ACM MemberNet - October 30, 2008

Welcome to the October edition of ACM MemberNet, bringing you the world of ACM and beyond. Explore the many facets of ACM with our newsletter of member activities and events. Read MemberNet online at http://membernet.acm.org/. Is there a person, event, or issue you'd like to see covered? Please email mn-editor at acm.org.

Read TechNews, ACM's digest of news and information for IT professionals published three times a week.

Washington Update, a monthly newsletter from USACM reporting on activities in Washington.

Published biweekly, ACM CareerNews provides summaries of articles on career-related topics in the computing field.

ACM-W newsletter (pdf) from ACM's Committee on Women in Computing


TOP STORIES
  • Several SIGs Extend Officers' Terms
  • ACM TechNews Has a New Look!

    Awards
  • Call for 2008 ACM Award Nominations

    Member Recognition
  • Call for ACM Advanced Member Level Nominations

    SIG Awards
  • ACM SIG Awards Recognize Achievements in Diverse Fields

    Conferences and Events
  • ACM/IEEE Symposium on Architectures for Networking and Communications Systems
  • SC08 Marks 20th Anniversary of Supercomputing Conference
  • SIGGRAPH Asia Conference to Debut in December

    Public Policy
  • ACM Experts Say Heavy Voter Turnout Will Test Voter Registration Systems
  • ACM Experts See Opportunities and Risks for E-Voting

    Member Programs
  • Resources Pages for New ACM Professional, Student Members
  • New Member-Get-A-Member 2008–2009 Campaign Launched
  • ACM Adds Four Offerings to Insurance Program
  • Take Advantage of ACM's Lifetime Membership Plan

    Education
  • New Image of Computing Project Targets High School Students

    Chapters News
  • Distinguished Speakers Program Continues to Grow

    Student News
  • New Image of Computing Project Targets High School Students (see story under "Education")
  • ACM Partners with Microsoft to Offer Students Free Software
  • Upcoming ACM Student Research Competitions Call for Submissions
  • ACM-W Student Scholarships for Attendance at Research Conferences
  • Student Volunteers Needed to Help Train High School CS Teachers
  • Graduating Students Eligible for Special Transition Rate

    ACM-W News
  • Students Benefit from ACM-W Conference Scholarships
  • ACM-W Ambassador's Report: Pakistani Women Are an Untapped Resource

    Publications News
  • Communications of the ACM Reports: Paperless Electronic Voting Machines
  • ACM Queue Reveals Secrets to Mastering Real-World Concurrency

    ACM in the News
  • "Good Code, Bad Computations: A Computer Security Gray Area"
  • "Newcastle Scientists Help Microsoft and Yahoo Improve Online Security"
  • "Microsoft Aims to Get More Touchy-Feely"
  • "5 Early Recommendation Technologies That Could Shake Up Their Niches"
  • "Probe Sees Unused Internet"
     
    TOP STORIES

    Several SIGs Extend Officers' Terms
    Officers of permanent Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are elected by plurality vote of the SIG members beginning July 1st. At the end of the term, the SIG Governing Board may exercise an option at the request of the SIG Officers to extend their term for a set number of years as set forth in the SIG's bylaws. In accordance with this policy, the SIG Board voted on September 4 to approve the request to extend the terms of office for the following SIGs: ARCH, ecom, IR, METRICS, OPS, and WEB.

    Elections will be held for any of these SIGs if a petition is brought forward by one percent of the members of the SIG. A petition to initiate an election must be received at ACM Headquarters, Office of Policy and Administration, 2 Penn Plaza, Suite 701, NY, NY 10121 by November 28. Questions about the petition process should be directed to Pat Ryan, ACM Chief Operating Officer.

    ACM TechNews Has a New Look!
    TechNews, ACM's three-times-a-week news digest, now boasts a bold new look and easier navigation. Please visit TechNews and send us your comments.
     
    Awards

    Call for 2008 ACM Award Nominations
    Each year, ACM recognizes technical and professional achievements within the computing and information technology community through its celebrated Awards Program. And annually, ACM's award committees evaluate the contributions of candidates for various awards that span a spectrum of professional and technological accomplishments. You and your colleagues are invited to nominate candidates for ACM awards, including:

    Awards with November 30, 2008 nomination deadlines:
    • A.M. Turing Award
    • ACM-Infosys Foundation Award in the Computing Sciences
    • ACM-AAAI Allen Newell Award
    • Software System Award
    • Grace Murray Hopper Award
    • Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award
    • Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award
    • Distinguished Service Award
    • Outstanding Contribution to ACM Award
    Award with March 1, 2009 nomination deadline:
    • ACM-IEEE CS Eckert-Mauchly Award
    Please take a moment to consider those individuals in your community who may be suitable for nomination.

    Learn more about nomination procedures and read a letter from Award Committee Co-Chairs Calvin C. Gotlieb and James J. Horning on the ACM Awards Call for Nominations page. Refer to http://www.acm.org/nominations for the complete listing of 2008 Award Subcommittee Chairs and Members.

    The ACM-W Athena Lecturer Award celebrates outstanding women researchers who have made fundamental contributions to Computer Science. Candidates are nominated by Special Interest Group (SIG) officers; the Athena Lecturer gives a keynote at a SIG meeting of her and the SIG's choice, and receives a $10,000 honorarium, funded by Google. More information can be found on the Athena announcement page, which includes links to the nomination form and talks by previous winners. Nominations for next year are due February 1, 2009.
     
    Member Recognition

    Call for ACM Advanced Member Level Nominations
    ACM recognizes annually a class of ACM Fellows, our eminent colleagues that ACM and its members look to for guidance and leadership. ACM also has advanced grade memberships of Distinguished Engineer/Scientist/Member and Senior Member.

    Senior Member recognizes ACM members with at least 10 years of professional experience and 5 years of continuous ACM Professional membership who have demonstrated performance and accomplishment that set them apart from their peers. Nominations are accepted on a quarterly basis. The next deadline for nominations is November 30, 2008.

    The Distinguished Engineer/Scientist/Member designation recognizes ACM members with at least 15 years of professional experience and 5 years of continuous ACM Professional membership who have demonstrated significant accomplishments or made a significant impact on the computing field. The deadline for nominations is July 31, 2009.

    Fellows are outstanding ACM members with at least 5 years of continuous ACM Professional membership who are recognized for their technical, professional and leadership contributions that advance the objectives of ACM and the field as a whole. The deadline for nominations is September 15, 2009.
     
    SIG Awards

    ACM SIG Awards Recognize Achievements in Diverse Fields
    ACM's Special Interest Groups (SIGs) regularly cite outstanding individuals for their contributions in more than 30 distinct technological fields. Some awards presented (or to be presented) at recent conferences:
    Conferences and Events

    ACM/IEEE Symposium on Architectures for Networking and Communications Systems
    The ACM/IEEE Symposium on Architectures for Networking and Communications Systems (ANCS 2008) is a research conference that focuses on the architecture and design of hardware and software for modern communication networks. Topics will address the dual challenges of increasing network bandwidth and expanding functionality, including: system design for future network architectures; emerging technologies, such as optical components; programmable and extensible networks; secure communication; multicore processing; and more. ANCS 2008 takes place November 6 to 7 in San Jose, California. The technical sponsors are ACM's Special Interest Groups on Computer Architecture (SIGARCH) and Communications (SIGCOMM), and the IEEE Computer Society Technical Committee on Computer Architecture (TCCA).

    SC08 Marks 20th Anniversary of Supercomputing Conference
    The SC08 International Conference on High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage, and Analysis, celebrating its 20th anniversary, will offer a technical program that includes tutorials, technical paper presentations, panel discussions, workshops, birds-of-a-feather sessions, and poster presentations. SC08 will feature papers on GPU applications, petaflop architectures, e-science grids, OS kernels, and 10-gigabit wide-area networks. Selected workshops include Node Level Parallelism for Large Scale Supercomputers, Grid Computing Environments 2008, Power Efficiency and the Path to Exascale Computing, Bridging Multicore's Programmability Gap, Advanced Modeling and Simulation for Fission Nuclear Energy, and High-Performance Reconfigurable Computing Technology and Applications. Keynote speaker Michael Dell of Dell Inc. will speak on "Higher Performance: Supercomputing in the Connected Era." SC08 takes place November 15 to 21 in Austin, Texas.

    SIGGRAPH Asia Conference to Debut in December
    The first ACM SIGGRAPH Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques in Asia (SIGGRAPH Asia 2008) will take place at the Suntec International Convention and Exhibition Centre in Singapore from December 10 to 13. In addition to the trade exhibition, the conference will offer many opportunities to experience the latest technologies in an interactive environment, including an Art Gallery, a Computer Animation Festival, technical courses, an educators program, an Emerging Technologies program, sketches and posters, a Job Fair, and technical papers. The Computer Animation Festival will present creative achievements in every genre, plus "hybrid" innovations that mix state-of-the-art animation techniques with traditional storytelling approaches. Featured speakers will include Computer Graphics Pioneer Don Greenberg of Cornell University, and Rob Cook, Vice President for Technology, Pixar Animation Studios.
     
    Public Policy

    ACM Experts Say Heavy Voter Turnout Will Test Voter Registration Systems
    The 2008 election has become a crucial test for many newly installed or overhauled voter registration databases (VRDs), ACM computing experts report. The databases, which the 2002 Federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) required states to put in place, have become a source of confusion in early voting currently underway in several states. In some cases, disputes about how to verify existing records in these databases have led to court filings. Experts from ACM's U.S. Public Policy Committee (USACM) will be monitoring and analyzing the reliability of registration records and voting equipment around the nation as Election Day approaches.
    Read the press release.

    ACM Experts See Opportunities and Risks for E-Voting
    As the 2008 election nears, electronic voting experts from ACM will be monitoring the reliability of voting equipment, including new systems deployed in many locations across the country. These computerized voting machines, intended to eliminate the confusion and errors that marred recent elections, offer opportunities for efficiency and ease of voting. They also pose new risks to accuracy and reliability that could undermine trust in the voting process and the technology that drives it. These experts, from ACM's U.S. Public Policy Committee (USACM), will be analyzing voting issues around the nation as Election Day approaches.
    Read the press release.
     
    Member Programs

    Resources Pages for New ACM Professional, Student Members
    ACM has created two new sites expressly for new ACM Professional and Student Members. Both sites are divided into four sections:
    • What you should do as a new member
    • Engaging/Volunteering with ACM
    • ACM Benefits
    • ACM in the News
    Each section describes in detail all the information needed to get started as a new member of the world's leading organization dedicated to the advancement of computing as a science and profession. The site will continue to be updated as more benefits or newsworthy items arise. If you have any questions, or have any suggestions for the site, please contact mktg2@acm.org.

    New Member-Get-A-Member 2008–2009 Campaign Launched
    ACM recently launched its new 2008–2009 Member-Get-A-Member Recruitment Drive, with new prizes added to our already great selection, and an Apple iPhone grand prize! Current members are the ideal ambassadors to communicate the advantages of joining ACM to prospective members, and those who participate by telling friends and colleagues about ACM may be eligible for valuable gifts and special recognition. ACM's Online Member-Get-A-Member program is interactive, easy to use, and rewards members for helping to recruit new members. The drive ends June 30, 2009. For referral forms, recruitment tips and tools, prizes and rewards, and bonus gifts, visit the Member-Get-a-Member drive page.

    ACM Adds Four Offerings to Insurance Program
    ACM has added four plans to the ACM Insurance Program. The new offerings are Group 10 or 20 Year Level Term Life Insurance, Long Term Care, and Group Dental Insurance. ACM members living in the US are eligible. Visit the insurance page to learn more about these programs, and all of ACM's Insurance Program plans.

    Take Advantage of ACM's Lifetime Membership Plan
    ACM Professional Members can enjoy the convenience of making a single payment for their entire tenure as an ACM Member, and also be protected from future price increases by taking advantage of ACM's Lifetime Membership option. Pricing for ACM Lifetime Membership is based on age and current dues rates, and the option to include the ACM Digital Library is also available. ACM Lifetime Membership dues may be tax deductible under certain circumstances (please consult with your tax advisor). Lifetime Members will receive a certificate of recognition suitable for framing, and enjoy all of the benefits of ACM Professional Membership.
     
    Education

    New Image of Computing Project Targets High School Students
    The WGBH Educational Foundation and ACM are working together on a project, entitled "New Image of Computing" (with funding from the National Science Foundation) that will improve the understanding of and image of computing among high school students, with special efforts to reach Latina females and African-American males. In Phase I, the New Image for Computing (NIC) project will produce a wide-ranging national outreach and communications plan to spread the word about the rewards and benefits of a life in computing. These new messages will be produced and extensively tested by experienced marketing professionals. In Phase II, the project will launch a pilot project to further test messages and activities, develop a comprehensive evaluation of the project findings, and create a plan for implementation on a national level.
     
    Chapters News

    Distinguished Speakers Program Continues to Grow
    The Distinguished Speakers Program (DSP), ACM's primary outreach effort for student and professional chapters, continues to add new speakers to its roster. Seventy-four speakers from academia and industry are now part of the program, speaking on a variety of topics, from artificial intelligence and computer graphics, to emerging technologies and mobile computing. The speaker roster doubled in size during the fiscal year 2008, and of the 40 speaking engagements that took place, 12 were hosted by international chapters. In efforts to diversify the program's offerings, the DSP committee is actively recruiting international speakers. To nominate a speaker, please complete the nomination form. Those who self-nominate will need to provide two endorsements from ACM members. Members who nominate a colleague will need to provide a second ACM member to endorse that candidate. Nominations will be reviewed biannually.

    The DSP program is offered to chartered ACM and SIG professional and student chapters, although larger engagements at non-chapter events are considered on a case-by-case basis. ACM pays for the speaker's travel to the event site; chapters are responsible for local expenses. Tours, in which the speaker addresses more than one chapter or group in a particular region, are highly encouraged. For more information, please contact speakers@acm.org
     
    Student News

    New Image of Computing Project Targets High School Students (see story under "Education")

    ACM Partners with Microsoft to Offer Students Free Software
    Through ACM's partnership with the Microsoft Developer Network Academic Alliance (MSDN AA) Program, ACM Student Members can now receive free and unlimited access to about 100+ software packages. If you are an ACM Student Member, sign up for an MSDN AA account by logging in at myACM, checking the appropriate box, and clicking on "Submit." For more information, visit the MSDN AA FAQ page.

    Upcoming ACM Student Research Competitions Call for Submissions
    ACM Student Research Competitions take place at ACM-sponsored conferences throughout the year. Students present their papers in poster sessions to compete for the Grand Finals prizes, and network with luminaries from academia and industry. CHI 2009 is the next conference accepting submissions. The deadline is January 7, 2009. Learn about more competitions on the SRC submissions page.

    ACM-W Student Scholarships for Attendance at Research Conferences
    A program launched by ACM's Committee on Women in Computing (ACM-W) provides support for undergraduate or graduate women students in Computer Science programs who are interested in attending research conferences. It is not required that the student present a paper at the conference she attends. High school students will also be considered for conference support. Initially, up to 12 scholarships of up to $500 each will be awarded annually. ACM-W also encourages the student's home department to match the scholarship award and recognize the student's achievement locally within her department. Applications will be evaluated in four groups each year, in order to distribute awards across a range of conferences, with two to three awards given each quarter. For application form, notification dates and more information, please visit the scholarships page.

    Student Volunteers Needed to Help Teach High School CS Teachers
    The Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) is seeking Computer Science college students proficient in Java and other new programming languages and environments to train high school CS teachers in these technologies. Java Engagement for Teacher Training (JETT) and Teacher Enrichment in Computer Science (TECS) are one- and two-day workshops for high school teachers, hosted by college and university CS students and faculty. Hosting a JETT or TECS workshop is a great volunteer experience for individual student ACM members, as well as student chapters. For more information please contact Gail Chapman, the JETT and TECS workshop coordinator.

    Graduating Students Eligible for Special Transition Rate
    ACM offers a special ACM Professional Membership for $49 USD (regularly $99) to help graduating students make the transition to professional careers, and take advantage of continuous learning opportunities, including free online books and courses and access to ACM's Career & Job Center. This one-year-only transition rate includes all the benefits of Professional Membership plus the option of purchasing a Digital Library subscription for $50. Recent graduates can access this special transition offer through ACM's convenient online renewal form, or by following the instructions on the paper renewal form.
     
    ACM-W News

    Students Benefit from ACM-W Conference Scholarships
    ACM's Committee on Women in Computing (ACM-W) provides support for undergraduate or graduate women students in Computer Science programs who are interested in attending research conferences. The benefit of the ACM-W scholarship awards is clear in reports received from recipients. Even when a student does not receive an award, the fact that she applied to ACM-W for the scholarship gives her greater visibility in her department. An applicant who recently applied for a scholarship said, "Having applied for the scholarship, with my advocate's support, made a difference to the head of my department and I received full funding in the end." For more information, please see related story in this issue.

    ACM-W Ambassador's Report: Pakistani Women Are an Untapped Resource
    Women account for almost 50% of Pakistan's potential workforce. However, their formal participation in economic activities is quite low compared to other economies, though they participate in unpaid work in family, home, community and farm environments. Jehan Ara, the ACM-W Ambassador for Pakistan, explores ways in which women's enterprise and entrepreneurship can be developed in her ACM-W news blog post, Using Technology to Create an Economic Powerhouse.
     
    Publications News

    Communications of the ACM Reports: Paperless Electronic Voting Machines
    In the October issue of Communications of the ACM (CACM), Stanford University professor David L. Dill says it will be impossible to determine whether the victorious candidates in many states were elected by the voters because no voter verifiable paper trail exists. He advocates a Congressional mandate to use voter-verified paper ballots. Daniel Castro of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation contends that no voting system offers voters verifiable proof that their ballot has been counted. He concludes that narrowly focusing on paper trails ignores the importance of securing all steps in the voting process, and urges long-term solutions to this challenge. As the 2008 election approaches, this Point/Counterpoint debate is part of CACM's recently expanded editorial scope with news, viewpoints, and features for computing practitioners, researchers, and educators. The October issue is available online in digital format.
    Read the press release.

    ACM Queue Reveals Secrets to Mastering Real-World Concurrency
    What does the increase in concurrent hardware and software really mean for practicing software engineers? Sun engineers Bryan Cantrill and Jeff Bonwick try to answer this question in Real-World Concurrency. Most developers won't have to write concurrent code, they say, but for those who do they provide a helpful list of best practices to help minimize the pain.


    ACM in the News

    "Good Code, Bad Computations: A Computer Security Gray Area"
    UCSD News, October 27, 2008
    University of California, San Diego grad students show that building malicious programs from good code using return-oriented programming can be automated, at ACM's Conference on Communications and Computer Security (CCS).

    "Newcastle Scientists Help Microsoft and Yahoo Improve Online Security"
    Newcastle University, October 21, 2008
    Newcastle University computer scientists have cracked the Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart (CAPTCHA) security systems used by Micosoft's and Yahoo's email systems, exposing a widespread vulnerability. Jeff Yan presented his findings at the ACM Computer and Communications Security Conference earlier this month.

    "Microsoft Aims to Get More Touchy-Feely"
    CNet, October 20, 2008
    At ACM's User Interface Software and Technology (UIST) conference, Microsoft presented several research papers that take the multitouch interface in Microsoft's Surface and expand it into new areas.

    "5 Early Recommendation Technologies That Could Shake Up Their Niches"
    ReadWriteWeb, October 16, 2008
    Finalists in the $100,000 Call for Recommender Start-Ups contest presented their ideas at ACM's International Conference on Recommender Systems.

    "Probe Sees Unused Internet"
    Technology Review, October 15, 2008
    Internet addresses may not be running out as quickly as many feared, concludes a new research paper presented at the ACM Internet Measurement Conference.

    Read more ACM in the News.

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