Tech Talks, Cyber-Dojos, Hour-of-Code – What is DCACM up to?

The new board members of ACM Washington DC started their service on July 1st, 2015 and will continue until June 2016. As part of their very first meeting as a group (held July 16th), the board members have decided to put their effort into these three categories: Organizing Events, Performing Outreach, and Sponsorship.

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2015-2016 DC ACM Executive Board

transitionI am pleased to announce the 2015-2016 DC ACM executive board:


  • Dr. Shahnaz Kamberi, Chair
  • Katherine McClintic, Vice Chair  & Secretary
  • Mike Salera, Treasurer
  • Amar Zumkhawala, Member-At-Large

Shahnaz, Katherine, and Mike will be the DC ACM’s event organizers. Learn about future DC ACM events by following us on twitter  @dcacm or joining our DC ACM group.

The new board assumes responsibility on July 1, 2015, per the DC ACM bylaws. Officer elections were held on Tuesday, June 23rd.

I, not knowing the incoming boards precise ordinal in the chapter’s history, am denoting this upcoming transition as Bn to Bm.

On behalf of all DC ACM members, please let us thank Bob Downs, Ray Van Dyke, and Ronnie Dasgupta, and Andrew Conklin for their outstanding executive service from July 2014 – June 2015.

Amar Zumkhawala
Chair, 7/2013 – 6/2015

Announcing Candidates for 2015

Greetings DC ACM followers! Please read below for our list of 2015 election cycle candidates.  We’ll be voting in the new board on June 23rd. We are open to more candidates if any DC ACM-er is interested!

Do you have an interest in creating some local Comp Sci community activity by joining our board or our organizer team? Contact Andrew Conklin,, for details.

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Computer Science Education Week 2014

#HourOfCode #DCACM #DeVRYOver five days, the DC ACM and DeVry University held free workshops offering individuals the experience of computer programming. We believe broadening access to computer skills is important and are very proud of the diversity our workshops drew.

Our workshops were titled “Hour of Code” events to recognize the connection our local initiative held to the global #HourOfCode initiative., a non-profit organization aiming to create access to computer science, led the global effort. According to, participating individuals and organizations recognized #CSEdWeek by creating #HourOfCode events in over 150 countries worldwide.

Professor Shahnaz Kamberi organized the events with support from DeVry and the DC ACM. The events were held on DeVry’s Crystal City, Virginia campus in honor of National Computer Science education week.

image063We locally offered the following workshops:

  • “Introduction to C++” – taught by Professor Kamberi
  • “Introduction to CISCO Academy” – taught by Professor Alidad Jalinous of DeVry University DC Metro
  • “Introduction to Web Design and Development” – taught by Professors Anne Chandra and Prince Ikegwuono of DeVry University DC Metro
  • “Introduction to Code through Games” – taught by Kamberi & Zumkhawala

Many of our younger participants and their parents encouraged us to offer more coding opportunities in the future. Attendees expressed that they enjoyed coding in C++ and learning about web design. Younger attendees especially enjoyed the #HourofCode studio tools such as “Code with Anna and Elsa”, “The Farmer”, and “Candy Quest”.

image058The goal of Hour of Code workshops is to offer individuals of all ages and backgrounds exposure to computer science concepts. Whether 4 years old or 104 years old, we urge all people to tinker with computers and programming!

Did you participate in the #HourofCode event last week? Tweet us at @dcacm.

For more information, please email

DC Hour Of Code Event

DC ACM and DeVry University (DC Metro) Celebrates Computer Science Education Week!

In honor of‘s Hour of Code and Computer Science Education Week, DC ACM is sponsoring DeVry University DC Metro’s Computer Science Education Week at their Arlington, Virginia campus.

To celebrate, a free workshop is offered to the public each day of the week December 8th through 12th from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM.

Finding out more about and register for one of the free workshops through eventbrite:

We welcome all adults interested in coding. This includes individuals who wish to tinker out of intellectual interest as well as adults who are considering computer programming bachelors degrees. Monday – Thursday’s events are all ages, Friday is for teens only.

Hashtags associated with this event: #devrycsweek #dcacm #hourofcode #csedweek

Spotlight on DC ACM member and Vice-Chair Shahnaz Kamberi

As part of her dissertation research study, “Gam(h)er: How to Increase Girls’ Interest and Knowledge of Computer Science via a Gender Specific Educational Game with Two Dimensional and Three Dimensional Game Components”, Shahnaz Kamberi developed a 2D educational game prototype called Array[7] to teach Java Programming to girls ages 13 – 17 years. She also developed a companion 3D virtual world to the game as the ‘affinity space’; where girls can socialize learn and communicate regarding their game progress. Her study involved conducting all-girl Java programming workshops where the girls played and evaluated the game developed. She also surveyed and quizzed the girls to determine the effectiveness of gender specific game based learning. A total of 78 girls participated in the workshops held at DeVry University Arlington, VA campus. Kamberi is currently analyzing her research results and preparing for her Grace Hopper Conference presentation in October 2014.

To read more about her research please Click Here….


Girls in the 3D Virtual World

What is the DC ACM?

dcacmlogo2008jpgformatAs the DC ACM embarks on another hopeful year, we find ourselves exploring new collaborative initiatives. The DC ACM is connecting with other organizations to create professional development opportunities for ACM members in the DC metro area. One common initial question asked of me as I introduce our community is “What is the DC ACM?”

We are the DC area chapter of the Association of Computing Machinery. The ACM is a professional association for computing professionals and students. It has a broad membership of over 100,000+ members, internationally. The organization’s mission is to create professional development opportunities for our members. Professional development includes networking opportunities, educational opportunities, and conferences.

IMG_20110915_185852Many members first hear about the ACM in college, as universities with computer science departments naturally have student ACM chapters. For example, several DC area universities, have student chapters, including Howard, George Washington University, American University, and George Mason University. Universities connect with the ACM because it offers many resources tuned to academic research, for example  digital libraries of published academic papers.

A vast number of cities have professional chapters which members can join after graduation. The DC ACM, founded in 1958, is one of these professional chapters. Today, we are an active community group. We openly organize events on our meetup group, communicate on social media (@dcacm), and include non-acm members at our events.

DCACM_Group_Photo_2013-11-14Locally, we create professional development opportunities for our members. Our group creates  opportunities through events; we also connect with events from other organizations in the DC area that are of value to our members.

The DC ACM has evolved quite a bit since 1958. Members who have been around for decades, since the early days of computing, have shared numerous stories of what computing communities were like prior. Why have we changed? Our groups adaptations are intended to complement the elevation of grassroots IT communities and emerging startup companies in DC.

DC ACM members are very technical, possess in-depth practitioner knowledge, and generally hold degrees in computer science or related fields. Our group has many entrepreneurs,  managers, practicing lawyers, programmers, and IT architects. This diversity is an outcome of how many members begin their careers by learning computers and engineering in college, and over time professionally branch out as their professional endeavors develop. As a result, the DC ACM has a wide network of individuals beyond programmers.

Our board consists of five members: Amar Zumkhawala, Chair; Shahnaz Kamberi, Vice Chair; Bob Downs, Treasurer; Ronnie Dasgupta, Secretary; and Ray Van Dyke, Member-At-Large.

As chair, I encourage interested individuals to join ( and stay in touch. Please consider either joining our meetup group, subscribing to our mailing list, or following us on twitter from our join web page.

Contact the chair of the DC ACM at chair@dcacm.orgacmlogo.png