ACM Urges Preservation of Temporary Visa Exemptions for Nonimmigrant Students

International Students Vital to Successful US Computer Research and Education

ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, a global scientific and educational organization representing the computing community, expresses concern over the intention announced on July 6, 2020 by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) to promulgate a final rule effectively revoking current exemptions under the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) for up to 1.6 million nonimmigrant students taking online courses adopted in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The open exchange of ideas and the freedom of thought and expression are central to the aims and goals of ACM. ACM supports the statute of International Council for Science in that the free and responsible practice of science is fundamental to scientific advancement and human and environmental well-being. Such practice with respect to computer research and education is deeply dependent upon the active and ongoing research and teaching by international graduate students currently matriculated at US-based institutions of higher learning. Without them, particularly upon minimal notice in an uncertain public health environment, the education of American and all other students – both graduate and undergraduate – at hundreds of American schools will be badly disrupted at best and permanently damaged at worst.

2020 ACM General Election Results — ACM’s Newly Elected Officers

2020 ACM General Election

For the term 1 July 2020 — 30 June 2022

  • President
    Gabriele Kotsis
  • Vice President
    Joan Feigenbaum
  • Secretary/Treasurer
    Elisa Bertino

For the term 1 July 2020 — 30 June 2024

Members-at-Large
Nancy M. Amato
Tom Crick
Susan Dumais
Mehran Sahami
Alejandro Saucedo

ACM SIGGRAPH Election Open

On 15 June, members ACM SIGGRAPH (who were in good standing as of 31 May 2020) were sent voting information from Election Services Corporation (ESC), a third party that is conducting the ACM SIGGRAPH election.

If you have not received an email from ESC, please contact acmsiggraph@electionservicescorp.com. If ACM does not have an email address on file, members will receive the voting information via postal mail. Ballots are due by 14 August at 16:00 UTC. View candidate slate.

2019 ACM SIG Election

2020 ACM SIG Elections

The 2020 ACM SIG Elections results are available. Click here to view the election results and contact information for the newly elected officers and board members.

Listen to ACM ByteCast!

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 computer networking pioneer Radia Perlman on the ACM Learning Center website, and subscribe to the series wherever you get your podcasts.

Applications for 2020-2021 Technology Policy Fellowships in Data Science Due November 1

The 2020-2021 AAAS Fellowships are seeking candidates in data science wishing to use their expertise in areas such as machine learning, data visualization, and causal inference to meet legislative and policymaking challenges. Fellows serve one year in a US federal agency or on the staff of a senator, representative, or congressional committee beginning September 2020. Applications are due November 1, 2020.

ACM Gordon Bell Special Prize for HPC-Based COVID-19 Research Call for Nominations

ACM has established a special category of the ACM Gordon Bell Prize that will recognize outstanding research achievements that use high performance computing applications to understand the COVID-19 pandemic, including the understanding of its spread. Financial support of the $10,000 cash prize that accompanies the award is provided by Gordon Bell, a pioneer in high performance computing. Nominations for this inaugural award are due October 8, 2020.

ACM Announces 2019 Turing Award Recipients

ACM has named Ed Catmull, computer scientist and former president of Pixar and Disney Animation Studios, and Pat Hanrahan, a founding employee at Pixar and Stanford University professor, recipients of the 2019 ACM A.M. Turing Award for fundamental contributions to 3-D computer graphics, and the revolutionary impact of these techniques on computer-generated imagery (CGI) in filmmaking and other applications. Their work has fundamentally influenced the field of computer graphics through conceptual innovation and contributions to both software and hardware.

2019 ACM A.M. Turing Award recipients Ed Catmull and Pat Hanrahan

ACM Honors David Silver with ACM Prize in Computing

ACM has named David Silver of University College London and Google's DeepMind the recipient of the 2019 ACM Prize in Computing for breakthrough advances in computer game-playing. Recognized as a central figure in the growing and impactful area of deep reinforcement learning, Silver’s most well-known achievement was leading the team that developed AlphaGo, a computer program that defeated the world champion of the game Go. AlphaGo is recognized as a milestone in artificial intelligence research.

2019 ACM Prize recipient David Silver

ACM Names Sarit Kraus 2020-2021 Athena Lecturer

ACM has named Sarit Kraus of Bar-Ilan University the 2020-2021 Athena Lecturer. Kraus made foundational contributions to artificial intelligence, notably to multi-agent systems, human-agent interaction, autonomous agents and nonmonotonic reasoning, and exemplary service and leadership in these fields. Her contributions span theoretical foundations, experimental evaluation, and practical applications.

2020-2021 ACM Athena Lecturer Sarit Kraus

Mockapetris Honored for Developing Domain Name System

ACM named Paul Mockapetris recipient of the 2019 ACM Software System Award for developing the Domain Name System (DNS), which provides the worldwide distributed directory service that is an essential component of the functionality of the global internet. In 1983, Mockapetris designed and built the DNS, creating the associated query protocol, a server implementation, and initial root servers. Taken together, these components provided the first stable operational DNS system.

2019 ACM Software System Award recipient Paul Mockapetris

Architects of Big Data Streaming Algorithms Receive Kanellakis Award

Noga Alon, Phillip Gibbons, Yossi Matias, and Mario Szegedy have been named 2019 ACM Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award recipients for seminal work on the foundations of streaming algorithms and their application to large-scale data analytics. They pioneered a framework for algorithmic treatment of streaming massive datasets, and today their sketching and streaming algorithms remain the core approach for streaming big data and constitute an entire subarea of the field of algorithms.

2019 ACM Paris Kanellakis Award recipients Noga Alon, Phillip Gibbons, Yossi Matias, and Mario Szegedy

ACM, AAAI Recognize Kavraki for Robotics, Koller for Machine Learning

The 2019 ACM – AAAI Allen Newell Award honors Lydia E. Kavraki and Daphne Koller. Kavraki is recognized for pioneering contributions to robotic motion planning, including randomized motion planning algorithms and probabilistic roadmaps, with applications to bioinformatics and biomedicine. Koller is recognized for seminal contributions to machine learning and probabilistic models, the application of these techniques to biology and human health, and for contributions to democratizing education.

2019 ACM-AAAI Allen Newell Award recipients Lydia E. Kavraki and Daphne Koller

Karlstrom Educator Award Goes to Mordechai Ben-Ari

Mordechai Ben-Ari was named recipient of the Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award for his pioneering textbooks, software tools and research on learning concurrent programming, program visualization, logic, and programming languages, spanning four decades and aimed at both novices and advanced students in several subfields of computing. Many of Ben-Ari's books are the definitive textbooks in their respective areas, and several have been translated into many languages.

Photo of ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award recipient Mordechai Ben-Ari

ACM Honors Michael Ley with Distinguished Service Award

Michael Ley was named recipient of the ACM Distinguished Service Award for creating, developing, and curating DBLP, an extraordinarily useful and influential online bibliographic resource that has changed the way computer scientists work. Ley created DBLP in 1993 to cover proceedings and journals from the fields of database systems and logic programming (from which the acronym “DBLP” arose). DBLP has changed the way computer scientists use bibliographic data and has become an invaluable asset for virtually every researcher in the field.

Photo of ACM Distinguished Service Award recipient Michael Ley

ACM Recognizes Arati Dixit for Outstanding Contributions

Arati Dixit was named recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to ACM Award for contributing to the growth and diversity of ACM programs in India, especially ACM-W India. Dixit helped launch the first ACM-W Celebration of Women in Computing event in Pune, and served as Chair of ACM-W India. She also organized women-only summer schools as part of a nationwide initiative to encourage undergraduate students to take up graduate studies. Dixit is the founding Vice Chair of ACM India's Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education.

Photo of Outstanding Contribution to ACM Award recipient Arati Dixit

ACM Honors Barbara Simons with Policy Award

Barbara Simons receives the 2019 ACM Policy Award for long-standing, high-impact leadership as ACM President and founding Chair of ACM's US Public Policy Committee (USACM, now USTPC), while making influential contributions to improve the reliability of and public confidence in election technology. Over several decades, Simons has advanced technology policy by founding and leading organizations, authoring influential publications, and effecting change through lobbying and public education.

Photo of ACM Policy Award recipient Barbara Simons

Luiz André Barroso Receives 2020 Eckert-Mauchly Award

Luiz André Barroso, Vice President of Engineering at Google, was named the recipient of the 2020 ACM - IEEE CS Eckert-Mauchly Award for pioneering the design of warehouse-scale computing and driving it from concept to industry. Barroso is widely recognized as the foremost architect of the design of ultra-scale datacenters, which contain hundreds of thousands of servers and millions of disk drives.

2020 Eckert-Mauchly Award recipient Luiz André Barroso

Maria Balcan Receives ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award

ACM has named Maria Balcan of Carnegie Mellon University the recipient of the 2019 ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award for foundational and breakthrough contributions to minimally-supervised learning. Her influential and pioneering work in machine learning has solved longstanding open problems, enabled entire lines of research crucial for modern AI systems, and has set the agenda for the field for years to come.

2019 Grace Murray Hopper Award recipient Maria Balcan

ACM Stands with Those Who Promote Inclusivity

A Statement from ACM's Diversity and Inclusion Council

In the United States, and throughout many regions around the world, current events have brought attention to the urgent need for equality and respect for all individuals. We have witnessed racism and violence against Black people in the United States and in our communities. Most recently, the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd have re-focused attention to the long-standing racism and injustice that plagues the United States and many other nations. In response, there are worldwide demonstrations and protests. ACM members are directly impacted by these events and we, the volunteer leadership of ACM, are outraged by this all-too familiar pattern of enduring injustice. Black Lives Matter.

This is a hard problem, and we will continue to make change and actively seek ways to take meaningful action. The Diversity and Inclusion Council’s role is to serve as a convener and focal point for these issues within ACM and to serve as a resource for those seeking to effect positive change; the D&I Council does not set policy. We will continue to listen, to learn, to engage and to explore new ways to actively foster diversity and fight against racism. In the immediate aftermath of these most recent events, we commit to the following actions:

  • Perform a systematic and complete review of ACM policies and practices that can be shared and communicated throughout ACM’s activities and programs to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Encourage ACM’s Boards/Councils and Committees to nominate and recruit black and underrepresented members of the community for positions within ACM.
  • Recommend ACM fund travel grants to support conference attendance for students and scholars from Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Serving Institutions.
  • Encourage Special Interest Groups (SIGs) to include sessions and activities at conferences and workshops focused on combating implicit bias and other forms of bias, particularly as applicable to technological development and impacts on creating a more inclusive society.
  • Encourage SIGs to further diversify conference organizing committees, persons serving in conference leadership roles, and those invited to serve as plenary/keynote speakers, and to report on their progress.
  • Recommend expansion of funding for events that focus on amplifying the scholarship of Black and other groups underrepresented in computing and to broaden the participation of aspiring scholars from these communities in computing—undergraduate and graduate students, and junior researchers and faculty.

AI for Good Global Summit 2020 (online), continuous digital event

The 2020 edition of the AI for Good Global Summit will be presented as a continuous digital event, featuring weekly programming across multiple formats, platforms and time-zones, including keynotes, expert webinars, project pitches, Q&As, performances, demos, interviews, networking and more. ACM Prize recipient and ACM Fellow Shwetak Patel was a featured keynote speaker on July 9, addressing healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic .

Shwetak Patel Speaks at AI for Good Global Summit on July 9

ACM Prize recipient and ACM Fellow Shwetak Patel was a featured keynote speaker at the AI for Good Global Summit, which is being held virtually through the end of 2020. Patel is a Computer Science and Engineering Professor at the University of Washington. In case you missed it, you can view his talk, "New Ways of Thinking of the Mobile Phone for Healthcare and the Current Pandemic," on the ITU YouTube channel here.

EC 2020, July 13 to 17 (online)

Sponsored by ACM SIGecom, the Conference on Economics and Computation is the leading scientific conference on advances in theory, systems, and applications at the interface of economics and computation. Workshops will address mentoring; global challenges; economics of networks, systems and computation; and distortion and information-efficiency tradeoffs. Jacques Crémer (Toulouse School of Economics) and Milind Tambe (Harvard University, Google Research India) will keynote.

USTPC Urges Narrower Definition of Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

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.

USTPC Issues Statement on Use of Facial Recognition Technologies

ACM's US Technology Policy Committee has called for “an immediate suspension of the current and future private and governmental use of facial recognition (FR) technologies in all circumstances known or reasonably foreseeable to be prejudicial to established human and legal rights” in its “Statement on Principles and Prerequisites for the Development, Evaluation and Use of Unbiased Facial Recognition Technologies.”

USTPC Issues Statement on Privacy and Security for Virtual Meetings

ACM's US Technology Policy Committee (USTPC) has released a Statement on Security and Privacy Principles for Virtual Meetings in light of changes necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Statement urges urges virtual conferencing platform designers, hosts, and users to adopt eight key security and privacy principles that are intended to greatly heighten the privacy and security not only of conference participants, but also of any transmitted or stored data.

Virtual Conferences: A Guide to Best Practices

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.

US Digital Response Call for Tech Volunteers

US Digital Response is a volunteer-run, non-partisan effort to help federal, state, and local government with technology, data, design, operations, communications, project management, and more during the COVID-19 crisis. This initiative is calling for data scientists, front-end/back-end engineers, designers, engineering managers, product managers, user researchers, and others to lend their skills and expertise to the fight against COVID-19.

ACM Europe TPC Statement on Contact Tracing

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. Europe TPC's 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.

Recent ACM Journal Launches

Digital Government: Research and Practice Launches

Digital Government: Research and Practice (DGOV) is an interdisciplinary journal on the potential and impact of technology on governance innovations and its transformation of public institutions. It promotes applied and empirical research from academics, practitioners, designers, and technologists, using political, policy, social, computer, and data sciences methodologies. The inaugural issue is now available in the ACM Digital Library.

ACM Transactions on Computing for Healthcare Launches

ACM Transactions on Computing for Healthcare (HEALTH) is a multidisciplinary journal for scientific and technological results pertaining to how computing is improving healthcare. HEALTH is multidisciplinary, intersecting CS, ECE, mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering, behavioral and social science, psychology and the health field. The inaugural issue is now available in the ACM Digital Library.

Digital Threats: Research and Practice Launches

Digital Threats: Research and Practice (DTRAP) targets the prevention, identification, mitigation, and elimination of digital threats, and aims to bridge the gap between academic research and industry practice. The journal's inaugural issue, a special issue including content from the 2019 FIRST (Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams) Conference, is now available in the ACM Digital Library.

ACM Transactions on Internet of Things Launches

The new journal ACM Transactions on Internet of Things (TIOT) will cover applications, communication networks, data analytics, wearable devices, and many more topics in the context of IoT, with a focus on system designs, end-to-end architectures, and enabling technologies. TIOT solicits research that provides experimental evidence of its effectiveness in realistic scenarios. The inaugural issue is now available in the ACM Digital Library.

ACM/IMS Transactions on Data Science Launches

The new journal ACM/IMS Transactions on Data Science (TDS) includes cross-disciplinary innovative research ideas, algorithms, systems, theory and applications for data-intensive computing. We invite papers that address challenges from acquisition to data cleaning, transformation, representation, integration, indexing, modeling, analysis, visualization, and interpretation. The inaugural issue is now available in the ACM Digital Library.

Meet Elena Ferrari

Elena Ferrari is a Professor of Computer Science and Director of the STRICT Social Lab at the University of Insubria, Varese, Italy. She has held lead volunteer roles at several conferences, including ACM Symposium on Access Controls and Technologies (SACMAT), and has served on the editorial boards of many prestigious journals, including ACM/IMS Transactions on Data Science (TDS). A Fellow of ACM and IEEE, Ferrari was named one of the “50 Most Influential Italian Women in Tech” in 2018.

Image of Elena Ferrari

ACM Updates Code of Ethics

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.

Meet Siddhartha Bhattacharyya

Siddhartha Bhattacharyya is a Professor at Christ University, Bangalore, India. He and his students are working on developing multilevel quantum intelligent systems for automatic clustering and analysis of hyperspectral images. Bhattacharyya is a co-author of five books, a co-editor of 54 books, and is an editor of several journals in the areas of AI and quantum computing. An ACM Distinguished Speaker, he gives talks on subjects related to quantum computing.

Image of Siddhartha Bhattacharyya

USTPC Joins Call on Election Officials to Avoid Internet Voting

ACM’s US Technology Policy Committee (USTPC) joined many of the nation’s leading experts in cybersecurity, computing, and science in calling on all governors and state election directors to refrain from using any form of internet voting or voting app system in the 2020 elections. The joint open letter includes a detailed analysis prepared by the AAAS Center for Scientific Evidence in Public Issues which clearly demonstrates that internet voting is not a secure solution for voting in the US.

Domain Specific Hardware Accelerators

Accelerators can offer orders of magnitude improvements in performance/cost and performance/W compared to general-purpose computers. A domain-specific accelerator is a hardware computing engine that is specialized for a particular domain of applications.  The design of a domain-specific accelerator is really a form of parallel programming, but with a cost model very different from what most programmers use. In this video, William Dally discusses "Domain-Specific Hardware Accelerators," a Contributed Article in the July 2020 Communications of the ACM.

To Catch a Failure: The Record-and-Replay Approach to Debugging

Mozilla’s record-and-replay debugging tool rr was built to test failures in the Firefox browser. After it was delivered, it became widely used outside of Mozilla, for regular debugging as well as for sleuthing out elusive failures. In “To Catch a Failure: The Record-and-Replay Approach to Debugging,” a Case Study in ACM Queue, Mozilla developers Robert O'Callahan and Kyle Huey recount the challenges they faced in creating and extending rr to Devon O'Dell, Senior Systems Engineer at Google, and Terry Coatta, CTO of Marine Learning Systems.

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