecturer, puts forward her best advice about the ever-present issue of time management. How do you get so much done? This is the first of a special two part series in the Ask Judy column. Read it here.

Family Friendly Conferences
Jaime Teevan, Microsoft Research, shares thoughts on family friendly conferences, and the benefits for researchers. Read it here.

Surviving the In-between: Choosing a Graduate School
Kimberly Oakes shares her experiences visiting graduate schools, interviewing with professors, and choosing the best school. Read it here.

News from ACM-W India

ACM-W India aims to provide comprehensive support for the growth and empowerment of women in computing in India. ACM-W India organizes a range of programs to provide a platform for sharing of information, resources, ideas and experiences. Members from industrial, academic and government communities are invited to participate and contribute to the growth of women in technology. We look forward to seeing you at the following events.

Grace Hopper Conference India 2013 (http://gracehopper.org.in/2013)

The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, presented by the Anita Borg Institute and ACM India, was held at The Lalit Ashok Hotel, Bangalore, India during November 13-15, 2013. Leading women researchers presented their work, and special sessions focused on the role of women in computer science, information technology, research and engineering. Registration included a FREE one-year membership to ACM, and we hoped everyone checked the box for ACM-W when they joined!

ACM India Annual Event (http://india.acm.org)

The 2014 annual flagship event is being held in February to discuss trends in science and technology, and to celebrate ACM’s spirit and India’s accomplishments in computing. This event is regularly attended by ACM Turing Award winners, ACM Office Bearers, ACM India members, leading researchers and IT professionals. The speakers this year include Radia Perlman, Dave Patterson, Shafi Goldwasser and other eminent speakers. Vint Cerf, ACM President, will be delivering the welcome address. More details are available at the ACM India website

News from ACM-W Europe

ACM-W Europe committee strives to increase support, visibility and encouragement of women in computing in Europe through networking, events and increasing the visibility of women in computing.

ACM womENcourage conference ( http://womencourage.acm.org).

Join students, industry professionals, academics and other leaders in computing to promote networking, visibility and technical discussion on March 1 2014. We invite poster submissions of original work by students (female and male) in all areas of computing and related disciplines. As the event attendees will be multidisciplinary, the poster should introduce the precise area in which the work is framed and should also emphasize the original work that has been performed by the student. The institute or group in which the student works should be mentioned in the poster.

Announcements

  • ACM-W Communication launched the new ACM-W webpage.
  • ACM-W Student Chapters has formed a Facebook group. Search for “ACM-W Chapters” in FB.
  • Upcoming conferences:
    • AWiC, the Australasia Celebration of Women in Computing, Jan. 20-23, 2014
    • CWiC, the Carolinas Celebration of Women in Computing, Feb. 7-8, 2014
    • INWiC, the Indiana Celebration of Women in Computing, Feb. 7-8, 2014
    • TRIWiC, the Northern Kentucky Celebration of Women in Computing, Feb. 7-8, 2014
    • CCWiC, the first Caribbean Celebration of Women in Computing, Feb. 26-27, 2014
  • Upcoming deadlines:
    • scholarship application, Feb. 15. 2014
  • Seeking volunteer to help with ACM-W communication. Please contact Yuqing Melanie Wu at
    yuqwu@indiana.edu and Rane Johnson at ranej@microsoft.com