IEEE Computer Society Diversity & Inclusion Fund Announces Newly Approved Programs


LOS ALAMITOS, Calif., March 2, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The IEEE Computer Society (IEEE CS) announces the top five programs that have received funding approval from the IEEE CS Diversity & Inclusion Fund. The fund was created to positively impact diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the computing community—supporting programs and activities that aim to help women; Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC); people with disabilities; and individuals from underrepresented groups.

“As diversity, equity, and inclusion remain an integral component of the Computer Society’s mission, the impactful projects approved under the Diversity and Inclusion Fund foster the Society’s continued progress to support a more inclusive community for members and beyond,” said Nita Patel, chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee and IEEE CS President-elect.

“This project was established to address and build on the extensive efforts by IEEE CS volunteers to support diversity and inclusion efforts, and we are currently developing ways to help amplify and scale those activities to benefit even more people,” said Leila De Floriani, past chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee and past IEEE CS president.

“We are excited to execute this new venture that furthers the IEEE CS’s mission to positively impact diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the computing community,” said IEEE CS Executive Director Melissa Russell. “We’re committed to continuing our strategy that aligns with our organization’s growth as we serve our increasingly diverse member community.”

New Programs for 2022

     1.      Summer High School Internship for BIPOC Students 

This project will give a university-level research internship to BIPOC high school students for the summer of 2022. Targeting those who completed advanced placement (AP) computer science and are looking for an unpaid internship, this proposal engages them in our research projects in parallel and distributed computing under BIPOC graduate research assistants’ supervision.

The key objectives of the program are to assimilate BIPOC high schoolers into the university research environment and to encourage BIPOC graduate students to collect sufficient data with the interns and coauthor journal paper(s) with the team leader. For these objectives, two projects are planned: a comparison of agent-based parallel simulators such as FLAME, RepastHPC, and their school’s MASS (multi-agent spatial simulation) library; and agent-based computational geometry using MASS. Both projects line up eight benchmark programs respectively, whose measurement and analysis will be high school interns’ work.

     2.      Computer Literacy, Empowerment, and Education Programs for Inclusion and Diversity 

The proposal is to conduct a computer literacy outreach program to occur in multiple education labs, providing multiple levels of computer literacy for each class of the community. This includes working women, high school/university students, and orphaned students.

Key objectives include: 

  • Host a series of training programs that involves imparting basic computer usage knowledge to the women who are working as part of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment program in the Indian state of Kerala (rural households whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work). 
  • Host a hackathon entitled “Diversity and Inclusion” to build D&I among students, especially emphasizing women tech enthusiasts and other diverse communities.  
  • Educating orphanage home children with basic Arduino or Raspberry Pi kits to bring an early exposure to technology, which they might have no access to otherwise. This will be run with the help of NGOs in Kerala.

     3.      The Atomic Habits for Inclusive Teaching Mentoring Circle 

This project seeks to create a mentoring circle of faculty and doctoral students who want to create inclusive teaching spaces for their students by engaging in tiny, incremental, and doable changes. Each mentor pair in the circle will choose a concept to inform changes in a technology course.

Key objectives include:

  • Facilitate the accomplishment of faculty and doctoral students to describe key practices of inclusive teaching.
  • Identify aspects of a course that can be improved by inclusive practices.
  • Revise course content to reflect one new inclusive teaching practice. 
  • Implement an inclusive teaching practice as a Tiny Habit, as described by James Clear in “Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones.” 

The goals are to achieve better informed and equipped faculty and future faculty, improved course syllabi and lesson plans, and a set of annotated sample lesson plans/case studies that illustrate the techniques and processes required to develop more inclusive course materials.

     4.      You Belong in CS (UBCS) 

This project focuses on the inclusion of students from different communities and backgrounds targeting three key areas: encouraging girls in universities to embrace technology and computing, embracing the university community in suburban areas with the IEEE CS, and fostering interest in STEM education for rural school students.

Key objectives include:

  • Establish three or more IEEE CS Student Branch Chapters and involve students with the activities, events, and knowledge-sharing sessions with the active computing community of the country.
  • Conduct six STEM workshops for rural schools and distribute toolkits. Collaborating with the existing six student branch chapters, organize a series of workshops to promote STEM to empower the younger generation of the country, including toolkits that will be distributed among the rural school students.
  • Conduct an island-wide social idea-thon for girls in the university community, focusing on developing solutions using computer science and technology to tackle social issues in Sri Lanka.

     5.      TinyML Outreach Workshop with the Navajo Nation 

Enriching access to embedded/tiny machine learning (TinyML) and developing high-quality open-access educational materials globally are the goals of this project. The plan is to host a TinyML workshop for Navajo high school teachers and students in the summer of 2022.

Key objectives include:

  • Develop course materials and deliver hardware resources to enable the teaching of TinyML, specifically in the Navajo Nation. 
  • Hold an in-person training workshop to orient select teachers and students to these materials and to build a cohort that can further teach these materials, to empower the teachers and the students to learn and ultimately teach the material on their own.
  • Develop a competition to encourage participation and exploration in STEM through the lens of TinyML across the Navajo Nation, while working with the Navajo community to develop its own tiny speech dataset that can be used to recognize keywords in Navajo. This effort will have the additional benefit of supporting efforts at Navajo Technical University to preserve and promote the Navajo language. 

Learn more about all activities taking place at IEEE CS Diversity & Inclusion. 

About the IEEE Computer Society
The IEEE Computer Society is the world’s home for computer science, engineering, and technology. A global leader in providing access to computer science research, analysis, and information, the IEEE Computer Society offers a comprehensive array of unmatched products, services, and opportunities for individuals at all stages of their professional careers. Known as the premier organization that empowers the people who drive technology, the IEEE Computer Society offers international conferences, peer-reviewed publications, a unique digital library, and training programs. Visit computer.org for more information. 

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SOURCE IEEE Computer Society



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