The popular game show "Jeopardy!" featured a question about Barbara Liskov and the ACM A.M. Turing Award in their Friday, February 19, 2021 episode:
Clue: One of the 1st women to get a doctorate in this 2-word field, Barbara Jane Liskov won a Turing Award, the field's highest honor.
Question: What is Computer Science?
View a clip of the episode here.
ACM is celebrating Black History Month in the US this year by posting responses from Black ACM Fellows, volunteers and members to questions about their careers in computing. We'll learn about what inspired them to pursue careers in this field, how underrepresentation shapes the experiences of Black students and professionals in computing, and what can be done to combat racial bias in computing and technology. View a webpage featuring their responses.
As part of ACM’s efforts to combat exclusion in the computing profession, ACM's Diversity and Inclusion Council has launched an effort to replace offensive or exclusionary terminology in the computing field. They have developed a list of computing terms to be avoided in professional writing and presentations and offer alternative language. The Council plans to expand this list in the future and invites the community to submit suggestions for consideration.
ACM A.M. Turing Award laureates John Hennessey and David Patterson will participate in a panel on "Valuing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Our Computing Community" being held as a joint session of several co-located virtual conferences on March 3 from 1:30 to 3:00 PM EST. ACM Fellow Timothy Pinkston organized and will moderate the panel, which also includes ACM Diversity and Inclusion Council Co-Chair Natalie Enright Jerger, ACM Fellow Margaret Martonosi, NVIDA Cheif Scientist Bill Dally and Facebook's Kim Hazelwood. The panel session is free and open to the public by registering here.
ACM-W has announced Munmun De Choudhury, an Associate Professor at the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology, as the winner of the 2021 ACM-W Rising Star Award. The award recognizes a woman whose early-career research has had a significant impact on the computing discipline. De Choudhury's research develops novel computational techniques, and technologies powered by them, to responsibly and ethically employ social media in quantifying, understanding, and improving personal and societal health and well-being.
Collective Intelligence is a transdisciplinary open access journal devoted to advancing the theoretical and empirical understanding of group performance in diverse systems, from adaptive matter to cellular and neural systems to animal societies to all types of human organizations to hybrid AI-human teams and nanobot swarms. Visit https://colint.acm.org for more information or to submit your manuscript. Collective Intelligence is co-published with SAGE, and in collaboration with Nesta.
Qi He is Senior Director of Engineering at LinkedIn, where he leads a team of machine learning specialists, software engineers and linguistic specialists to standardize LinkedIn data and build the LinkedIn Knowledge Graph. An ACM Distinguished Member, he has authored 70 publications in areas including information extraction, data mining, artificial intelligence and natural language processing. He is on the Board of Directors of the ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM).
US citizens who have a PhD in Statistics, Data Science, Mathematics or closely related field are encouraged to apply for the ASA/ACM/AMS/IMS/MAA/SIAM 2021-2022 Science and Technology Policy Fellowship. Focusing on data science in areas such as machine learning, data visualization and causal inference, the Fellowship offers an opportunity to learn about executive and legislative processes while lending statistical and scientific expertise to public policy issues. Fellows serve one year on the staff of a senator, representative, or congressional committee beginning September 2021. Apply by February 28.
The IMU Abacus Medal is awarded every four years by the International Mathematical Union for outstanding contributions in all mathematical aspects of computer science. The award is a continuation of the Rolf Nevanlinna Prize that was awarded from 1982 to 2018. The deadline for nominations has been extended to February 28, 2021. Nominations should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
TQC publishes papers and select surveys on topics in quantum computing and quantum information science. The journal targets the quantum computer science community with a focus on the theory and practice of quantum computing. Scope includes: models; algorithms and complexity; computing architecture; principles and methods of fault-tolerant quantum computation; design automation; and more. The inaugural issue includes a collection of five outstanding research papers that capture the breadth and sophistication of quantum computing research.
ACM has named 95 members 2020 ACM Fellows for significant contributions in areas including artificial intelligence, cloud computing, computer graphics, computational biology, data science, human-computer interaction, software engineering, theoretical computer science, and virtual reality, among other areas. The ACM Fellows program recognizes the top 1% of ACM Members for their outstanding accomplishments in computing and information technology and/or outstanding service to ACM and the larger computing community.
ACM Selects are themed shortlists curated by subject matter experts for both serious and emerging computing professionals, with the goal of providing new ways to discover relevant resources, either through ACM or authenticated by ACM-affiliated specialists. The latest Selects cover Getting Started with Cloud Computing, People of Computing #4: Quantum Computing and AI for Robotics.
In March 2020 ACM formed a Presidential Task Force (PTF) to help conference organizers transition their events to online. The PTF is working on a guide to offer practical advice and shed light on the largely unfamiliar territory of online conferencing.
The report, available here, includes pointers to a live document with additional resources. We welcome comments, suggestions and experience reports from the community.
Ruth Lennon is the Director of Craobh Technology Consulting, a lecturer at the Letterkenny Institute of Technology in Ireland (LYIT) and a member of the working group developing the P2675 DevOps Standard. She is Chair of ACM-W Europe, served as Scholarship Chair for ACM-W Europe’s womENcourage conference from 2016 to 2019, and continues to serve as the Faculty Advisor for the ACM-W Chapter at LYIT.
ACM's US Technology Policy Committee (USTPC) hosted a HotTopics webinar session on Technology & Trust: Voting in the Electronic Age on February 11. The panel discussion was moderated by USTPC Chair Jim Hendler and included ACM technical experts Doug Jones and Barbara Simons, USTPC Law Subcommittee Chair Andy Grosso, and Brennan Center for Justice advisor Edgardo Cortés for a deep and audience-interactive discussion of voting in America and the technologies at its core.
The fourth ACM Conference on Fairness, Accountability and Transparency (formerly ACM-FAT) brings together researchers and practitioners interested in fairness, accountability and transparency in socio-technical systems. Papers will address measurement and fairness, design, machine learning, AI, censorship, crime reporting, algorithmic decision making and much more.
The ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human Robot Interaction attracts researchers from around the world to present and exchange ideas about the latest theories, technology, data, and videos furthering the state of the art in human-robot interaction. This year's theme is “Bolder Human-Robot Interaction," encouraging broad participation from communities in the areas of robotics, artificial intelligence, human-computer interaction, human factors, design, and social and behavioral sciences.
The ACM International Conference on Web Search and Data Mining is one of the premier conferences on web-inspired research involving search and data mining. The program includes workshops on Integrity in Social Networks and Media, Machine Reasoning in Web Search and Data Mining, and more. Keynote speakers are ACM Athena Lecturer Susan Dumais, Eran Segal of Weizmann Institute of Science, and Yoav Shoham, Professor Emeritus at Stanford University.
ACM's Practitioner Board has created ACM ByteCast, a new podcast series in which hosts Rashmi Mohan and Jessica Bell interview researchers, practitioners, and innovators who are at the intersection of computing research and practice. In each monthly episode, guests will share their experiences, the lessons they’ve learned, and their own visions for the future of computing.
Listen to the latest episode featuring Denae Ford, a Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research in the Software Analysis and Intelligence Team (SAINTes) group and an Affiliate Assistant Professor in the Human Centered Design and Engineering Department at the University of Washington, on the ACM Learning Center website, and subscribe to the series wherever you get your podcasts.
IFIP Bases New Code of Ethics on ACM's
At its virtual General Assembly held in September, the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP) adopted a new IFIP Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. The code was adapted from ACM's Code of Ethics, which itself had been through consultation and development with members of IFIP, IEEE and other national and international bodies and companies. "As an international member of IFIP, ACM endorses the proposed IFIP Code of Ethics as a common international standard for computing and the profession," said ACM CEO Vicki Hanson. Read the IFIP news release.
ACM recently updated its Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. The revised Code of Ethics addresses the significant advances in computing technology since the 1992 version, as well as the growing pervasiveness of computing in all aspects of society. To promote the Code throughout the computing community, ACM created a booklet, which includes the Code, case studies that illustrate how the Code can be applied to situations that arise in everyday practice and suggestions on how the Code can be used in educational settings and in companies and organizations. Download a PDF of the ACM Code booklet.
ACM Technology Policy
ACM's US Technology Policy Committee filed a friend of the court brief with the US Supreme Court in the landmark case of Van Buren v. United States—the first time it has reviewed the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, a 1986 law that was originally intended to punish hacking. USTPC notes that the questions posed in this case have broad implications for data and computing scientists, as well as other professionals who use the internet and computing technology, particularly to access information posted online.
ACM’s Europe Technology Policy Committee issued detailed principles and practices for the development and deployment of contact tracing technology intended to track and arrest the spread of COVID-19. The statement calls on governments that adopt such systems to choose "only those which... respect and protect the rights of all individuals; safeguard personal data and privacy to the highest degree technically possible; and are subject to scrutiny by the scientific community and civil society before, during and after deployment." Read the statement in Italian here and in French here.
ACM’s Europe Technology Policy Committee has formally urged the UK government to assure that its National Data Strategy provide for datasets that are open, subject to multidisciplinary expert review, protected by robust risk assessment, and compiled in consultation with marginalized communities to assure their benefit to all sectors of society.
France has adopted a keyboard standard informed by computational methods, improving the performance, ergonomics and intuitiveness of the keyboard while enabling input of many more characters. Authors Anna Maria Feit, Mathieu Nancel, Maximilian John, Andreas Karrenbauer, Daryl Weir, and Antti Oulasvirta describe the human-centric approach used to understand the design requirements, inform subjective views and communicate outcomes in their contributed article, "AZERTY amélioré: Computational Design on a National Scale," in the February 2021 issue of Communications of the ACM.
As privacy violations have become rampant and calls for better measures to protect sensitive, personally identifiable information have primarily resulted in bureaucratic policies satisfying almost no one, differential privacy is emerging as a potential solution. In “Differential Privacy: The Pursuit of Protections by Default,” a Case Study in ACM Queue, Google’s Damien Desfontaines and Miguel Guevara reflect with Jim Waldo and Terry Coatta on the engineering challenges that lie ahead for differential privacy, as well as what remains to be done to achieve their ultimate goal of providing privacy protection by default.
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