Moving the Needle and Growing Women in Computing in Latin America


May 24, 2012


Learn about pilot programs launched in Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico to expand the numbers and influence of women in computing. These programs are supported by Microsoft Research Connections’ Latin America Women in Computing Call for Proposals. Learn about the programs’ goals and progress to date, and hear about what has worked and what hasn’t. Join the discussion and provide ideas on how we can make a difference in growing women in computing in Latin America, and learn about opportunities to apply for a similar program in the future.


Eduardo Freire Nakamura, José Tiberio Hernandez, Juliana Salles, and Lorena Gómez

Juliana Salles is Microsoft Research Connections’ senior research program manager in Brazil, where she engages with academics to identify globally critical, high-impact research projects. She is currently working on projects that use technology to enable or accelerate knowledge in such areas as tropical environments and their response to climate change, bioenergy, and biodiversity. She is also leading initiatives to attract and retain women in computing in Latin America. Juliana has a PhD in human-computer interaction and since joining Microsoft has worked as a UX researcher for several product teams, including Visual Studio, Windows Live, and Windows Live Mobile. Her interests include user research techniques and methodology and their integration with the software development process.

Lorena Gómez is director of the master’s program in software engineering and information technology at Tecnológico de Monterrey (ITESM), Monterrey campus. Her research interests include databases, software development, and mobile computing. She is collaborating with the University of the West Indies on the development of an application framework for mobile payments in support of micro-economies in Latin America and the Caribbean, a project sponsored by LACCIR. Lorena teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on databases, business intelligence, and the Software Capstone Project, and she received a Teaching and Research Award from Monterrey Tech in 2011. She is a Fulbright Fellow and a member of the UPE Computer Science Honor Society and the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. Lorena also serves on the board of directors of both the Microsoft Dynamics Academic Alliance and the Microsoft Enterprise Consortium. She earned her PhD in computer science from Arizona State University.

Eduardo Nakamura is a researcher and professor at the Research and Technological Innovation Center, Brazil, and at the Federal University of Amazonas, Brazil. His research interests include data fusion, distributed algorithms, localization algorithms, wireless ad-hoc and sensor networks, and mobile and pervasive computing. He has served as a TCP member for numerous international conferences and as an associate editor of international journals, including IEEE Sensors and the International Journal of Distributed Sensor Networks. He received the Latin America Region Young Professional Award, granted by the IEEE LA ComSoc, for his “contribution to the area of wireless sensor networks”; he also received the Brazilian Ministry of Education’s Best PhD Thesis Award in the category of Engineering and Exact and Earth Sciences for his thesis, “Information Fusion for Wireless Sensor Networks.” He earned his PhD in Computer Science from the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil.

José Tiberio Hernandez is a professor of systems and computing engineering in the School of Engineering at the University of the Andes (UniAndes) and director of the IMAGINE Team. His research interests are focused on visual computing applications and on urban systems. In recent years, he has been involved in applied research on innovation in engineering education. He was formerly dean of the Engineering School at UniAndes and deeply involved in the renovation of the school, an $80-million investment in infrastructure, human capital, and research facilities. Jose obtained his PhD in computing engineering (CAD/CAM) at ENSTA-Paris.