ACM-W Europe August 2020 Newsletter


In this issue:



Message from the ACM-W Europe Chair

Why is diversity seemingly an NP-Hard Problem? Why can we not simplify the issue and just fix it? There are many issues involved some of which we either have not identified yet or do not realize we are failing at. Sometimes we are afraid to try as we may fail and cause more damage. Making a change requires bravery. When solving a mathematical equation we teach our children to do the easy bit first and then try to work out the rest. Starting is always the hardest bit. So lets make a start, what easy thing can we do to make a positive change? Let’s begin by highlighting members in their diversity. #BlackLivesMatter is an incredible movement and we want to do more to make a change rather than simply to speak the words. Help us move forward by nominating yourself or others for any of the following outlining the reasons why you/they should be considered: 

  1. Volunteering with our Working Groups. Let’s make a change to ensure that we have greater diversity in our leadership roles
  2. Blogs/Diversity Heroes. Is there someone you would like to see featured? Suggest someone for one of our series.
  3. Wikipedia. We need to highlight more women in computing. It is hard to get a page accepted but let’s work together to highlight another role model! Who would you choose?
  4. Nominate more women to ACM Distinguished Speaker Program

These things are simply our starting point. We know that we want to do more for our members. We want to hear from you and work with you to make a positive change so please do consider the above points. We can make progress as a community of professionals and we can be passionate about the need for change as a family of like minded people. Stay strong and stay hopeful for a brighter future for everyone.

Ruth G. Lennon, Chair of the ACM-W Europe


Breath of Fresh Air: Diversity Heroes – Amani Boughalmi

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. ACM-W Past President Valerie Barr’s message reminds us:  “While ACM-W has a primary focus on the situation for women in computing, we have long recognized that our focus is and must be on all women in computing, and that lasting change comes only when the majority change their attitudes and practices.”
Starting from June 2020, we talk with a number of heroes about their tech career journey, about their perspective on intersectionality and reflect on initiatives for equality. In June, we met (online) with Bolanle Ojokoh and in July, Mashhuda Glencross. This month we are meeting Amani Boughanmi, a machine learning research engineer and entrepreneur from Tunisia. Amani also works as a volunteer in the ACM-W Europe team as part of the celebrations working group.

If you were to change something in the way we run tech communities and networks, what would you change?  

Celebrating women in computing in a lively and dynamic setting serves to promote computing and inspire. I appreciate the initiative of womEncourage by ACM-W Europe. It helps me get in touch with many people from different countries and teaches me a lot about other cultures and habits. This initiative opens doors for women engineers to communicate and exchange knowledge. I would also suggest that tech companies and other tech initiatives facilitate international internship opportunities, These would allow women to sharpen their skills in a real work environment, working with experienced professionals and using specialized software and hardware.  Finally, many talented people in the world are born in developing countries and are sometimes under-represented. They should be reached out to contribute to world development, and so, to ensure geographic diversity and equity.

Read more from Amani on our blog.


womENcourage 2020

Registration is open! Do not miss the early registration deadline on 31st of August.

womEncourage 2020 has a new logo: The central element of the logo is the Maiden Tower (Qız Qalası), which was included into the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List together with the Shirvanshah’s Palace that are part of the walled old city (İçərişəhər) of Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan.  The logo is also inspired by the coat of arms of the city of Baku with the characteristic flame on the top that refers to the Land of Fire, which is a poetic name of Azerbaijan, and waves on the bottom that represent the Caspian Sea. The clouds refer to the City of Winds, which is a poetic name of Baku. Four colors are reference to four classical fundamental elements of earth, water, air, and fire. The logo uses colors of the national flag of Azerbaijan – the blue is a tribute to Turkic heritage, the red symbolizes democracy, progress and modernity, the green shows respect to Islamic tradition. 

You may feel like you are missing your chance to visit Baku, but you can #ExperienceAzerbaijanLater with a special welcome pack offer for our international attendees, courtesy of the Azerbaijan Convention Bureau. Check it out here.


Meet the Keynote Speakers

We are continuing meeting keynote speakers from womENcourage.

Georgia Koutrika will present Democratizing Data Access through Intelligent Data Exploration Tools. While the benefit of data exploration becomes increasingly more prominent, the limitations of existing tools make accessing and combining data from different sources a non-trivial, time-consuming, and often fruitless endeavor. Georgia will discuss what it takes to bridge the gap between users and data, and the new generation of intelligent data exploration tools.


Claudia Pohlink will present Who Makes Wiser Decisions? Men, Women or Machines? To provide safe and fair Al, the Intelligence team at T-Labs led by Claudia Pohlink together with cybersecurity researchers from Ben-Gurion University in Israel and the Berlin-based start-up Neurocat are currently working on an end-to-end ethical and technical assessment of the robustness of AI applications.


Silvana Badaloni will present Gender Fairness of Machine Learning Techniques. Gendering ICT does not only imply changing the numbers of women in Computer Science but also addressing the problem of including the gender dimension in its content to develop gendered innovations. Silvana will discuss how learning algorithms can lead to a strong reinforcement of existing social and gender bias.


Blog Series: Reflections on womENcourage 2019

Our blog post this month from Areti Zervou, who is a PhD candidate at the Department of Computer Science at the University of Crete, Greece. She talks about how she turned into computing after several degrees in Mathematics.

I applied for a second MSc in Computer Science so that I can combine all of my interests but most importantly, become finally happy and confident with what I do.  It took me a lot of effort to admit that to myself and was not an easy decision to make, but again, pursuing a career that you don’t really want, which defines what you do for the rest of your life, is unhealthy and probably quite miserable.

Reflecting on her womENcourage experience:

WomenENcourage was more than a conference for me. It was an opportunity to experience things I could not even imagine, create new friendships, be responsible and cooperative in a team, and enjoy the work and the talks of very talented individuals. It was a great time and a feeling I would cherish forever.

Read more from Areti here.


Blog: Coronavirus – Changing Education

This month, Eylem Erkan Isler wrote for us about the changing education.  Eylem is an English teacher at METU Development Foundation Schools. In her blog post she reflects how she and her family needed to adapt fast to the changes in their lives with the pandemic. 

On 16 May 2020 closure of schools were announced in Turkey like in many other countries. In response to this unpredictable interruption in education, distance learning or in other words digital learning came under the spotlight. Technology has become a critical lifeline for teachers and students to access learning materials in multiple ways bypassing the constraints of time and place.

Imagine being all these four in this unexpected situation: A teacher, a student of MA, a mother of two and a wife…” 

Read how Eylem coped with changes here


On Wikipedia: Ingrid Verbauwhede

In March, to celebrate International Women’s day, some members of our team started contributing to English Wikipedia with articles about women that are in computing, and from as many European countries as possible. We are delighted that the entry about Ingrid Verbauwhede is a Professor at the COSIC (Computer Security and Industrial Cryptography) Research Group of the Electrical Engineering Department, KU Leuven, Belgium. Prof. Verbauwhede is a pioneer in the field of secure embedded circuits and systems. Read about her brilliant career here.


ACM-W Europe Social Media Highlights

Not on social media? Not a problem. In July, our most popular posts on Facebook were: 

  1. July 2020 blog post on Reflections on @womENcourage from Shannon Laird, who was a student at Letterkenny Institute of Technology. Read it here.
  2. Our announcement for joining the ACM-W Europe Communications team. We are still looking forward to your applications. 
  3. Our re-post of Valeria Barr’s very important message on diversity and inclusion. 

On Twitterthe top tweet was our July newsletter announcement.

Our top media tweet was about Elena Ferrari, who was featured in the People of ACM. 

Like our ACM-WE Facebook page, follow us on Twitter (@acmweurope) or Linkedin to get the updates.



Join the ACM-W Europe Communications and Outreach Team

We are always on the lookout for new talent to join our communications team. You will be part of a dynamic volunteer team passionately working to disseminate information of interest to our community. The team publishes monthly newsletters, regular blog posts, and promotes relevant gender issues in computing and celebrates community success in social media (Facebook, and Twitter).

You can work with us on any number of our initiatives:

  1. The newsletter: Interview community members, and write articles
  2. Social media: Help create social media campaigns;  expand our reach in Linkedin.
  3. Website: Help maintain a dynamic website with up-to-date community news
  4. Blog: Write blog articles, or work with community members on blog series.  
  5. Outreach campaigns: E.g., reach out to ACM-W chapters for regular communication series
  6. Wikipedia campaign: Help us create a database of women in computing in Europe and regularly draft articles for Wikipedia.

If you are interested, please contact us at  with a brief covering letter explaining why you would like to work with us.


Events, Conferences and other Deadlines

  • AI for Good Global Summit 2020 (continuous digital event)

The 2020 edition of the AI for Good Global Summit will be presented as a continuous digital event throughout the year, featuring weekly programming across multiple formats, platforms and time zones, including keynotes, expert webinars, project pitches, Q&As, performances, demos, interviews, networking and more. ACM Prize recipient and ACM Fellow Shwetak Patel was a featured keynote speaker on July 9, addressing healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • SIGGRAPH 2020, August 17 to 28 (online)

This year’s virtual SIGGRAPH will include both on-demand presentations and scheduled sessions, with expanded opportunities to experience the Animation Festival, Art Gallery, and Theater, as well as the many courses, technical sessions and networking events, in cyberspace. Keynote speaker Marco Tempest (MIT, NASA, magicLab) will deliver a multimedia virtual presentation titled “Invent the Impossible.”

  • KDD 2020, August 23 to 27 (online)

The SIGKDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining brings together researchers and practitioners from data science, data mining, knowledge discovery, large-scale data analytics, and big data. Scheduled keynoters are Emory Brown (MIT), Yolanda Gil (UCLA), Kate Crawford (NYU and Microsoft Research), Manuela Veloso (Carnegie Mellon) and Alessandro Vespignani (Northeastern University).

  • ICFP 2020, August 23 to 28 (online)

The SIGPLAN International Conference on Functional Programming provides a forum for researchers and developers to learn about the latest work on the design, implementations, principles, and uses of functional programming. Keynote talks will be delivered by Evan Czaplicki (Github) on the Elm programming language and Audrey Tang (Taiwan’s Digital Minister) on how software developers can contribute to fighting the pandemic.

  • ACM Publications Seeking New Editors-in-Chief

ACM Transactions on Autonomous and Adaptive Systems (TAAS): Nominations due August 24

ACM/IMS Transactions on Data Science (TDS): Nominations due August 31


PhD, Post-Doc and Faculty Job Announcements

  • Irène Curie Fellowship, Tenure-Track Positions in TU Eindhoven, the Netherlands

As of July 2019, TU/e has launched the Irène Curie Fellowship. This program is aimed at talented women who pursue an academic career in our European top research university. TU/e will open vacancies for assistant, associate and full professors exclusively for female talent during the first six months of recruitment. Under the European jurisdiction, it is lawful to specifically recruit underrepresented groups.

Read more here.


  •  Open faculty positions in Artificial Intelligence at KU Leuven, Belgium

Junior professor in data science and artificial intelligence, with applications in combinatorial optimization. KU Leuven has a full-time academic vacancy in the area of Data Science, Artificial Intelligence and Combinatorial Optimization at its Campus Kulak in Kortrijk. At Campus Kulak, Bachelor programmes are taught in Sciences (Mathematics, Physics, Informatics, Biology and Chemistry), including options towards pharmaceutical, engineering and bio-engineering study programmes. Hence, it is a very multidisciplinary environment, both from an educational point of view as for research. The successful candidate will join the Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Engineering Science, and develop research activities in the domain of computer science at KU Leuven Campus Kulak, relating to knowledge fields that interconnect Data Science and Artificial Intelligence on the one hand and Combinatorial Optimization on the other hand. More information is available hereApplication deadline: August 31, 2020

KU Leuven is committed to creating a diverse environment and is, therefore, an equal opportunity employer. It explicitly encourages candidates from groups that are currently underrepresented at the university to submit their applications.



For other openings in Informatics in Europe, see the Informatics Job Platform

ACM Awards and Advanced Grades of Membership Deadlines

Each year ACM recognizes outstanding achievements of its members through awards that cover a spectrum of professional and technological areas and different stages of professional development. 

ACM Gordon Bell Special Prize for HPC-Based COVID-19 Research Call for Nominations

ACM has established a special category of the ACM Gordon Bell Prize to recognize outstanding research achievements that use high performance computing (HPC) applications to understand the COVID-19 pandemic, including the understanding of its spread.  Nominations can now be submitted via an online submission form and will be accepted through October 8, 2020.

Call for ACM Senior and Distinguished Member and Fellows Nominations

The Senior Member advanced grade of membership recognizes ACM members with at least 5 years of Professional ACM membership in the last 10 years. Nominations are accepted on a quarterly basis. The deadline for nominations is September 3.

The Distinguished Member designation recognizes ACM members with at least 15 years of professional experience and 5 years of continuous ACM Professional membership who have demonstrated significant accomplishments or made a significant impact on the computing field. The deadline for nominations is August 1.

Fellow is ACM’s most prestigious member grade recognizing the top 1% of ACM members for their outstanding accomplishments in computing and information technology and/or outstanding service to ACM and the larger computing community. The deadline for nominations is September 7.

To learn more, we recommend the article by the ACM President Cherri M. Pancake, who dispels some common myths about ACM Awards and Honors in the Communications of the ACM, August 2019. One of the myths is that the ACM Awards never honour people working outside North America. Prof. Pancake writes that even though nothing would make ACM committees happier than to recognise the achievements of people from around the globe, there are very few nominations. Therefore, please consider nominating for the Awards below. 

ACM offers a wide range of awards (Source: Dispelling Common Myths About ACM Awards and Honors)

Early Career
Mid Career
Late Career
Area-Specific, typically Mid to Late Career

For SIG-specific Awards, please visit here.

For ACM Advanced Grades of Membership, please visit here.


Thank you for joining us in recognizing the accomplishments of ACM Women in Europe and ensuring they are nominated for ACM Awards they deserve.


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