Coalition to Diversity Computing (CDC) invites interested stuedents and mentors to apply!
Attending a professional conference is both exciting and challenging for students: Which sessions do you attend? Whom should you get to know? Do you submit a poster, or a paper? Do you sign up to be a student volunteer?
To help students break through the ice and learn to enjoy conferences, the Coalition to Diversify Computing (CDC) is offering support for minority students to attend technical conferences with their mentors. Students and mentors will attend a professional conference as a team, providing the opportunity for the students to benefit from introductions to key researchers at the conference while they gain insight from their mentors into the dynamics of a professional event. Each team will consist of at least one student (up to three students may apply) and one mentor; up to $1,000 is available to support each student. When eligible, the mentor can receive up to $1,000 in support.
According to Pat Teller, University of Texas, El Paso, the coordinator of this CDC project, "Attending a professional conference is a critical step in a student's academic career. It exposes them to the process of preparing and presenting a talk to colleagues, and enlightens them about the networking possibilities at such events. Students always come away much more prepared to submit a poster or paper of their own after having spent time with a mentor at a conference, showing them the ins and outs of this aspect of our professional lives."
Applications will be accepted twice this year for review: Deadlines are September 1, 2002, and March 1, 2003. Applications, which are available at http://www.npaci.edu/Outreach/CDC/conf.app, must be complete for both the student(s) and their mentor before the application will be reviewed. (The related home page is at http://www.npaci.edu/Outreach/CDC/conf-support/.)
The student application requires information on the student's field of study, academic career goals, and academic standing, in addition to information about the conference and how the student expects to benefit from attending. Students will be selected based on their achievements and application. Students will be required to write a report on their experiences at the conference and suggested recommendations for improving the program.
Mentor applications require information on the professor's willingness to mentor the student and his/her own perspective on the value of the conference.
The CDC focuses its efforts on programs that increase the visibility of minorities, and on providing networking opportunities for minority researchers, faculty, and students. Projects include a CDC Web site, the Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing conference, a database of contacts who have an interest in helping minorities pursue research careers, opportunities for conference participation, and a publication that highlights best practices in recruiting and retaining minority students.
The Coalition to Diversify Computing is a joint committee of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM), the Computing Research Association (CRA), and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (IEEE) Computer Society. Currently, CDC projects are sponsored by the NSF's Education, Outreach, and Training Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (EOT-PACI) program, CRA, and ACM. For more information on CDC, see http://www.npaci.edu/Outreach/CDC.