ACM Celebrates Diversity in Computing with Tapia 2016 Conference

Former ACM President David Patterson to Be Recognized with Prestigious Award

New York, NY, August 24, 2016– The annual Richard A. Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing, being held September 14-17 in Austin, Texas, brings together students, faculty, researchers and professionals from all backgrounds and ethnicities in computing, and is the premier venue to promote and celebrate diversity in the field.

The Tapia conference has grown to include a stellar roster of invited speakers, sessions, workshops, birds-of-a-feather panels and student posters addressing the latest trends in diversity, inclusion and participation in the computing field, and provides numerous networking events. Following the theme “Diversity Matters!,” this year’s conference focuses on how diversity makes a difference in innovation, knowledge and life, and features keynotes from executives at some of today’s top tech companies as well as leading experts in academia.

At this year’s celebration, former ACM president David Patterson will be recognized with the Richard A. Tapia Achievement Award for Scientific Scholarship, Civic Science and Diversifying Computing.

“The Tapia Celebration is truly a unique event and the premiere conference of its kind,” said Dorian Arnold, Tapia conference program committee chair and associate professor of Computer Science at the University of New Mexico. “The conference focuses on building communities that will continue to nurture and inspire attendees throughout the year. The conference is known as a catalyst for presenting the latest advances in computing and a range of career development insights and opportunities. But we also want to show that diversity enhances innovation in the field and contributes to society.”

Select Conference Highlights:

Plenary Sessions

  • “Redefining Inclusion: Technology as an Act of Service”
    Raquel Romano, Senior Software Engineer, Google
  • “Scientific Computing in the Movies and Virtual Surgery”
    Joseph Teran, Professor of Applied Mathematics at UCLA
  • “Overcoming Barriers for Careers in Information Technology”
    Daniel Sonnenfeld, Technical Program Management Director, Salesforce
  • “Emergence, Cooperation and Diversity: The Evolution of Natural and Engineered Swarms”
    Melanie Moses, Associate Professor of Computer Science, University of New Mexico and External Faculty at the Santa Fe Institute

Panel Sessions

  • “Shifting the Paradigm: A Dialogue with Chief Diversity Officers”
    Featuring an informative discussion about what is needed to move the needle to generate more diversity in the technical workforce and the methods necessary to sustain the advancement of those efforts. Panelists include: Lesley Slaton Brown, Chief Diversity Officer, HP Inc.; Gwen Houston, Chief Diversity Officer and General Manager Global Diversity and Inclusion, Microsoft; Rosalia Thomas, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, IBM; Meghan Welch, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Capital One and Judith Williams, Global Head of Diversity, Dropbox.
  • “Using Technology and Social Media to Diversify Computing”
    A discussion about how social media has become a powerful platform that has brought attention to the diversity problem in computing, while providing avenues for inclusion. Panelists include: Jen Cotton, Staff Product Designer, Twitter; Shawndra Hill, Senior Researcher, Microsoft Research NYC and Adjunct Associate Professor, Operations and Information, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania; Yvonne Melton, K-12 Education Outreach Coordinator, Google; and Damien Peters, Product Manager, Facebook.

About the ACM Richard A. Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing

The Tapia Conference is sponsored by ACM, and presented by the Center for Minorities and People with Disabilities in Information Technology (CMD-IT) in cooperation with the Computing Research Association (CRA). The Tapia Conferences brings together students, faculty, researchers and professionals in computing from all backgrounds and ethnicities, and is the premier venue to acknowledge, promote and celebrate diversity in the field.

About ACM

ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, is the world's largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting educators, researchers, and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources, and address the field's challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession's collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.

Jim Ormond

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