New CIS Professor awarded WICS grant for promoting diversity

Boyana Norris

Assistant Professor Boyana Norris has been awarded a grant of $30,000 from the Women in Science & Technology Fund of the College of Arts and Sciences to enable her to pursue activities that target the recruitment and retention of both women and minorities at all levels, including students and faculty, in the Department of Computer and Information Science.

Dr. Norris will organize visits by distinguished speakers, usually women or minorities in academia or industry. The visitors will meet with faculty and students and be the honored guest at a banquet dinner with our Women in Computer Science group (WICS, see On a more regular basis, Boyana will work with WICS to organize lunches open to all students and faculty; each will have a theme, and begin with a short talk by a WICS member followed by informal discussions. For both sorts of events, invitations will be extended to prospective students (especially minorities and women) to visit the Department and University. The CIS Department will contribute toward the funding of travel costs.

During the first year, particular effort will be made to exhance the departmental web content and design in order to illustrate the broader societal impacts of computer science as well as the relevant research and technical accomplishments of the CIS Department. This is an important step in the recruitment of women and other underrepresented groups, as studies show that women place a relatively high importance on the potential societal impacts of the discipline they are considering.

Dr. Norris joined the Department this fall after serving fourteen years as a researcher and scientist at Argonne National Laboratory. Her research in high performance computing focuses on defining domain-specific abstractions for computations that can be transformed automatically into high-performance implementations while emphasizing usability and human productivity.