ACM-W Connections. December 2016

  • Womenpower 2016 event in Cyprus.
  • Students who received ACM-W Scholarship share their experiences at research conferences.

(more…)

ACM-W Connections. November 2016

  • An interview with Dr. Denise Gürer, People of ACM-W.
  • AICWIC, the All-India Celebration of Women in Computing event took place in Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India.
  • Four ACM-W chapters won Amplification Award.
  • Three students won ACM-W Scholarship to attend research conferences.

(more…)

ACM-W Connections. October 2016

  • ACM Celebration and Hackathon in Goa, India.
  • An interview with Dr. A.J. Brush.
  • ACM Rocky Mountain Celebration of Women in Computing in Salt Lake City.

(more…)

ACM-W Connections. September 2016

  • Summer Report from ACM-W Uganda.
  • Behind the scenes — Women in CG at SIGGRAPH.
  • Summer Celebrations in Valencia Spain and Santiago Chile.

(more…)

ACM-W Connections. July 2016

  • Update from ACM-W council annual meeting.
  • Southern California Celebration of Women in Computing.

(more…)

ACM-W Connections. June 2016

  • People of ACM-W — Alain Chesnais.
  • The First Annual New York City ACM-W Conference for Women Computer Science Students.
  • 13 students won ACM-W Scholarship to attend research conferences.
  • Three ACM-W student chapters won NCWIT Student Seed Fund Amplification grants.

(more…)

ACM-W Connections. May 2016

  • The number of ACM-W student chapters grew to 133.
  • The First Annual New York City ACM-W Conference for Women Computer Science Students.
  • Hackathon Event for Women, HACKHER, at Coimbatore, India .

(more…)

ACM-W Connections. April 2016

Welcome from the ACM-W Chair

Welcome to the April, 2016, issue of ACM-W Connections.  

Our new subcommittee that is handling People of ACM-W has already produced their second interview!  This month we feature their interview with our very own Gloria Townsend.  It would be impossible to adequately express all that Gloria has done for ACM-W – she’s been an amazing force, initiating the very idea of ACM-W Celebrations and helping to launch many of the events that still run today.  She has also overseen a huge growth in the number of ACM-W chapters.  You definitely should read the interview.  And a hearty thanks to Gloria for all that she has contributed to ACM-W and to our entire community over her long and rich career!

This month we also feature the recent Celebration in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico (one of the 4 events that have already taken place this month, with the others in New York City, upstate New York, and Southern California). 

We’ve got news from Scholarships, from ACM-W Europe, and a number of announcements of events and opportunities.  Please check it out.

Thanks to Oracle for stepping up again to support the ACM-W scholarship program with another donation of $24K for the next two years.  We are very grateful for this ongoing support.

Volunteer with us!
Two opportunities this month:

  • The ACM-W Chapters Committee seeks a volunteer to help lead a "contests" project.  The volunteer would advertise the contests (after designing the application) on our Facebook pages, in our listserv, and in the newsletter.  S/he would also receive submissions and judge winners.  Finally s/he would congratulate winners on our Facebook pages and in the newsletter.  At present, we anticipate two contests:   Best poster advertising ACM-W Chapters and Best ACM-W Chapter Leader.
  • Do you live in Texas?  Want to help launch an ACM-W Celebration there?  Please be in touch!

Where’s ACM-W This Month?
We have one more Celebration coming up in April –in Baku, Azerbaijan.  We’re very excited by the increasing international activity.   I’m also heading to Pomona College  — it’s not for ACM-W business, but I will get to visit with Melanie Wu, our great communications chair.  It’s thanks to Melanie that we are able to bring you this newsletter every month. 

Thanks, as always, for your work on behalf of women in computing!

~Valerie Barr, ACM-W Chair

People of ACM-W

Dr. Gloria Childress Townsend is a Professor of Computer Science at DePauw University where she has taught for over 36 years. Dr. Townsend has served on the ACM-W Executive Board and is currently the Chair of the ACM-W Chapters Committee. She has been a founder and organizer for ACM-W Celebrations of Women in Computing and is a passionate advocate for women in computing.

Read an interview with Townsend here.

News From ACM-W Scholarships

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. Applications are evaluated in 6 occasions each year, in order to distribute awards across a range of conferences, with some 6-8 awards given for each group of applications (This time around we are lucky and have ten awards!). The ACM-W Scholarships are made possible due to the generous support of Microsoft, Google and Oracle.

If the award is for attendance at one of the ACM special interest group conferences (SIG conferences), the SIG will most likely provide complementary conference registration and a mentor during the conference. The number of free registrations available varies from SIG to SIG.

ACM-W has helped students attend a wide range of meetings including SIGGRAPH, SIGCHI, ICDIPC, Women in Cyber Security, ACM EC, SIGCSE, IEEE Conferences, DIS, IPDPS, ICCC, ACM CHI, AAMAS, FLAIRS, WIMS, CSCW, New Interfaces for Musical Expressions, GECCO, SpringSim, and ICSE amongst others.

The scholarship exposes students to prominent researchers in their field, introduces students to new research, and excites them about doing research themselves. We ask students to share with us some of their thoughts on the conference they attended and we never cease to find truly inspiring stories


I really enjoyed presenting to the ACM DEV community, as they were a group of highly motivated people passionate about designing robust and resilient solutions for a better future. The opportunity to present our work on “Alternative Decentralized Infrastructures” also allowed for some eye-opening discussions after the talk, about potential ways forward with the work. (Ankira Raturi, PhD student from the University of California, Irvine, visited London, UK for the ACM Symposium on Computing for Development, Dec. 2015.)


I am a first generation college student and the only female to go to college in my extended family. I enjoyed attending OurCS, because it allowed me to meet wonderful women in computing. I heard inspiring keynote speakers that made me believe in myself and in my future in the tech world. (Susana Gomez-Burgos, Undergraduate Student at University of Colorado Boulder, USA, in BS in Technology, Arts & Media, went to OurCS at Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA), in October 2015.)


I attended the Symposium on Theory of Computation (STOC), which was held along with FCRC (Federate Computing Research Conference) in June 2015. […] I am very passionate about theoretical computer science and STOC is one of the two top conferences in this area. […]I am also planning to apply to PhD programs in the upcoming semester, and I got the chance to meet some prospective supervisors and get an idea of the kind of research topics I could work on in a PhD program there. (Yasamin Nazari, Masters student at the University of Calgary, went to the Symposium on Theory of Computation 2015, in Portland, Oregon, United States, June 2015.)

The next application deadline is April 15 for conferences taking place in June and July 2016.

News From ACM-W Celebrations

This is a very busy season for Celebrations with six events taking place in the past month!    On March 4/5th, CAPWiC, the Capital Region Celebration took place at Christopher Newport University in Virginia.  On March 16th, a Celebration was held at Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines.    NYC-CWiC took place in New York City on April 1st and NYCWiC was held in Lake George New York on April 8th/9th.   The same weekend, the Caribbean Celebration of Women in Computing (CCWiC) event took place in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico and last, but not least, CWiC – Southern California was held in Ventura California.     Together these events inspired over 1350 attendees!

I had the honour and pleasure of representing ACM-W at the Caribbean Celebration of Women in Computing.  We enjoyed two great keynote speakers, Lucienne Gigarnte from Animus who gave a talk entitled “On Choices, Success & Happiness” and Lucy Crespo (who was aptly described as a “rock star” of tech in Puerto Rico) from the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust who provided insights on the current status of women in technology and the state of affairs in Puerto Rico.  There were three parallel sessions throughout the day on Saturday with research talks, a discussion on discrimination in the video game industry, a workshop on developing leadership skills and much more.  Attendees enjoyed a viewing of CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap which outlines the gender gap in Computer Science and offers theories as to why it exists and ideas as to how we can work towards gender parity.   The poster session was well attended and I found it inspiring to hear about research projects in which many of the undergraduate students are involved.  Several indicated that they were continuing with the research on a volunteer basis simply because they enjoyed it.   The energy and atmosphere at this conference was amazing – and the dance on Friday night was very fun with plenty of Latin music!  Congratulations to Nayda Santiago and her well organized team for putting together a great conference!

News From ACM-W Chapters

This month we highlight two of our awarding-winning ACM-W Chapters, Indiana University Bloomington and University of North Carolina at Charlotte.  Both chapters recently won Trailblazer Awards from NCWIT’s Student Seed Fund.  http://ncwit.org/programs-campaigns/ncwit-awards/ncwit-student-seed-fund   (Second-round applications due April 30.)

Descriptions of the projects:

  • Indiana University Bloomington will conduct research on campus to understand campus-specific experiences and systemic issues. The institution will also create resources for male advocates in academia.
  • The University of North Carolina at Charlotte will create workshops that focus on using improved techniques to challenge covert sexism and racism. The school will also produce video segments that can be used as educational resources on other campuses.

Indiana University Bloomington (IUB)’s Chapter history features one of ACM-W’s chapter categories that helps schools with small female populations in computing or with any issue that prohibits their forming an independent ACM-W Chapter.  IUB and DePauw University formed a Regional ACM-W Chapter twenty years ago.  The two schools share a rich history of collaboration, where Suzanne Menzel, Maureen Biggers, Gloria Townsend and others organized the Indiana Celebrations of Women in Computing.  http://inwic.tech.purdue.edu/

Now, both IUB and DePauw host thriving independent ACM-W Chapters.  If your school cannot meet the ten-member rule for chartering an independent ACM-W Chapter, please consider modeling our successful Regional ACM-W Chapter,. 

Announcements

  • HPC Community Study survey

    THe HPC Community study is a preliminary analysis of workforce and research participation in HPC, and aims to quantify the current level of representation of women in HPC and to provide a baseline of evaluating possible reasons and suggesting ways for future changes of the demographics. One of the methods we use for our research is the survey.
    If you haven’t already taken part and you are a person that works to any HPC field/sector and any position or uses HPC facilities for research purposes, please fill in the survey here .

    The survey has been running since the end of February 2016 and we have had a rather satisfactory number of responses. It will be open until the end of April 2016 to encourage even more people to participate.

    Also, we would like to thank all the people that supported our study by responding to our survey or/and promoting it around the HPC community.  This research is still a work in progress, thus details of the methods and research questions may still evolve. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Athina Frantzana

  • Informatica Feminale

    The University of Bremen, Germany, invites women experts in computer science/informatics to contribute to the 19th Informatica Feminale. The international summer university will take place from August 08 to August 26, 2016 in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Bremen University.

    Furthermore we invite companies to sponsor the summer university.
    There will be various chances to meet graduates of computer science and engineering at both the parallel summer universities Informatica Feminale and Ingenieurin-Sommeruni.

    Every year, Informatica Feminale offers compact teaching in informatics/computer science for women students of all types of universities and colleges as well as for women professionals interested in further training. In this regard, entering higher education, developing a student career, transition into labor market and lifelong academic learning are equally applied. International lecturers and students meet at the summer university in Bremen to exchange and to use the place for experimentation, with the intention to develop and imply new impulses in informatics. The summer university is aiming at the professional networking of students and the advanced training for computer scientists on an academic level.

  • The European Celebration of Women in Computing

    The European Celebration of Women in Computing will take place in Brussels during the Girls’ Day Week: 25-26 April 2016! Look at the conference webpage for details.

    We are delighted to announce that scholarship applications are open to all students in Europe to encourage networking and collaboration between both students starting out in their field of study and those about to take their place in the commercial world. The scholarships will be awarded to successful applicants to enable them to attend ACM-W celebration of women in computing: womENcourage 2016. Funded by generous sponsors including ACM-W Europe, SIGPLAN, Google, Bloomberg, Microsoft Research, and Informatics Europe.   In previous years scholarships have been awarded to students from 17 different countries across Europe. If you are interested in participating in the womENcourage Celebration of Women in Computing and you need help with a travel scholarship please go to the following link for further information:

  • Yfactor survey

    Make a difference to gender diversity in STEM with the Yfactor survey – Check it out here.

  • 2016 IEEE WIE International Leadership Conference

    Join over 1100 women May 23 and 24th in San Jose, California for the 2016 IEEE Women in Engineering International Leadership conference. Targeting Mid and Senior level women in engineering, the exciting inspiration packed program has more than 50 speakers delivering session on Leadership, Entrepreneurship, innovation and emerging technology.

  • 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 2016

Welcome from the ACM-W Chair

Welcome to the March, 2016, issue of ACM-W Connections.  

I am very happy to introduce a new feature of ACM-W Connections.  Starting with this issue, we will periodically run People of ACM-W.  A new subcommittee will be interviewing past and present ACM-W volunteers, the hardy folks who organize our ACM-W Celebrations, and some of the many people who support and advocate for ACM-W and the work we do.  This inaugural interview features Bettina Bair of Ohio State University.  I hope you enjoy it.  And thanks to Denise Case, Deborah Hughes, and Rose-Gaëlle Belinga, the new committee handling the interviews.  I think you will agree that this is a great addition to the newsletter!

In the rest of the newsletter we have news about recent Scholarship recipients, an update from the Chapters committee, and news about the most recent Celebration events.  There are also quite a number of announcements:  information on HACKHER, sponsored by ACM-W India; information about how to nominate someone for the Maria Petrou Prize for work in Pattern Recognition; and information on the RESPECT 2016 conference (Research in Equity and Sustained Participation in Engineering, Computing, and Technology); information on graduate fellowships in computational and data science; and information about a new award that will be presented by Informatics Europe, the 1st Minerva Informatics Equality Award.

A lot of people contact us about running job ads in ACM-W Connections.  Please note the ACM-W policy is that we do not accept job ads but, instead, encourage people to use the ACM Job Center for advertising and for job hunting.  Thanks for understanding.

Volunteer with us!
Planning is underway for the first New England ACM-W Celebration event which will be held in southern Maine in spring 2017.  If you are interested in joining the committee organizing this event, please contact Anne Applin, aapplin@smccme.edu

Where’s ACM-W This Month?
We have 5 Celebration events coming up!  Locations are Philippines, New York City, upstate New York, Puerto Rico, and Southern California.  We should have lots of news from these events in the coming months.  Meanwhile, I’ll be meeting Jodi Tims (ACM-W vice chair) in Denver later this week.  In addition to working hard on ACM-W business and preparing for our ACM-W Council meeting in June, we’ll be meeting with ACM CEO Bobby Schnabel as well as with representatives of the Anita Borg Institute and the National Center for Women and IT. 

Thanks, as always, for your work on behalf of women in computing!

~Valerie Barr, ACM-W Chair

People of ACM-W

A role model, mentor and coach for women in computing at Ohio State, Bettina Bair works tirelessly to help attract and retain more women in computing majors. Working side-by-side with students while rounding up corporate support, she founded and supervises the group TWICE, The Women in Computer Engineering. She also founded a student chapter of ACM-W.

Bair has in the past been an active member of ACM-W, serving as part of a committee that developed recruiting materials to encourage middle- and high-school girls to consider careers in computing. Taking a passionate leadership role, Bair organized the first ACM-W Ohio Celebration of Women in Computing, held in 2005. Approximately 100 young women from 13 colleges and universities around Ohio and Michigan attended event. 

Bair has guest-written articles for the Columbus Dispatch highlighting the gender imbalance in computing and some of the local efforts to help correct the problem; participated in Women in Engineering workshops; taken young women to the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference; and presented papers and posters at international conferences while encouraging undergraduate women to do the same. She informs her students through organization and classroom listservs about interesting opportunities and encourages them to apply for grants, scholarships, jobs, conferences and school organizations.

Read an interview with Bair here.

News From ACM-W Scholarships

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. Applications are evaluated in 6 occasions each year, in order to distribute awards across a range of conferences, with some 6-8 awards given for each group of applications (This time around we are lucky and have ten awards!). The ACM-W Scholarships are made possible due to the generous support of Microsoft, Google and Oracle.

If the award is for attendance at one of the ACM special interest group conferences (SIG conferences), the SIG will most likely provide complementary conference registration and a mentor during the conference. The number of free registrations available varies from SIG to SIG.

ACM-W has helped students attend a wide range of meetings including SIGGRAPH, SIGCHI, ICDIPC, Women in Cyber Security, ACM EC, SIGCSE, IEEE Conferences, DIS, IPDPS, ICCC, ACM CHI, AAMAS, FLAIRS, WIMS, CSCW, New Interfaces for Musical Expressions, GECCO, SpringSim, and ICSE amongst others.

The scholarship exposes students to prominent researchers in their field, introduces students to new research, and excites them about doing research themselves. We ask students to share with us some of their thoughts on the conference they attended and we never cease to find truly inspiring stories:

Rekha Pai (National Institute of Technology Calicut, India) attended the thirteenth edition of Asian Symposium on Programming Languages and Systems held at Pohang, Korea from 30 November 2015 – 02 December 2015



She says: I am proud to be one of the handful of women presenters in this conference and felt elated to have presented my work to these greats in Computing. […]This trip was my first international travel and I have to admit I was a lot apprehensive.
But the untiring efforts by the lovely host – Prof Sungwoo Park (Gen Chair), the volunteers – Mr Kim and Mr Mai, and the hotel staff at POSCOIC, made my stay comfortable. [..]To sum up, this travel was productive in terms of both academics and personal. I thank APLAS and ACM-W for making this travel possible. I am looking forward to attending more international conferences and meeting like-minded people eager to share ideas leading to overall development of this computing community.

Shiri Dori-Hacohen, from University of Massachusetts Amherst, MA, USA, (blue coat on the right), attended SIGIR.



“Attending SIGIR was an absolutely incredible experience! I gave a talk at the Doctoral Consortium (“Controversy Detection and Stance Analysis”) an received positive and
constructive feedback from the attendees. […]During the main conference, I organized an informal lunch for researchers interested in my research area of controversy
analysis, an exciting new subfield; along with 7 other researchers, we discussed our existing work, future plans and research questions. […] I am extremely grateful for ACM-W’s support in allowing me to attend this conference, it was a truly unique experience and one that was extremely valuable to me: as a researcher, as a professional, and as a woman in Computer Science.”

Congratulations to the new scholars awarded scholarships in the latest voting  round: Marija Selakovic, Christina Kelley,  Manaswi Saha, Ruisha Ma, Soumyar Dash, Maria Rauschenberger, Cheihlin Wu, Radhika Gopi, Dhanya Krishnan and Caitlin Lustig. We’re  expecting more lovely trip reports from you, young ones!

The next application deadline is April 15for conferences taking place in June and July 2016.

News From ACM-W Celebrations

The arrival of Spring brings much to celebrate, and as a result the ACM-W Celebrations are in full swing!     Two Celebrations took place on the weekend of February 19th in two different locations in the US.  The Tri-State Women in Computing Conference was held in Cincinnati, Ohio and the Carolinas Women in Computing for North Carolina and South Carolina was held in North Myrtle Beach.   In total, 250 attendees took part in these events from all levels of academia (undergraduates, graduates and faculty of both universities and community colleges) as well as representatives from industry.

Both conferences featured guest speakers, workshops, poster presentations, a career fair, and plenty of time for networking and socializing.   Both conferences took advantage of an excellent collaboration between ACM-W and the producers of the film CODE:  Debugging the Gender Gap to screen this movie at their Celebration.

The Celebrations inspired and invigorated attendees.  Sumeet Ranu, Vice-President of ACM-W at UC says, “TRIWiC not only gave us the opportunity to learn from professionals and professors attending the conference, but also gave us the chance to talk to younger girls that are new to computing and give them advice based on our experiences. Speaking on the ACM-W panel was definitely the highlight of our experience. It gave us the chance to reflect on our journey in founding our ACM-W chapter. At the end, we truly realized the greater impact our community service and outreach through partnerships with companies like Microsoft and Google has had.

We are looking forward to upcoming Celebrations which will be held in the Phillipines, Southern California, upstate New York, New York City, and Puerto Rico.  Check the ACM-W Celebrations page for more information on these and other events.

If you are considering organizating an ACM-W Celebration in your location in 2016/2017, please contact Wendy Powley (wendy@cs.queensu.ca) for more information.   We can help you get started!

News From ACM-W Chapters

The number of ACM-W chapters continues to grow; we now list 114 Chapters world-wide.  Spring 2016 is the perfect time to morph your Women in Computing group to an ACM-W chapter or to build a new chapter from scratch.  The NCWIT/Google Student Seed Fund grant offers a second round of competition for funding with its April 30, 2016 deadline.  The Start-Up Funding category provides $3000 to launch a new ACM-W chapter.

Announcements

  • MARIA PETROU PRIZE

    Deadline for Submission of Nomination and Endorsement Forms is April 30, 2016.

    The Maria Petrou Prize is to be awarded biennially at ICPRs to a living female scientist/engineer who has made substantial contributions to the field of Pattern Recognition (or a closely related field), and whose past contributions, current research activity and future potential may be regarded as a model to both aspiring and established researchers. This Prize honors the memory of Professor Maria Petrou as a scientist and engineer of the first rank, and particularly in her role as a pioneer for women researchers and highly successful role model. She is widely recognized for her extensive contributions to the field of image processing and pattern recognition. She also made significant contributions to the growth of IAPR, covering significant leadership roles. Detailed information is available at http://iapr.org/fellowsandawards/awards_petrou.php

  • RESPECT 2016: Call for submission

    RESPECT 2016, Research in Equity and Sustained Participation in Engineering, Computing, and Technology

    August 11-13, 2016

    Atlanta, GA  USA

    RESPECT 2016 is the second international conference of the IEEE Special Technical Community on Broadening Participation.  As worldwide demand for computing professionals increases, it is essential that we create a more diverse workforce to drive creativity and provide equal opportunity. Research on how to address these factors is necessary to create a collective global strategy to improve participation in the computing sciences. We invite submissions of research papers of two types: full papers (8 pages in length) and short papers (4 pages in length) as well as experience papers (4 pages) on topics related to broadening participation in computing for all students, and for students from underrepresented groups in particular. Underrepresented groups in computing may differ according to location. In the United States, these groups include women, African Americans, Blacks, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Hispanics or Latino/as, socio-economically disadvantaged people, and all people with disabilities. 

  • ACM SIGHPC/Intel Computational & Data Science Fellowships

    ACM SIGHPC and Intel are excited to announce a new international program of graduate fellowships in computational and data science.

    Submissions open March 15, 2016 for the ACM SIGHPC/Intel Computational & Data Science Fellowships. The goal of this new graduate fellowship is to increase the diversity of students pursuing graduate degrees in data science and computational science, including women as well as students from racial/ethnic backgrounds that have not traditionally participated in the computing field. The program will support students pursuing degrees at institutions anywhere in the world.

    Interested faculty advisors and students can find more information on the fellowships, including a description of the online nomination process, at http://www.sighpc.org/fellowships.

  • 1st Minerva Informatics Equality Award

    2016 Edition “Developing the Careers of Female Faculty”

    Informatics Europe proudly announces the first Minerva Informatics Equality Award devoted to initiatives which seek to encourage and support the careers of women in Informatics research and education. It recognizes best practices in Departments or Faculties of European universities or research labs that have been demonstrated to have a positive impact for women.The first of this annual award will be made in October 2016 and will be sponsored by Google.

  • HACKHER : Hackathon for Women

    Date : 16th April 2016

    Time :  8Am – 8PM

    Sponsored by : ACM-W India

    Hosted by : Amrita University, Coimbatore

    Conducted by : GUVI, Chennai, India

    For Registration and more details: www.guvi.in/hachker

  • 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 2016

Welcome from the ACM-W Chair

Welcome to the February, 2016, issue of ACM-W Connections.  

This month we have news from the first all-Canada ACM-W Celebration, and a report on a recent event in Ireland.  There are also announcements from the Chapters committee and information on recent Scholarship recipients.

Thank you Google!

Thanks to Vint Cerf, former ACM President and staunch supporter of ACM-W, Google has provided another $50K in support for the ACM-W Scholarships.  We are deeply grateful to Google and to Vint for these funds which continue to make it possible for us to send women computing students to research conferences.

Need to get the word out about an event?

If you are organizing an event or need volunteers and you would like to get the word out to ACM-W people in your local area, let us know.  ACM Headquarters is very helpful in this regard as they can send a message to a targeted sublist of the 36,000 people who receive ACM-W Connections.  ACM-W is working with AAUW and other groups to run a TeenTech program at Seton Hall University in June, and targeted email to people in New Jersey was very successful, resulting in several people who will be presenting or assisting with workshops and who are helping with planning of the event. 

Where’s ACM-W This Month?

We have three Celebrations taking place between now and our next issue of Connections:  TriWiC (covering parts of Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana); CWiC-Carolinas; CAPWiC (covering the Washington, DC, region).   A number of us will also be staffing the ACM-W booth at SIGCSE (shared with our friends from CSTA and ACM-CCECC).  Please stop by if you are going to be there.

Thanks, as always, for your work on behalf of women in computing!

~Valerie Barr, ACM-W Chair

News From ACM-W Scholarships

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. Applications are evaluated in 6 occasions each year, in order to distribute awards across a range of conferences, with 1-6 awards given for each group of applications. The ACM-W Scholarships are made possible due to the generous support of Microsoft, Google and Oracle.

If the award is for attendance at one of the ACM special interest group conferences (SIG conferences), the SIG will most likely provide complementary conference registration and a mentor during the conference. The number of free registrations available varies from SIG to SIG.

ACM-W has helped students attend a wide range of meetings including SIGGRAPH, SIGCHI, ICDIPC, Women in Cyber Security, ACM EC, SIGCSE, IEEE Conferences, DIS, IPDPS, ICCC, ACM CHI, AAMAS, FLAIRS, WIMS, CSCW, New Interfaces for Musical Expressions, GECCO, SpringSim, and ICSE amongst others.

The scholarship exposes students to prominent researchers in their field, introduces students to new research, and excites them about doing research themselves. We ask students to share with us some of their thoughts on the conference they attended and we never cease to find truly inspiring stories:

Gizem Sungu, undergraduate student from Marmara University, Turkey, presented on the Genetic Evolutionary Computation Conference, in Madrid, Spain, July, 2015.



“The discussion after the presentation with the researchers was a great opportunity for me to get guidance regarding my future  research directions.”

Hannah Leleux, undergraduate student at Lamar University, Texas, USA, attended SIGITE in Chicago, Illinois, USA.



“I thoroughly enjoyed my experience in Chicago attending the SIGITE 2015 conference. The conference was very informative and had an amazing keynote speaker.[..] One of the talks I enjoyed was the Computer Forensics talk. The thing I found most interesting about the presenter was that he used hands on activities in his courses. The teacher said he used real cellphones from real criminal cases for testing. He tested the students on cellphones donated from law enforcement.”

Irina Petrova, Master’s student at the optical-computer science university attended GECCO’15 in St. Petersburg, Russia.



“GECCO’15 is the biggest and most serious conference which I attended. I have presented a poster "Selection of Auxiliary Objectives in the Travelling Salesman Problem using Reinforcement Learning”.  This topic relates to my master thesis. It was great experience for me to present a poster for the first time.  I was able to contact a lot of people and talk about my research.”

We offer our congratulations to the first 2016 scholars, awarded scholarships in the latest round of applications!

The next application deadline is February15 for conferences taking place in April and May 2016.

News From ACM-W Celebrations

 The inaugural ACM-W Canadian Celebration of Women in Computing (CAN-CWiC) conference took place on January 22/23rd in the Nation’s Capital, Ottawa, Ontario.   The event attracted over 500 attendees from across Canada with attendees from nine different provinces, the US, and India.

The event began with a banquet and opening remarks from Dr. Sheila Anand, the chair of ACM-W India.  The evening keynote was presented by Krista Shibata, the newly appointed Leader of the IBM Canada Women in Technology initiative.

Saturday was jam-packed with 3 parallel tracks including a technical track, skills development, and an outreach track.  The day began with a keynote by Jennifer Stott from RBC and concluded with a “Day in the Life” panel featuring four outstanding women with varied career paths.  The graduate forum and poster session allowed students a chance to share their work and to obtain valuable feedback from the many in attendance.   The career fair was a huge success with 25 exhibitors seeking new talent and showcasing their companies.

The CAN-CWiC Programming challenge, sponsored by IBM and TD Bank, offered students from across Canada a chance to develop and pitch novels ideas in the domain of Lifestyle Banking.  Participants used IBM’s Bluemix platform to develop a prototype.   The five top teams from the first round competition were invited to CAN-CWiC to compete in the final competition.  The teams were mentored by senior technical women from IBM and TD Bank to prepare for the final competition.  The top team was awarded a $1000 cash prize.

A pre-conference meeting brought together more than 40 female Computer Science faculty from across Canada to discuss issues relating to women in academia.   This group plans to continue their discussions and work on an action plan over the coming year to tackle some of the more pressing issues.

Thanks to our tireless Celebrations organizers, we have four upcoming events in February and March: 

  • TRIWiC – Tri-State Women in Computing, February 19/20, 2016 in Cincinnati, OH
  • CWiC – Carolinas Women in Computing, February 19/20, 2016 in Myrtle Beach, SC
  • CAPWIC – Capital Region Celebration of Women in Computing, March 4/5, 2016 at Christopher Newport University, Newport News, Virginia
  • PHIWiC – Phillipines Women in Computing Conference, March 16, 2016

News From ACM-W Chapters

ACM-W Chapters is delighted to announce four new networking grants. Our Chapters Project Leaders (Lindsay and Alan Jamieson) awarded four grants to: Florida Atlantic University (USA), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (USA), ACM-W Cyprus, and India’s SA Polytechnic. Watch the ACM-W Chapters Facebook site to see the results of these grants.

/chapter gives information about applying for a new grant in the next round of applications – under the heading, ACM-W Networking Awards. The next application deadline for fall events is April 15. Please join FSU, RPI, Cyprus, and SA Polytechnic in helping to network the women in your corner of the world!

News From ACM-W Europe

Letterkenny Institute of Technology Women In Computing event


A number of the industry speakers with Dr. Gertie Taggart, Head of the School of Science, Letterkenny Institute of Technology. Absent from Photo: Mr Thomas Dowling, Head of Department of Computing.
Note: Not all of the speakers were present at the time of the photograph. Photographs of the attendees could not be taken due to Data Protection Laws in Ireland.

On January 22nd Letterkenny Institute of Technology hosted a Women In Computing event. The event was focused on encouraging young women of 15-18 years of age to consider computing as a career. Five hundred young women registered to attend the event. On the day 20 industry speakers spoke to 370 young women about their career path towards computing. They discussed why they chose a career in computing and why their jobs are so varied. Following this a number of young women currently on computing courses spoke to the attendees. This interactive session was provided to dispel many myths about computing and to provide local and national role models for the attendees. The event was sponsored by ACM-WE, Pramerica and other local companies which enabled the attendees to network over lunch after the presentation and take home some goodies!

Announcements

  • 3rd ACM-W Europe Celebration of Women in Computing: womENcourage 2016
    September 12-13, 2016

    Announcing the next ACM-W Celebration of Women in Computing: womENcourage 2016 (http:womencourage.acm.org) on September 12-13,  2016 at Johannes Kepler University, in Linz Austria.  The program is online and will include inspiring keynote speakers, panel discussions, a Career Fair and Posters on both days of the Celebration.

  • 23-24 MAY 2016 – SAN JOSE, CA – LEAD BEYOND.
    2016 IEEE WIE International Leadership Conference (http://ieee-wie-ilc.org
    )

    Join over 1100 women May 23 and 24th in San Jose, California for the 2016 IEEE Women in Engineering International Leadership conference. Targeting Mid and Senior level women in engineering, the exciting inspiration packed program has more than 50 speakers delivering session on Leadership, Entrepreneurship, innovation and emerging technology.

  • Deadline Approaching: Informatica Feminale

    The University of Bremen, Germany, invites women experts in computer science/informatics to contribute to the 19th Informatica Feminale. The international summer university will take place from August 08 to August 26, 2016 in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Bremen University.

    Furthermore we invite companies to sponsor the summer university.

    There will be various chances to meet graduates of computer science and engineering at both the parallel summer universities Informatica Feminale and Ingenieurin-Sommeruni.

    Every year, Informatica Feminale offers compact teaching in informatics/computer science for women students of all types of universities and colleges as well as for women professionals interested in further training. In this regard, entering higher education, developing a student career, transition into labor market and lifelong academic learning are equally applied. International lecturers and students meet at the summer university in Bremen to exchange and to use the place for experimentation, with the intention to develop and imply new impulses in informatics. The summer university is aiming at the professional networking of students and the advanced training for computer scientists on an academic level.

  • Deadline Approaching: Google CS4HS Awards

    Google’s annualComputer Science for High School (CS4HS) Awards program provides funding to universities, colleges, and nonprofit organisations dedicated to providing exemplary computer science professional development for teachers. Those who meet oureligibility criteria can apply for a CS4HS Award on theCS4HS website. The deadline to apply for funding is midnight (GMT), 15th February 2016.

    Successful applicants will receive funding of up to $15,000 each for their project. However, additional funding is available for projects with regional reach and the potential to scale nationally. You can read more about the awardhere.

     Please reach out to the CS4HS team (cs4hs@google.com) if you have any questions.

  • HPC Summer School in Slovenia! Feb. 15 deadline to apply

    Feb. 15 is the deadline to apply for the International Summer School on HPC (high performance computing) Challenges in Computational Sciences. Seats are reserved for US, Japanese, European, and Canadian graduate and postdoc-level scholars. Candidates with some parallel computing and/or HPC exposure are preferred, and applications from female and minority scholars are especially welcome.

    Successful candidates will travel to Slovenia for a week where they will learn about computational and data science (and more) from experts who work in a range of scientific domains. I helped with that program’s predecessor when I worked for TeraGrid; it’s an amazing opportunity!

  • 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. January 2016

Welcome from the ACM-W Chair

Welcome to the January, 2016, issue of ACM-W Connections.  Happy New Year!

I’ll be relatively brief this month.  I’m very excited to call your attention to the first report from a project we are funding in Uganda.  ACM-W funding has helped make it possible for the ACM-W chapter at Stawa University to take computers to women in rural areas, teaching women computing skills.  I think their report does a wonderful job of providing a sense of what they are managing to do, despite some very difficult circumstances, and I hope you will find it as exciting and promising as I do!

Where’s ACM-W This Month?

The first Canada-wide ACM-W celebration is just around the corner, scheduled for January 22-23, so I imagine we’ll have a detailed report in the February issue of Connections.  At last word they had to close registration as they were full to capacity, and there are several buses scheduled to bring people from across Canada. 

When you read this, I will likely be on my way to Google HQ for a summit on retention of women in CS.  Otherwise, January is a bit of a slow period for ACM-W, though there is lots of work happening behind the scenes as new communications initiatives get underway and the spring Celebration planning shifts into high gear.  Look for much more news in the coming months!

Thanks, as always, for your work on behalf of women in computing!

~Valerie Barr, ACM-W Chair

ACM-W Uganda Chapter, as captured on Saturday, December 19, 2015

It is Saturday morning in Kampala, Uganda.  Barbra Namirembe, the newly installed President of the new ACM-W chapter in Uganda, addresses her chapter members who are meeting in a dining hall at Stawa University before embarking into a van, which was provided, in part, by ACM-W’s donation.  “Ladies and gentlemen,” she opens her remarks, “we’re honored to be part of a worldwide computer movement revolutionizing computer education to women.  From what I have gathered, there are many chapters like ours meeting and strategizing how to best serve women’s computer education needs.”  During this meeting, which lasts for one hour, Barbara and her cabinet discuss the projects at hand, including sets of objectives for each village and how certificates can be awarded to women who fully go through the training.  One of the projects currently incorporated in ACM-W in Uganda is the Netiva Women in Science Institute (NWISI) at Stawa University.    NWISI conducts mobile classrooms for women in rural Uganda.   However, since the formation of ACM-W Uganda chapter, NWISI has literally been married/merged with ACM-W.  After the ACM-W meeting this Saturday morning, some of the members will arm themselves with laptops and invade rural communities to teach women basic and, for some, advanced computer skills. 

Joseph, one of the few students at Stawa University who has a driver’s license, has been driving the teaching team for months now.  Joseph is probably the only student in the world who got an academic scholarship for having a driver’s license.  Since the formation of ACM-W, Barbra and her team approached the Provost of Stawa University and requested for an academic scholarship for Joseph in exchange for his services of driving ACM-W and NWISI participants to places they need to be to carry out ACM-W objectives.   For Joseph, however, he must be careful as the streets of Kampala can make driving tough and getting out of the city challenging, the least of which not being weekend markets that see throngs of people selling and buying merchandize too close to the road, where people and goods sometimes spill into the middle of the streets, thereby literally shutting down traffic for a while.  

After leaving Kampala, the van takes the South Sudan Highway heading northwards.  After an hour on this nicely paved highway, thanks to the World Bank and IMF loans to Uganda, the van turns left on a rural, unpaved road that takes students through a series of rural trading centers, marshlands, banana plantations, valleys and hills, and, eventually, they reach Kiryamuli village where classes are regularly conducted. 
This Saturday, however, owing to the high demand for these mobile classes by rural women, the class has been shifted from happening under a mango tree situated in Maama Zamu’s front yard, a very nice, peaceful place to a rural, spacious Tarkuwa Mosque, which the local imam, in conjunction with the local chiefs, have offered to ACM-W for use.  The mosque is a step up from the mango tree, for, here, participants are offered real seats, a nice shelter in the event of rain or sunshine, and a spacious indoor environment. 



Once inside the mosque, ACM-W teachers unzip their backpacks and pull out the 3 Dell computers that ACM-W (USA) purchased for this mobile classroom project earlier this year.  Accordingly, the women are divided into four groups, one for each laptop, and the fourth group takes a rudimentary reading and writing class.  The mosque also comes with a blackboard; for this, Barbra is beside herself with jubilation: “Now the women can practice writing letters and sentences on the board, something we couldn’t afford for them before,” she tells the village Chief, who had negotiated for the mosque to be made available.   

Teaching adults computers is not easy, by any stretch of imagination.  “A four year old would be much easier to teach than a thirty five year old”, Peter, the only male volunteer on the team, tells Barbra.  In each of the three groups learning computer, women, at first, seem terrified by the computer, even though this is not their first attendance in the mobile classroom.  In one group, when asked to type something, a woman moves her index finger so slowly, as if she is preparing to touch something really hot.   In another group, one freezes, as if she just won’t touch any key today at all, although, with constant encouragement from these dedicated teachers, all the women get to learn how to turn on the computer, touch the key board, practice some exercises, and eventually move to a promising level of computer use. 

Today ACM-W chapter will leave one computer in the village, under the care of Maama Zamu, who is one of the most dedicated and excited rural student, so that other women can use it during the week to improve their skills.  Rural women often have free time between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm, after working the fields, fetching water on their heads and cooking a meal, to take extra time with the computer.  The chapter is in search of additional computers, with an initial goal of increasing the number to 25 laptops.  Now they only have 3 for a group of about 70 women. 

As the sun sets in the west, goats and sheep bleating audibly, students pack the computers, bid farewell to the villagers, who sit still as if to say teach us some more, and enter the van for a ride back to Kampala, where each one will arrive at home or their school hostel after dark.

News From ACM-W Scholarships

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. Applications are evaluated in 6 occasions each year, in order to distribute awards across a range of conferences, with 1-6 awards given for each group of applications. The ACM-W Scholarships are made possible due to the generous support of Microsoft, Google and Oracle.

If the award is for attendance at one of the ACM special interest group conferences (SIG conferences), the SIG will most likely provide complementary conference registration and a mentor during the conference. The number of free registrations available varies from SIG to SIG.

ACM-W has helped students attend a wide range of meetings including SIGGRAPH, SIGCHI, ICDIPC, Women in Cyber Security, ACM EC, SIGCSE, IEEE Conferences, DIS, IPDPS, ICCC, ACM CHI, AAMAS, FLAIRS, WIMS, CSCW, New Interfaces for Musical Expressions, GECCO, SpringSim, and ICSE amongst others.

The scholarship exposes students to prominent researchers in their field, introduces students to new research, and excites them about doing research themselves. We ask students to share with us some of their thoughts on the conference they attended and we never cease to find truly inspiring stories:

Arooba Javed, Undergraduate student of Computer Science at Wayne State University, went to Lisbon, Portugal, in October 2015, for ASSETS 2015



“The ASSETS 2015 conference was one of the best experiences of my life. The conference started with the inspiring keynote speaker, Jon Schull, who spoke about his company, e-NABLE, which through an online community of volunteers, provides free 3D-printed prosthetic hands and arms to those who need them. Although prosthetic limbs would cost thousands of dollars, the ability to design and 3D print these limbs has made them accessible to many people.[…] My mentor, Erin Brady, was kind enough to introduce me to several of her colleagues.[…] The conference has led me think about career possibilities that I could not have imagined before. I want to thank ACM-W for providing me with the incredible opportunity to attend the ASSETS 2015 conference! It truly was a life changing experience.”

Agnes Salanki fromBudapest University of Technology and Economics, went to Aalborg, Denmark in June 2015.



“The conference program of the useR! 2015 was surprisingly mixed, as among the participants were engineers, computer scientists, statisticians, even researchers in political sciences. […]The highlight of the conference was when I met personally Mine Cetinkaya-Rundel, a statistics teacher from Duke University whose Coursera course I finished two years ago. I presented my research related to semi-supervised outlier detection on the poster session [..] After the conference, I gave a talk about my impressions in front of our local experts, the slides can be found here. I am very thankful for your support, it was one of the greatest experiences of my PhD career.”

Congratulations to the new scholars awarded scholarships in the latest voting  round in January 2016:
 E. Choo, ATidjani, P. Lee, C. Kalra, J. Pena, V. Selvarajah, F. Poursardar, S. Nam and H. Fleenor. We’re  expecting more lovely trip reports from you, young ones!

News From ACM-W Celebrations

The new year is a great time to reflect on the past and look towards the year ahead.    In the fall, six ACM-W Celebrations took place, two in Europe – womENcourage (Uppsala, Sweden) and Inspire 2015 (London, UK), two in India, AIWiC (Ahmedabad, Gujarat) and NICwiC (northern India), and two events in the US, MinkWiC (Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas) and SEWiC (Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee).   Many thanks to all the organizers of these events!

In spring of 2016, we have nine confirmed events.   In January, the inaugural all-Canada event (CAN-CWiC) will take place in Ottawa.  In February and March we have four events planned including CWiC (Carolinas) and TRiWiC (Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio), CAPWiC (Virginia, Maryland, Washington DC) and PHIWiC to be held in the Philippines.   April will be a busy month with four confirmed events NYC-CWiC (New York City), CCWiC (Puerto Rico), NYCWiC (upstate New York), and SoCalWiC (Southern California).

It is encouraging to see many inquiries from people all over the world who are interested in organizing a Celebration event!    If you are thinking about organizing an event for the upcoming year (Sept 2016 – June 2017), it is time to contact us (wendy@cs.queensu.ca).  If you just want more information, please contact me.  I’d be happy to chat with you!

As a newbie in my role as Chair of the Celebrations committee, I am deeply grateful for the support received from Jodi and Valerie and am thankful for my committee members, Rachelle Hippler, Martha Kosa, Pallavi Meharia, new members, Alina Lazar and Kathleen Kalata and the many others at ACM headquarters who keep things running smoothly.     

Announcements

  • Do you have great ideas for joint activities with schools that don’t yet have an ACM-W chapter? Do you want to encourage women everywhere to be in ACM? Then you should apply for the ACM-W Networking award!

    The application is available. The deadline is January 15 for activities that will happen in March, April, May and June.
    We’re looking forward to hearing about all the amazing activities you have planned.

  • Save the Date: womENcourage 2016 Celebration of Women in Computing, September 12-13, 2016

    In just nine short months we will be celebrating Women in Computing at Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria. womENcourage 2016 will begin on September 12 with a lively Career Fair and on the 13th we will have the keynotes, panels, and a poster session. More information will be coming in the next few weeks.

  • Apply to Attend the Heidelberg Forum

    The Heidelberg Laureate Forum was created by the Klaus Tschira Foundation, the Heidelberg Institute of Theoretical Studies, ACM, and Letters to provide an opportunity for young researchers to spend a week with winners of the Turing Award, Abel Prize, Nevanlinna Prize, and Fields Medal. To date three forums have been held (2013, 2014, and 2015), and all have been viewed as a major success by the 40 laureates and 200 young researchers in computer science and mathematics who attended each forum. Details can be found athttp://www.heidelberg-laureate-forum.org/.
    The Fourth Heidelberg Laureate Forum will be held 18-23 September 2016. To be considered for the Heidelberg Forum, young researchers can either apply directly to the International Mathematical Union, and the Norwegian Academy of Science (www.application.heidelberg-laureate-forum.org) or be nominated by a colleague (or professor, mentor or manager) who can attest to the quality of their work. Nominations will likely carry a bit more weight within the selection process and can be made at
    https://application.heidelberg-laureate-forum.org/intern/reg_nom_registration_for.php
    but require ACM-specific credentials.  If you or a colleague would like to make a nomination, the ACM Organization Number is ACM72967.  Applications and nominations must be completed by February 3, 2016.

  • 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.