Call for Participation

Building upon the success of our inaugural event in February 2010, the second Minnesota Celebration of Women in Computing (MinneWIC 2012) will bring together students, faculty, and technology leaders from across Minnesota and neighboring states to discuss the role of women in today's computing and technology fields, share experiences and strategies for success, and explore issues common to women working in these fields. It will be held February 24-25, 2012 on the campus of the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. The success of the conference depends on your participation. We highly encourage you to take part in this historic conference in any of a number of ways.

You should attend if you are interested in learning about the challenges and rewards of computing careers or in advancing technology through broader representation of women. We encourage undergraduate and graduate students with interests in computing and information technology to attend and also to submit work in the appropriate categories (see below). We invite faculty and technology leaders to come meet and mentor the next generation of computing professionals.

We strongly encourage all attendees to fully participate in the conference by submitting work in any of the following categories. Submission details follow the category descriptions below:

  • Posters (Open to students)
  • Lightning talks (Open to all attendees)
  • Birds-of-Feather (BOF) sessions (Open to all attendees)
  • Information table (Open to corporations and academic institutions)

The deadline for poster and lightning talk submissions is Monday, January 30, 2012 [deadline extended]. We will accept posters after the deadline as space permits. Notification of acceptance will be made by February 6, 2012.

To submit your contribution, please go to the submission web site:
Unless you already have an account on EasyChair, you need to create an account when you access the site for the first time. Using your account, you'll be able to submit and revise your submissions. You need to submit only an abstract. On the submission page please check the submission type box.

Students are encouraged to submit posters on research, class projects, and work-in-progress for a poster reception on Friday, February 24. The poster reception gives students the opportunity to discuss their work with conference attendees in an informal setting. Submit a poster abstract summarizing the key idea of your poster. Poster abstracts will be lightly reviewed for suitability only. Our goal is to help students gain confidence in discussing their work. Posters should be no larger than 36"x48". See below for submission details.
Prospective poster presenters may wish to read for guidance on creating posters or the longer guide at Do not forget to check our list of topic ideas (see below).

Lightning Talks are five-minute mini-presentations on any subject relevant to the conference. A lightning talk may be given by one or more students, faculty, or industry professionals. Submit a brief description of the topic of your talk and list the name(s) and affiliation(s) of the speakers(s). (For information on how to give a lightning talk, see the advice of Mark Fowler at .)

Birds of Feather (BoF) sessions are informal discussion groups on specific topics of interest. Attendees split into small groups to discuss specific technical or social topics that interest them. Suitable topics for discussion include anything related to computing: careers, education, challenges, student organizations, or a variety of other topics. BoF sessions may be organized by one or more students, faculty, and industry professionals. Submit a proposal briefly describing the discussion topic and listing the name(s) and affiliations(s) of the organizer(s). Our goal is to engender a lively exchange of ideas and foster a sense of community and mutual support. (You might want to check out on leading effective discussions when putting together your BOF.)

Women from academia and business are invited to share their experiences by participating as a panelist or engaging in informal discussions with students throughout the conference. Interested volunteers should submit a brief bio and a synopsis of the topic(s) you would like to share [should be emailed to one of us]. Submissions will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the program is full.

We will be hosting a career fair on Saturday afternoon, February 25. Corporations and academic institutions that are interested in hosting an information table at this fair should contact [one of us by email].

MinneWIC encourages participants to submit posters, lightning talks, and BOF ideas on any topic of interest to conference attendees. Some suggestions include (but are not limited to):

  • Original research results — motivation for the research and the key ideas explored
  • Historical overview of some field of computing research or technology
  • Impact on society of some field of computing research or technology
  • Ethical issues relating to some field of computing research or technology
  • Outreach activities that worked (or didn't)
  • How to survive a computing major
  • Programming tips
  • Research, internship, or co-op experiences
  • How to get involved in research
  • Choosing a research advisor
  • Choosing a good research topic
  • How to create a successful Women In Computing group
  • An activity that your Women in CS organization conducted that was really successful. Or an activity or two that you wish your organization would conduct.
  • Tips for a new teaching assistant
  • Career networking tips
  • A tribute to a role model: What a specific woman did to help you; why her efforts "worked".
  • An open letter from a student to her instructors: What works and what doesn't - from the student perspective.
  • Tips for mentoring. What works and what doesn't from the student/faculty perspective
  • What you've learned that you'd like to tell a first-year student in order to help her
  • How to encourage young women to develop their interest in computing
  • Curricular changes that broaden participation in computing
  • Computer Science Education at the K-12 level, what higher ed can do to help