Message from ACM India Council President Jayant Haritsa

May 11, 2022

Message from ACM India Council President Jayant Haritsa

Dear ACM India members,

Greetings on behalf of the ACM India Council. We hope you and your families are doing well despite the external situation.

As you would be aware, our current Council completes its two-year stint in office at the end of June. By now those of you eligible to vote would have received the notice of the Elections to the new Council. In this context, we strongly urge all such members to please exercise your franchise and make certain that a truly representative Council takes office from July. Your vote would ensure that the laudable work done by ACM India since inception in 2010 is continued in similar spirit in the future as well. As exemplars, I highlight below two flagship initiatives that were nurtured during our Council’s tenure.

To provide due recognition for Indian contributions to computing, three new professional awards were instituted with generous support from our corporate well-wishers: (i) the Early Career Researcher (ECR) Award, sponsored by Persistent Foundation, which recognizes outstanding junior researchers for their foundational results; (ii) the Outstanding Contributions in Computing by a Woman (OCCW) Award, sponsored by Google India, which recognizes exceptional women professionals for their creative technical contributions and active mentorship of women; and (iii) the Outstanding Contribution to Computing Education (OCCE) Award, sponsored by Microsoft Research India, which recognizes renowned educationists for fundamentally influencing computing pedagogic practices in our academic institutions. These awards have quickly become highly sought-after accolades due to the eminence of their international juries and the choice of recipients after a rigorous selection from highly competitive nomination slates. Most importantly, they have provided vital visibility worldwide for stellar work done in India.

While the above program is for professionals, on the student front we created ARCS (Academic Research and Careers for Students) as the rebranded avatar of the long-running IRISS symposium. The forum provides an excellent opportunity for our senior graduate students to showcase high-quality work published in top international fora to a conclave of researchers and potential employers. Further, we have recent PhDs share their dissertation experiences and professional life thereafter, explaining the thought processes that went into their career decisions. In tandem, distinguished senior researchers present their celebrated work to serve as role models for the young audience. To top it all off, the students get to interact and engage with Indian and international experts in an informal setting, providing potent guidance for their upcoming careers.

I hope you enjoyed hearing about these impactful programs. In the coming weeks, my colleagues from the ACM India Executive Committee will be sending you similar messages, highlighting a variety of recent initiatives that have borne rich dividends for the Indian computing community.

Before I sign off, an earnest plea again to all eligible voters to participate in the ACM India Council elections—your vote does make a tangible difference to ACM India’s future. Please look for an email from [email protected] in your registered mail account for information on how to cast your vote.

With warm regards,

Jayant Haritsa
President, ACM India Council