Center for Minorities and People with Disabilities in Information Technology
October/ November 2016
Volume 6, Issue 5

Welcome to the October/ November issue of the CMD-IT eNewsletter!  
In this issue we are pleased to share some of the highlights from the 2016 ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference.  It was a record breaking year for the conference with over 950 attendees.  We are also sharing the recently published  Google-Gallup study  Diversity Gaps in Computer Science: Exploring the Underrepresentation of Girls, Blacks and Hispanics. November is National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month; learn more about it in our Diversity Awareness column. 
To include job openings or events to our Community Calendar for the December/January e-newsletter contact Heather Berry
Best regards,
CMD-IT Leadership   


We are pleased to announce that we had a record-breaking turnout of 965 attendees for the Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing.   The Tapia Conference was held September 14-17 in Austin, Texas.  The Tapia Conference brings together students, faculty, researchers and professionals from all backgrounds and ethnicities in computing, and is the premier venue to promote and celebrate ethnic diversity in the field.  The Tapia Conference was sponsored by the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) and presented by the Center for Minorities and People with Disabilities in IT (CMD-IT).

The Tapia Conference has increased in size by more than 20 percent this year.  The attendees included 534 undergraduate and graduate students from 163 universities.  The Tapia demographic breakdown of Tapia 2016 included the following:
  • 77% First Time Attendees
  • 53% Women
  • 29% Black/African American
  • 23% Latinx/Hispanic
  • 21% White/Caucasian
  • 13% Asian/Southeast Asian
  • 1% Native American/Native Alaskan/Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander
  • 4% Multi-racial
  • 2% Active/Inactive Military Service
  • 1% Persons with Disabilities
This growth is tied to the growing focus on diversity within the field of computing.  The participation of over 80 universities, national laboratories, non-profits and  corporations as conference supporters shows how deep the commitment is to including people of all backgrounds, ethnicities, genders and disabilities in tech. 
CDO Panel at Tapia 2016

Program highlights included plenary presentations by Raquel Romano, Senior Software Engineer, Google who spoke on Redefining Inclusion; Melanie Moses, Associate Professor of Computer Science, University of New Mexico who spoke on Emergence, Cooperation and Diversity:  The Evolution of Natural and Engineered Swarms.  Plenary Speaker Daniel Sonnenfeld, Technical Program Management Director, Salesforce delivered his talk, Overcoming Barriers for Careers in Information Technology, in Sign Language.  

The Ken Kennedy Distinguished Lecture, titled Scientific Computing in the Movies and Virtual Surgery, was delivered by Joseph Teran, Professor of Applied Mathematics, UCLA.   The Plenary Panel, Shifting the Paradigm: A Dialogue with Chief Diversity Officers, featured Lesley Slaton Brown, Chief Diversity Officer, HP, Inc ; Gwen Houston, Chief Diversity Officer and General Manager, Global Diversity and Inclusion, Microsoft; Drew Valentine, Vice President, People and Culture, IBM Analytics; and Meghan Welch, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Capital One.

The closing banquet of the conference was highlighted by an inspiring keynote address by Dr. Richard Tapia, University Professor, Maxfield-Oshman Professor in Engineering at Rice University and the conference namesake.  The Richard A. Tapia Achievement Award for Scientific Scholarship, Civic Science and Diversifying Computing award was presented to Dr. David Patterson, Pardee Professor of Computer Science, Emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley.

The Tapia Conference featured 18 panels and workshops, 17 birds of a feather sessions, a career fair and a Poster Reception featuring 48 graduate and undergraduate posters.  There were 240 scholarship recipients and 14 doctoral consortium participants.

Key results from the Tapia 2016 post conference survey revealed:
  • 85% of students strongly agreed/agreed that attending the Tapia Conference increased their dedication to completing their degree in computing
  • 93% of students strong agreed/agreed they found the Tapia Conference inspiring with respect to learning about various opportunities in computing
  • 97% of students strongly agreed/agreed that attending the Tapia Conference provided an opportunity to make new connections.
Be sure to mark your calendar for the 2017 ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing, September 20-23, 2017 in Atlanta, GA.
Education Corner
Kids learning how work on a computer     Note  Slight blurriness, best at smaller sizes

New Google-Gallup Research Study Published

Google. in partnership with Gallup. has released a new  study Diversity Gaps in Computer Science: Exploring the Underrepresentation of Girls, Blacks and Hispanics.  The report presents the results from Year 2 of a multiyear study among seventh to 12 th grade students, parents of 7 th to 12 th grade students and elementary through high school teachers, principals and superintendents.  It focuses on the structural and social barriers underrepresented groups face at home, in schools and in society that could influence their likelihood to enter the computer science field. 

Key findings in this study include that underrepresented groups face structural barriers in access and exposure to computer science that create disparities in opportunities to learn.  Black students are less likely than White students to have classes dedicated to CS at the school they attend (47% vs 58% respectively).  Underrepresented groups also face social barriers to learns CS, such as the continuing perception that CS is only for certain groups, namely White or Asian Males.

This study is a must read for everyone looking to create a more inclusive culture in computer science. Dr. Valerie Taylor, Executive Director of CMD-IT wrote the Foreword of this critical report.
In This Issue
Diversity Awareness
November is National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month

This month is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people. One of the highlights of the month will be the National Conference of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society. The conference will be held in Minneapolis. Minnesota on November 10 -12, 2016.  For more information go to the
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