Computer Architecture Today

Informing the broad computing community about current activities, advances and future directions in computer architecture.

On behalf of the Women in Computer Architecture (WICARCH) organizing committee, we’re pleased to announce two new initiatives geared to foster in-person gatherings of members.  One of the primary goals of WICARCH is to create a sense of community among women computer architects, who may frequently be the only or one of few women in their workplace.  Participation in WICARCH provides access to a network of women researchers who can provide advice and support to one another throughout their research careers.  For more information on the history of WICARCH, please see here

Conference Meetup Fellowship

Since before the formal inception of WICARCH as a SIGARCH affiliated group, women computer architects have been organizing in-person meetups at the beginning of conferences, including ISCA, MICRO, and ASPLOS.  These meetups have enabled community members to share conference attendance best practices and to meet other women attendees prior to the main conference.  These networking opportunities can be particularly useful to newcomers to the community who have the opportunity to meet peers and more experienced community members who can introduce them to other researchers and help counteract any feelings of isolation that can arise as they navigate this new-to-them environment. 

To ensure these meetups continue and to support our members who help organize these important events, WICARCH has created our Early-Career Researcher Fellowship.  These fellowships will partially cover an early-career researcher’s travel costs (up to $1000) to a conference where the fellowship recipient organizes an in-person WICARCH meetup.  In addition to compensating these members for organizing these important community-building events, these fellowships provide an avenue for early-career members to engage with conference organizers, gain visibility amongst their peers, and develop leadership skills and experience in our community. Details about these fellowships, including instructions and expectations for organizing an in-person event, can be found here.  ISCA 2024 is the first conference at which individuals can apply to organize a meetup, please apply here if you are interested! This initiative has been made possible through the support of ACM SIGARCH, ARM, and Qualcomm and through Margaret Martonosi’s donation of her ACM-IEEE CS Eckert-Mauchly award prize.

Many in industry serve on PCs and organizing committees, which is considered volunteer time. If your company offers monetary matching for volunteer hours and you’d like to support this new initiative, please consider directing your company’s matching funds for your volunteer hours to WICARCH.  The WICARCH chair can provide advice on how to do so.

Local In-person Meet-ups

In addition to creating community engagement opportunities at conferences, WICARCH is also launching an effort to create in-person gatherings in different geographic locations around the world where multiple WICARCH members reside across different organizations.  The goal of these informal meetups is to create recurring opportunities for WICARCH members to meet in person to network, celebrate each others’ successes, discover collaboration opportunities, and provide support and advice to one another. A pilot program has been running in Seattle in 2024 and initial plans to expand to Austin, NYC, Boston, and the San Francisco Bay Area are in progress.  Women researchers in computer architecture and in fields adjacent to computer architecture interested in being part of these meetups can complete this Google form to indicate their geographic location.

Finally, many WICARCH activities are grassroots efforts from our members. If you have something you would like WICARCH to consider as part of its ongoing activities, please reach out to the WICARCH chair to discuss how you can get involved.  You can also reach out to the WICARCH chair to join our Slack workspace to further connect with our amazing community.

About the Authors: 

Kelly Shaw is a Professor of Computer Science at Williams College and currently serves as the WICARCH chair. Natalie Enright Jerger is the Canada Research Chair in Computer Architecture and the Director of the Division of Engineering Science at the University of Toronto.  She served as the founding chair of WICARCH and currently serves as the SIGARCH Chair.

Disclaimer: These posts are written by individual contributors to share their thoughts on the Computer Architecture Today blog for the benefit of the community. Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal, belong solely to the blog author and do not represent those of ACM SIGARCH or its parent organization, ACM.