What's up Lately at ACM India - Summer 2022 Edition

May 4, 2022

What's Up Lately at ACM India - Summer 2022 Edition

Dear friends @ACM India,

As most parts of the nation sizzle in summer heat, here are some hot updates about ACM India.

It's election time for ACM and ACM India councils

For a professional society functioning through volunteer and member contributions, elections for the council responsible for the governance are extremely important. It's time for elections, for both ACM and ACM India councils. All eligible professional members from India, please do take the time to vote for the candidates. Having good candidates elected through active participation from the members will ensure ACM's continuing, high quality service to the computing community. So I cannot emphasize the importance of this action enough. For ACM elections, on 18 April the eligible voters would have received an email from "acmhelp@mg.electionservicescorp.com" with the unique PIN embedded in it. The ACM candidate list along with their bio and position statement is available via https://www.acm.org/elections/acm-vote.

Similarly the list of ACM India election candidates is available on https://india.acm.org. Further details will be communicated to eligible voters once the election schedule for ACM India council commences. Again, please do vote; every vote counts!

Talking about elections, we congratulate our ACM India Vice President Prof. Hemangee Kapoor, who has been invited to be a member of the ACM Election Committee for a 3-year term. The role of the committee is to coordinate and supervise conduct of all ACM elections in a fair manner.

Highest ever membership milestone!

Delighted to share the great news that for the first time ever we have crossed 6,000 student memberships and 7,000 professional memberships in India; so we have crossed 13,000 total memberships as well. It’s very heartening to see more and more computing practitioners believing in what ACM and ACM India stands for, and are willing to come forward to contribute to the computing community. I am sure the membership will continue its upward trajectory and more milestones will be crossed along the way.

Feedback from the survey

The quick survey that we had floated about the ACM India initiatives elicited 218 responses which is a very small sample size, given that we have 13,000 members. Most of the responses showed good awareness and support for the initiatives. The free-form comments encouraged us to continue doing the good work, conduct more awareness campaigns, improve branding, step up the collaboration with industry/startups, and encourage higher participation from tier 2-3 cities/institutions. One specific suggestion was to establish better connects and processes regarding ACM India professional chapters. We have taken cognizance of all the feedback and started taking steps accordingly. In particular, we will be conducting the first “Professional Chapter Summit” later this month to step up our engagement with these chapters.

Global visibility and recognition

On the heels of 7 ACM Distinguished Member (DM) recognitions, we had the coveted ACM Fellow Award conferred on 2 eminent CS researchers from India for outstanding accomplishments and contributions to computing. Please join me in congratulating them for receiving this honour:

  • Prof. Sunita Sarawagi, IIT Bombay: For contributions to statistical machine learning for information analysis, extraction, and integration
  • Prof. M. Balakrishnan, IIT Delhi: For contributions to system-level design, embedded systems and assistive technologies for the visually impaired.

Let’s reiterate our thanks to the ACM India Committee of Fellows (CoF), comprising international and Indian ACM Fellows, which encouraged and shepherded most of the DM and Fellow nominations from India this year.

ACM student awards for 2021 announced

The beginning of the new year 2022 saw the announcement of Doctoral Dissertation Award (DDA) being conferred on Suhail Sherif from TIFR Mumbai. Honorable mentions went to Vrunda Dave from IIT Bombay and Suprovat Ghoshal from IISc Bengaluru. ACM India has been conferring DDA on the best PhD dissertation in computing discipline from an Indian university since 2011, with TCS as the founding sponsor of the award.

ACM India also confers Best Student Chapter Awards based on various parameters. These awards are sponsored by Icertis. Congratulations to the 2021 award recipients:

  • Outstanding Chapter Award - MUJ ACM STUDENT CHAPTER
  • Outstanding Chapter Website Award - PICT ACM STUDENT CHAPTER
  • Outstanding Chapter Activities Award - VIT ACM W STUDENT CHAPTER
  • Outstanding Community Service Award - UPES ACM W STUDENT CHAPTER
  • Outstanding Recruitment Program Award - I2IT ACM STUDENT CHAPTER
  • Emerging Chapter Award - GMRIT ACM W STUDENT CHAPTER

We also thank the eminent international jury for selecting the winners from the list of all deserving candidates. You can find further details from ACM India awards page.

ACM India bootcamp on Digital Experiences

We successfully conducted the second ACM India bootcamp virtually on 27-30 January 2022, on Digital Experiences. While the summer/winter schools are meant for students, the bootcamps are targeted at professionals, typically early in their career. Thanks to Accenture Innovation Labs and the Touch Lab at IIT Madras for organizing this bootcamp.

Recent conferences and events

ACM India’s flagship conference Annual Event 2022 with the co-located ACM-W India Workshop 2022 and ARCS Symposium 2022 took place on 9-12 February 2022. Like every year, we continued the tradition of offering the participants an opportunity to interact with eminent contributors like Turing Award 2021 laureate Alfred Aho, researchers from India and aboard including many ACM awardees, and the leadership of ACM India and ACM HQ. The event concluded with the glittering awards function, where we felicitated the recipients of ACM awards from India.

You can replay all these events from ACM India’s YouTube video channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYoCgErzdpduSIH3Gn9eEFw/videos.

ACM opens first 50 years backfile

Here is a significant update from ACM at a global level. ACM in April 2022 announced that its first 50 years of publications are now freely available to view and download via the ACM Digital Library for its members. This is a major step towards fulfilling ACM’s commitment to providing full open access to its publications and related content. You can find more information about it from the announcement https://www.acm.org/articles/bulletins/2022/april/50-years-backfile.

As you can see, ACM membership is becoming more and more worthwhile for everyone in the field of computing!

Upcoming events and call-for-submission deadlines

Please mark your calendars for the following upcoming events and deadlines:.

  • Call for nominations for 2022 IKDD Doctoral Dissertation in Data Science Award https://ikdd.acm.org/awards. This is a new award introduced by India SIG IKDD. Nomination deadline is 31 July 2022.
  • Call for Papers for CODS-COMAD conference is out with abstract submission deadline on 3 July 2022. You can find the details on https://cods-comad.in/.
  • CSpathshala’s annual conference for teachers CTiS’22 will be held at IISER Pune on 8-9 July 2022 - https://india.hosting.acm.org/CTiS/.

Summer schools are going to be in-person (fingers crossed)

Our summer initiative exclusively for students, ACM India Summer Schools 2022, is being offered in physical mode again in the month of July. The topics are Data Science/AI/ML and Shape Modelling, with one school reserved for women students as usual. These are one semester-equivalent courses delivered by some of the best minds in the respective areas, from academia as well as industry. The application window is open until 15 May, so hurry up and apply using the form: https://forms.gle/vjfRhzPMa3djNjQcA.

Wrapping up

As usual, this is a summary of activities in the recent months and plans for near future. The objective is to spread awareness and invite involvement in the activities which appeal to you, as a participant or contributor. This list is not exhaustive. A good way to find out about the ACM India developments is via the News/Updates section of the ACM India website.

Last but not the least, please free to give feedback by writing to me.



Hemant Pande
Executive Director, ACM India Council