ACM-W Rising Star Award Recipient: Munmun De Choudhury

Dr. Munmun De Choudhury

ACM-W would like to announce Dr. Munmun De Choudhury as this year’s recipient of the ACM-W Rising Star Award. The ACM-W Rising Star Award recognizes a woman whose early-career research has had a significant impact on the computing discipline.  Dr. De Choudhury will receive a framed certificate and $1,000 stipend. ACM-W would like to thank Dr. Andrea Goldsmith for her donation, which was used to establish this award.

Munmun De Choudhury, PhD is an Associate Professor at the School of Interactive Computing, Georgia Tech. Dr. De Choudhury’s research develops novel computational techniques, and technologies powered by these techniques, to responsibly and ethically employ social media in quantifying, understanding, and improving personal and societal health and well-being. She is credited to have laid the foundation of this new line of research – a topic that now constitutes a full-fledged research pursuit among scholars and practitioners worldwide. Towards this goal, Dr. De Choudhury’s research program adopts a highly interdisciplinary and collaborative approach involving over 150 coauthors from more than 10 disciplines, that balances methodological contributions with practical impact. Her research group at Georgia Tech – the Social Dynamics and Well-Being Laboratory, combines the power of social computing, machine learning, and natural language analysis with insights and theories from the social and behavioral sciences, such as psychology, sociology, psychiatry, medicine, and public health. Dr. De Choudhury evaluates the developed computational techniques using diverse, trans-disciplinary human-centered methods, deriving conclusions grounded in human behavior.

Dr. De Choudhury’s work has been the recipient of many awards, including 13 best paper and honorable mention paper awards from the ACM and AAAI, the 2019 Complex Systems Junior Scientific Award, and faculty awards from Mozilla, Microsoft, Facebook, and Yahoo!. Her research has raised over $14 million in research grants, gifts, and contracts from federal, industry, and non-profit sponsors, demonstrating the breadth of her research impact and interest from diverse stakeholders. Dr. De Choudhury’s research has also been extensively covered by prominent popular press like the New York Times, BBC, NPR, NBC News, Wired, Atlantic, Scientific American, and the Time magazine. She has advised social media companies, non-profits, advocacy and governmental organizations, including Facebook, Twitter, Google, The Aspen Institute, The Civic Signals Initiative, Everytown for Gun Safety, The United Nations Foundation, The Pacific Northwest National Lab, The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. In 2020, Dr. De Choudhury served as the General Chair of International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM), the leading interdisciplinary conference on social media. Earlier, Dr. De Choudhury was a faculty associate with the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard, a postdoctoral researcher at Microsoft Research, and obtained her PhD in Computer Science from Arizona State University in 2011.

The ACM-W Chair Dr. Jodi Tims will be presenting the award (pending logistics) to Dr. De Choudhury at a conference of her choice. We would like to congratulate Dr. De Choudhury on her early career success and contributions to the field of computing!

Sincerely,

The ACM-W Rising Star Selection Committee

Pamela Wisniewski (Chair), Samaher Al-Janabi, Lilia Georgieva, Heli Helskyaho, Bimlesh Wadhwa, and Tao Xie

Standing Committees Chairs’ Report – June 2020

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

Rising Star Committee

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

Scholarships Committee

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

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

NextGen Committee

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

Professional Chapters Committee

ACM-W Professional Chapters give you a local voice for change with the backing of an international organization. Professional chapters work with student chapters and industry leaders to advocate for equity and diversity in the tech industry. We recognize the work of our professional organizations around the world: ACM-W UK, Ankara, Azerbaijan, Belgrade, Chennai, Cyprus, Delhi, Greek, Northwest Ohio, Inhambane, Jamshoro, OCWiC, Pune, Tallinn, Trondheim, and Windhoek Chapter. Won’t you consider starting an ACM-W Professional Chapter near you?  Contact Rachelle Kristof Hippler (rhipplerATbwDOTedu) for more information.