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Diversity and Computing/Engineering: Perspectives from Allies

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Slides from the invited talk given on Feb 13, 2019 being part of a diversity and inclusion week - Infusion 2019. Infusion is a diversity focused week for the Illinois College of Engineering, hosted by the Dean's Student Advisory Committee of Engineering Council. This invited talk was co-hosted by the NSBE - UIUC chapter.

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Diversity and Computing/Engineering: Perspectives from Allies

  1. 1. Diversity and Computing/Engineering: Perspectives from Allies Tao Xie Department of Computer Science University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign taoxie@illinois.edu http://taoxie.cs.illinois.edu/
  2. 2. Roots of My Diversity Passions • My PhD advisor David Notkin • My former colleagues
  3. 3. https://news.cs.washington.edu/2013/02/10/david-notkin-featured-in-ncwits-sit-with-me-campaign/ David Notkin (1955-2013) UW CSE
  4. 4. Notkin: Founding Member/AA Chair of NCWIT “Notkin was a founding member of NCWIT and provided pivotal leadership in the organization's early years as one of the first chairs of its Academic Alliance.“ David is the one that convinced me that it would be worthwhile for me to become a co-chair of the AA," Amato said. "It might be possible to put in place projects and project co-chairs. So, in some sense, we have him to thank for the current organization of the AA." David was widely recognized and admired for his exceptional skills as a research mentor for graduate students and as a powerful and unwavering advocate for improving gender diversity in computer science.” https://www.ncwit.org/blog/people-behind-harrold-and-notkin-award Nancy Amato Illinois CS Dept Head
  5. 5. Previous Soft Eng Colleagues @NC State Profs. Annie Anton and Laurie Williams, strong advocates on promoting women in computing
  6. 6. Snapshots of My Diversity Journey • On-campus minority undergrad students • Minority students across the nation • On-campus and national services
  7. 7. Snapshot of My Diversity Journey – 2007 Approached and brought Justin Gorham and Rob Udechukwu to a CS education workshop at Duke Campus https://www.csc.ncsu.edu/news/331 Park Scholar’06, NCSU BS’10, NCSU PhD student NCSU BS’10, GEM Fellow’12 NCSU PhD student https://www2.cs.duke.edu/csed/pltlcs/wkshopApr07.html
  8. 8. Snapshot of My Diversity Journey – 2009 https://www.csc.ncsu.edu/news/851 KaMar Galloway, NCSU BS’13
  9. 9. KaMar Galloway (Present): Program Manager, Google CS First and Applied Digital Skills https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=10156457170366162 2018: “Google teamed up with the rapper, donating $1 million to his nonprofit SocialWorks to bring computer science education to Chicago public schools.” https://www.blog.google/outreach- initiatives/education/accelerating-cs-education-in-loca/ “Our Computer Science Summer Institute (CSSI) provides opportunities for diverse students like KaMar Galloway to strengthen their CS skills and prepare them for a technical career. CSSI was instrumental in KaMar’s pursuit of CS at North Carolina State University and eventually his role on our CS First team, which aims to engage 1 million students in CS, particularly those from underrepresented groups.” KaMar Galloway
  10. 10. Snapshot of My Diversity Journey – since 2009 https://mentornet.org/ Get connected to mentor a number of minority students across the nation via MentorNet, Social Media, conference venues MIT BS’08, CMU PhD’15 Now Assistant Professor @U. Michigan U. Florida BS’08, PhD’14 Now Assistant Professor @U. Oklahoma …
  11. 11. Snapshot of My Diversity Journey – 2011 Tony Mitchell, Assistant Dean & Director of Minority Engineering Programs at NC State emailed me: “As part of his dissertation work, Mr. Christopher Newman, a Ph.D. candidate from UCLA, is spending this week on campus interviewing students, faculty and staff to understand factors that contribute to scholarly success of our African American undergraduates in engineering and computer science... I am contacting you because several students Chris has interviewed mention you as one who has sought out students to get involved with your research and projects. We here in the dean’s office are of course appreciative of your efforts, and believe your input will help Chris as he continues his study.”
  12. 12. Snapshot of My Diversity Journey - 2017 With Part of NSBE UIUC Chapter Leadership Team @ 2017 NSBE Convention
  13. 13. My Diversity Journey: Mentees/Advisees Maintains a mentoring emailing list with >500 members, mostly minority students in computing Has supported and supervised undergraduate/graduate research of 26 minority students during my 5+ year Illinois faculty career so far and 19 minority students during my 8 year NC State faculty career. 2017 Summer Undergrad Research2016 Summer Undergrad Research Part of Research Group@ Tapia 2018
  14. 14. My Diversity Journey: On-Campus Services During 2018 Fall - 2020 Spring, I serve as the Chair of the Diversity Committee of Illinois CS Department One of 2 faculty advocates at Illinois for the FLIP (Diversifying Future Leadership in the Professoriate) Alliance, to increase faculty diversity in computing at research universities by increasing the diversity of PhD graduates (African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and People with Disabilities) http://www.cmd-it.org/programs/current/flip-alliance/ One of 7 mentors for the Illinois Academic Redshirt in Science and Engineering (ARISE) Program Sponsored by NSF https://engineering.illinois.edu/admissions/undergraduate/arise.html …
  15. 15. My Diversity Journey: National Services Served as Tapia 2018 General Chair Served as Tapia 2017 Program Chair Tapia 2018 had 1431 attendees and 112 sponsors, 60% of attendees are students. Typically >50% female attendees, >50% Hispanic or black attendees Started from my first Tapia conference (2011); served as doctorial consortium (co)chair in Tapia 2014/2015 http://tapiaconference.org/
  16. 16. Diversity Efforts Need Allies • Too many people don’t have proper understanding of diversity and related reality • Underrepresented group faculty/professionals/students may be overloaded
  17. 17. Gender Equality and Microsoft CEO (From 2014 to 2015, 2018) “Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to Women: Don’t Ask For A Raise, Trust Karma” – Grace Hopper 2014 “Microsoft's CEO is returning to an event that got him in trouble last year — but he's just there to listen” -- Grace Hopper 2015 “4 years after the CEO of Microsoft publicly flubbed a question on how women should ask for a raise, he has completely different advice” -- 2018
  18. 18. https://www.seattletimes.com/education-lab/yes-women-can-and-do-want-to-code-uw- professors-and-alumnae-say/ https://quillette.com/2018/06/19/why-women-dont-code/ Stuart Reges UW CSE Principal Lecturer
  19. 19. Statement on Diversity at MICRO-50 (2017) https://www.sigarch.org/statement-on-diversity-at-micro-50/ MICRO-50 conference program included an all-white-male panel entitled “Legends of MICRO.”
  20. 20. Even Underrepresented Group Students/Faculty May Have Misperception
  21. 21. Social Expriment Illustrating Privilege https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwx5IvypC5Q&feature=youtu.be
  22. 22. Underrepresented Group Professors Overloaded with Services https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/11/what -is-faculty-diversity-worth-to-a-university/508334/ https://www.chronicle.com/article/What-Factors-Hold-Back- the/244841 "The added burden of committee service, the invisible labor, the belief that people don’t value their work — those kinds of things add up,“ “Women and underrepresented minorities do more service and administrative work, and the invisible labor of mentoring students that they engage in isn’t rewarded in the tenure-and-promotion process.”
  23. 23. Diversity Wisdoms from PhD Advisor and Colleague
  24. 24. “Computer Science and Flexible Learning” - Notkin • I've heard Maria Klawe say (something along the lines of): "To become a better teacher, you should learn how to do new things that are hard for you - this will help you remember what it is like for many of your students.“ • “In particular, for teachers who are part of a core majority group - in computing, this is usually white males, like me - it's important to put yourself sometimes in a learning situation in which you are a minority. ” https://www.ncwit.org/blog/computer-science-and-flexible-learning David Notkin (1955-2013) UW CSE
  25. 25. “Computer Science and Flexible Learning” - Notkin • “I've been taking Pilates and circuit training in classes of about 25 people each, where I am often the only male and where I am almost always the oldest person in the class (often by 10+ years). In each case, I have found myself looking for people "like me," and have been forced to realize that my body isn't shaped and doesn't bend like most of the others in the class. It doesn't mean I'm not learning, but it means I have to look at the learning process a bit differently.” • “I've also noticed that the instructors seem to be aware of me as a minority, even to the point of changing their patter a bit. "OK, class, now pull the weight just under your ... uh, just under your chest." Somehow I get the feeling that if I wasn't there, the instructor would phrase that differently.” https://www.ncwit.org/blog/computer-science-and-flexible-learning David Notkin (1955-2013) UW CSE
  26. 26. “Increasing Flexibility” – Notkin NCWIT’12 Summit Flash Talk • “the McGurk effect, which says what we hear depends on whether we see or not. Implicit bias says our experience in history affects how to see other people. And all of these feed in to the way we perceive ourselves, and the way others perceive us, and the way that we perceive others perceive us.” https://www.ncwit.org/video/ncwit-12-summit-flash-talk-david-notkin David Notkin (1955-2013) UW CSE
  27. 27. Open Reception – Notkinfest on Feb 1, 2013 • “It’s important to remember that I’m a privileged guy. Debbie and – our parents, Isabell and Herbert, were children of poor Russian Jewish immigrants, and they were raised in the Depression and taught us the value of education and how to benefit from it. • “Mom, especially, taught us the value of each and every person on earth. I still wake up and – You know, we have bad days, we have bad days, but we have plenty to eat and we have a substantive education, and we have to figure out how to give more back. Because anybody who thinks that we’re just here because we’re smart forgets that we’re also privileged, and we have to extend that farther. So we’ve got to educate and help every generation and we all have to keep it up in lots of ways.” https://web.archive.org/web/20181118171838/https://geekfeminism.org/2013/05/13/remembering-a-geek-feminist-ally-david-notkin-1955-2013/ David Notkin (1955-2013) UW CSE https://news.cs.washington.edu/2013/02/01/honoring-david-notkin/
  28. 28. “Fifty Privileges” • “#1: I’ve never heard gunfire from my bedroom” • “#2: I’ve always had access to food when I wanted it” • “#3: Police protect me rather than suspect me” • “#4: I never had to learn to protect myself on the street (or the playground)” • “#5: I had two parents raising me” • “#6: My public schools were able to attract nationally recognized teachers by paying professional grade salaries” • “#7: Most of my peers were college-bound, and 98% of them graduated from high school” https://blogs.uw.edu/ajko/tag/privilege/ Andy Ko UW iSchool
  29. 29. “Fifty Privileges” • “#8: When people see me on the street, most don’t have an immediate fear response” • “#9: I was lucky enough to grow up in an era and in a state where smart poor kids like me could get grants, scholarships, and part time jobs to cover most of my in-state tuition and fees, and leave with less than $10,000 in student loans.” • “#10: For some reason, my high school allowed a community college student to come to our high school at 7 am to teach about ten students (including me) computer science” • “#11: I could play on the street in my neighborhood(s) without feeling in danger of cars, kids, gangs, or police” • “#12: In high school, I didn’t have to work to help my family pay the bills” https://blogs.uw.edu/ajko/tag/privilege/ Andy Ko UW iSchool
  30. 30. “Fifty Privileges” • “#13: Because I was a boy, my teachers gave me more frequent and more constructive feedback” • “#14: All of family and my friends’ family had jobs if they wanted them, setting the expectation that having a job was feasible, expected, necessary, and supported” • “#15: My skin is white(ish) and my nose is thin(ish), so white people don’t other me (much)” • “#16: Because my voice is louder and deeper than most womens’, I have a biological advantage in obtaining positions of power.” • “#17: When I was a boy, people treated me as future professional problem solver, rather than a future parent, spouse or friend” • “#18: Because I’m taller than the average male and female, I was much more likely in life to receive more social esteem, more leadership skills, higher income” • … https://blogs.uw.edu/ajko/tag/privilege/ Andy Ko UW iSchool
  31. 31. Diversity and Computing/Engineering
  32. 32. http://gendermag.org/ Margaret Burnett (Oregon State U.)
  33. 33. http://gendermag.org/downloadables/genderMag-flyer.pdf
  34. 34. Culturally Relevant Computing/Ethnocomputing • “The African-American Distributed Multiple Learning Style System (AADMLSS) is a culturally relevant technology program, developed by the Human-Experience Research Lab. AADMLSS City Stroll is an interactive game-like environment that uses culturally relevant cues, gestures, sounds and lyrics to teach students algebra. http://www.hxrlab.org/“AADMLSS City Stroll combines gaming technologies with artificial intelligence is providing a unique multimedia learning experience for students to learn Algebra.” Juan E. Gilbert (U. Florida)
  35. 35. Some More Wisdoms
  36. 36. Imposter Syndrome • “a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a "fraud".” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impostor_syndrome http://phdcomics.com/comics/archive_print.php?comicid=1972
  37. 37. Richard Tapia’s Advice • “I may not be the best, but I am good enough.” • “If you sit on the porch with the big dogs and occasionally bark like a big dog, the world will view you as a big dog.” https://medium.com/stem-and-culture-chronicle/the-road-ahead-1493e8320e5 Richard Tapia (Rice U.)
  38. 38. Dare to Talk About Your Negative Experiences  Positive Things David Notkin (1955-2013) 2010 Distinguished Graduate Mentor Award
  39. 39. Dare to Speak Up (Respectfully/Nicely) • Example of speaking up in terms of service load • Example of speaking up in terms of undesirable behaviors of other researchers in the research community
  40. 40. Book: “Crucial Conversations - Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High” ~$11 https://www.amazon.com/Crucial-Conversations-Talking-Stakes-Second-dp- 0071771328/dp/0071771328/ref=mt_paperback?_encoding=UTF8&me=&qid=
  41. 41. Important driving force of success: Empathy/EQ + self-awareness/improvement + abstraction/reflection for advice/lessons learned In later career phases, ONLY technical skills may not be sufficient for (bigger) success. http://taoxie.cs.illinois.edu/advice/ My research group’s motto: Work Hard, Work Smart, Work Wise Concluding Advice
  42. 42. Graduate School Or not? Statechart of Post-PhD Career (Incomplete) PhD Student PhD Univ. Faculty Industry or Gov Lab Researcher Startup Founder Company Engineer/ Manager… Post-PhD Benefits: Independent researcher/innovator More freedom at work … https://www.slideshare.net/taoxiease/phdprogram-preparation
  43. 43. MS Program Can Be Reasonable Buffer • MS vs. MCS (here at Illinois CS) • MS thesis degree  research • MCS course degree • MS student sometimes gets financial aids (tuition paid, monthly stipend) • Fellowships from outside or univ: GEM, … • Research assistantship from advisor • Teaching assistantship from department • PhD student typically gets financial aids • Often MS admission may be less competitive than PhD admission • Do research summer internship with a professor (or in spring/fall semester, when you may be too busy with course load though) at least once before graduation https://sites.google.com/site/asergrp/fellowships https://sites.google.com/site/asergrp/statements
  44. 44. Q/A + Discussion Diversity & Computing/Engineering: Perspectives from Allies Tao Xie Email: taoxie@illinois.edu http://taoxie.cs.illinois.edu/

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