ACM in the News

Nothing cryptic: Israeli scientist works to simplify information security
JNS.org, June 24, 2015
2014 ACM-Infosys Foundation Award in Computing Sciences recipient Dan Boneh talks about ensuring security and privacy for mobile phone users, PDF document sharers, and others. 

When to Keep Fitness Goals a Secret
The Wall Street Journal, June 15, 2015
Proceedings paper from CHI 2015 showed that people who used Facebook were less likely to set fitness goals in the first place than others who kept their commitments to themselves. 

Longstanding Problem Put to Rest
MIT News, June 10, 2015
In their STOC 2015 conference paper, MIT researcher Piotr Indyk (who, along with Andrei Broder and Moses S. Charikar, received the 2012 ACM Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award) and MIT student Arturs Backurs demonstrate new solution to NP-complete problem.

Microsoft Algorithm Improves Directions in Large Networks for Bing Maps
EurekAlert, June 9, 2015
Microsoft researchers say Customizable Route Planning more accurately estimates the time needed for turns, U-turns, road closures, and traffic jams. The research leveraged a classic algorithm by 1972 ACM A.M. Turing Award recipient Edsger Dijkstra. 

Closing the Computer Science Gender Gap: How One Woman Is Making a Difference in Many Lives
The Conversation, June 8, 2015
Maria Klawe, president of Harvey Mudd College and former president of ACM, says the decline of women's participation in computer science (CS) can be reversed. 

Code.org Inks 11 New Partnerships to Help Expand Computer Science Education
GeekWire, June 3, 2015
Code.org this week announced 11 new partnerships with organizations dedicated to helping the computer science education advocate reach even more schools than it could on its own. (ACM is a partner of Code.org.)

To Handle Big Data, Shrink It
MIT News, May 20, 2015
MIT researchers will present an algorithm that finds the smallest possible approximation of a matrix that guarantees reliable computations at the 47th ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing (STOC 15). 

Tech Giants Don't Want Obama to Give Police Access to Encrypted Phone Data
The Washington Post, May 19, 2015
A group of more than 140 technology companies, prominent technologists, and civil society groups have signed a letter addressed to President Barack Obama urging him to reject any government proposals that might allow law enforcement to force technology companies to install backdoors or otherwise weaken the encryption they use to secure their devices and data. The signatories include USACM, as well as policy experts such as SRI International Computer Science Lab principal scientist Peter G. Neumann, moderator of the ACM Risks Forum. 

Code.org Targets High School Computer Science
USA Today, May 14, 2015
Code.org (of which ACM is a partner) is collaborating with College Board to work to expand computer science in US high schools and increase the number of female and minority students taking computer science courses. Code.org CEO Hadi Partovi says the nonprofit will provide the curriculum, tools, training, and funding to school districts that qualify. 

Self-driving cars getting dinged in California
msn.com, May 11, 2015
A higher priority is teaching cars to avoid causing a serious accident that could set public and political acceptance of the technology back years, says ACM SIGBED Chair Raj Rajkumar. 

Girls Just Want to Code. The Trick Is Making Sure They Don't Stop
CNet, May 8, 2015
Harvey Mudd College president and former ACM president Maria Klawe cites the trend of intimidation by a classroom where males are a majority discouraging girls' pursuit of STEM degrees as a clear argument for changing how schools teach computer science. 

Nepal: CRICIS Computing Is Needed
CCC Blog, May 7, 2015
Texas A&M University computer science professor and ACM 2014 Lawler Award recipient Robin Murphy says the recent earthquake in Nepal illustrates the need for critical real-time computing and information systems (CRICIS) computing. 

Internet Pioneer Vint Cerf Calls for Rapid Web Security Enhancements
eWeek, May 5, 2015
The need for security was a recurring theme of the remarks made by Internet pioneer and past ACM president Vint Cerf at the National Press Club. 

One Way to Reduce Email Stress: Re-Invent the Mailing List
MIT News, April 27, 2015
MIT CSAIL researchers present prototype system Murmur—which they hope will improve the experience of using email mailing lists by incorporating popular social media features such as upvoting, following, and blocking—at CHI 2015. 

RSA: Panel Calls NSA Access to Encryption Keys a Bad Idea
Network World, April 22, 2015
Panelists at the RSA 2015 security conference's cryptography panel this week expressed skepticism about the encryption key escrow schemes being put forward by the US government to ensure it has access to encrypted communications data. On the panel were 2002 ACM A.M. Turing Award co-recipients Ron Rivest and Adi Shamir, and Whitfield Diffie, co-recipient of the ACM 1996 Paris Kanellakis Award. 

Vigilance Is the Price of Secure Computing
Chronicle of Higher Education, April 20, 2015
ACM SIGACCESS Chair Andrew Sears believes that a serious and sustained investment in cybersecurity education is key to keeping the US safe. 

Explore Resources for Women Undergrads in Science, Engineering
US News & World Report, April 20, 2015
ACM-W Chair Valerie Barr cites the importance of "celebrations"—face-to-face mentoring events—to network and build community, and provide support for women in STEM. 

These Nightmare Bracelets Were Made by a New 3D Printing Design Method
Motherboard, April 9, 2015
New type of user interface called Tactum that uses skin as the primary input method will win "best paper honorable mention" at CHI 2015. 

Stanford Crypto Expert Dan Boneh Wins $175K Computer Science Award
Network World, March 31, 2015
Stanford University's Dan Boneh honored by ACM and Infosys Foundation for his cryptography work. 

Wearable Technology Can Help With Public Speaking
University of Rochester NewsCenter, March 30, 2015
University of Rochester team presented an intelligent user interface for smart glasses at ACM's Intelligent User Interfaces Conference (IUI 2015). 

Reviewing Online Homework at Scale
MIT News, March 30, 2015
Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have developed a system that automatically compares students' solutions to programming assignments, and batches those that use the same methods. They presented the OverCode system at CHI 2015. 

Finger-Mounted Reading Device for the Blind
MIT News, March 10, 2015
MIT researchers will present a paper describing the device at the ACM CHI 2015 conference. 

What Can We Do to Improve Computer Education?
Opensource.com, March 6, 2015
The SIGCSE 2015 Technical Symposium provided an opportunity to address issues with computer programs, curricula, and courses at all levels of instruction. 

Kids and Robots Learn to Write Together
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, March 4, 2015
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) researchers presented their teaching tool, called CoWriter, at the ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction. 

Dozens of Tech, Education, and Nonprofit Execs Urge Passage of Washington Computer Science Bill
GeekWire, March 4, 2015
More than 50 business and education leaders have signed a strongly worded appeal to the Washington state House of Representatives, urging them to vote for a bill that would expand computer science education in the state's schools. Among the 53 signers of the letter are Code.org CEO Hadi Partovi.

Flexible Sensors Turn Skin into a Touch-Sensitive Interaction Space for Mobile Devices
Saarland University, March 4, 2015
Researchers at Saarland and Carnegie Mellon universities will present their iSkin project at the ACM CHI 2015 conference. Their paper won the conference's Best Paper Award.

SC15 Chair on HPC Transforms, Diversity Outreach, and Austin
HPC Wire, March 3, 2015
In an interview, Jackie Kern, general chair of the SC15 conference, shares her agenda for the year and plans for the November event. To publicize the conference, SC15 has launched a blog and newsletter featuring news about the future of the SC conference series.

Why Computers Still Struggle to Tell the Time
PC World, March 2, 2015
Speaking at ACM's Applicative conference, George Neville-Neil, ACM Queue's Kode Vicious columnist said the problem stems largely from the hardware most computers use to tell time: often inexpensive crystal oscillators that lose precision over time.

Could IBM's Brain-Inspired Chip Change the Way Computers Are Built?
The Washington Post, March 2, 2015
Dharmendra Modha, head of brain-inspired computing at IBM who received the ACM Gordon Bell Prize in 2009 for his work on cortical simulations, says the company wants to create a "brain in a box" that consumes less than 1 kilowatt of power.

Communicating Science Broadly: NSF launches new multimedia features to showcase research
NSF.gov, February 26, 2015
A new video interview series with NSF-funded scientists and program officers features ACM Distinguished Speaker and Distinguished Member Juan Gilbert.

Queen's Researchers in Bid to Develop World's Fastest Supercomputers
Queen's University Belfast, February 24, 2015
"This project sheds valuable insight on how to use many core-based systems effectively, proving major benefits for a wide range of scientific endeavors that depend on large-scale simulations," says ACM Fellow and 2013 Ken Kennedy Award recipient Jack Dongarra.

Google's Vint Cerf Warns of "Digital Dark Age"
BBC News, February 13, 2015
ACM past president Vint Cerf, one of the pioneers of Internet technology and now a vice president and Chief Internet Evangelist at Google, worries about a forthcoming "digital Dark Age" in which the rapid pace of technological advancement will leave behind mountains of data people will no longer be able to access.

Researcher Receives $1 Million NSF Grant to Devise New Supercomputing Model
Texas Tech Today, February 10, 2015
Texas Tech University professor and George Michael HPC Fellowship recipient Yong Chen has received a $1-million grant from the National Science Foundation to create a faster and improved method for supercomputing.

Legislators Want Computer Science to Count for Language Requirement
Campus Technology, February 9, 2015
Only 40 percent of high schools count credits earned in a computer science class toward requirements, while the rest treat such courses as electives, according to a recent study by the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA).

School Leaders Mostly Mystified by Computer Science Education
THE Journal, February 2, 2015
A disparity exists in the type of computer science (CS) education available to students in higher- versus lower-income schools, according to a new Oracle Academy survey of US teachers administered by the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA).

Sustained Investment in Research Is Needed to Combat Cyberthreats, CISE AD Tells Congress
Computing Research Policy Blog, January 29, 2015
In testimony before the U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee's Research and Technology Subcommittee on Tuesday, Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) assistant director and ACM Fellow Jim Kurose said sustained basic research investment is necessary for countering growing cyberthreats.

Out of Control AI Will Not Kill Us, Believes Microsoft Research Chief
BBC News, January 28, 2015
Microsoft Research chief and ACM Fellow Eric Horvitz, who recently received the AAAI Feigenbaum Prize for outstanding advances in artificial intelligence (AI) research, thinks AI systems eventually could achieve consciousness, but he doubts they could become a threat to humanity.

MOOCs Aim to Strengthen Computer Science and Physics Teaching in Middle and High Schools
Forbes, January 13, 2015
Many agree that one of the best ways to close the gender and diversity gaps in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is to begin educating students in those fields earlier in their K-12 careers, writes Harvey Mudd College president and former ACM president Maria Klawe.

The Hype Is Dead, but MOOCs Are Marching On
Knowledge@Wharton, January 5, 2015
Coursera co-founder and recipient of the 2007 ACM-Infosys Foundation Award in the Computing Sciences Daphne Koller says much of the cooling of enthusiasm for massive open online courses in the past two years has more to do with outsized expectations than unimpressive performance.