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Communications of the ACM Launches New Editorial Scope, Format

Changes Reflect Need to Inform Today’s Dynamic Computing Community

The Association for Computing Machinery
Advancing Computing as a Science & Profession

Contact: Virginia Gold

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New York, NY, June 25, 2008 – The July 2008 issue of Communications of the ACM marks the inaugural edition of ACM's flagship publication featuring an expanded editorial scope and a completely redesigned format. Targeted to a substantial cross-section of computing professionals, the new CACM contains content that analyzes news, probes emerging technology challenges, presents peer-reviewed research, and offers opinions and viewpoints from distinguished columnists and industry luminaries. The redesign of the CACM print edition will be joined later this year by an interactive, searchable Web site with Web-only content and networking and career tools. With these changes, CACM, an ACM membership benefit, offers readers access to this generation's most significant leaders and innovators in computing and information technology. It also provides a critical outlet for researchers and practitioners to showcase their concepts and contributions.

"With its focus on science, technology, and society, CACM provides a unique voice as the flagship publication for the entire computing field," said ACM President Stuart Feldman. "The new editorial mix and visual redesign make CACM a vital asset for practitioners and professors, researchers and thinkers, critics and communicators. We want this magazine to be a must-read for the leaders and future leaders of computing research, technology, and applications who need to know about the essential drivers of innovation and competitiveness in a global world."

Feldman, vice president of engineering for Google Inc., added, "We are confident that CACM will help us unify the field and aid in restoring the image of computing as a force for innovations that are likely to determine the future for how we live and work."

The new CACM is built around five sections—News, Viewpoints, Practice, Contributed and Review Articles, and Research Highlights—which provide ACM's broad readership with critically important information. Each section has an editorial team assigned to developing its content.

In a novel approach, the Research Highlights section will publish a select handful of carefully edited conference papers to assure that only the most outstanding research from across the entire computing field will be included. In another twist, the Practice section, aimed at computing professionals who develop, deploy and enhance real systems, will leverage the success of ACM's highly regarded ACM Queue by having its editorial board serve as CACM's Practice board.

Editor-in-Chief Moshe Vardi said the revitalized CACM would be driven by a new editorial board that unites leading voices from across the global computing field. "We have recruited an impressive panel of editors to achieve our vision," said Vardi, a professor in computational engineering and director of the Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology at Rice University. "They represent the pinnacle of accomplishment in their respective fields and will infuse this enterprise with energy and excitement." Vardi said the new editors include:

  • News – Marc Najork (Microsoft Research) and Prabhakar Raghavan (Yahoo! Research)
  • Viewpoints – William Aspray (Indiana University) and Susanne Hambrusch (Purdue University)
  • Practice – Steve Bourne (El Dorado Ventures and Editor-in-Chief, ACM Queue)
  • Contributed and Review Articles – Alfred Aho (Columbia University) and George Gottlob (Oxford University)
  • Research Highlights - David Patterson and Stuart Russell (University of California Berkeley)
  • Website – Marti Hearst (UC Berkeley) and James Landay (University of Washington)

The July cover story about understanding the World Wide Web is written by a renowned team that includes James Hendler of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Tim Berners-Lee, founder of the Web, and Daniel Weitzner of MIT; and Nigel Shadbolt and Wendy Hall of the University of Southampton.

Also in the July issue:

  • The News section covers global trends in computing written by respected technology writers who will analyze breaking developments and their social and economic impacts. The July issue features a timely story on cloud computing, which describes the shift from locally installed programs to machines whose whereabouts you cannot know. The author is Brian Hayes, former editor of Scientific American, who writes the "Computing Science" column for American Scientist.

  • The Viewpoints section features distinguished columnists who will address significant and controversial issues facing the industry, and engage in debates on topics of broad interest to the computing community. The July issue includes a column by Rick Rashid, who oversees Microsoft Research's worldwide operations, on the image crisis facing the computing world.

  • The Practice section is designed for software engineers, architects, project leaders, and corporate decision makers who must deal effectively with the dynamic forces surrounding disruptive technologies to stay competitive. The current issue has a story on the most successful and ubiquitous Web technology, Extensible Markup Language, or XML, by Erik Wilde of UC Berkeley, who has worked with XML since its invention. The article is co-written by Robert J. Glushko, also at UC Berkeley, who founded or co-founded four companies, one of which pioneered the use of XML for electronic business.

  • The Research Highlights section pairs highly selective research articles culled from ACM conferences with technical perspectives by noted experts who will illuminate the significance of these developments. The July issue includes a paper by David E. Shaw and his colleagues at D.E. Shaw Research describing their massively parallel machine called Anton. This technology is providing answers to some of the most important questions in biology, chemistry and medicine. To put this research in context, Bob Collwell, former chief architect of Intel's IA-32 microprocessors, cites predictions that Anton will revolutionize molecular biology.

Other July articles include: a column by Pam Samuelson of UC Berkeley, MacArthur Fellow and legal scholar, and a veteran writer for CACM, on the likelihood of business methods and software algorithms becoming patentable; an interview with Donald Knuth, author of the seminal work The Art of Computing, conducted by Edward Feigenbaum, co-winner of ACM's 1994 A.M. Turing Award; and a piece by Alok Aggarwal, co-founder and chairman of Evalueserve, on the role of emerging countries in the globalization of Information Technology.

The July issue of CACM is freely available online in the new digital format.

About ACM

ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession’s collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.

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