Get Involved in Hour of Code During CSEdWeek, December 7 to 13

For one week in December, millions of students around the world are introduced to the magic of computer science through games, coding puzzles, tutorials, and many other fun activities. Events are organized by local volunteers from schools, research institutions, and other groups. ACM helped launch Computer Science Education Week in 2009, and invites you host an Hour of Code in your community.

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 Shwetak Patel, 2018 ACM Prize in Computing recipient and 2011 MacArthur Fellow, on the ACM Learning Center website, and subscribe to the series wherever you get your podcasts.

Celebrating Technology Leaders, Episode 3: Women in UI/UX

In this third episode of ACM-W’s webinar series, “Celebrating Technology Leaders,” host Bushra Anjum will explore user-centric design and design thinking—and the multitude of career paths they open—with leading user interface and user experience design professionals. How has the UI/UX design space evolved in the last two decades? What are the various stages of the design process and how to design with a business growth mindset? Is it really possible to predict user expectations?

Team from Chinese/US Institutions Receives 2020 Gordon Bell Prize

A nine-member research team from Chinese and American institutions was awarded the 2020 ACM Gordon Bell Prize for introducing Deep Potential Molecular Dynamics (DPMD), a new machine learning-based protocol that can simulate a more than 1 nanosecond-long trajectory of over 100 million atoms per day. The award for their project, “Pushing the limit of molecular dynamics with ab initio accuracy to 100 million atoms with machine learning,” was bestowed during the virtual SC20 conference.

First ACM Gordon Bell Special Prize for HPC-Based COVID-19 Research Awarded

The 2020 ACM Gordon Bell Special Prize for High Performance Computing-Based COVID-19 Research was presented to a 12-member team for their project “AI-Driven Multiscale Simulations Illuminate Mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 Spike Dynamics.” The Prize is being awarded in 2020 and 2021 to recognize outstanding research achievement toward the understanding of the COVID-19 pandemic through the use of high performance computing (HPC). The inaugural Prize was awarded at the virtual SC20 conference.

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.

Discover the Latest "Selects," Shortlists of Learning Resources Curated by Experts

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 Computer Vision; Why Algorithmic Fairness?; Getting Started with Data Science; and People in Computing #2.

Words Matter

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.

Applications Now Open for Cutler-Bell Prize for High School Students

The ACM/CSTA Cutler-Bell Prize in High School Computing recognizes talented high school students intending to continue their higher education in computer science or technology. The program seeks to promote and encourage the field of computer science and empower young and aspiring learners to pursue computing challenges outside of the traditional classroom environment. Applications for the 2020-2021 prize are open now through January 18, 2021.

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.

SIGGRAPH Asia 2020, December 4 to 13 (online)

The 13th ACM SIGGRAPH Asia Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques will showcase some of the world’s top professionals, academics and creative minds at the forefront of digital imaging, research, science, art, animation, gaming, interactivity, education and emerging technologies. Also included are sessions how virtual reality will change mental healthcare, and avatars in the age of Covid. Academy Award-winning animator Glen Keane and Paul Franklin, VFX Supervisor and Creative Director at DNEG, will keynote.

Meet Valérie Issarny

Valérie Issarny is a Director of Research at the National Institute for Research in Digital Science and Technology (France). She received an award from the French Ministry of Research in recognition of her work developing emergent middleware for the FP7 ICT FET IP CONNECT project. In 2014, she was made a Knight of France’s Legion d’honneur for her contributions to higher education and research. Issarny will become Editor-in-Chief of ACM Transactions on Autonomous and Adaptive Systems (TAAS) in December 2020. She is also an Associate Editor of ACM Transactions on Internet of Things (TIOT) and serves as Secretary/Treasurer of the ACM Europe Council.

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CRA Releases 2020 Quadrennial Papers

The Computing Research Association recently released the first of more than a dozen planned white papers exploring areas and issues around computing research with the potential to address national priorities over the next four years. Called "Quadrennial Papers," they attempt to portray a broad picture of computing research detailing potential research directions, challenges, and recommendations for policymakers and the computing research community. The papers cover five thematic areas: Core Computer Science, Broad Computing, Socio-Technical Computing, Artificial Intelligence, and Diversity and Education.

Meet Koji Yatani

Koji Yatani is an Associate Professor and 2017 UTokyo Excellent Young Researcher at the University of Tokyo, where he leads the Interactive Intelligent Systems Laboratory (IIS Lab). Yatani was one of the founding editors of Proceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies (PACM IMWUT). His volunteer roles also include serving as the Vice Chair of the ACM Japan SIGCHI Chapter and the Steering Committee Chair for the annual ACM UbiComp conference. His honors include receiving the Information Processing Society of Japan (IPSJ)/ACM Award for Early Career Contributions to Global Research.

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CRA Surveys Computer Science Faculty, Department Heads on COVID-19's Impacts

The Computing Research Association (CRA) conducted two surveys about the COVID-19 disruption in summer 2020. One surveyed computer science faculty members about their experiences transitioning from teaching in person to teaching online as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The other surveyed department chairs, asking them about the impact of COVID-19 on their faculty, department operations, student job searches, and budgets, and their concerns going into fall 2020.

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.”

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.

Green AI

The computational costs of state-of-the-art AI research has increased 300,000x in recent years. This trend stems from the AI community's focus on accuracy, and leads to a surprisingly large carbon footprint. Authors Roy Schwartz, Jesse Dodge, Noah A. Smith, and Oren Etzioni propose an alternative, Green AI, which treats efficiency as a primary evaluation criterion alongside accuracy. Read their Contributed Article "Green AI" in the December 2020 issue of 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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