SIGCSE Annual Report

July 2002 - June 2003
Submitted by: Henry M. Walker, SIGCSE Chair

SIGCSE continues as an energetic and healthy organization, devoted to the support of educators interested in areas of computing programs, curricula, courses, syllabi, laboratories, and other areas of teaching and pedagogy.


Activity in SIGCSE continues at strong and expanded levels. Important themes include embracing diversity, encouraging membership collaboration, and involving members in constructive activities. These themes are illustrated by several observations and examples:

  • June 2002 membership figures (2,394) increased 486 from June 2001. (June 2003 seem unavailable as of this writing.)

  • The SIGCSE 2003 Symposium had 234 paper submissions, including 42 authors/co-authors from 19 countries outside the U.S.

  • SIGCSE 2003 also utilized 663 reviewers, including 109 reviewers from 18 countries outside the U.S. Due to reviewer interest and availability, all papers were sent to at least SIX reviewers each (up from five for SIGCSE 2001 and SIGCSE 2002), and 1,275 reviews were received. In addition, for the first time, both panel and special-session proposals followed a formal review process. 79 reviews were received for the 18 submitted panels, and 73 reviews were received for the 16 submitted proposals for special sessions. Altogether, 1,427 reviews were received for activities at SIGCSE 2003!

  • SIGCSE continues to ask its members for names of new faculty members and sends an invitation and a copy of its Bulletin to all those identified.

  • SIGCSE encourages membership through its conference registration fee structure, and many new members continue to join with their attendance at SIGCSE 2003 or ITiCSE 2003.


The annual SIGCSE Symposium was held in February 19-23, 2003 in Reno, Nevada USA, led by Scott Grissom, Symposium Chair, and Daniel Joyce and Deborah Knox, Program Co-Chairs. Attendance continued very strong, with over 1,000 attendees. In the past, Symposia held in the western part of the United States did not draw as well as those held in the central or eastern parts of the country, but SIGCSE 2003 broke that history. The main symposium extended two and one half days (Thursday morning through Saturday noon) with plenary sessions, papers, panels, special sessions, birds-of-a-feather sessions, and both faculty and student posters. Workshops and SIGCSE's Doctoral Consortium provide activities before and/or afterward, extending some activities from Wednesday through Saturday evening. Special activities were organized for students and for first-timers.

The symposium's keynote address was given by Eric Roberts, Stanford University, as the recipient of SIGCSE's annual Award for Outstanding Contributions to Computer Science Education. The symposium luncheon also honored Harriet Taylor, National Science Foundation, on leave from Louisiana State University, as the winner of SIGCSE's Award for Lifetime Service.

Robert Beck continues to serve as Site Coordinator, working with ACM staff to identify symposium sites and negotiate contracts. SIGCSE 2004 will take place in Norfolk, VA NV USA with Daniel Joyce and Deborah Knox as Symposium Co-chairs and Wanda Dann and Thomas Naps as Program Co-chairs.

SIGCSE's annual summer conference takes place in Europe and emphasizes Information Technology in Computer Science Education. This year's ITiCSE 2002 took place in June at the University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece. Vassilios Dagdilelis and Maya Satratzemi served as Conference Co-chairs, and Roger Boyle and Georgios Evangelidis served as Program Co-Chairs. Expanding the regular three-day (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday) format, several tutorials were on Sunday and Thursday. In addition, four working groups met concurrently with conference activities to produce reports on special topics. The conference was thrilled to have keynote addresses by Donald Knuth and Christos Papadimitriou. Attendance of 208 set a new record for this summer event. Of these, 84 were from the United States, 35 from Greece, 18 from Scandinavia, 9 from Israel, and 41 from the UK/Scotland/Ireland. ITiCSE 2004 will take place no June 28-30, 2004 at the University of Leeds, UK, with Roger Boyle and Symposium Chair and Martyn Clark as Program Chair.

Exhibitor participation and support continues to be strong at both SIGCSE Symposium and the ITiCSE Conference. For SIGCSE 2003, Tom D'Auria and his IMI exhibit company again deserve special commendation for their impressive recruitment of exhibitor participation and their encouragement of vendor contributions toward specific needs and services.

After a gap of several years, SIGCSE again is hoping to sponsor the annual Australasian Computer Science Education Conference in early February 2004.

During 2002-2003, SIGCSE again was delighted to be in cooperation with six regional conferences of the Consortium for Computing in Small Colleges (CCSC) and with several other regional and national conferences.

New Developments

Over the past year, SIGCSE initiated a new program of Special Project Grants to help its members investigate and introduce new ideas in the learning and teaching of computing. The maximum funding level is $5,000 per proposal, and the level of funding is subject to the quality of proposals received and the availability of funds targeted for such projects. Last year, the first four awards were given for:

  • A Framework for Playing Network Games in CS1/CS2 (with software to support client/server activities not limited to games)

  • Student Program Documentation Analysis and Feedback

  • Electronic Archiving of Workshop on Computer Architecture Education Proceedings

  • Bioinformatics in the Computer Science Curriculum

SIGCSE also moved forward in its SIGCSE Committee initiative, designed to support computing education through SIGCSE-member involvement. The first SIGCSE Committee on the Implementation of a Discrete Mathematics Course was established in June.

inroads, the SIGCSE Bulletin, continues to provide outstanding materials to readers. Published four times per year, the March issue contains the proceedings of the SIGCSE Symposium, and the September issue contains the ITiCSE proceedings and working group reports. The December and June issues typically contain a mix of columns, papers, and editorials.

As reported last year, the June 2002 issue was a special issue on Women and Computing, organized by Bulletin Editor, John Impagliazzo and Guest Editor, Tracy Camp. This year, with support from ACM Council, ACM-W, the SIG Project Fund (with co-sponsorship by SIGCSE, SIGGRAPH, and SIGDA), a separate contribution by SIGDA and SIGCOMM, Microsoft, and NSF, SIGCSE is in the process of completing the distribution of that issue to college and university department chairs, K-12 teachers at NECC, and AP computer science teachers.

As SIGCSE looks ahead to the coming 2-3 years, challenges will include

  • continuing its membership recruitment and retention efforts,

  • expanding its SIGCSE Committee Initiative,

  • refining its process for funding SIGCSE Project Grants,

  • further involving its members in a wide range of activities, and

  • better channeling requests from members to become volunteers in conferences and other areas of responsibility.

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