What's up Lately at ACM India

April 10, 2019

Dear friends,

Happy New Year!

First of all, here is wishing you a happy and prosperous FY19-20, which has just begun for all of us in India! Many regions of India celebrated their new year's day recently and for some others it's just around the corner, so new year wishes to them as well.

My previous update was on 1 February. Quite a few noteworthy developments have taken place since then. So I thought of taking the opportunity to bring you up to date with this email.

One new key initiative a month

Over the last few months, we have undertaken many new key initiatives, averaging about one per month. Of course, we may not be able to do this indefinitely, but we are making sure each one we initiate is a sustainable one. Let's take a look at their progress:

Summer schools with industry sponsorship:

The summer schools are about to start in June. Like previous years, we received tremendous response to the schools with more that 1,000 applications. This year we decided to integrate academic research with applied research by seeking industry participation and sponsorship. I am very pleased to inform you that all schools this year will have industry participation and title co-sponsorship. While we await the formality of sponsorship approval for one last school, please watch this space! The selected students will be informed of the next steps by 22 April.

Institutional Partnership Program:

We are delighted to welcome TCS and Persistent Systems formally on board at the highest Platinum tier of Institutional Partnership. We really appreciate the sustained and generous support both these organizations have provided all along. TCS is also the founding sponsor of the ACM India Best Doctoral Dissertation Award which was instituted in 2011.

Industry Webinar series:

This series keeps growing in popularity. We had close to 1,000 registrations for Dr. Rajeev Rastogi's webinar on "Using Machine Learning to Innovate for India". The on-demand replay and PDF are now available on the webinar site for those who register(ed). Stay tuned for next edition in early June.

Contributions from India for global visibility in Communications of the ACM and on ACM's website:

We had around 60 submissions for the CACM Regional Special Section on India, an opportunity to tell the world about the unique and influential activities in India in the field of computing. A meeting was held for finalizing shortlisted submissions on 23 February, and the preparations are in full swing for publication in November 2019.

Prof. Jayant Haritsa and Dr. Sriram Rajamani were featured recently in "People of ACM" bulletins which highlight the unique scientific accomplishments and compelling personal attributes of ACM members who are making a difference in advancing computing as a science and a profession. These bulletins feature ACM members whose personal and professional stories are a source of inspiration for the larger computing community. Look forward to more ACM India members to be featured during the year.

Chapters Technology Solution Contest:

We got an excellent response to the contest with 125 submissions, 40 of which were shortlisted by the judges panel. As per the next milestone, we have received an interim progress report from the teams on 7 April. The grand finale of the contest will be on 10 August along with the Chapters Summit at Manipal University, Jaipur.

ESP 2.0:

A new 2-year term of the Eminent Speaker Program starts this year. The revised guidelines, online invitation and feedback forms, and the initial list of Eminent Speakers is published on the site. The list will grow as we add more eminent technology leaders from academia and industry.

Social media presence of ACM India:

Thanks to Prof. Rajnish Sharma's leadership, we now have a revived, active presence on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. I invite all of you to participate and contribute on these social media channels to increase awareness of ACM India activities.

Recent Events and Conferences

ACM India Annual Event 2019:

The flagship Annual Event 2019 of ACM India and the co-located events students' Research Seminar IRISS 2019 and the Knowledge Sharing Workshop took place in Kochi on 6-8 February. Those who were there can relive the moments of those three days through pictures, and those who couldn't attend can get a feel for this not-to-be-missed event.

ISEC 2019:

The 12th Innovations in Software Engineering Conference (ISEC 2019) took place on 14-16 February at COEP Pune.

Upcoming Events and Activities

Multi-year professional membership:

On popular demand, we are instituting the option for initiating or renewing ACM India professional membership for up to 5 years in one go, so that you don't have to worry about renewing the membership every year. This is expected to be implemented in May 2019.

CSpathshala's CTiS 2019:

CTiS 2019, a first of its kind conference providing a platform for educators to share their experiences, student learnings/stories, outcomes and interesting new experiments, will be held on 20 April in Pune. The countdown has (literally) begun at https://sites.google.com/view/ctis2019.

International Conferences in India:

Continuing our efforts to organize conferences of international repute in India, ICPE 2019 is being held at IITB on 7-11 April.

ACM-W India events:

ACM-W India will be organizing a Grad Cohort 2019 workshop at IIT Delhi. Exact dates, likely to be in June or July, will be announced soon.

CRA-W, an international computing body, has been organising the Grad Cohort workshop since 2004 in the US for women in computing. Over the last 15 years, the workshop has helped many women students through their graduate years and beyond. Starting last year, ACM-W India has decided to adapt the model of this workshop to the Indian setting.

The main goal of this workshop is to reach out to Indian women graduate students in the field of computing. In the workshop, women experts will guide the students in various aspects of their graduate careers such as finding a research topic, honing their reading and writing skills, achieving work-life balance, and many more. There will be presentations and interactive sessions conducted by experienced women researchers. The workshop will also feature one-on-one networking/discussion opportunities with senior researchers, both from industry and academia.

ACM-W will also organize the following activities at IIT Gandhinagar:

  • Finals of Lady Ada Programming Competition for Girl Students on 12 July. The online rounds will be held on 15 and 22 June.
  • ACM India Celebration of Women in Computing 2019 (AICWiC 2019) on 13 July, including Work-in-Progress Research Reports (Poster Making) event. Last date of submission is 22 June.

And finally, please do not hesitate to write to me with any suggestions or feedback.


Hemant Pande, PhD
Executive Director, ACM India Council