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 Theo Schlossnagle, Founder and CTO at Circonus, Co-Chair of ACM Queue, member of the ACM Publications Board, and elected Member at Large on the ACM Council, on the ACM Learning Center website, and subscribe to the series wherever you get your podcasts.

ACM-W Launches New Webinar Series

By highlighting successful technical women who are leading diverse careers in the technology industry, ACM-W’s new webinar series, “Celebrating Technology Leaders,” aims to inform students and early-career professionals about the multitude of career options open to them. The introductory webinar featured Jodi Tims, Reyyan Ayfer, Amelia Cole and Bushra Anjum, and is available for on-demand viewing. They discussed ACM-W's work to support, celebrate and advocate for women in computing, as well as the rationale behind the new series and what viewers can expect in the coming months.

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.

HLF 2020, September 21 to 25 (online)

The 2020 Heidelberg Laureate Forum, held virtually this year, will provide an informal venue for 200 selected young researchers to exchange ideas with renowned laureates in mathematics and computer science. ACM A.M. Turing Award Laureates including Yoshua Bengio, Vint Cerf, Barbara Liskov and many more will participate. The program includes lectures, panel discussions, Hot Topics and poster sessions, and interviews with ACM award recipients.

HLF Interviews with ACM Award Laureates, September 21

Recently-elected ACM President Gabriele Kotsis will open the 2020 Heidelberg Laureate Forum and interview 2019 ACM A.M. Turing Award laureates Ed Catmull and Pat Hanrahan, and 2019 ACM Prize in Computing recipient David Silver, on September 21 from 16:40 - 18:00 CEST. You can watch this live or on demand on the HLF YouTube channel. View the full program.

HLF Hot Topic on Future of Healthcare, September 22

Special Hot Topic panel sessions at this year's virtual Heidelberg Laureate Forum addressing "Health, Technology and Data: Which Is the Best Way to Go?" will include discussions by panelists including 2018 ACM Prize in Computing recipient Shwetak Patel. You can catch it live on September 22 from 17:00 - 19:00 CEST, or on demand on the HLF YouTube channel.

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.

Yoshua Bengio to Speak at AI for Good Global Summit September 29

2018 ACM A.M. Turing Award laureate Yoshua Bengio will keynote at the AI for Good Global Summit, which is being held virtually through the end of 2020. "Machine Learning Challenges in the Fight for Social Good—The Covid-19 Case" will cover two projects at Mila, his AI research institute in Montreal, the first focusing on discovering antivirals and the second about using machine learning to provide early warning signals of the virus.

BCB 2020, September 21 to 24 (online)

The ACM Conference on Bioinformatics, Computational Biology, and Health Informatics is the flagship conference of SIGBio, ACM's Special Interest Group on Bioinformatics. Workshops will cover Molecular Epidemiology; Parallel and Cloud-based Bioinformatics and Biomedicine; Computational Structural Bioinformatics; and High Performance Computing & Big Data Analytics. Scheduled keynote speakers are Olivier Elemento (Weill Cornell Medicine), Madhav Marathe (University of Virginia) and Mihaela Pertea (Johns Hopkins University).

Meet Rob Parke

Rob Parke is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Southern California in the Information Technology program, where he has established the Connected Devices and Making minor degree program. He is the Program Chair for this year’s ACM Richard A. Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing. Parke’s interests lie in inclusive teaching practices, and he has been active in issues of equity at USC. “Technology can only serve and benefit all people when it is made by and reflective of all people.”

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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.

Meet Vivienne Sze

Vivienne Sze is an Associate Professor at MIT, where she directs the Energy-Efficient Multimedia Systems Group, which focuses on the joint design of algorithms, architectures, circuits, and systems to enable optimal tradeoffs between energy consumption, speed, and quality of result. Sze was recognized as the inaugural recipient of the ACM-W Rising Star Award, and has received numerous other awards, including a Primetime Engineering Emmy Award for the development of the HEVC video compression standard.

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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 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.

Becoming an 'Adaptive' Expert

In today's software development industry, employees must be creative in their problem-solving techniques and combine diverse specializations rather than have routine knowledge in one domain. While the "hard" technical skills associated with programming remain a prerequisite for new hires, the industry also wants software developers who can readily demonstrate a range of so-called "soft" skills, including the capacity to communicate clearly, facilitate an open and inclusive workplace environment, and demonstrate the resiliency and flexibility to work on a range of tasks. In this video, Quinn Burke discusses "Becoming an 'Adaptive' Expert," a Contributed Article in the September 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.

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.

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