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Grant proposal around women in college and open source


I've discussed this with a few of you briefly previously,
but I've let time run short, and need to get things settled
quickly.  In brief, we are looking for the support of
LinuxChix and/or Debian-Women as we put together a funded
program to attract and support women computer scientists
through open source.  Please excuse the length of the rest
of this message, but I want to be clear as to our plans and

I'm Bart Massey <bart@cs.pdx.edu>. I'm an open source
developer (http://xcb.freedesktop.org, http://nickle.org,
http://summer.cs.pdx.edu, and other projects) and an
Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Portland State
University (e.g. http://wiki.cs.pdx.edu/ossclass) in
Portland, Oregon USA.  KernelChix leader Kristen
Carlsen-Accardi here in Portland will vouch for me, if that
helps establish my bona fides :-).

My Dept. Head, Dr. Cynthia Brown, and I are currently
working on an US National Science Foundation proposal we
think you might be interested in.  The NSF is looking to
attract underrepresented groups into college computer
science.  Specifically, we're currently targeting NSF
Solicitation 05-562 on "Broadening Participation in
(although if that falls through, there are other similar
venues for this sort of work.)

We deplore the fact that women are so highly
underrepresented in our field.  To address this issue, we
propose that involvement in open source may be one way to
attract women into computing that can lead to their
involvement in a college computer science curriculum at both
the undergraduate and graduate levels.

We have formed a coalition of partners in Oregon and
Washington USA including IBM, Clark College, Lane Community
College, and others with the goal of putting together an
open-source based academic computer science "track" that
would offer support and mentorship for women as they
progress from technical "outsiders" to advanced open source
developers and computer scientists.

Our proposal is more than just local.  It includes funding
for a portal site dedicated to helping women in open source
into and through academia.  We think that this can be
effective in supporting and encourage women in computer
science academia internationally.

That is where you folks come in.  We're going to need the
kind of volunteer mentoring and tutoring of women in open
source and related technologies that you are already
providing.  In return, we can provide various kinds of
financial support, help with advertising and promotion, and
offer solid, caring mentoring and advising about academic
issues from an open source perspective.

In short, we'd like women-in-open-source partners with
experience and dedication.  We think your organizations are
the best fit for our needs. I understand that your
organizations have specific open source focii---we are
comfortable working within that space, and hopefully we can
provide a broader context for your efforts.

What we'd like to get from you, preferably in the next few
days (the proposal deadline is June 14), is an organization
leader's signature on a memorandum of understanding that
would show your support for this proposal as we apply to the
NSF for funding.  I'd be happy to draft this memorandum with
your guidance, or you may prefer to draft it yourselves.

I'll be quite interested to hear your thoughts on this.
Please let me know if there's any way I can help to clarify
the proposal or address concerns.  And thank you very much
for your time and attention.


			Bart Massey

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