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An unaffiliated group of visible, early career CS women researchers dedicated to fighting harassment in all forms in academia.

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CS Climate Survey

We are currently performing a longitudinal study of harassment at CS conferences. We have completed a pilot year collecting data at USENIX conferences and are collecting data from ACM conferences this year. If you are interested in running the survey, contact Irene Zhang, Daniel Berger or Elizabeth Barron. Some resources on this survey:

Improving Codes of Conduct

We are currently redesigning the USENIX code of conduct and running a series of town halls to gather input from the community. These efforts are entirely designed around Emma Irwin's work on enforceable codes of conduct. Some resources:

Reviewers Code of Conduct

We have started a Reviewers Code of Conduct for NSDI, based on experiences of members of the Superhero network. Here is the initial CoC that we required all NSDI PC members to sign this year:

We aim to make the CoC enforceable next year and expand it to other USENIX conferences. We will also deploy an authors' CoC, given that sometimes the power dynamic can be switched where authors have control over the careers of reviewers and other participants in the reviewing process.

The Superhero Network

The Superhero Network is an unaffiliated group of visible, influential and early-stage women CS researchers that fight against harassment and for a safe environment for everyone in the research community. The focus will initially be on women, but I would love to eventually expand this to other underrepresented minorities and all PhD students. The committee has the following important features:

  • Unaffiliated: The group will not be sponsored or affiliated by any other organization to avoid conflicts of interest.

  • Diverse: To avoid further conflicts of interest, we will never assign someone to help/give recommendations who is in the same area or institution or has any other shared affiliation. However, we all vouch for each other as safe allies and serve as a visible contact point within our research communities. Only after any issue has been resolved, the person in the same area may be asked to step in and help fix things.

  • Early-stage: The members must be young enough to be approachable and to have recently experienced harassment themselves (no Turing award winners!). This makes it easier for us to connect with and mentor people who might have experienced harassment, since they are likely to be grad students or younger.

  • Influential: Members must be senior enough to enact change (perhaps just before or after tenure?) or know allies/mentors that can implement recommendations. They must have enough connections to the community be believed by a significant set of the senior people.

  • Visible: People know who you are and can reach you on multiple social platforms. Responsibilities will definitely include promoting the processes we put in place to cope with harassment, so must be active on Twitter and/or other places that reach many PhD students.

Our Mission

We use research and expertise for prevention and intervention of all forms of harassment in the research community. We define harassment broadly as any unwelcome behavior that harms the participation of marginalized communities, whether they are underrepresented minorities or PhD students. We are using a data-driven approach to improve conference environments and curb academic bullying.

Senior Members (post-PhD)

  • Irene Zhang

    • Title & Affiliation: Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research
    • Research Area: Systems (SIGOPS, USENIX OSDI)
    • Research focus: I work on operating systems for kernel-bypass and other types of hardware accelerators in the datacenter. I have also worked on mobile systems, distributed systems and networking in the past.
    • Activism: I'm the founder of Diverse Genders in Research Day, a day of technical talks by women and diverse genders for diverse genders at the University of Washington (and now others!). The idea behind the event is to recruit more undergraduates of diverse genders to research and PhDs by simply having a safe space to present awesome work and ask questions. Fill that leaky pipeline!!
    • Personal fun: I love to cook and eat, so I'm always up for visiting a new restaurant or talking about a new cooking technique. I also weightlift, play tennis and skate, which are all excellent ways to learn how to fail (and sometimes fall on my face).
  • Sangeetha Abdu Jyothi

    • Title & Affiliation: Assistant Professor at the University of California, Irvine
    • Research Area: Networking (USENIX NSDI, SIGCOMM), Systems (USENIX OSDI, SIGOPS), and ML & Systems (MLSys)
    • Research focus: My current research revolves around Internet resilience under solar superstorms and various challenges at the intersection of systems and ML. I have also worked on cloud resource management and data center networking.
    • Activism: My most recent experience involved reporting bias at SIGCOMM HotNets 2020 and fighting against gaslighting and abuse of power at SIGCOMM and ACM. I have also been involved with various associations for women in CS over the years.
    • Personal fun: I love traveling and hiking. Swimming has a therapeutic effect on me when I am stressed about various things. I also enjoy reading. Thanks to the pandemic, I have recently revived my long-lost hobbies from childhood. I am learning Indian classical music and dance.
  • Akshitha Sriraman

    • Title & Affiliation: Incoming Assistant Professor at Carnegie Mellon University
    • Research Area: Computer architecture (ISCA, ASPLOS, MICRO, HPCA) and Operating Systems (OSDI, SOSP)
    • Research Focus: My research bridges computer architecture and software systems, demonstrating the importance of that bridge in realizing efficient hyperscale web services via solutions that span the systems stack.
    • Activism: I have been actively working towards improving the enrollment and retention of women in CS. For example, I am actively involved in the Women in Computer Architecture (WiCArch) group, having started the WiCArch webinar series and mentorship program.
    • Personal fun: I love going on long hikes with my dog (who weighs about four pounds less than me). I also started doing yoga during the pandemic, which has become a fun everyday activity.
  • Elena Glassman

    • Title & Affiliation: I am an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the Harvard Paulson School of Engineering & Applied Sciences and the Stanley A. Marks & William H. Marks Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.
    • Research Area: Human-computer interaction
    • Research Focus: I design, build and evaluate systems for comprehending and interacting with population-level structure and trends in large code and data corpora.
  • Leilani Battle

    • Title & Affiliation: I am an Assistant Professor in the Paul G. Allen School for Computer Science and Engineering. I was previously an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, where I led the Battle Data Lab.
    • Research Area: My research interests focus on developing interactive data-intensive systems that can aid analysts in performing complex data exploration and analysis.
    • Research Focus: My current research is anchored in the field of databases, but utilizes research methodology and techniques from HCI and visualization to integrate data processing (databases) with interactive interfaces (HCI, visualization).
  • Daphne Yao

    • Title & Affiliation: Professor, Virginia Tech
    • Research Area: Security and privacy (ACM CCS/ASIACCS, IEEE SecDev, IEEE S&P, ACSAC)
    • Research focus: Building long-lasting cyber defenses, as well as machine learning for digital health, with a shared focus on accuracy and deployment
    • Activism: Pointing out obstacles that STEM women face (including workplace sexual harassment) and working towards correcting and eventually eliminating them
    • Personal fun: Singing, shopping, walking, and watching TV
  • Elissa Redmiles

    • Title & Affiliation: Faculty Member & Research Group Leader, Max Planck Institute for Software Systems
    • Research Area: Security & HCI/Social Science (USENIX Security, IEEE S&P, ACM CCS, ACM CHI, WWW)
    • Research focus: I work on digital security, privacy, and safety for end-users and marginalized groups (low-ses populations, sex workers, etc.).
    • Activism: I've run a number of CS education and CS curriculum development initiatives for under-represented groups. My research group also specifically focuses on developing the careers of marginalized researchers (marginalized by gender, race/ethnicity, past employment e.g., in sex work).
    • Personal fun: I do a lot of Russian Kettlebells/Olympic Barbell, I'm originally from Colorado and love to hike. I cake decorate and once made a cake shaped like a Patron tequila bottle. I also have a giant fluffy dog, after whom an R package was named (
  • Neeraja J. Yadwadkar

    • Title & Affiliation: Incoming Assistant Professor, University of Texas at Austin
    • Research Area: Cloud Computing Systems and Machine Learning (ML)
    • Research focus: Most of my research straddles the boundaries of Systems and ML. Advances in systems, machine learning, and hardware architectures are about to launch a new era in which we can use the entire cloud as a computer. New ML techniques are being developed for solving complex resource management problems in systems. Similarly, systems research is getting influenced by properties of emerging ML algorithms and evolving hardware architectures. Bridging these complementary fields, my research focuses on using and developing ML techniques for systems and building systems for ML.
    • Activism: I care deeply about diversity and inclusion at all the levels: in my classroom, in my upcoming research group, and in the broader research community. For example, I served as the D&I chair for ACM SoCC'21 with the focus on creating a welcoming environment for eveyone at the conference.
    • Personal fun: I am a Kathak dancer and teacher. I primarily teach 5-9 year olds! Kathak is an Indian classical dance form that is at least 2000 years old!
  • Elba Garza

    • Title & Affiliation: Graduate Student at Texas A&M University
    • Research Area: Computer Architecture (ISCA, MICRO, HPCA, ASPLOS)
    • Research focus: I work in architectural front-end prediction, e.g. branch prediction, branch target buffer, instruction prefetching, instruction caching.
    • Activism: I'm the co-founder of CASA, or the Computer Architecture Student Association, an independent student-run organization with the express purpose of developing and fostering a positive and inviting student community within computer architecture. We try to host social events to let student gather and socialize, mentoring activities in and out of conferences, and help run initiatives such as the recent Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Reading Group for Summer 2021.
    • Personal fun: My husband and I like to metal detect to find coins, jewelry, and other lost treasure. We also collect coins, and are all-around OG nerds. And I wouldn't have it any other way!

Junior Members (PhD Students)

  • Eunice Jun

    • Title & affiliation: PhD student at University of Washington
    • Research area: HCI, PL/SE (UIST, CSCW, CHI, OOPSLA)
    • Research focus: I work on developing new statistical analysis tools (e.g., domain-specific languages, interfaces) for researchers who may not be statistical experts. I also develop theories for how people analyze data and find ways to improve the validity of analyses.
    • Activism: My research aims to lower barriers to computing and data science. I also co-organize Diverse Genders in Research Day and have coordinated various mentorship activities for womxn at UW CSE. Years ago, I helped start a Girls Who Code chapter at John Early Middle School in Nashville, TN.
    • Personal fun: I paint, mosaic, dance, and (very poorly) golf.
  • Swati Goswami

    • Title & Affiliation: PhD student at University of British Columbia
    • Research Area: Datacenter performance, programmable networking accelerators, Storage systems
    • Research Focus: I work on using emerging hardware devices such as programmable switches to optimize datacenter performance.
    • Activism: I have actively volunteered with several organizations as an instructor / teaching assistant to encourage women to pursue a career in STEM. I also collaborate with the Womxn in CS group at UBC to organize educational events for the students.
    • Personal fun: I love reading novels, cooking and listening to music. I also enjoy the nature and go for long walks on the UBC campus in my free time.

How To Help

For now, I'm keeping the network extremely small and the goals limited, so there is not much to do! But we will eventually post here ways that companies and individuals can help as allies. Star the repository if you want to follow our journey.


An unaffiliated group of visible, early career CS women researchers dedicated to fighting harassment in all forms in academia.