ACM-W Europe January 2020 Newsletter

In this issue:



New Year, New Beginnings!

 We hope that you had time for rest during the holidays, and feel energised to conquer all your dreams in the new year. 

We are excited to be back! This year we are hoping to increase our community reach, and serve as a platform to introduce and connect women working in computing all across Europe. As a first step, did you know that we have an open list that you can subscribe to receive the newsletters even if you are not an ACM member?

To join the open list, send an email to with this in the body: subscribe acm-w-eu-announce

Sign up and never miss another newsletter!



Elena Ferrari and Wendy Mackay awarded ACM Fellowship

In December 2019, Prof. Elena Ferrari (University of Insubria) and Prof. Wendy Mackay (Inria -Saclay) were awarded ACM Fellowships, the two women from Europe to be recognised as ACM fellows. 

Prof Elena Ferrari was recognised for her contributions to security and privacy of data and social network systems, and Prof. Wendy Mackay was recognised for her contributions to human-computer interaction, mixed reality and participatory design, and leadership in ACM SIGCHI.  Meet these wonderful women who are trailblazers in their respective fields.


Elena Ferrari, inspiring the next generation of women into cybersecurity

Elena Ferrari is a full professor of Computer Science at the University of Insubria, Italy where she leads the STRICT SociaLab.  She received her PhD and M.Sc. degrees in Computer Science from the University of Milano (Italy). 

Prof.  Ferrari is a world-renowned researcher and leader with high impact research and technology contributions to data security and privacy. She leads research projects that create technologies to enable efficient and effective data sharing without sacrificing privacy or security. Prof. Ferrari’s research, ranging from social network privacy and IoT to online privacy, critical infrastructure protection, has received funding from several institutions and enterprises, including EU Commission, Google, IBM, and the Italian Ministry for University and Research. She has published several books and more than 240 papers in international journals and conference proceedings. 

 Prof. Ferrari is the recipient of several awards, including the ACM CODASPY Research Award for lasting and innovative research contributions to the cybersecurity and privacy fields (2019) and the ACM SACMAT 10 Year Test of Time Award (2019). She became an IEEE Fellow in 2012 for her research contribution to security and privacy for data and applications. In 2018, Prof. Ferrari was named one of the 50 most influential Italian women in tech. 

Prof. Ferrari promotes cybersecurity and privacy to women extensively and has supervised numerous female PhD students. As part of the CONCORDIA EU  research project on cybersecurity, she actively participates in promoting women in cyber and has co-organized a workshop at our flagship event,  ACM WomenEncourage: Women in Cybersecurity: A manifesto for TODAY.  To date, women represent only 24% of the workforce in the cybersecurity domain. While the figure increased over the years, it is still far from the ideal of a balanced representation of both genders. Through the workshop at womENcourage, Prof. Ferrari and her co-organisers provided a much-needed forum for engaging with stakeholders from different areas of cybersecurity to agree on common objectives to bridge this gender gap. 

(Photo by Gerald Bruneau, courtesy of  ©Fondazione Bracco, exhibition: Life as a Scientist)


Wendy Mackay, exploring the limits of technology interaction

Wendy Mackay is a Research Director at INRIA, Paris-Saclay and the Université Paris-Saclay (formerly Université Paris-Sud), the first and only woman promoted to Inria’s highest research rank. She received her PhD from MIT in Management of Technological Innovation, and an MA from Northeastern University in Experimental Psychology. In 2017, she was awarded Doctorem Scientarum Honoris Causa in the Faculty of Science by Aarhus University, Denmark for her whole career, particularly for her work on interactive video, participatory design and mixed reality.

She is responsible for many computing firsts: At Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), she wrote the original authoring software for IVIS, the world’s first commercial interactive video system (1983, pre-Macintosh). At MIT, she conducted the first major study of email and cognitive overload (the 1980s). At Xerox PARC, she helped establish a new community for computer augmented environments. 

Prof. Mackay is currently leading the Ex)situ research group in Human-Computer Interaction at Inria. Her current research on human-computer partnerships fundamentally reenvisions interaction and shifts the perspective on the role of AI in interactive systems. Her Ex)situ research group explores the limits of interaction — how extreme users interact with technology in extreme situations. Her work particularly focuses on creative professionals, artists and designers who rewrite the rules as they create new works, and scientists who seek to understand complex phenomena through creative exploration of large quantities of data. 

Prof. Mackay is a recognized leader in the international Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) community, holding numerous leadership roles in ACM and SIGCHI, and has been instrumental in developing a strong HCI community in France. She received the ACM/SIGCHI Lifetime Achievement Award for Service this year. She is also a recipient of a European Research Council Advanced Grant. 

We congratulate both professors wholeheartedly for their amazing careers, and for serving as great role models for all of us.


Blog Series: Reflections on womENcourage 2019

Starting from November, we are featuring a series of guest blogs from womENcourage 2019 participants. They share with us their career journeys, highlighting the challenges, the aspects of what they love the most, and the ways womENcourage inspires them.

This month’s guest blogger is Vishnu Manasa Devagiri, a first-year Ph.D. student in Computer Science at Blekinge Institute of Technology, Karlskrona, Sweden. 

“Technology has always fascinated me. Today, technology is playing a great role in the way we lead our day to day life: from medical devices, automobiles, smart buildings, to name a few, technology is everywhere.

…After starting my Ph.D., the first article I have submitted was an abstract for the poster presentation at womENcourage 2019. I will always remember it as a special moment.

…Diversity awareness is increasing everywhere, thanks to many wonderful celebrations like womENcourage. Events like this provide a platform for women to share their knowledge, encourage and motivate each other.

Read more from Vishnu on our blog.


ACM-W Europe Social Media Highlights

Not on social media? Not a problem. In December, we continued discussing topics in the domains of data science, AI, gender and ethics.

Our most popular posts on Facebook were: 

  1. The blog post where the organisers of the Gendering ICT workshop at the womENcourage 2019, Prof. Silvana Badaloni (University of Padova), Prof. Francesca A. Lisi (University of Bari), and Prof. Lorenza Perini (University of Padova) shared with us the highlights from their workshop.
  2. Aimee van Wynsberghe’s (Assistant Professor in Ethics and Technology at TU Delft in the Netherlands) talk at AI 4 Good 2019 talking about the vicious cycle related to the production and use of robotics and AI products. See here.
  3. The recent study carried out by AI Now Institute on Discriminating Systems: Gender, Race, and Power in AI (April 2019). 

On Twitter, the top tweet was the news about the comprehensive analysis of CS literature (2.87M papers through 2018),  by Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, Seattle which reveals: if current trends continue, parity between male and female authors won’t be reached in this century! Find it hereOur top media tweet was our December newsletter announcement. Thanks for your interest.

You can find our old newsletters in our archiveOur newsletter is also open to the public – learn how you can subscribe to it at our newsletter page. 

In January, we will cover new technology trends, and what they mean from a female perspective.  Do not miss it. Like our ACM-WE Facebook page, follow us on Twitter (@acmweurope) or Instagram (@acmweurope) to get the updates. 



Calendar of Events and Upcoming Deadlines in Europe

  • January 15: Deadline for ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Award Nomination

The ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award is presented annually to an outstanding educator from a recognised educational baccalaureate institution. The recipient is recognised for advancing new teaching methodologies; effecting new curriculum development or expansion in Computer Science and Engineering; or making a significant contribution to the educational mission of ACM. Those with 10 years or less teaching experience are given special consideration.

The award carries a prize of $10,000 and it is sponsored by Pearson Education. Visit the Nomination page and submit your proposal before 15th January 2020.


  • February 20: Deadline for Young Researchers to Apply for 8th Heidelberg Laureate Forum, September 20-25, 2020 

ACM encourages young computer scientists and mathematicians from all over the world to apply for one of the 200 coveted spots to participate in the Heidelberg Laureate Forum (HLF), an annual event. The HLF offers all accepted young researchers the great opportunity to personally meet the winners of the most prestigious prizes in their fields. For one week, recipients of the ACM A.M. Turing Award and the ACM Prize in Computing (Computer Science), the Abel Prize (Mathematics), the Fields Medal (Mathematics), and the Nevanlinna Prize (Mathematical Aspects of Information Science) will engage in a cross-generational scientific dialogue with young researchers in Heidelberg, Germany. Applications opened on November 14.


  • 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 SC19. The next conferences accepting submissions are:

Programming 2020, March 23-26, deadline February 10, 2020

MODELS 2020, October 18-23, deadline May 29, 2020

ICFP 2020, August 23-28, deadline June 12, 2020



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.


  • Professor In Time Critical Reactive Software, KU-Leuven, Belgium

KU Leuven has a full-time academic vacancy in the e-Media Research Lab at the group T campus in Leuven. The university is looking for internationally orientated candidates with both educational competence and an excellent research track record within Computer Science, and with extensive expertise in the field of time-critical reactive software.

As a true multi-disciplinary research lab, e-Media combines the complementary expertise of computer scientists, electronics engineers and social scientists, such as digital signal processing, machine learning, software engineering and user experience design. Details here.

The teaching activities are situated in the Faculty of Engineering Technology, which has developed a unique multi-campus model spread over seven campuses in Flanders. For this vacancy, both education and research activities are mainly linked to Group T Campus, Leuven.

Deadline for applications: 3rd Feb 2020.

For more information and to apply, visit this website.


  • The School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, multiple faculty positions across all areas of Computer Systems

The School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh is recruiting for multiple faculty positions across all areas of Computer Systems. Priority areas include, but are not limited to:

  * Data-Centric Systems

  * Systems and Hardware Security

  * Compilers and Runtime Systems

The School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh is one of the largest computer science departments in all of Europe, with more than 130 faculty and a total of around 650 post-doctoral researchers and PhD students. 

Deadline for applications: 3rd Feb 2020.

For more information and to apply, visit this website.


  • Other

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. 

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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