Diana Marculescu, Carnegie Mellon University ( )


The Computer Architecture community greatly benefits from being comprised of researchers, developers and practitioners from diverse backgrounds and experiences. Maximizing the benefits and richness of ideas that come from engaging and harnessing the valuable perspectives from all members of our diverse technical community is achieved only with inclusive practices and behaviors by all. Unconscious (or implicit) bias is believed to be a significant factor that inhibits inclusivity and acts to stall or even thwart important efforts for increasing and celebrating diversity. Everyone has implicit or unconscious biases, and because they are unconscious, we are unaware of them. In this workshop, the first of its kind at ISCA, the basis of implicit bias is presented and effective tools for increasing awareness and mitigation of its unwanted effects are provided. This important workshop is useful to every ISCA participant—bystanders and advocates alike—who can intervene and effectively bust implicit bias when it occurs, either in themselves or in others.

The first part of this workshop will present current understanding of what these biases are and how we can reduce their impacts in our behaviors and interactions with others. There will be role-playing activities to give attendees practice at identifying and responding to unconscious bias in day-to- day activities. The second part of the workshop is intended for attendees who would like to take the Bias Busters program back to their institutions or would like implement a customized version of Bias Busters for any processes that rely on decision-making in selecting individuals for positions or recognition (including, but not limited to, conference committees, hiring committees, academic promotion and tenure, graduate admissions, awards and honors, etc.).

Background: Bias Busters @ Work (BB@Work) was created by Google as an extension of its Unconscious Bias @ Work Workshop (UB@Work), a course aimed at raising awareness of how unconscious biases work, how they can negatively influence workplace interactions, and what tools can help disrupt bias. In 2015, Google and Carnegie Mellon University created the Bias Busters @ University program, with Bias Busters@CMU being a version specifically tailored for Carnegie Mellon, first piloted by CMU’s College of Engineering and School of Computer Science. More information on Bias Busters @ Work:

Tentative Agenda

1:00 pm – 1:15 pm Intro to Bias Busters – A brief introduction of implicit and explicit bias.

1:15 pm - 3:15 pm Bias Busters Session - A two-hour informational and role-playing session on implicit bias and how it can be mitigated.

3:15 pm - 3:30 pm Break

3:30 pm – 5:00 pm Build Your Own BB Session - A one-and- a-half- hour session for attendees interested in customizing and running their own sessions at their home institution or in other professional settings.

5:00 pm – 5:15 pm Feedback and Closing Remarks

Intended Audience

Academic and industry professionals, grad student and postdoc researchers. The workshop is generously sponsored by Google and free (at no cost) for all attendees (even those not going to register for any conference event).

Presenters’ Bios

Diana Marculescu is the David Edward Schramm Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Founding Director of the Center for Faculty Success in College of Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. She received the Dipl.Ing. degree in computer science from the Polytechnic University of Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania, and the Ph.D. degree in computer engineering from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, in 1991 and 1998, respectively. Her research interests include energy- and reliability-aware computing, and CAD for non- silicon applications, including e-textiles, computational biology, and sustainability. Diana was a recipient of the National Science Foundation Faculty Career Award (2000-2004), the ACM SIGDA Technical Leadership Award (2003), the Carnegie Institute of Technology George Tallman Ladd Research Award (2004) and Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award (2017), and several best paper awards from IEE and ACM premier conferences and journals. She was an IEEE Circuits and Systems Society Distinguished Lecturer (2004-2005) and the Chair of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Special Interest Group on Design Automation (2005-2009). Diana was the Technical Program Chair and General Chair of several conferences and symposia (including ACM/IEEE International Symposium on Low Power Electronics, IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Networks-on- Chip, and IEEE/ACM International Conference on Computer-Aided Design), is currently an Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Computers, and has served in the same position for the IEEE Transactions on VLSI Systems and the ACM Transactions on Design Automation of Electronic Systems. She was selected as an ELATE Fellow (2013-2014), and is the recipient of an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (2013-2017) and the Marie R. Pistilli Women in EDA Achievement Award (2014). Diana is an IEEE Fellow and an ACM Distinguished Scientist. Since 2015, Diana has been the College of Engineering lead for BiasBusters@CMU, has led sessions for 650+ faculty, students, and staff, and trained several facilitators for the university program.

Carol Frieze has worked on diversity and inclusion in Carnegie Mellon’s School of Computer Science (SCS) for the past 17 years. She is Director of Women@SCS and SCS4ALL, organizations that build community on campus, provide leadership and networking opportunities, and promote diversity in computer science. The organizations have been credited with helping to improve gender balance in Carnegie Mellon’s SCS where the percentage of women has been well above national averages for many years and hit the headlines when 49+% and 48% women entered the CS major in 2017 and 2016 respectively. Frieze’s teaching and research focuses on the culture of computing, stereotypes and myths, and unconscious bias. She is the winner of the 2017 Computing Research Association’s A. Nico Habermann Award and the 2016 AccessComputing Capacity Building Award. She is co-author of the book Kicking Butt in Computer Science: Women in Computing at Carnegie Mellon University, which tells a positive story of how Carnegie Mellon challenged the existing narrative of approaches to women’s participation in computing.

Gerry Katilius earned a BSEE at the Naval Academy, and an Executive MBA at the University of Pittsburgh. Gerry supported the successful integration of women into the U.S. Navy, starting with the first classes to include women at Annapolis, and later as a Division and Training Officer aboard the USS Vulcan, including the Navy's first Mediterranean deployment with a mixed crew. Gerry was a Diversity Core Program Manager for Google, and served on rotation as Google’s Global Diversity, Unbiasing Program Manager, overseeing the rollout of refreshed training, as well as providing subject matter expertise for the development of new training. Gerry leads the Unbiasing@University initiative with CMU, and developed an open source Computational Agent-Based Model (ABM) to help identify and reduce the negative effects of bias. Gerry is now a Senior Solutions Consultant for Google gTech Professional Services, and continues to work on ways to disrupt bias as a 20% project.

Jonathan Reynolds is currently the Outreach Project Manager for the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. He serves as the liaison for the School of Computer Science and university-wide diversity inclusion initiatives. Jonathan was a part of the university roll-out of the Unconscious@University initiative with Carnegie Mellon, while he served in his role as a retention and persistent specialist for underrepresented students on campus. Jonathan’s background is in Education and Social Policy and is actively engaged in many diversity and inclusion initiatives on campus and in the larger community.

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