SBP 2012 Outreach Efforts to Increase Diversity and Participation of Minorities

Investigators: Donald Adjeroh ( (Principal Investigator) and Nitin Agarwal ( (Co-Principal Investigator)

Abstract: This is an effort to increase diversity of participation in the Social Computing, Behavioral-Cultural Modeling, and Prediction (SBP) conference in 2012 and 2013. The SBP conference provides an international platform for collaborative and exploratory research that advances the emerging interdisciplinary field of social computing. It attracts leading researchers in behavioral modeling and social computing from academia, industry and government, who address issues of behavior modeling, analysis, pattern mining, and prediction in domains such as healthcare, privacy, and organizations.

Analysis of attendance at previous SBP conferences has found substantial gender and racial inequalities in participation in the conference, and less disciplinary diversity than desired for this new interdisciplinary field. Project activities include (a) targeted outreach to female, Hispanic, African-American, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and schools in EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) states; (b) targeted outreach to underrepresented academic disciplines relevant to SPB;(c) special invitations to participate for authors in the same categories of schools and disciplines who have had a paper declined; (d) solicitations for student volunteers from the same categories of schools and disciplines; and (e) encouraging diversity in the selection of speakers for the panels held during the conference. Small travel grants and/or conference fee waivers will be used to encourage participation.

Annual reports provided below discuss the outcomes of the project in detail. Figure 1 illustrates a high-level visual summary of the results.

Broader Impacts: By broadening participation in the SBP conference, this project will provide new opportunities for interaction across disciplinary boundaries, fostering creative new ways of thinking about problems in social computing and behavior modeling. In addition, the project will encourage members of disadvantaged groups to become involved in STEM research through training, professional development, and community building.

Funding Agency: US National Science Foundation (NSF), Cyber Human Systems (formerly, Human-Centered Computing), Division of Information & Intelligent Systems (IIS), Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE).

Award Number: IIS-1225981

Project Duration: March 1, 2012 - February 28, 2014.

Performance and outcomes: Year 1 | Year 2 | Outcomes Report