Diversity Panel

Inclusion as a Tool for Innovation in the Scientific Community

Inclusion, diversity, equity are terms that are more present in the vocabulary of many organizations and institutions. But what does it really mean? How do you achieve it? And more importantly, why should you strive for it?

Studies show that having teams formed by people with different backgrounds potentiates creativity and productivity; two key elements that lead to successful research. 

In this session we will showcase the efforts to bring diversity and inclusion to two of the biggest conferences in Computer Graphics: SIGGRAPH  and IEEE VR, what has been achieved so far and the path ahead of us.

Wednesday, May 27 15:30 - 17:00, CEST Moderator: Céline Loscos

Evolution of Women’s presence at SIGGRAPH conferences

Diana Arellano

SIGGRAPH is the largest conference in Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, and also a pioneer in offering a space of women in CG along the past seven years. Everything started in 2013 as a session of our ACM SIGGRAPH International Resources Committee, where we discussed the importance of Women in CG in Europe, realizing how this topic needed a place of its own. The year after the session became Women in CG”, and has been held every year in both SIGGRAPH and SIGGRAPH Asia. In recent years, others have been organizing similar events at the conference, creating a space to exchange and share ideas among women.

Diana Arellano obtained her BSc. and MSc. in Computer Sciences from the University Simon Bolivar (Venezuela), and her PhD from the University of the Balearic Islands (Spain) in 2012. Her main field of research was Affective Computing, which she combined in later years with Machine Learning during her time as Research Associate at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg (Germany).

Currently, she is Team Leader in the Pipeline Department at Mackevision, Part of Accenture Interactive in Stuttgart, Germany, where she is in charge of the disciplinary aspects in the team organization. Her other hat is the one of Scrum Master for different teams of software developers.

Arellano also collaborates as scientific committee of several international conferences and journals, co-organizes discussion panels on Women in CG and Visual Arts at FMX and SIGGRAPH. She has been volunteering for SIGGRAPH and ACM SIGGRAPH since 2007 where she started as Student Volunteer, served as International Resources Committee (IRC) Chair, and currently holds the External Relations Chair and is member of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Representation of Female Researches and Authors at the IEEE VR Conference

Amela Sadagic

The health of any domain can also be measure by the extent to which it includes and embraces the unique views of a diverse set of individuals who are actively contributing to that domain. Dr. Sadagic will discuss recent research findings that addressed the representation of female participants and authors in virtual reality research, presented at the IEEE VR conference. She will also review the representation and engagement of the women researches in the conference’s committees in the past.

Dr. Amela Sadagic is a computer scientist and a Research Associate Professor and a co-director of the Center for Additive Manufacturing at the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA. While at NPS, has been a PI and co-PI on research efforts that had $10M in funding; those research projects engaged over 4500 individuals as subjects in the user studies. She currently serves as an Associate Editor for the Frontiers in VR journal, section Virtual Reality in Industry. In the past, she was a Director of Programs at Advanced Network and Services Inc., where she designed and led the programs focused on the use of emerging technologies in learning. She was also responsible for the coordination of a research effort that involved 30-members large team of researchers from four leading US universities that formed a research consortium called the National Tele-immersion Initiative (NTII). Her expertise and research interests include Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, human factors and presence in VR, evaluation of learning and training effectiveness in computer-supported environments, multiuser collaborative environments, additive manufacturing, and diffusion of innovation. Dr. Sadagic holds a Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from University College London, UK.

ACM SIGGRAPH’s Journey towards an Inclusive Community

Tony Baylis

ACM SIGGRAPH celebrates the diversity of disciplines, ideas, innovations, journeys, and people that exist within the SIGGRAPH community. At our annual conferences and year-round activities, we have an expectation that everyone is treated with respect within our organization. Our goal is to create an environment where our members and our guests feel that ACM SIGGRAPH is a place where they feel safe, have a sense of belonging, and their voices are heard. The speaker will provide an overview of SIGGRAPH’s efforts to work toward building an inclusive organization.

Tony Baylis is a senior leader, partner and advocate for Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) programs and activities for the Laboratory. Tony oversees the laboratory’s strategic interactions and successful execution in building and collaborating with academic, community, government, industry, and diversity organization stakeholders. He represents the Laboratory on the subjects of D&I, science, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM), outreach efforts, and student programs.

Tony has created and implemented inclusive programs focused on increasing the representation of women and the underserved community in various organizations and industries. He serves as a Department of Energy champion, a Board Member for the EmpowHer Institute, an Advisory Board Member for the Computing Alliance of Hispanic-Serving Institutes, an Industry Advisory Board Member for the University of Florida Computer & Information Science & Engineering Department, and a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion consultant. He also serves as a conference program committee member, a speaker, moderator, a contributor and reviewer for a number of programs, conferences, and workshops.

Tony is an Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques (SIGGRAPH) member and currently serves SIGGRAPH in the role of Diversity and Inclusion Committee Chair. He is also a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Tony is a graduate from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. Tony’s career represents 34 years of administrative, project, program, technical, organizational management and senior leadership. He has worked in industry, broadcast media, scientific and technical environments for over 29 years. His passions are to lead by example, deliver results, demonstrate allyship daily, live a fully inclusive life, be socially conscious, learn continuously, travel with curiosity, and serve others by helping them find their passions in life.