ACM-W Region News: Europe
The 10th ACM Celebration of Women in Computing: womENcourage™ 2023 is under way! This year the event is hosted by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, Norway, 20-22 September 2023, under the theme Computing Connecting Everyone. Open to all genders.
Keynote speakers this year are:
Prof. Athena Vakali, professor at the School of Informatics, Aristotle University, Greece, leading the Laboratory on Data and Web Science. Her current research interests include Data Science topics with emphasis on big data and online social networks mining and analytics, human-centric applications and sensing analytics, and on online sources of data management on the cloud, the edge and decentralized settings. Her talk at the conference will be about Quantified Self and Sensing Data Analytics.
Prof. Alexander Serebrenik, professor of social software engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands. His research goal is to facilitate the evolution of software by taking into account the social aspects of software development. His work tends to involve theories and methods both from within computer science (e.g., theory of socio-technical coordination; methods from natural language processing, machine learning) and from outside of computer science (e.g., organisational psychology). His talk at the conference will be about Gender and Software Development.
womENcourage™ is a three-day event which includes a hackathon, workshops, tutorials, posters, technical talks, and panel discussions. Find more details here.
Ohio Celebration of Women in Conference (OCWiC) 2023!
It’s a wrap! The Ohio Celebration of Women in Computing (OCWiC) occurred on February 24th & 25th, 2023, at Sawmill Creek Resort in Huron, Ohio. Except for 2021, due to the pandemic, this celebration has occurred every odd year since its inception in 2005. The event was organized by Ohio’s ACM-W OCWIC Professional Chapter and is modeled after the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing.
OCWIC ‘23 welcomed 235 women and men representing 43 universities and tech companies across Ohio this year. Female college students studying computing-related fields such as software engineering, computer science, cyber security, and data science (168, 71%) and industry and academic professionals in IT (58, 25%) shared their experiences and expertise in tech.
The event was made possible due to the generous support of academic and industry sponsors. The funds raised offered all student attendees a free scholarship to attend the event. This $285 scholarship covered event registration, hotel accommodations, and meals. Sponsors included 17 colleges and universities across Ohio, nine industry sponsors, and ACM-W Global. The complete list of sponsors can be found here: https://ocwic23.ocwic.org/sponsor-list/
At the conference
The OCWiC 2023 program included two keynote presentations. The first, was from Bettina Bair, the Founder of OCWiC and current Global ACM-W Communications Chair. The presentation, “Fork() theRules ” included a recap of Bettina’s career and encouraged the audience to Fork(), i.e. find their own path forward even if it looks a little different than everyone else’s path. Check out Bettina’s “Fork the Rules” articles published on LinkedIn.
The second keynote was given by Lisa Pierson, the Global Head of DevOps, Build for Aon and the OCWiC 2023 planning committee’s Program Chair. Lisa shared her career journey and covered how she evaluated whether a company was a good fit for her ideal work environment or not. She also shared insights regarding her remote work experience and how others can be successful working remotely.
Both keynote presenters highlighted the benefits of community, supporting one another, and being true to what does or does not work for you in a workplace environment.
New this year was the Leadership Summit held prior to the start of the conference for our ACM-W and ACM student chapter leaders. Over 50 student leaders gathered to share leadership challenges and ideas for activities. They also learned about Kouzes & Posner’s Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership, practiced talking about their leadership experiences during an interview using the STAR method, and networked with professionals in the IT industry.
In addition to the Keynote Speakers and Leadership Summit, the OCWIC ‘23 program consisted of student research poster presentations, student-lead talks regarding techniques they have learned or a deeper dive into their research, technology-focused workshops, career preparation tips (including a resume review workshop and career and opportunity fair), and Q&A with panelists from academia and industry. The full program can be found here: https://ocwic23.ocwic.org/program
In addition to the OCWiC celebrations every odd year, the OCWiC ACM-W chapter will be kicking off new speaker series that will take place between the celebrations. The events will primarily be virtual and are intended to connect women across Ohio, including students, professionals from academia, and professionals from the computing industry.
The next celebration will take place in February 2025. We will celebrate 20 years of OCWIC, so you will not want to miss this one. Events will be communicated through our mailing list, so be sure to sign-up here: https://ocwic.org/
ACM-W India Decade Celebration
Theme: Women in Computer Science Research
ACM W India celebrated its 10th anniversary with a special decade celebration on February 10th, 2023, at the Oriental Institute of Science and Technology, Bhopal.
ACM-W India Decade Celebration was dedicated to sharing knowledge, wisdom, expertise and information. The event started with a welcome address by Dr Hina Timani (ACM–W India Chair, Co-Founder and Director, iAnanya Datalytix Pvt. Ltd.), followed by the first keynote Talk by OCCW Award Winner, Dr Shweta Agrawal (ACM India Outstanding Contributions in Computing by a Woman for 2022) Associate Professor, IIT Madras, on “Cryptography: The Jugalbandi (duet) of structure and randomness”.
The Panel Discussion on “Diversity, Equity And Inclusion – The journey till now and the way forward” was moderated by Dr Renuka Sindhgatta (IBM Research India). The panel consisted of Prof. Gabrielle Kotsis (Austrian Computer Scientist and Past ACM President), Dr Varsha Apte (Professor, IIT Bombay), Dr Hema Murthy (Professor, IIT Madras), Dr Tullika Mishra (Professor, National University of Singapore) and Prof. Meena Mahajan (Professor, HBNI Chennai).
The second keynote talk was on “AI for Social Good: Case study and reflections” by Ms Tanuja Ganu (Principal Research, SDE Manager), and the third keynote was on “Adventure of AI: Deepfake and Bias” by Dr Richa Singh (Professor, IIT Jodhpur) respectively.
To conclude, a video message on Women in Tech by Dr Geetha Manjunath (Founder, CEO and CTO of NIRAMAI Health Analytix) was shown.
The event was witnessed by 150+ participants, including students, academics and professionals from various universities and corporates pan India. The day-long colloquium was a success both in terms of dissemination of knowledge as well as creating a platform for networking and mentoring opportunities for women in tech.
1st Greek ACM-W Chapter Winter School on Fairness in AI
Starting this year, the Greek ACM-W Chapter, with the support of the ACM Europe Research Visibility working group (ACM Europe RAISE), organizes a series of annual winter schools, on timely computer science related topics. The main goal of the school is to offer the opportunity to young computer science professionals to learn, interact and make a difference.
The inaugural edition of the Greek ACM-W Chapter Winter School (GECSW22) took place online on February 24-25, 2022. Living the revolution of AI, with issues of biased treatments, exclusion, and unfairness being raised, the topic could not be anything else than “Fairness in AI”. Participation was free but limited to facilitate interactions. After the selection process, more than 60 participants from more than 20 countries had the opportunity to be part of the
Top scientists from around the world presented their exciting work on the topic in the two-day event. Participants learned, through scientific talks and tutorials, the fundamental theory behind algorithmic fairness, the state-of-the-art in ranking, recommendations, web search, online markets, computer vision & some software tools. Also, they understood the need for a broader, multidisciplinary treatment including police, education, legal, philosophical and societal views.
For a more engaging and interactive virtual school, participants were divided into working groups. Each working group (7 people) had to complete a small task (see image). At the end of the conference, the participants presented their work and voted for the best presentation.
The entire event was live-streamed with the help of people from Athena Research Center and has been recorded on the Greek ACM-W Chapter’s YouTube channel. (Respecting the personal data of the students, their presentations have not been recorded)
The full program of the event is still available on the official website of GECSW22.
GECSW22 would like to thank its supporters and sponsors, all who contributed to make this event so successful, and of course its attendees for their participation and enthusiasm! Until the next GECSW, see you at the 4th Summit on Gender Equality in Computing by the Greek ACM-W Chapter!
Ruth Lennon selected as the next ACM-W Chair
Ruth Lennon, current chair of ACM-W Europe, has been selected as the next Global Chair of ACM-W. Ruth is the director of Craobh Technology Consulting, an organization that provides personalized solutions to industry problems.
Ruth is also a Lecturer with 20 years of experience in the Department of Computing in Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Ireland. Ruth’s research interests focus on enterprise scale systems with a particular focus on DevOps and Cloud technologies. She has been a member of many technical panels and committees including chairing the NSAI/TC 2/SC 11 on cloud and distributed systems, and working on the IEEE 2675 DevOps standard. Ruth’s goal in DevOps is to ensure that security and performance are seen as core to development projects just as it is in configuration projects.
Ruth has been a member of the ACM for over 20 years and is the Chair of the ACM-W Europe. She has worked on projects to support and encourage women in computing and engineering career pathways for as long as she has been in the ACM. Highlighting the vital role that women can play in any technical team is core to her voluntary work.
When asked about her vision for ACM-W Ruth states, “I look forward to working with the team to define a strategic approach to build stronger international links in our global community of skilled, collaborative and enthusiastic researchers and practitioners. Over the next two years we will explore new ways to provide greater value to our members locally, regionally and globally.”
ACM-W North America: Designing for Sustainability and Inclusion
In the summer of 2019, the ACM-W North America Executive Committee began the task of formally organizing. Led by Immediate Past Chair Dr. Monica McGill, the Committee embarked on the mission of supporting, celebrating, informing, and advocating for women and nonbinary people in computing across Canada, the U.S., and Mexico.
Suffice it to say that this was a heavy lift. Not only were we a small committee of volunteers. We were also starting from the ground up. Over the course of the 2019-2020 academic year, the Committee worked to ensure that sustainability and inclusion were at the forefront of all activities. As such, we implemented the following things to support these goals.
Creation of Constitution & Bylaws
It was extremely important for us to establish governance early, to ensure that all current and future members followed a process that supported the ACM-W mission and our ideals as founding members of the North America Committee. These were approved by members of the Executive Committee and address everything from responsibilities of subcommittees and chairs to the addition/removal of new members (including subcommittees) and processes for amending the bylaws.
Examples of this intentionality include the required representation of the Committee:
“Members from systemically marginalized races/ethnicities shall represent a minimum of 50% of the ACM-W North America Committee.”
Given that approximately 78% of all women in computing racially identify as white and Asian, this requirement ensured that those identifying as Black, Indigenous, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, and Latina were not pushed to the margins for leadership positions.
Creation of the Empowerment of Marginalized Communities Subcommittee
The Empowerment of Marginalized Communities (Empowerment, for short) Subcommittee leads efforts to empower, support, and connect individuals who have been systemically pushed to the fringes in computing. It promotes computing in communities throughout North America that are underserved due to the detrimental effects of slavery, colonialization, and continued marginalization.
The Executive Committee recognizes the ways in which women and non-binary people from marginalized communities have been intentionally decentered in conversations related to gender diversity, equity, and inclusion in computing. This Subcommittee provides valuable programming and strategies that center those who’ve long been pushed to the margins. In addition, at least one member of the Empowerment Subcommittee must also serve on the Nominations Subcommittee [which is responsible for identifying, vetting, and/or presenting potential candidates for ACM-W North America (including the Executive Committee)].
Creation of Student Co-Chairs
The Committee recognizes that our student chapters drive our regional activities. As a result, it is important that they participate in the sustained support across the region. Each North America Subcommittee (Celebrations, Communications, Student Chapters, Nominations, and Empowerment) shall include at least one student chair, who helps to also serves as a liaison between the Committee and student chapters/members throughout North America. We are currently soliciting self-nominations for student chairs. Interested students should review the self-nomination information and apply here no later than April 1, 2022.
The ACM-W NA Executive Committee understands the importance of designing to include. While there are sure to be unexpected changes in the future, we are proud of the intentionality we used to create a regional Committee that prioritizes inclusion and equity for generations to come.
We welcome you to learn more about and join us in this important work.
ACM-W Europe blog
We are delighted to host guests on ACM-W Europe blog, and this quarter we had fantastic contributions.
Breath of Fresh Air: Diversity Heroes – Barbora Buhnova Our March 2021 guest was Barbara Buhnova, is a Co-Founder and Governing Board member of Czechitas, the community behind the scenes of the womENcourage 2021 conference. This Czech non-profit organisation emerged in 2014 to empower girls and women to engage in computing education or career transition. Bara is an Associate Professor and vice-dean at Masaryk University (MU), Faculty of Informatics in Brno. She leads multiple research teams at the Faculty of Informatics MU (software architecture), the Institute of Computer Science MU (big data analytics), and the Czech CyberCrime Centre of Excellence C4e (critical infrastructures). Bara is a leading member of multiple initiatives engaging more women in tech (e.g. Czechitas, Informatics Europe working group Women in Informatics Research and Education (WIRE), EU COST Action: European Network for Gender Balance in Informatics) reaching across the entire Europe. Read more from Barbora on our blog.
Blog Series: Telling our Stories: Aayesha March 2021 postwas by Aayesha, who recently completed her MS in Computer Science from Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST), Pakistan. Her research focuses on automating the detection of epileptic seizures using machine learning techniques. “When I enrolled for MS in computing, I was confused about picking my research topic, and I could not find assistance from my teachers. After several days of searching on the web, I chose machine learning-based epilepsy detection as a research topic. I wrote a complete thesis on this topic as well as two research articles.” Well done Aayesha for persevering and discovering your passion! Read more from Aayesha on our blog.
How to organise an ACM-Women Europe Celebration in 10 Steps In April 2021, we caught up with Laura Castro from the Spanish celebrations to share their insights and lessons learnt. Laura Castro is a professor at the University of A Coruña, where she has been teaching since 2005 on Software Architecture and Software Validation. Her research focuses on software testing (automated, model and property-based testing), applied to software in general, and distributed, concurrent, functional systems in particular (mainly working with Erlang/OTP and Elixir). She shared with us the top lessons she learnt for creating a new celebration. It starts with: A few friends that want to make a difference can come together and create a celebration! For the rest visit our blog!
5 Reasons to Join Us at womENcourage 2021
womENcourageTM 2021 that is going to be virtual (coordinated from Prague, Czech Republic), 22-24 September, 2021.The slogan of this year’s event is “Bridging Communities to Foster Innovation”. In an increasingly technology-driven world and a rapidly changing economic environment, the field of computing cannot reach its full innovation and creativity potential if formed of homogeneous expertise, represented unevenly only by a fraction of the population. To foster innovation, we shall stop compartmentalising scientific progress by disciplines and encourage innovation across boundaries.
Here are 5 reasons to join us at the womENcourage 2021 this year:
- For inspiration and connection: Continue building the future of opportunity. Get inspired by the leading figures in computing, many of which are women. Inspire others and make connections. Find your voice among a diverse community of early-career to mid-career or transition to new directions (retired / returning) colleagues. Pave the way for cooperation by meeting and connecting with like-minded individuals and top minds in your field.
- For challenge and validation: Challenges are important parts of life that shape us. Learn to understand the value of your ideas and push them from the drawing board into reality. Continue growing your self – esteem and appreciating the ideas you bring to the table.
- For encouragement and support: We all have faced struggles and obstacles and, at one point or another, have not always seen the best in ourselves. If you feel like you could use a bit of help from others in your area of expertise, this is a conference for you. After all, #womENcourage embeds the support in the title itself.
- For purpose: Research/poster sessions that represent the social impact on challenges facing our communities and the world. Join or start projects that might bring breakthrough progress to our society.
- For opportunity: Women in computing across sectors are making change real and possible across a changing business, policy, and cultural landscape. From employment to partnerships to investment, learn what’s happening around the world and how you can grow opportunities for yourself, your company, and your networks.
Get A Scholarship
Thanks to the generous womENcourageTM supporters, local and international alike, you have a chance to receive a participation scholarship to join the event. Together with our supporters we are proud to announce scholarships to a number of students, who actively participate in the conference (with poster, workshop, tutorial, hackathon). A small number of scholarships will be offered to students who do not contribute to the program actively, but have shown exceptional interest in the relevant fields, and are preferably in the first year(s) of their studies
|Registration open||June 1, 2021|
|Scholarship applications due||June 10, 2021|
|Hackathon interest to participate due||August 10, 2021|
To learn more, follow this link to the Call to Take Part.
Wish to organize the 2023 womENcourage? – Call for Proposals Open
The call for hosting womENcourage 2022 is now closed. The venue will be announced on 24 September 2021 during the closing session of womENcourage 2021. We are now looking for proposals to host womENcourage 2023.
The proposal process includes two phases (all the templates you will need are provided at the end):
- Expressions of Interest (EoI) to be submitted no later than 17 June 2021 23:59 AoE, but earlier submissions are welcome and indeed highly recommended. Submitting an EoI does not constitute a firm commitment to hosting. It is a first step towards a conversation with ACM-W Europe which will help you navigate the process of applying to be a host venue, by thinking early about what you need to have in place to fulfill the requirements to host the event. Notification of a successful EoI proposal will be communicated via email by 2 July 2021.
- Full Hosting Proposals to be submitted by 12 August 2021 23:59 AoE. Notification of the final decision on 10 February 2021.
Here are the links to the call documents:
|Expression of Interest Due||17 June 2021 23:59 AoE|
|Notification of a successful Expression of Interest proposal||by 2 July 2021|
|Full Proposal deadline||12 August 2021 23:59 AoE|
|Notification of a successful Full Proposal||by 1 October 2021|
ACM-W Europe Report
womENcourage 2021: Preparing for Prague
womENcourage 2021 is to be held in Prague, Czech Republic. The slogan of the event this year is “Bridging Communities to Foster Innovation”. In an increasingly technology-driven world and a rapidly changing economic environment, the field of computing cannot reach its full innovation and creativity potential if formed of homogeneous expertise, represented unevenly only by a fraction of the population. To foster innovation, we shall stop compartmentalising scientific progress by disciplines and encourage innovation across boundaries.
The community behind the scenes of womENcourage 2021 conference, is Czechitas. This Czech non-profit organisation emerged in 2014 to empower and encourage girls and women to engage in computing education or career transition. Czechitas strives to demonstrate that tech is an exciting career direction that is not necessarily difficult nor, more importantly, limited to one gender. Initially established to provide female students in the Czech Republic with an opportunity to put their hands on programming, it now aims at achieving a significant social change. Find out more about Czechitas.
ACM recognizes two European Women as Fellow and Distinguished Member
In January 2021, ACM recognised Prof. Olga Sorkine-Hornung (ETH Zurich) as Fellow for contributions to digital geometry processing, computer animation, computer graphics and visual computing. On the last days of December 2020, Prof. Maribel Fernandez (King’s College London) as a Distinguished Member for Outstanding Contributions to Computing. We congratulate them for their brilliant work and being outstanding role models to all women working in Computing.
We caught up with Prof. Maribel Fernandez in January. Her research interests include programming languages, models of computation and security. She develops tools for the specification, analysis and verification of complex systems (e.g., biochemical systems, financial systems, programming languages, software applications).
“I find it fascinating that there are so many different ways of understanding computation. In addition to the classical models of computation which gave rise to the current computer architectures, there are new models of computation inspired by biochemical processes, by agent interactions, by quantum mechanics.”
Read about her brilliant career on our blog.
ACM-W Europe blog
We are delighted to host guests on ACM-W Europe blog, and this quarter we had fantastic contributions.
Breath of Fresh Air: Diversity Heroes – Toni Collis As a community, we embrace our diversity; diversity makes us better, stronger. We cannot do enough to applaud all of our heroes in their diversity. They are people who are ACM members, volunteers or experts in their field. Starting from June 2020, we have reached out to several heroes about their tech career journey, about their perspective on intersectionality and reflect on initiatives for equality. Our December guest was Dr Toni Collis, the CEO of Collis-Holmes Innovations, a Strategic Innovation Leader, Trainer, Consultant and Leadership Coach for women in tech Toni’s career has focused on facilitating the use of technology, with a particular emphasis on parallel computing and supercomputers, for the advancement of research and innovation in both academia and industry. Early on in her career, Toni realised that knowledge was not the only barrier to the uptake of parallel computing in research, but culture limited the participation of women and minorities. As Founder of Women in High-Performance Computing (WHPC), Toni developed and led innovations to diversify the HPC workforce, providing HPC tutorials for women academics and students worldwide, training and consultancy on building inclusive workforces, and research into how to improve the representation of women. Read more from Toni on our blog.
Blog Series: Telling our Stories Each year we meet wonderful women at womENcourage. This year was no different, and in the rest of the year, we will have womENcourage participants telling their stories in blog posts.
Viviana Bastidas December 2020 postwas by Viviana Bastidas, a PhD Student at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Ireland, and a Lero member—the Irish Software Research Centre, Limerick, Ireland. Viviana wrote about her experience attending the “Social Networks Analysis: Theory and Practice” workshop, given by Dr Deniza Alieva and Gulnoza Usmonova. “ I would like to invite other students to participate in the next versions of ACM womENcourage. We must support each other and continue to encourage other women to develop their careers in computing. We have many opportunities to change small or big things in society, and computing helps us to find solutions to do so.”
Marjana Prifti Skenduli January 2021 post was written with passion for STEM is by Marjana Prifti Skenduli, a full-time lecturer of Computer Science and a Computer Science PhD candidate at the University of New York Tirana (UNYT). “I define myself as an enthusiastic Computer Science educator and a passionate Information Technology professional, who takes great pride in being a mother to two wonderful daughters. Perhaps I am a lucky person, for being able to combine my daily job with my passion and translate it into a bold mission: that of getting people of all ages and backgrounds excited about the immense possibilities of STEM education.” Read more from Marjana on our blog.
5th ACM-W India National Level Virtual Hackathon 2020
19th -20th December, 2020
5th ACM-W India National Level Virtual Hackathon 2020 started with an ideology to support and motivate the girl students in the field of Computer Science. Initially, it was supposed to be in offline mode but the pandemic situation brought new challenges to overcome and it was finally decided that it will happen in online mode. This event was successfully hosted by ABES Engineering College, Ghaziabad. In this virtual hackathon there were three rounds. First was the idea selection round where the teams from all over India were asked to present their ideas/solution for a problem based on the given theme of ‘SELF RELIANT INDIA’ with various domains such as Healthcare, Education, Finance, Agricultural and Social Innovation. The entries for this round were initially accepted from 1st October 2020 to 25th October 2020 and due to the popular demand, the deadline was extended to 30th October 2020. For the first round more than 75 entries we received. From which only 20 teams were shortlisted for the 2nd round which was the interview round. In this round the selected teams had to explain their idea/project to a panel of judges from which 10 teams were supposed to be selected pan India. This round was organised on 22nd November,2020 and for this round we had 16 judges from the various industries, different ACM chapters and from ACM Student chapter and ACM-W student chapter of ABES Engineering College, Ghaziabad.
On 19th December 2020, the final round started with the inaugural ceremony which was addressed by Mr. Chandrashekhar Sahasrabuddhe (COO, ACM India) followed by Dr. Heena Timani (Chairperson, ACM-W India), Dr. Shailesh Tiwari (Director, ABESEC) and Dr. Pankaj K. Sharma (Head, CS Department, Faculty sponsor ACM ABES Chapter). This inauguration ceremony was concluded by Ms. Madhuri Gupta, Faculty Coordinator, ACM-W ABESEC Chapter followed by a vote of thanks by Ms. Sanika Singh. Finally, the hackathon began with the selected top 10 teams.
They were asked to develop a solution on a problem statement that was allotted to them on 19th December 2020. Problem statement of hackathon are listed below.
On the same day, there were two mentoring sessions for each team, to help them with the problem statement followed by one evaluation session on the same day. For refreshment purpose a cultural program was even organised on 19th December 2020. After continues coding for 24 hours the teams were ready with their project. By the end of the hackathon i.e. on 20th DECEMBER 2020 teams were supposed to submit a 3min video illustration of their project and after that a final evaluation was conducted with panel of reputed judges.
The valedictory ceremony was initiated by Ms Ritika Malik, Faculty Sponsor of ACM-W ABESEC student Chapter with a small briefing of the entire event. Hackathon winners were announced by Dr. Heena Timani, Chairperson ACM-W India.
|1st Prize: ₹ 24,000 Team Leader Ms.Sakshi Singh College: K.I.E.T Ghaziabad Project Title: Spam SMS Filtering||2nd Prize: ₹ 15,000 Team Leader Ms. Ruchika Sharan College: IIT Mandi Project Title: A system for detection of corona virus in human body using artificial intelligence||3rd Prize: ₹ 12,000 Team Leader Ms. Sanjana Jain College: ABES Engineering College, Ghaziabad Project Title: System for prescribing drug in hospitals and it’s substitute availability in the medical shops of the area/city|
Which was followed by address by Mr.Chandrashekhar Sahasrabudhe, COO, ACM India and a vote of thanks by Ms. Sanika Singh, Asst. Professor, ABESEC Ghaziabad, marked the end of hackathon.
womENcourage 2020 Took Place Online, 24-27th September
In September, we all gathered virtually at ADA University in Baku, Azerbaijan for the ACM womENcourage 2020, more than 200 registered participants from some 40 countries of Europe, Asia, Africa, Americas and Australia. Dr Araz Yusubov, Dean of the School of IT and Engineering, ADA University, led this year’s organization, and he thanks all the participants for their active participation and meaningful contribution to the first-ever virtual womENcourage celebration.
The ACM-W Europe Chair, Ruth Lennon wrote:
“Moving from in-person to virtual conferences is hard. How do you engage people with the program? Have a dedicated team constantly texting in chat windows? have a live ‘networking session’ that runs 12 hours a day? I think the most important thing is to have an engaging program and amicable people willing to meet. Keynotes, company representatives, organisers and all attendees willing to contribute to the discussion. These past 4 days were a great success. It is not often that I get to say how much fun I had working with an organising committee. The photo really is a good image to represent a year well spent. I have to thank Araz Yusubov, Bev Bachmayer, Rukiye Altin, Adriana Wilde and Nuria Castell. ACM-W Europe Thank you ADA University for hosting womENcourage 2020. I look forward to The ACM Celebration of Women in Computing: womENcourage 2021!”
ACM womENcourage 2021 will go to Prague, the Czech Republic next year. We are already excited! The event will be chaired by Dita Přikrylová, founder of Czechitas, is due to be held in September. Plans for both in-person and virtual formats are being organised so that we are ready for whatever happens. In 2021 womENcourage we hope to encourage bridging communities. Computing impacts the lives of so many people more so now than ever before and the conference will explore the many aspects of computing and how it touches our lives.
ACM-W Europe 2020 blog
We are delighted to host guests on ACM-W Europe blog, and this quarter we had fantastic contributions.
Breath of Fresh Air: Diversity Heroes – Catherine D’Ignazio and Lauren F. Klein Catherine D’Ignazio (MIT) and Lauren F. Klein(Emory) wrote for us “How to Teach Data Science like an Intersectional Feminist”, was adapted from their book, Data Feminism (MIT Press, 2020). “Women faculty comprise less than a third of computer science and statistics faculty. More than 80% of artificial intelligence professors are men. This gender imbalance, and the narrowness of vision that results, is compounded by the fact that data science is often framed as an abstract and technical pursuit. Steps like cleaning and wrangling data are presented as solely technical conundrums; there is less discussion of the social context, ethics, values, or politics of data.” Read more on our blog.
Kharkiv ACM-W Chapter – Science and Technology Empower Women Oleksandra Yeremenko, a professor of V.V. Popovskyy Department of Infocommunication Engineering at Kharkiv National University of Radio Electronics, Ukraine, shares with us their story of starting the Kharkiv Information & Communication Technologies ACM-W Chapter. “The ACM-W community allows us to break down the boundaries and destroy the myths and stereotypes that exist in society about women in science and technology.”
Blog Series: Telling our Stories – Rahma Mukta Each year we meet wonderful women at womENcourage. This year was no different, and in the rest of the year, we will have womENcourage participants telling their stories in blog posts. We start with Rahma Mukta, from University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney, Australia. She is a second-year PhD student in Computer Science and Engineering. She works on blockchain security and anonymous credential systems. “My second-year [in the PhD program] started with the challenge of quarantined life due to COVID-19. In this new normal, for the very first time, I got the chance to introduce myself to the ACM womENcourage conference 2020. The conference was my first ever experience to join an online event to present my work.”
ACM-W North America News
Despite at times feeling like we are at a standstill in 2020, we are excited to see that four new ACM-W Student Chapters have formed. This recognition that needs still remain for women to support other women in the field of computing is important. Since we are starting to hear more and more that the pandemic has impacted women more than men, we can think of no better way to support women at this critical juncture than now.
We are delighted to be able to highlight six women in computing in this newsletter. These women are from various sectors, including a high school student, Lillian Peterson, who won the prestigious ACM/CSTA Cutler-Bell Prize, and Saiph Savage, the co-director of the National Autonomous University of Mexico’s (UNAM) Civic Innovation Lab and one of MIT’s 2018 35 Innovators Under 35.
We’ve also recently launched our newest subcommittee, the Empowerment of Marginalized Communities Subcommittee. This team is forming in order to specifically address the unique needs of those who do not identify as men and who face additional challenges placed on them within the culture of the computing community. Through this subcommittee, we will work to ensure all of our services are meaningful and relevant to all women in our community.
ACM-W North America volunteers are the best! We are committed to celebrating, advocating, promoting, and supporting women in tech. Care to join us? We are in particular need of volunteers outside of the United States. If you live in North America and have experience with communications (e.g., interviewing, editing, preparing social media), forming student chapters or advocating for marginalized groups, we would love to hear from you. Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome to the four newest ACM-W Student Chapters, including one from Mexico! Say hello to:
- Universidad Panamericana ACM-W Student Chapter in Mexico City, Mexico with shout outs to Sarahi Aguilar Gonzalez, inaugural chair, and faculty sponsor Dr. Lourdes Martinez Martinez.
- Christian Brothers University (CBU) ACM-W Student Chapter in Tennessee, USA, with shout outs to Wendy Almendares, inaugural chair, and faculty sponsor Dr. James McGuffee.
- University of New Orleans ACM-W Student Chapter in Louisiana, USA, with shout outs to Huong Nguyen, inaugural chair, and faculty sponsor Dr. Farjana Z Eishita.
- California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB) ACM-W Student Chapter in California, USA, with shout outs to Mariana K Duarte, inaugural chair, and faculty sponsor Dr. Chandrika Satyavolu.
Thank you all for your time and commitment supporting women studying computing.
ACM Celebrations in North America
We are now accepting registration for Celebrations in North America. Visit this link to complete the registration form. Additional information relevant to 2020-21 Celebrations (including virtual Celebrations) is available here.
ACM-W North America Profiles
We have recently interviewed six women in North America:
- Saiph Savage. Saiph is one of MIT’s 2018 Latin American Innovators Under 35, talked about how she got into computing, her work studying the intersection between tech and activism, and what work she’s most excited about right now. Her interviews are recorded in both English and Spanish.
- Lillian Petersen. Lillian is a young researcher and the winner of the 2019-20 of the ACM/CSTA Cutler Bell Prize for creating a tool to help aid organizations increase food security in sub-Saharan Africa. She has been doing a research project every year since 7th grade on topics ranging from predicting weather patterns to studying cancer.
- Clara Yuan. Clara Yuan is a senior research science lead at Convoy Inc, a digital freight network startup. She holds a Ph.D. in economics from Virginia Tech. She has a bright intensity that she brings to everything from the world of transportation to her dog, Donut.
- Sydney O’Connor. Sydney O’Connor, a fifth year student at the University Of Cincinnati and president of the school’s ACM-W chapter talks about her path to computing, her inspirations, firmware development, and why it’s important to find community in computing.
- Karina Figueroa. Dr. Karina Mariela Figueroa Mora is a professor and researcher in the Physical-Mathematical Science Department of Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo. She’s focused in the study of algorithms, information retrieval, metric databases, as well as software development for math education. Her interviews are recorded in both English and Spanish.
- Mary Baker. Working in 3D print is the first time Mary has been able to apply programming, design, mathematics, and artistic license all at once. She talks about her experiences in this interview.