ACM MemberNet - July 30, 2020

Welcome to the July 2020 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 past issues of MemberNet online at

Read coverage of ACM in the news media.

July 30, 2020

















Barbara Simons Receives 2019 ACM Policy Award

Barbara Simons was named the recipient of the 2019 ACM Policy Award for long-standing, high-impact leadership as ACM President (1998 to 2000) and founding Chair of ACM's US Public Policy Committee (USACM, now USTPC), while making influential contributions to improve the reliability of and public confidence in election technology. Over several decades, Simons has advanced technology policy by founding and leading organizations, authoring influential publications, and effecting change through lobbying and public education.
Read the ACM news release.

Tel Aviv University Graduate Dor Minzer Receives ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award

Dor Minzer of Tel Aviv University is the recipient of the 2019 ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award for his dissertation, “On Monotonicity Testing and the 2-to-2-Games Conjecture.” The key contributions of his dissertation are settling the complexity of testing monotonicity of Boolean functions and making a significant advance toward resolving the Unique Games Conjecture, one of the most central problems in approximation algorithms and complexity theory. Honorable Mentions for the 2019 ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award went to Jakub Tarnawski of École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) for "New Graph Algorithms via Polyhedral Techniques" and JiaJun Wu of Massachusetts Institute of Technology for "Learning to See the Physical World."
Read the ACM news release.


ACM Gordon Bell Special Prize for HPC-Based COVID-19 Research Call for Nominations

ACM has established a special category of the ACM Gordon Bell Prize to recognize outstanding research achievements that use high performance computing (HPC) applications to understand the COVID-19 pandemic, including the understanding of its spread. The ACM Gordon Bell Special Prize for High Performance Computing-Based COVID-19 Research will be presented in 2020 and 2021.

Recipients will be selected based on performance and innovation in their computational methods, in addition to their contributions toward understanding the nature, spread and/or treatment of the disease. Financial support of the $10,000 cash prize that accompanies the award is provided by Gordon Bell, a pioneer in high performance computing and researcher emeritus at Microsoft Research.

Recipients will be offered the opportunity to present their work at The International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage, and Analysis (SC 2020) and have their research published in The International Journal of High Performance Computing Applications (IJHPCA).

The new COVID-19-focused award is a complement to the longstanding ACM Gordon Bell Prize, which recognizes outstanding achievement in high performance computing applications. Nominations can now be submitted via an online submission form and will be accepted through October 8, 2020.

ACM Award Nomination Submission Procedures

Each year, ACM recognizes technical and professional achievements within the computing and information technology community through its celebrated Awards Program. ACM welcomes nominations for candidates whose work exemplifies the best and most influential contributions to our community, and society at large. ACM's award committees evaluate the contributions of candidates for various awards that span a spectrum of professional and technological accomplishments. The nominations deadline for general ACM awards has passed. The remaining award nominations deadlines are: ACM Gordon Bell Special Prize for High Performance Computing-Based COVID-19 Research (October 8; see related story in this issue) and Doctoral Dissertation Award (October 31).

Please take a moment to consider those individuals in your community who may be suitable for nomination. Refer to the award nominations page for nomination guidelines and the complete listing of Award Subcommittee Chairs and Members. And read ACM President and former ACM Awards Committee Chair Cherri Pancake's article in Communications of the ACM, "Dispelling Common Myths about ACM Awards and Honors."


Call for ACM Senior and Distinguished Member and Fellows Nominations

The Senior Member advanced grade of membership recognizes ACM members with at least 5 years of Professional ACM membership in the last 10 years. Nominations are accepted on a quarterly basis. The deadline for nominations is September 3.

The Distinguished Member designation recognizes ACM members with at least 5 years of Professional ACM membership in the last 10 years who have demonstrated significant accomplishments or made a significant impact on the computing field. The deadline for nominations is August 1.

Fellow is ACM's most prestigious member grade recognizing the top 1% of ACM members for their outstanding accomplishments in computing and information technology and/or outstanding service to ACM and the larger computing community. Candidates for Fellow must demonstrate a sustained level of contribution over time, with clear impact that extends well beyond their own organization, and have at least 5 years of Professional ACM membership within the last 10 years. The deadline for nominations is September 7.


ACM SIG Awards Recognize Achievements in Diverse Fields

ACM's Special Interest Groups (SIGs) regularly cite outstanding individuals for their contributions in more than 35 distinct technological fields. Some awards presented (or to be presented) at conferences:


AI for Good Global Summit 2020 (continuous digital event)

The 2020 edition of the AI for Good Global Summit will be presented as a continuous digital event throughout the year, featuring weekly programming across multiple formats, platforms and time zones, including keynotes, expert webinars, project pitches, Q&As, performances, demos, interviews, networking and more. ACM Prize recipient and ACM Fellow Shwetak Patel was a featured keynote speaker on July 9, addressing healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic.

SIGCOMM 2020, August 10 to 14 (online)

The flagship annual conference of the ACM Special Interest Group on Data Communication focuses on the applications, technologies, architectures, and protocols in the computer communication field. Technical sessions will cover routing, telemetry, switching, verification, congestion control, datacenters, wireless technologies, and more. Amin Vahdat (Google) and Lixia Zhang (UCLA) will deliver keynotes.

L@S 2020, August 12 to 14 (online)

Learning@Scale investigates large-scale, technology-mediated learning environments that typically have many active learners and few experts on hand to guide their progress or respond to individual needs. Workshops will address inclusivity, testing, AI for video-based learning, chatbot development, MOOCs and more. Katie Davis (University of Washington) will keynote.

SIGGRAPH 2020, August 17 to 28 (online)

This year's virtual SIGGRAPH will include both on-demand presentations and scheduled sessions, with expanded opportunities to experience the Animation Festival, Art Gallery, and Theater, as well as the many courses, technical sessions and networking events, in cyberspace. Keynote speaker Marco Tempest (MIT, NASA, magicLab) will deliver a multimedia virtual presentation titled "Invent the Impossible."

KDD 2020, August 23 to 27 (online)

The SIGKDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining brings together researchers and practitioners from data science, data mining, knowledge discovery, large-scale data analytics, and big data. Scheduled keynoters are Emory Brown (MIT), Yolanda Gil (UCLA), Kate Crawford (NYU and Microsoft Research), Manuela Veloso (Carnegie Mellon) and Alessandro Vespignani (Northeastern University).

ICFP 2020, August 23 to 28 (online)

The SIGPLAN International Conference on Functional Programming provides a forum for researchers and developers to learn about the latest work on the design, implementations, principles, and uses of functional programming. Keynote talks will be delivered by Evan Czaplicki (Github) on the Elm programming language and Audrey Tang (Taiwan’s Digital Minister) on how software developers can contribute to fighting the pandemic.

SIGGRAPH Asia 2020, November 17 to 20, Daegu, South Korea (CFP)

The 13th ACM SIGGRAPH Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques in Asia attracts the most respected technical and creative people from all over the world who are excited by research, science, art, animation, gaming, interactivity, education and emerging technologies. Submissions of content are still open for Posters, Birds of a Feather, Animation Festival, and other tracks; visit the conference submissions website for deadlines and information.


ACM US, Europe Tech Policy Committees Address Facial Recognition, Decriminalizing Computer Research, and the Future of AI

By Adam Eisgrau, ACM Director of Global Policy and Public Affairs

Facial Recognition Statement: Expressing deep concern over the reliability and accuracy of facial recognition technologies, ACM's US Technology Policy Committee (USTPC) urged a moratorium on government and private sector use in light of concerns about the potential to infringe on individuals' human and legal rights. The Statement on Principles and Prerequisites for the Development, Evaluation and Use of Unbiased Facial Recognition Technologies suggests:
"For both technical and ethical reasons—pending the adoption of appropriately comprehensive law and regulation to govern its use, oversee its application, and mitigate potential harm—USTPC urges an immediate suspension of current and future private and governmental use of FR technologies in all circumstances known or reasonably foreseeable to be prejudicial to established human and legal rights."

The Statement was cited in multiple media outlets, including NBC News online, The Conversation, and in an ACLU-led letter to Congressional leadership from 40 organizations. USTPC Chair Jim Hendler, Alec Yasinsac, Ricardo Baeza-Yates, Jeremy Epstein, Simson Garfinkel, Arnon Rosenthal, and Stuart Shapiro led this work.

Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Supreme Court Amicus Brief: This month, the USTPC filed an amicus curiae brief with the United States Supreme Court in the case of Van Buren v. United States. Van Buren marks the first time the Court has reviewed the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), a pre-Internet 1986 law that was originally intended to punish hacking. In recent years, the CFAA has been used to criminally prosecute persons who access computer systems without permission, or exceed their permission to use a database once logged in.

The Van Buren case has broad implications for data and computing scientists and professionals who use the Internet and computing technology to access information online. USTPC's brief urged the Court to clearly and narrowly define the limits of the CFAA so that researchers "remain free to find, collect, and use publicly-available data, and to access the publicly-available systems on which data are maintained, without the threat of prosecution or civil lawsuit." Work on the brief was led by Law Subcommittee Chair Andrew Grosso.

Comments on European Commission AI White Paper: The European Commission recently sought public input on its AI White Paper regarding policy options to enable trustworthy AI development. ACM's Europe Technology Policy Committee, led by Alejandro Saucedo, submitted comments addressing specific issues with automated decision-making (ADM) systems, warning that such systems must be accountable and traceable, use strict caution in ceding autonomous control, recognize that ADM is never neutral, and carefully consider societal and mental health risks.

The 2017 ACM Joint Statement on Algorithmic Transparency and Accountability, and the 2018 When Computers Decide report (produced with Informatics Europe), were included in the submission.


Become an Ambassador for ACM—You Could Be a Grand Prize Winner!

The Ambassadors for ACM program rewards ACM members like you for encouraging new members to join. Your first-hand experience with ACM's valuable career development and continuous learning programs makes you a perfect envoy to share your ACM experiences with prospective members. The Ambassadors for ACM program offers opportunities for you to earn new prizes, rewards and bonus gifts with each referral. Submit the ACM Referral Form, and your referrals can join ACM at a special discount rate. Our members are our greatest asset. Your support of ACM is critical to our continuing efforts to advance computing as a science and a profession. Please consider becoming an Ambassador for ACM.

ACM's Discounts and Special Offers Program is our way of saying "Thanks!" to our members by providing you with discounts on the goods and services you need, want and use. Save on insurance, software/hardware, careers and conferences, magazines, books and journals, travel, financial products, and general consumer products.

ACM Academic Membership Option

The ACM Academic Department Membership option allows universities and colleges to provide ACM Professional Membership to their faculty at a greatly reduced collective cost. ACM offers a membership for academic department faculty at the cost of $49 per person, more than half off the standard ACM professional membership fee of $99 per year. Through this program, each faculty member will receive all the benefits of individual professional ACM membership, including Communications of the ACM, member rates to ACM Special Interest Group conferences, member subscription rates to ACM journals, and much more. To learn more, visit the ACM Academic Department Membership page or contact Cindy Ryan.

ACM and SocialCoder Team Up for Positive Impact through Computing

You can use your technical skills for social good and offer volunteer support on software development projects to organizations who could not otherwise afford it. SocialCoder connects volunteer programmers/software developers with registered charities and helps match them to suitable projects based on their skills, experience, and the causes they care about. Learn more about ACM's partnership with SocialCoder, and how you can get involved.


ACM ByteCast Interviews Radia Perlman

ACM ByteCast is ACM's series of podcast interviews with researchers, practitioners, and innovators who are at the intersection of computing research and practice. In each monthly episode, guests share their experiences, the lessons they've learned, and their own visions for the future of computing. The latest episode features Radia Perlman, a Fellow of ACM and Dell EMC, who is best known for writing the spanning tree protocol (STP), which powers the Ethernet. The podcast is available in the ACM Learning Center.

Watch July 24 TechTalk with Facebook AI Researcher Cristian Canton

Watch the ACM TechTalk, Abuses and Misuses of AI: Prevention vs. Reaction, presented on July 24 by Cristian Canton, Research Manager on the AI Integrity Team at Facebook AI. Learn more about this topic on ACM's Discourse page.

Visit the TechTalks Archive for our full archive of past TechTalks.


ACM Career & Job Center Connects You with Career Opportunities

Connecting with the right employers in computing can be a daunting task. Thankfully, the world's leading companies, colleges and universities come to the ACM Career & Job Center to find the best candidates. By creating an account on the ACM Career and Job Center, you'll gain access to a wide range of tools to help you find the perfect job:

  • Finding a Job - Use the job search tools to find a job that matches your search criteria.
  • Create and Manage Email Alerts - Stay on top of the latest job openings. Receive an email when new jobs match your search criteria.
  • Create/Post Resumes - Get noticed by employers. Create or upload a resume with our easy-to-use tools so employer can get in touch with you.
  • View Saved Jobs - Save jobs that interest you, add notes, share with friends, and track your applies to keep on top of your job search.

For any assistance with the ACM Career and Job Center, please contact ACM's Advertising Sales Manager, Ilia Rodriguez.


Elizabeth Hawthorne Named Co-Chair of ACM Education Board

Elizabeth Hawthorne joins Chris Stephenson as Co-Chair of ACM's Education Board and Advisory Committee, to serve for the two-year term ending June 30, 2022. Hawthorne recently joined the computer science and cybersecurity faculty at Rider University and is Professor Emeritus at Union County College. Stephenson is Head of Computer Science Education Strategy at Google and is the founder and former Executive Director of the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA).


2020 Class of SIGHPC Computational and Data Science Fellows Announced

ACM's Special Interest Group on High Performance Computing (SIGHPC) has announced this year's Computational and Data Science Fellowships, which aim to boost the diversity of students pursuing graduate degrees in those fields through an annual $15,000 grant. Nominees covered disciplines ranging from biochemistry and behavioral science to engineering and geosciences, and represented large, mid-sized, and small institutions around the world. Of this year's 12 fellows, nine identify as female, and five were identified as underrepresented minorities in their countries of study.

Upcoming ACM Student Research Competitions: Submission Deadlines

ACM Student Research Competitions (SRCs), sponsored by Microsoft Research, offer a unique forum for undergraduate and graduate students to present their original research at well-known ACM sponsored and co-sponsored conferences before a panel of judges and attendees. The most recent SRC winners presented at SIGMOD 2020. The next conferences accepting submissions are:

  • SC20, November 17–19, deadline August 7
  • SPLASH 2020, November 15–20, deadline August 15

Learn more about competitions on the SRC submissions page and SRC guidelines for students.

ACM Scholarships for Women Computing Students to Attend Research Conferences

The ACM Community of Support for Women in Computing (ACM-W) provides support for women undergraduate or graduate students in computer science and related programs who wish to attend research conferences. This exposure to the computer science research world can encourage a student to continue on to the next level (Undergraduate to Graduate, Masters to Ph.D., Ph.D. to an industry or academic position). For application form, notification dates and more information, please visit the scholarships page.


About the ACM Distinguished Speakers Program

Book the speaker for your next event through the ACM Distinguished Speakers Program (DSP) and deliver compelling and insightful content to your audience. ACM will cover the cost of transportation for the speaker to travel to your event. Our program features renowned thought leaders in academia, industry and government speaking about the most important topics in the computing and IT world today. Our booking process is simple and convenient.
See ACM Distinguished Speakers in action on our flickr page.

Susan M. Zvacek is an independent consultant, speaker, and teacher, focused on cultivating learning-centered teaching in higher education. Her disciplinary interests include online learning, STEM education, and instructional design. Susan's background includes keynote addresses and workshops in the Czech Republic, Austria, Costa Rica, Estonia, Slovakia, Cyprus, England, Portugal, China, Germany, and throughout the United States. She has had two Fulbright appointments (Prague, Czech Republic and Porto, Portugal) and has 25+ years of experience in higher education including teaching, curriculum design, faculty development, and administration. She is an IEEE Distinguished Lecturer and co-author of Teaching and Learning at a Distance and Blackboard for Dummies, as well as numerous articles on topics such as course design, remote labs, and higher-order thinking.

For more information on Susan, please visit her DSP speaker information page.

ACM, IEEE Computer Society Share Distinguished Speakers Programs

IEEE-CS and ACM are sharing their invited speaker programs, to further the dissemination of technical knowledge of computing fields that greatly benefit both memberships. IEEE-CS chapter volunteers can host a speaker from ACM's Distinguished Speakers Program (DSP), with access to top technology leaders and innovators from nearly every sector of the computing industry, by following the instructions on the DSP site. Make sure you identify yourself as an IEEE Computer Society Chapter.

IEEE-CS provides a popular offering of first-quality speakers serving its professional and student chapters. The Distinguished Visitors Program (DVP) owes its success to the many volunteers and staff members of the Computer Society who generously contribute their time and talent. Organizers of an ACM chapter, conference, or event can host a speaker from IEEE-CS's DVP by following the instructions on the DVP site. Make sure you identify yourself as an ACM chapter or event.


Notice to Chapters: Submit Your Annual Reports

ACM's fiscal year is coming to a close, which means it is time to submit your ACM Annual Report. The report is for the fiscal year 2020 (July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020) and is due by August 31, 2020. To complete the report online, you must log in with your unique chapter web account. Please note, your chapter web account is entirely separate from your personal web account and should be accessible to all officers. If you are unsure of your chapter web account or need to reset the password, please follow this link:

Please also take this time to update your chapter's contact information, including your membership list (under the Chapter Members tab) and officers (under the Chapter Officers tab). You can utilize our edit features to extend memberships, update email addresses, or cancel past members who are no longer part of your chapter. Keeping your membership list current and up to date is important. It ensures that all members receive the maximum benefits they are entitled to and are kept aware of all the latest ACM happenings and resources.

Welcome New ACM Chapters

Chapters are the "local neighborhoods" of ACM. The regional ACM Professional, Student, ACM-W, and Special Interest Group (SIG) chapters around the globe involve members locally in competitions, seminars, lectures, workshops, and networking opportunities. ACM welcomes new chapters that were chartered June 10 to July 23, 2020:

ACM Student Chapters:

  • Cleveland State University ACM Student Chapter, Cleveland, Ohio
  • Federal University of Technology Minna ACM Student Chapter, Minna, Nigeria
  • GMRIT ACM-W Student Chapter, Rajam, India
  • Marymount University ACM-W Student Chapter, Arlington, Virginia
  • University of Central Florida ACM Student Chapter, Orlando

ACM Professional Chapters:

  • Hibernia ACM-W Chapter, Dublin, Ireland
  • Sydney ACM SIGCHI Chapter, Darlington, NSW, Australia


Join ACM-W's Membership Email List

Did you know that ACM-W offers a general email distribution list for its members? This ACMW-public list is a communication channel for disseminating general information about ACM-W, bulletins and upcoming events. To join the list, visit: Also read the ACM-W Connections newsletter for updates on ACM-W programs: local celebrations, scholarships and awards, chapters, and more.


Special Issue of ACM Interactions Explores HCI Design Challenges Post-COVID

The July/August issue of ACM's Interactions magazine explores the ways in which critical research and emerging practices in computer-human interaction design are being applied to address societal challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. The magazine's Editors-in-Chief Daniela Rosner, Alex Taylor and Mikael Wiberg took action in late March, foregoing planned editorial content for the issue to pursue community responses and reactions to the pandemic as they were happening. They issued a call for participation, seeking thoughts, reflections, and responses to the crisis from computing researchers, designers, scientists, and technologists from around the world. The response was immediate and extraordinary. The issue, a collection of those responses, helps answer critical questions, such as how to continue with design work and scholarship in these times; how the HCI community should adjust and react; and what might be more equitable ways of approaching design and building technologies in light of COVID-19.
Read the ACM news release.

ACM Publications Seeking New Editors-in-Chief

ACM Transactions on Autonomous and Adaptive Systems (TAAS): Nominations due August 24

ACM/IMS Transactions on Data Science (TDS): Nominations due August 31

ACM TODS, TOIS and PACM HCI Welcome New Editors-in-Chief

ACM Transactions on Database Systems (TODS) welcomes Christopher M. Jermaine as its new Editor-in-Chief for the three-year term of July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2023. Christopher is a Professor of Computer Science and Program Director of the Data Science Initiative at Rice University.

ACM Transactions on Information Systems (TOIS) welcomes Min Zhang as its new Editor-in-Chief for the three-year term of August 1, 2020, to July 31, 2023. Min is an Associate Professor in the Computer Science and Technology Department at Tsinghua University.

Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction (PACM HCI) welcomes Jeffrey Nichols as its new Editor-in-Chief, for the term August 1, 2020 to July 31, 2023. Jeffrey is a Research Scientist in the AI/ML group at Apple.

New ACM Journals Accepting Submissions

ACM Transactions on Quantum Computing (TQC) will publish original research papers and surveys on topics in quantum computing and quantum information science. Topics can include models of quantum computing, quantum algorithms and complexity, quantum computing architecture, principles and methods of fault-tolerant quantum computation, design automation for quantum computing, quantum programming languages and systems, and more.

ACM Transactions on Evolutionary Learning and Optimization (TELO) publishes high quality original papers in all areas of evolutionary computation and related areas such as population-based methods, Bayesian optimization, or swarm intelligence.

ACM Queue Presents: "The History, Status, and Future of FPGAs"

An FPGA (field-programmable gate array) is a chip that emulates the circuit that programmed it. The FPGA runs more slowly but it can be reprogrammed every few hundred milliseconds. FPGAs have been hitting a nerve in the ASIC community since their inception in the 1980s. FPGAs support AXI buses, which make them easier to program but also introduce enormous inefficiencies and make FPGAs less performant and ultimately much less competitive. As we forego optimization in order to make FPGAs easier to program, the performance of FPGAs will be reduced so they are no longer competitive with CPUs, which will always be easier to program.
Read the article in ACM Queue.

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