SIGCAS FY'04 Annual Report

July 2003 - June 2004
Submitted by: Tom Jewett, SIGCAS Chair

1) Awards that were given out

The 2004 SIGCAS "Making a Difference" award went to Professor Eugene Spafford, Purdue University. This award is given to an individual who is nationally recognized for leadership in promoting increased awareness of ethical and social issues in computing, and to encourage responsible action by computer professionals. Dr. Spafford is recognized for his outstanding contribution in both the technical and public policy aspects of protecting the global cyberspace infrastructure. His award was presented by SIGCAS Past Chair Dianne Martin at a special dinner in Washington, DC.

The 2004 SIGCAS "Outstanding Service" award went to Professor Emerita Doris Lidtke, Towsen State University, Maryland. This award is given for outstanding service to SIGCAS by carrying out responsibilities that enable it to continue to make a contribution to the computing profession. Dr. Lidtke is recognized as a founding member and Past Chair of SIGCAS and an educational leader in ethics as social impact of computing. Her award was presented by Kelly Gotlieb; Chair of the ACM Awards Committee, at a committee meeting that was also attended by CEO John White and COO Pat Ryan.

2) Significant papers on new areas that were published in proceedings

3) Significant programs that provided a springboard for further technical efforts

4) Innovative programs which provide service to some part of your technical community

5) A very brief summary of the key issues that the membership of that SIG will have to deal with in the next 2-3 years.

The past year focused on (successfully) stabilizing both the online publication and the budget. Next year will see both administrative changes and increased services for the membership.

- To comply with our SGB-directed change from "publication only" status to the new flexible SIG structure, we will be developing a new set of bylaws and organizing an election for officers to be conducted early in calendar year 2005. We have some encouraging leadership volunteers, but as always need more.

- The start of the fiscal year will also see a change in the Editor-in-Chief of our online publication, Computers and Society. Dr. Leslie Regan Shade is stepping down at her request; we are very fortunate to have Dr. Alison Adam, University of Salford, UK, to assume these duties. Dr. Adam is an internationally-recognized researcher and author in our field; she will also have the support of her own research group in editing the publication.

- We are now planning for a new annual "tangible" compendium of significant articles and resources for SIGCAS members, to supplement the online publication and DL archive. This may be in either CD-ROM or traditional printed form.

Last year's summary of our technical area is still relevant, and unfortunately is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future: "...the social problems of computerization are simply increasing. Gaps in access to technology according to gender, social and economic standing, and disability are only slowing being addressed. Abuse of technology for commercial purposes, special interests, and fraud are widespread and growing. Legislative and judicial systems are frequently slow and ineffective in responding to technical innovations. As a profession, we still lack the cohesiveness and public influence of older disciplines such as medicine or law. Education of both practitioners and the general public remains a key to progress. SIGCAS will continue to address these and other topics of relevance to our charter."

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