Vartika Agrahari

Over the past one and a half year, I have been working in the area of Software engineering, Education Technologies, and Human-computer Interaction (HCI) in RISHA (Research in Intelligent Software & Human Analytics) Lab, Department of Computer Science & Engineering, while pursuing my Masters degree (Master of Technology i.e., M.Tech) at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Tirupati, India. My advisor and founder of RISHA Lab, Dr. Sridhar Chimalakonda, has always motivated me and my peers to think out of the box, to be consistent, and he also taught the art of pushing one’s boundary to achieve the highest goal. So with his constant support, I put my efforts in several interesting and novel ideas and submitted three full papers to three different tracks of ICALT (International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies) conference this year. By almighty’s grace, all the three submissions got accepted as full paper, short paper and discussion paper. Discussion paper also got nominated for Best Discussion Paper Award in the conference. I am really happy and excited with all the acceptances and this has increased my confidence a lot. However, because of the current pandemic situation of COVID-19, the conference went virtual and all the events were online.

The conference took place virtually from 6th July, 2020 to 9th July, 2020. I presented my full and short papers in front of Prof. Maiga Chang, Prof. Christian Guetl, and many other presenters. They were very friendly and supportive. For the discussion paper, we had individual zoom session, where anyone can come and visit the poster. We had quite thoughtful suggestions and discussions. I attended few interesting talks based on Learning Analytics and Digital Learning. I would like to thank the whole ICALT community, which has organised everything so perfectly, that it never felt that we are not present there physically. Apart from the presentations and talks, I also got chance to take a virtual tour of University of Tartu, mesmerising live concerts by Estonian musicians, comedy night by Karl-Alari Varma, quiz night, and energising dance breaks. I made peer friends in the virtual lobby rooms also. So, overall, I would like to add that although the physical conference would have been much more, virtually also it was a life long event for me.

A hearty thanks to ACM-Women, which has helped and supported me to grab this opportunity and attend the conference smoothly!!!!

Vanessa Ann Beddoe Sawkmie

IEEE IEEM 2019 was my first International Conference and as a first-timer, I had a valuable learning experience. It was a privilege to be able to present my work in front of renowned researchers from different parts of the world. The three days of the conference were enriching and as a Ph.D. aspirant, I was enthralled by the scope of work being done in the field of Industrial Engineering. I was particularly fascinated by the work being done in the direction of sustainability and I saw this as an opportunity to understand and learn about emerging methodologies and techniques used in these areas of research. The keynote speakers, fellow presenters and poster presentations also left me inspired and motivated me to dig deeper into areas I am yet to explore.

The ACM-W scholarship awarded to me to attend the IEEE IEEM 2019 made way for a cherished experience and I would like to thank the program for giving me this valuable opportunity.

Sarah Brockman

This December, I was given the opportunity to attend NeurIPS 2019 in Vancouver, Canada. Not only did I have the chance to attend a wide range of talks by machine learning experts in industry and academia, I had the privilege of presenting the paper I co-authored at one of the poster sessions. This was my first-ever experience presenting at a poster session, and I loved every second. It was great to speak with other researchers about my work and get feedback in person, as well as listen and respond to interesting questions about the paper I had not previously considered.

Throughout the conference, I had several exciting conversations with fellow researchers about their work as well as my own. I was introduced to so much research I had no idea was going on (including some stuff I’ve briefly thought about before and wondered if anyone was working on it!) I discovered numerous papers that I look forward to reading after speaking to their authors.

Overall, it was great to spend the week with machine learning researchers from all over the world who are very passionate and driven about their work. It was very inspiring and the conference left me with a new excitement toward my work. Thank you for the opportunity ACM!!

Bianca Teixeira

INTERACT 2019 was my first Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) conference, which is my field of study. I am a Master’s student with little experience in academia, so attending the conference was very eye-opening. I got to meet people from all over the world who work in so many fascinating projects in HCI, and this only made me more excited to keep working and researching.

I loved presenting my paper on fake news and misinformation at a workshop, and loved discussing my research with fellow researchers. The community seemed very open to engage in debate on the future of the information world regarding misinformation, which was really cool.

I thank ACM Women for providing a platform of encouragement for all women to get into the Computer Science academic world, which can be intimidating as it is predominantly a male space. With this program, we can work together in creating a more friendly world for women.

Kritika Agrawal

NAACL 2019 in Minneapolis,USA was a life changing experience for me and I cannot thank ACM W and my institute’s lab, DSAC, enough for giving me this wonderful opportunity. Over the past year, I have been investigating Structural Information Extraction from scientific articles. My paper, that has been accepted in workshop collocated with this conference, is the culmination of this work. The method provided by my work, being domain independent, can be used in any scientific field to understand and query scientific knowledge in a more structured format. Being the first author, I was required to present my work at the conference, and being an undergraduate, this was the first time I was attending one! Being able to attend the conference and the workshop allowed me to meet pioneers in the field and potential collaborators, to get feedback on my paper, and to get ideas about other potential works through first-hand interactions with various researchers. The conference had several kinds of sessions – oral presentations, workshops, tutorials, poster presentations and many networking sessions. Sessions were divided into different categories based on different fields within computational linguistics. First time attendees like me were also assigned a mentor and big sibling. There were plenty of networking opportunities starting with reception, mentoring breakfast, birds-of-feather meet ups and an amazing social event at Minneapolis Art Institute. NAACL 2019 also saw hiring booths established by several research companies. The employment and internship opportunities gained from NAACL were plenty! NAACL was an absolutely amazing experience for me as I got to experience a community that I wish to become an integral part of some day. Though initially a little overwhelming, the numerous formal and informal sessions provided a platform for insightful, comfortable, and fun interactions. For my first conference, I could not have asked for a better experience!

Aikaterini Margatina

My name is Katerina and I just finished by Joint Diploma in Electrical & Computer Engineering in National Technical University of Athens. The last one year and a half, I have been conducting my Diploma Thesis in the intersection of Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing. During this process, I was able to publish a paper in the main conference of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL), which I believe is the most prestigious conference of our field. All the hard work finally paid off, as I was able to go to Florence and present my work to the community. I just came back to Athens, after 5 full days of conference. It was a life changing event for me, since I got a taste of what I will deal with the next years. I will start my PhD at the University of Sheffield on September 2019. For this reason, attending ACL is an important experience for me. I met a lot of fellow colleagues and professors, I engaged to fruitful conversations, I attended a lot of oral presentations and poster sessions, I learned many new models and trends in our field, and generally I grew both academically and socially. I would like to thank the ACM for giving me this scholarship, because without it I would not be able to attend the conference. I am very happy that these scholarships exist and help all students that are not fully financially secured.

Roisatul Azizah

It was the biggest and impressive conference I have ever attended. Thanks to ACM-W for this wonderful chance to meet and be part of the CHI community. I met a bunch of inspiring people, lucky to have a talk with some of them. I was also able to participate in the UX Practitioners Event and learn a lot more about UX from both perspectives of academicians and practitioners.

More than that, I was intrigued by one of the talks from Oxford University’s Department of Computer Science, I just noticed that they have a team of Social Machine Project which I have never thought of before. They discuss self-control in cyberspace. I want to dig more about this topic which related to one of my study projects regarding persuasive technology to support mini learning. This topic also reminds me of one of the discussions about multimodal interaction in an online learning context which I never thought of to be an interesting research activity with useful finding. I like online classes and want to be part of the researcher to improve the experience within the study through this platform. Another talk about social justice also opens my eyes to a new perspective of algorithm design, the develop an algorithm to bridge the gap between high-level policy and on-the-ground decisions. By learning from street-level bureaucracies, they developed a theory of Street-Level Algorithm. With this starting point from the CHI community, I wish to enhance my participation in the near future.

I also met an Indonesian representative for SIGCHI Local Chapters which I believe open a wider opportunity to engage in the CHI community after my graduation (currently, I’m finishing my master thesis in Human-Computer Interaction, Uppsala University). They even offer me some great job vacancy in a research-related position. Having said that, so much worthy experience I would love to thank my great mentor, Anke Brock, and thanks to ACM-W Scholarship for the great chance.

Iresha Rubasinghe

My oral presentation held after as the 4th presentation under the session IV and I was quite friendly with the other co-presenters. I was capable of delivering it in an interesting way since the audience was so friendly including the session chair Prof. Dr Rashid Hussain from Hamdard University, Pakistan. I got two questions from the audience by one of the lecturers in an Indian university and from the session chair. I was able to provide them detailed and acceptable answers and received compliments from two people from the audience for the presentation skills. The conference dinner was a great opportunity to network with other researchers, to know the technologies and facilities they use for research works. Also they offered us a certificate of participation. Moreover, the Singapore technology and their way of living, was a breath-taking and an unforgettable experience. I was really inspired by their innovativeness and thoughtfulness by being a part of this conference. The knowledge and experience I gained by this conference participation was immensely helpful in continuing my ongoing research. Mainly, the use of Machine Leaning in establishing traceability could be identified. Thus, the two major areas Software Engineering and Machine Learning can be combined together in a useful manner.

Hafsa Zannat

Recently I have attended WSDM 2018, one of the premier conferences on Web Search and Data mining, which was held on Los Angeles, California. Though I didn’t submit any paper or poster on this conference, I couldn’t resist the chance of attending this conference which is closely related to my research area by obtaining the ACM-W scholarship of this year. By attending this conference, I got to meet and interact with many renowned researchers from both academia and industry of this field and with some similar minded peoples from the research field of my interest. During the conference days, I have tried to attend most of the sessions. Among them, from the session entitled “Matrix Factorization and Recommender Systems”, I have got most useful insights on my current research work as part of my M.Sc. thesis. After returning from this conference I can say that, it helped me a lot to enhance my perspective on my current research work. Apart from these, I am grateful to SIG for providing me an outstanding mentor Hui Fang, Associate Professor, Department of ECE, University of Delaware. She shared with me some most valuable and thoughtful thinking’s of her regarding being a female researcher, which will definitely help me in shaping my career in future. She also helped me on how to find a particular topic and get focused on it to do further research.

Margarita Markina

What did I get at the GECCO conference? It was a great experience. I could completely immerse myself in the research community and saw everything with my own eyes how exactly everything happens. I saw that the research community is a large group of people with deep knowledge who solves important problems. It was interesting to listen to tutorials, workshops and meet people who are working on the similar topics as me. I felt very friendly and cheerful atmosphere in the Women GECCO workshops. I’m glad that I could attend the GECCO 2018. Recently I have been in my next conference that was PPSN 2018.

Yulia Zhiglova

I have attended TEI 2018 to present my research paper “The Interactive Carpet – smart textile Interface for Children on Autism Spectrum Disorder” which was published in the proceeding to the conference. Moreover, I had an opportunity to showcase my physical prototype of the “Interactive Carpet” (see image above) during the conference. I would like to thank ACM-W Scholarship Committee for given opportunity to travel to TEI 2018 in Stockholm. Visiting the conference gave me a lot of inspiration, new ideas as well as useful networking for conducting my research further. I am planning to enter PhD program and this conference gave me plenty of ideas for possible research directions. Moreover, during the graduate student consortium event I received valuable feedback and recommendations on how I can improve my research and possible directions for PhD studies.

Sneha Tilak

The Supercomputing Conference held at Denver, CO in November was a place where I found many enthusiastic people in the HPC world. I learnt about the options one has for a career in HPC in some of the best companies. I was also glad to meet some of the biggest vendors and engage in interesting conversations about their products and how I can contribute to them. The conference also had some very motivating and interesting keynote sessions. As a part of the Science Gateways Research Center at Indiana University, Bloomington, I also got the chance to meet with our clients as well as potential clients and discuss about our product – Apache Airavata with them. I also attended some Papers including Scaling Deep Learning on GPU and Knights Landing Clusters and Panels including Common Big Data Challenges in Bio, Geo, Climate, and Social Sciences. Not to forget, I loved all the swag from the company exhibits I visited. I would definitely attend the conference again next year in Dallas.