Carla Brodley

Digital Library

ACM Frances E. Allen Award for Outstanding Mentoring

USA - 2021


For significant personal mentorship and leadership in creating systemic programs that have increased diversity in computer science by creating mentoring opportunities for thousands at Northeastern and other universities across the United States

Dr. Carla E. Brodley has shown a deep commitment to mentoring and increasing diversity in computer science throughout her academic career. She has worked to develop and disseminate data-driven mentoring practices to make computer science more diverse, inclusive, and equitable in a sustainable and systemic way. Her efforts have been remarkably successful. While Dean of the Khoury College from 2014-2021, enrollments grew from 2,125 students to 6,169. Through a variety of academic innovations, including 30 new interdisciplinary undergraduate computing majors and the "Align MS" program that allows individuals with undergraduate degrees in fields other than computer science to transition into the field, the total enrollment of female undergraduates grew from 19% to 32% (national average 21.5%), and the enrollment of female MS students increased from 33% to 42% (national average 25.7%). The representation of students from races and ethnicities historically marginalized in computing also increased from 10% to 19%. Furthermore, of the 46 new tenure track hires made during her tenure as Dean, 28% were women, double the national average. She also hired 8 faculty from races and ethnicities that are extremely underrepresented in technology (national average is 1%).

Carla also has a long and deep engagement with CRA-WP, the CRA committee focused on widening participation in computing, serving as Board Member from 2002-2013 and Co-Chair from 2008-2011. She has worked on several CRA-WP projects, providing tremendous service as a mentor, speaker, and panelist at Academic Career Workshops (1996, 1999, 2005, 2020), at the CRA- WP Grad Cohort Workshop for Women (2004, 2006, 2011, 2013), and at the Grace Hopper Conference (2012, 2015, 2017).

At Northeastern, Carla founded the Center for Inclusive Computing (CIC) to focus on systemic changes that can increase diversity in computer science. The CIC provides funding and mentorship to colleges and universities to increase the representation of women of all races and ethnicities in undergraduate computing. Under Carla's leadership, the CIC has provided over $13 million in Implementation and Diagnostic grants to 56 schools. Diagnostic grantees receive two years of funding to cover the cost of collecting detailed intersectional data related to enrollment, persistence, retention, and graduation. Implementation grantees receive 2-4 years of funding to make systemic, sustainable change. The CIC does not just provide the money, Carla and her team mentor grantees through a multi-stage process that provides mentoring to faculty from diagnosis through implementation. In founding and running the CIC, Carla has created a critical resource for diversity in the computing field.

Press Release

ACM Fellows

USA - 2016


For applications of machine learning and for increasing participation of women in computer science.