ACM-W Europe February 2021 Newsletter


In this issue:


Meet 2020 ACM Fellow – Professor Olga Sorkine-Hornung

In the early days of 2021, ACM has recognized 95 computer scientists as Fellows.  Prof. Dr Olga Sorkine-Hornung, Department of Computer Science, ETH Zurich is the only female computer scientist from Europe recognised for this honour this year.  

“This year our task in selecting the 2020 Fellows was a little more challenging, as we had a record number of nominations from around the world,” explained ACM President Gabriele Kotsis. “The 2020 ACM Fellows have demonstrated excellence across many disciplines of computing. These men and women have made pivotal contributions to technologies that are transforming whole industries, as well as our personal lives. We fully expect that these new ACM Fellows will continue in the vanguard in their respective fields.”  Read the ACM news release.

Professor Sorkine-Hornung is one of the world’s leading experts in the field of geometric modelling and digital geometry processing. She currently leads the Interactive Geometry Lab at the Institute of Visual Computing in the Computer Science Department at ETH Zurich.  When she started at ETH at the age of 30, she was the youngest professor at the time.

Professor Sorkine-Hornung was attracted to beautiful shapes and numbers starting from a very young age. When she was 13, her father, a physicist, brought home a Notebook and she learned the QBasic programming language. It had become clear to her that one could take a mathematical formula and convert it into something visual: “I knew immediately that I wanted to do that.” Read more on Professor Sorkine-Hornung’s inspiring career on our blog.



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.



European Volunteer Network – A Webinar from Kharkiv University

European Volunteer Network (EVN) aims to build a community of people who work together to promote ACM-W Europe and its underlying ethos. This is done through conferences, blogs, vlog posts and webinars from its members as well as from invited guests, contents of which will fall within regularly updated themes. One such event was held in January, hosted by Olexandra Yeremenko, at Kharkiv University. 

Olexandra writes:

The January meeting of the Kharkiv Information & Communication Technologies ACM-W Chapter was devoted to the topic of the women’s career worries in the ICT industry during the pandemic: challenges and potential solutions. The entire world has been challenged in ways never imagined during the year 2020 by an extremely contagious coronavirus virus. It is a widely acknowledged fact that a woman’s career has seen more challenges as one had to deal with juggling home and office at the same time while working remotely. We would like you to know that ACM-W Europe is there for you, to support in such difficult times in any way possible. Towards this, we will be organizing short webinars that provide you with the space to let us know what your concerns regarding your career are; tell us any positive career step you have taken and can motivate and provide hope to others, or to simply join the conversation.

The first webinar was by Anastasiia Shapovalova, general manager of the international outstaff company WorkNest. She presented the current trends in the Ukrainian IT job market for women in the period of the pandemic and discussed how to manage remote working and multitasking; how to regulate the increase in the burden on women to do housework, including during working hours; how to deal with post covid depression and all the fears about it.  


Blog Series: Telling our Stories – Cristina Marquez

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 our blog 

This month’s blog post written is by Cristina Marquez, s a Data Scientist in Networks and Telecommunications. 

I cannot emphasize enough that women are essential in STEM. I expect more and more sectors to be inclusive and have diversity polities, in order to follow an equal number of directors and employees of different genders. However, it is difficult to reach this goal when women participation in STEM is globally low. I hope this trend would change in the future, and we will see more women taking the lead while keeping a healthy work/life balance.

Read more from Cristina on our blog



ACM-W Europe Social Media Highlights

Not on social media? Not a problem. In January 2021, our most popular posts on Facebook were: 

  1. The blog post from Marjana Prifti Skenduli was a huge hit. If you have not read it yet, here is the blog link.
  2. The news about ACM recognition of  Olga Sorkine-Hornung (ETH Zurich) as Fellow for contributions to digital geometry processing, computer animation, computer graphics and visual computing, & Maribel Fernandez (King’s College London) as Distinguished Member for Outstanding Contributions to Computing. Read from Prof. Sorkine-Hornung and Professor Fernandez on our blog.
  3. ACM-W Europe chair Ruth Lennon’s People of ACM interview.

On Twitterthe top tweet was the project to interview people who have “untraditional” Computing career paths and publish short “vignettes” of their stories. “These stories will help dismantle some pervasive, negative stereotypes about Computing” to promote EDI in computing. 

Our top media tweet was the work ACM Future Computing Academy carried out on the impact of Covid-19 and remote work on young computing professionals. You can access the article here.

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


Announcements and News

Come celebrate International Women’s Day with Google! 

This two-day virtual event series is open to all higher education students in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa and is committed to creating spaces where women who are at the start of their careers can find community, inspiration, and empowerment. Deadline to register is Thursday, Mar. 7, 2021, at 11:59 pm. Submit your registration here.


Summer University Informatica Feminale 2021 

The University of Bremen, Germany, invites women experts in computer science/informatics to contribute to the 24th Informatica Feminale. The international summer university for women in computing will take place at Bremen University in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science from July to September 2021. The Call for Contributions 2021 is open: course offers can be submitted until February 28, 2021.

Topics from the broad field of ICT are welcome: theoretical, practical, technical or applied computing. Scientists take the summer university as a test field for new teaching formats and to get experience with highly engaged and interested participants. Submissions for courses, panels, workshops, and talks on topics such as gender, equality, technology and ethics are highly welcome.

At the moment online courses are invited to be taught from July to September 2021. If teaching or social events will be possible physically in Bremen this summer, the courses will run at Bremen University from 13th-25th September 2021.

Further information and the application form can be found here.


Upcoming ACM Student Research Competitions: Submission Deadlines

ACM Student Research Competitions (SRCs), sponsored by Microsoft Research, offer a unique forum for undergraduate and graduate students to present their original research at well-known ACM sponsored and co-sponsored conferences before a panel of judges and attendees. The most recent SRC winners presented at POPL 2021. The next conferences accepting submissions are:


ACM Transactions on Applied Perception Seeking New Editor-in-Chief

ACM Transactions on Applied Perception (TAP) is seeking a new Editor-in-Chief. Nominations are due March 15. For more information please visit the TAP nominations page.


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. 

To learn more about awards, 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. Source: Dispelling Common Myths About ACM Awards and Honors.

Call for ACM Senior Member 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 next deadline for nominations is March 3.

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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