LOS ALAMITOS, Calif., 11 April 2023 – Today, the IEEE Computer Society (IEEE CS) announced the recipients of the latest round of its Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Fund grants. The IEEE CS D&I Fund, now in its second year, supports programs that positively impact diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the computing community. Out of the 87 proposals received for the latest round of D&I funding, IEEE CS selected eight programs that focus on educating, training, and empowering women; Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC); and others from underrepresented groups on topics as diverse as Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics, programming, and more.
“Representation in computer science and computer engineering is critical,” said Nita Patel, 2023 IEEE CS President. “That’s why IEEE CS continues to further initiatives that aim to increase representation and advance diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. We are so pleased to be able to support eight more programs this year that will positively affect the underrepresented and have lasting impact on the computing community as a whole.”
The latest programs awarded funding include:
- Inland Empire Data Science Workshops – The Inland Empire Data Science Workshops will seek to support, encourage, and mentor undergraduate students in Inland Empire in Southern California, home to a large population of first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented students. The work will focus on encouraging these students’ pursuit of graduate degrees in computer science fields to help increase representation in computing at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.
- iBelong Workshops –The iBelong Workshops will be a four-day summer series for underrepresented and economically disadvantaged middle school students in Omaha, Neb., that will seek to raise awareness of information technology, computer science, robotics, and cybersecurity, among those students and connect them with other STEM opportunities available at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
- Raspberry Pi Coding Workshop – This Coding Workshop, which will leverage the Raspberry Pi single-board computer, will provide 240 underserved high school students in Uganda with an opportunity to learn and gain practical skills in Scratch, Python, and Hardware programming, build hardware projects, and explore the Internet of Things (IoT) through a hands-on experience, in an effort to build interest and generate excitement around studying STEM and computer science in the future.
- “Teenage Women Facing Science and Engineering” Conference – The “Teenage Women Facing Science and Engineering” Conference will provide 200 high school female students from Jalisco, Mexico, with a one-day conference experience featuring workshops, presentations, and hands-on lab training centered around science and engineering topics such as robotics, computer programming and more, to encourage young women to consider careers in the fields of engineering and computer science and to help close the gender gap in science and technology careers in the state of Jalisco.
- CodeWhisperer Training and Hackathon for ESL Developers – The CodeWhisperer Training and Hackathon will educate English as Second Language (ESL) developers on the use of CodeWhisperer, an AI-based code generation tool, and following, have them participate in a hackathon exercise to solve software-related challenges using CodeWhisperer. The ultimate goal of the initiative is to improve the programming abilities of ESL developers, to empower and build community among ESL developers, and identify ways, based on input from participants, in which the AI community can better support ESL developers.
- IEEE Learn-Compute Camp – The IEEE Learn-Compute Camp will be a week-long program in which pre-university students in India, who are transitioning from tribal areas and influence to urban education and culture, will learn interpersonal, problem-solving, and social-innovation skills, and engage in out-of-box thinking and team-management experiences, to bridge the learning and technological gap between tribal and urban-based students, increase awareness and understanding of the latest in computing technologies, and instill the importance of these technologies as a pathway to career development.
- iCARE Computer Science: iCS Program – The iCARE Computer Science: iCS Program will be a series of in-person and virtual training in which 100 students from rural Malaysia will leverage the Web Application for Learning Computer Science (WALCS) program, an interactive interface with learning modules, practice problems, and quizzes on different computer science topics and themes, to help increase interest in computer science among Malaysian students and reduce the digital gap between rural and urban students.
- Girls & Computing Workshop – The Girls & Computing Workshop will support high school students in Panama with computing skills, such as web design and agile project management, through knowledge and mentoring sessions, hands-on computer training, and more. At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will be asked to submit a final essay, poster, or project on the impact of women and computing for which prizes will be awarded to the most outstanding submissions. The goal of the program is to encourage female interest in pursuing computer science-related fields to positively impact diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Panamanian community.
“The wide-ranging focus of these programs demonstrates the power and passion of this community,” said Patel. “We look forward to seeing what these leaders accomplish and identifying ways we can continue this momentum to expand diversity in the computer science and engineering community.”
The IEEE CS D&I Fund was created to positively impact diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the computing community. A part of the IEEE Foundation, the initiative supports diverse programs and activities that aim to help women; the BIPOC community; people with disabilities; and individuals from underrepresented groups. In its first year, the IEEE CS D&I Fund supported five programs that brought together BIPOC high-school students, taught computer literacy in rural communities, created mentoring circles and inclusive teaching spaces, and enabled workshops/courses for underrepresented communities in four countries around the world.
These newly funded programs will provide updates to IEEE CS and success stories will be shared as details emerge. For more information about the IEEE CS D&I Fund or how to donate to the initiative, please visit https://www.computer.org/about/diversity-inclusion/.
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