What's up Lately at ACM India - Summer Edition

August 21, 2020

What's Up Lately at ACM India

Dear friends @ ACM India,

When I wrote the previous edition of “What’s up lately at ACM India” in May, there was every hope that things would improve considerably by the time I sent the next one, but the dark clouds of COVID-19 are refusing to go away. Of course, digital technology is providing a silver lining, whether it is for holding virtual meetings, making payments, or in essential services.

Hope all of you are doing well and keeping safe.

As usual, here is a (non-exhaustive) summary of recent happenings at ACM India and a look at what's coming. It’s tempting to provide many details, but in my (failed?) effort to keep this message short I am providing links instead to the relevant pages where you will find more information. Despite the challenges everyone is facing, it is gratifying to see the momentum of activities continuing unabated, and we have our members and volunteers to thank for it.

The New Look ACM India Council

The first update is that in June we had the ACM India Council elections and corresponding change of guard at the executive committee level, something which happens every two years. Let's welcome the new members and officers, thank the outgoing ones and wish the new council an impactful term of next two years.

Our First Virtual Conference

Congrats to ACM-W India and the discipline of CSE at IIT-Gandhinagar for successfully hosting the 3rd ACM-W India Grad Cohort virtually on 24-26 July 2020. This forum connects Indian women graduate students with experts to discuss various aspects of their graduate careers such as finding a research topic, honing reading and writing skills, and achieving work-life balance. This year’s edition focused on dealing with the unusual situation we find ourselves in, amidst a global pandemic, with discussions revolving around finding balance as we work from home and adjust to the new normal.

Winter Schools May Happen Online

The months of June and July should have seen 6 ACM India Summer Schools. As I mentioned in the previous message, we had to cancel them due to the pandemic. And it does not look like Winter Schools in the conventional sense will be possible either. So we are planning to organize online versions during December and January. Stay tuned for more details in the next month.

Expanding the Webinar Initiative

As the online means of learning dominate our professional development activities (not surprisingly), we complemented the Industry Webinar series by launching the Education Webinar series. It has been receiving tremendous response, with certain sessions seeing registrations in thousands. The Student Webinar mini-series folds into the Education series which will include some webinars targeted at students as well. During the initial stages of lockdown, we organized the webinars practically every week. But now we are falling into a rhythm of a webinar every fortnight. We will continue to bring eminent speakers sharing their thoughts through this initiative, and look forward to your continued participation.

Calling for Papers and Participation

Looks like it’s CFP season for our conferences. The Call-for-Papers announcements are out for:

  • ACM India Joint International Conference on Data Sciences and Management of Data (CODS-COMAD 2021)
  • Innovations in Software Engineering Conference (ISEC 2021 )
  • ACM India’s education-focused conference Compute 2020

And although the submission deadline is over for ACM-W India Celebration of Women in Computing 2020 (AICWiC 2020), the registration for participation is open for this online conference scheduled for 5 September 2020.

Another key initiative of ACM India, CSpathshala will be hosting its 2nd Computational Thinking in Schools 2020 (CTiS 2020) conference on 2-3 October. Again, this will be a fully virtual event. The conference provides a platform for educators to share their experiences, student learnings/stories, outcomes and interesting new experiments. CTiS 2020 will also feature the new CSpathshala Computational Thinking in School Education Award with a prize of ₹3 lakhs. The funding for this award is provided by Infosys.

Let’s Recognize Outstanding Contributions from India

With just a little more than a week to the deadline, the submission process of nominations for the prestigious ACM India awards is gathering steam. The deadline for all the awards is 31 August and here is the nomination link. The categories of nomination are:

“And the award goes to…” Well, we will have to wait a couple of months for that.

We are Big on Social Media

In our continued effort to strengthen our social media presence and reach out to wider audience, we have pages on popular platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Please visit us, and follow, tag, share us! More details in the recent announcement.

That’s it for now. I will be back with next edition in another quarter. In the meanwhile, feel free to write to me with your suggestions and feedback.

Please take care and stay safe.

Regards,

Hemant

Hemant Pande, PhD
Executive Director, ACM India Council
hemant_pande@india.acm.org