ACM MemberNet - April 29, 2021

Welcome to the April 2021 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.

April 29, 2021
















Scott Aaronson Receives 2020 ACM Prize in Computing

ACM has named Scott Aaronson of the University of Texas at Austin the recipient of the 2020 ACM Prize in Computing for groundbreaking contributions to quantum computing.

Aaronson showed how results from computational complexity theory can provide new insights into the laws of quantum physics, and brought clarity to what quantum computers will, and will not, be able to do. He helped develop the concept of quantum supremacy, which denotes the milestone that is achieved when a quantum device can solve a problem that no classical computer can solve in a reasonable amount of time. His quantum supremacy experiments allow scientists to give convincing evidence that quantum computers provide exponential speedups, without having to first build a full fault-tolerant quantum computer.

Aaronson is the David J. Bruton Jr. Centennial Professor of Computer Science at the University of Texas at Austin.

The ACM Prize in Computing recognizes early-to-mid-career contributions that have fundamental impact and broad implications. The award carries a prize of $250,000, from an endowment provided by Infosys Ltd.
Read the ACM news release.

Michael Franz Receives ACM Thacker Breakthrough Award

ACM has named Michael Franz of the University of California, Irvine the recipient of the 2020 ACM Charles P. “Chuck” Thacker Breakthrough in Computing Award. Franz is recognized for the development of just-in-time compilation techniques that enable fast and feature-rich web services on the internet.

Every day, millions of people around the world use online applications such as Gmail and Facebook. These web applications would not have been possible without the groundbreaking compilation technique Franz developed in the mid-1990s.

Franz is a Chancellor's Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of California, Irvine, where he also directs the Secure Systems and Software Laboratory.

The ACM Charles P. “Chuck” Thacker Breakthrough in Computing Award recognizes individuals or groups who have made surprising, disruptive, or leapfrog contributions to computing ideas or technologies. Recipients of the award are expected to give the ACM Breakthrough Lecture at a major ACM conference. The award is accompanied by a $100,000 cash prize, with financial support provided by Microsoft.
Read the ACM news release.

Jack Minker, Multiple ACM Award Recipient and Fellow, Dies

Jack Minker, professor emeritus and founding chair of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Maryland, died on April 9, at the age of 93. Minker is known for his pioneering work in artificial intelligence, deductive databases, logic programming and nonmonotonic reasoning, and for his human rights advocacy for scientists around the world. An ACM Fellow, Minker received the Outstanding Contribution to ACM Award and the ACM/AAAI Allen Newell Award.
Read the obituary.

ACM Focus, a New Way to Explore and Interact with ACM Content

ACM Focus is a new way to explore the breadth and variety of ACM content, and to stay current with the latest trends in your technical community. ACM Focus consists of a set of AI-curated custom feeds by subject, each serving up a focused set of the latest relevant ACM content. These high-level subject-based feeds of original and curated content provide overall awareness of relevant ACM activities, people, talks and a variety of published works. Current topic areas are Artificial Intelligence; Information Systems; the Web; Society and the Computing Profession; Applied Computing; Graphics and Computer-Aided Design; Networks and Communications; Architecture; Hardware; Human-Computer Interaction; Security and Privacy; Software Engineering and Programming Languages; and Computational Theory. The feeds are built in an automated fashion and are refined as the user interacts with them.

Discover the latest "ACM Selects," Shortlists of Learning Resources Curated by Experts

ACM Selects are themed shortlists curated by subject matter experts for both serious and emerging computing professionals, with the goal of providing new ways to discover relevant resources, either through ACM or authenticated by ACM-affiliated specialists. The latest Selects cover Getting Started with Networks and People in Computing #7: Women in Hardware and Programming Languages.


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.

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 Past President and former Awards Committee Chair Cherri Pancake's article in Communications of the ACM, "Dispelling Common Myths about ACM Awards and Honors."

The deadline for nominations for the main awards has passed. Other deadlines: ACM-IEEE CS George Michael Memorial HPC Fellowship, May 1; ACM-IEEE CS Ken Kennedy Award, June 15.


Call for ACM Senior and Distinguished Member 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 June 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.


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:


ACM/IEEE Presidential Panel on the Future of Computing, May 6

A May 6 panel convened by ACM and IEEE will discuss the computing profession's state in the world today and its future outlook. The panel focuses on the many challenges of computational science, computer science education, and how information technology affects society, industry, and academia. Panelists will include ACM President Gabriele Kotsis; ACM Turing Award Laureate Barbara Liskov; ACM Fellows Nuria Oliver and Ricardo Baeza-Yates; and Communications of the ACM Senior Editor Moshe Y. Vardi. Registration is required. The panel will be broadcast via Twitch.

CHI 2021, May 8 to 13

The ACM Conference on Human-Computer Interaction will include workshops on automation in the workplace; an HCI system for space exploration; disability design in low-resource settings; HCI design for aging populations; dark patterns; migration and mobility in HCI; human aspects of online misinformation; and much more. Chieko Asakawa (Carnegie Mellon University) and Ruha Benjamin (Princeton University) will keynote on accessibility and equity issues.

CPS-IoT Week 2021, May 18 to 21

CPS-IoT Week is the premier event on cyber-physical systems and Internet-of-Things research. It brings together five top conferences, multiple workshops, tutorials, competitions and various exhibitions from both industry and academia. The program covers many complementary aspects of CPS, and reunites leading researchers in this dynamic field. Matt Welsh (OctoML), Bruno Sinopoli (Washington University in St. Louis) and Rupak Majumdar (Max Planck Institute for Software Systems) will deliver keynotes.

AIES 2021, May 19 to 21

The AAAI/ACM Conference on AI, Ethics, and Society features a multidisciplinary approach to ethical concerns and challenges in AI regarding issues such as privacy, safety and security, surveillance, inequality, data handling and bias, personal agency, power relations, regulation, workforce displacement, and more. Scheduled keynote speakers are Ifeoma Ajunwa Associate Professor, UNC Law and Founding Director, AI Decision-Making Research Program; and Timnit Gebru, Co-Founder, Black in AI.

SIGSIM PADS 2021, May 31 to June 2

The flagship conference of ACM's Special Interest Group on Simulation and Modeling, ACM SIGSIM Conference on Principles of Advanced Discrete Simulation has broadened its scope beyond its origins in parallel and distributed simulation and now encompasses virtually all research that lies at the intersection of the computer science and the modeling and simulation fields. Keynotes will be delivered by Jon C. Kline (MITRE Corp.) and C. Donald Combs (Eastern Virginia Medical School).

PEARC 2021, July 18 to 22: Call for Participation

The Practice & Experience in Advanced Research Computing Conference invites technical content proposals, especially in the areas of three technical tracks: Workforce Development, Training, Diversity, and Education; Applications and Software; and Systems and System Software. Panels and BoFs are due May 9. Posters are due May 16. For more deadlines and information, please visit the PEARC submissions page.


ACM Europe TPC Comments on Digital Services Act and Digital Green Certificates

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

The ACM Europe Technology Policy Committee recently provided input in two significant proceedings in the European Commission and the European Parliament. In response to the Commission's formal consultation on the new Digital Services Act (DSA), which would redefine the obligations of online content platforms to identify and remove disinformation subject to audit by "vetted researchers," the Comments filed by Europe TPC offered two key observations:

  • "[t]he success of the DSA will depend upon the ability of platforms and other regulated entities to successfully deploy automated content moderation system. …[Accordingly, their] "inherent limitations and biases…must be fully understood and appropriately safeguarded against in legislation if such systems are to be used to maximum and accurately predictable effect;" and
  • "large numbers of otherwise qualified researchers should not inadvertently or by design be prevented from qualifying as 'vetted researchers' by overly restrictive or imprecisely drafted provisions governing the secure storage of platform data received."

The Committee also submitted a formal Statement on the Development and Deployment of Digital Green Certificates to the Chair of the European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) prior to its hearing on the European Commission's Proposal regarding "Digital Green Certificates." European authorities are currently and rapidly attempting to develop an internationally interoperable travel document in both paper and electronic form before the upcoming European holiday season. The Europe TPC Statement recommends that the European Union:

  • work with the World Health Organization to develop an international Public Key Directory (PKD), rather than an EU standard;
  • develop Certificate technology and policy to ensure that information disclosure is proportionate to the immediate need for that information;
  • prioritize the protection of EU citizens from "data inference"; and
  • maximally limit Certificate data retention.

This Statement was also shared with the Chair of the intra-Parliament Science and Technology Options Assessment Panel, with which Europe TPC is seeking to establish an advisory relationship.

To learn more about upcoming programs and the work of ACM's Technology Policy groups, follow @ACMpolicy, @USTPC, and @EuropeTPC on Twitter. If you're interested in contributing to the work of ACM's Europe or US Technology Policy Committees, email [email protected].

Award-Winning Documentary, "Coded Bias," Focus of TPC Panel Discussion

"From Coded Bias to Algorithmic Fairness: How do we get there?," a panel discussion among ACM Technology Policy Council (TPC) members and guest experts, was presented in late March by TPC Chair Lorraine Kisselburgh of Purdue University and TPC member and moderator Jeanna Matthews of Clarkson University. Convened to discuss the award-winning documentary, "Coded Bias," and the professional and technical issues it raises, the panel featured Ada Lovelace Institute Chair Wendy Hall (ACM Europe TPC member), Harvard University professor Latanya Sweeney (TPC member), and Northeastern professor Ricardo Baeza-Yates (ACM USTPC member), as well as the Hon. Bernice Donald of the Sixth Circuit US Court of Appeals. A complete recording of the panel, together with more on the participants' backgrounds, has been archived. "Coded Bias" (which was made available to registrants to stream at no charge prior to the panel) is now viewable on both PBS and Netflix.


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.

Need to get out of the house? ACM is pleased to offer exclusive hotel, car rental and entertainment discounts to our members through Local Hospitality. Save time and money on your next trip by visiting the ACM Travel Discount Program page.

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 Luis von Ahn

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 Luis von Ahn, co-founder and CEO of Duolingo and an ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award recipient.

Watch ACM TechTalk on Democratizing AI with Michelle Zhou

Watch the ACM TechTalk, Democratizing AI: Creating Cognitive AI Assistants with No Coding, presented on April 13 by ACM Distinguished Member Michelle Zhou, Co-founder and CEO of Juji, Inc. Learn more on this topic by visiting 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.


Apply Now for Computational and Data Science Fellowships and George Michael Memorial Fellowships

ACM SIGHPC Computational and Data Science Fellowships

If you are a graduate student in data science and computational science, you are encouraged to apply for the ACM SIGHPC Computational and Data Science Fellowships, an international program of graduate fellowships created by SIGHPC, ACM's Special Interest Group on High Performance Computing, and Intel. The ACM Fellowships aim to increase diversity in these fields.

To qualify, you must be either currently enrolled in a graduate program or accepted to begin in one no later than October 15 of this year; pursuing a graduate degree (Master's, PhD, or equivalent) in computational or data science; be less than halfway through her/his planned program of study; and a be woman and/or a member of a racial/ethnic group that is currently underrepresented in the computing field in the country where you will earn the degree.

The deadline for applications is April 30. Each fellowship recipient will receive a stipend prior to the start of their first academic term after August 1, and will be recognized formally at the annual SC conference awards presentation in November.

ACM-IEEE-CS George Michael Memorial HPC Fellowships
The ACM-IEEE-CS George Michael Memorial HPC Fellowships honor exceptional PhD students throughout the world whose research focus is on high performance computing applications, networking, storage, or large-scale data analysis using the most powerful computers that are currently available. The awards are presented each November at the annual SC conference, where the recipients are recognized at the SC Awards Ceremony. Each fellowship is accompanied by an honorarium of $5,000 plus travel expenses to attend the conference.

Candidates must be enrolled in a full-time PhD program at an accredited college or university and must meet the minimum scholastic requirements at their institution. They are expected to have completed at least one year of study, and have at least one year remaining between the application deadline and their expected graduation.

Nominations are due May 1.

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 CGO 2021. The next conferences accepting submissions are:

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.

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. For more information, visit the Reasons to Transition to Professional Membership 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.

Heena Rathore is an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio. While a Tata Consultancy Services Research Scholar at Indian Institute of Technology, she earned her PhD in Computer Science and Engineering. She has published more than 30 papers in journals and conferences, and has served as a reviewer for ACM and IEEE journal and conference papers. An IEEE Senior Member, Heena's research interests include cyber-physical systems, deep learning, machine learning, security, cryptocurrency, distributed systems, wireless networks biologically inspired systems and software defined networks.

For more information on Heena, 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.


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 March 15 to April 12, 2021:

ACM Student Chapters:

  • ADU ACM Student Chapter, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
  • Angelo State University ACM Student Chapter, San Angelo, Texas
  • BITS Pilani Goa ACM Student Chapter, Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Goa, India
  • CUET ACM Student Chapter, Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology, Chittagong, Bangladesh
  • IIPS ACM Student Chapter, International Institute of Professional Studies, Indore, India
  • KFUEIT ACM Student Chapter, Khwaja Fareed University of Engineering and Information Technology, Rahimyar Khan, Pakistan
  • Sinhgad Institute of Technology ACM Student Chapter, Pune, India
  • SSET ACM Student Chapter, SCMS School of Engineering and Technology, Ernakulam, Kerala, India

ACM Professional Chapters:

  • China ACM SIGBED Chapter, Beijing
  • Yangon ACM Chapter, Yangon, Myanmar


ACM-W's Webinar Series Celebrates Women in Computing

By highlighting successful technical women who are leading diverse careers in the technology industry, ACM-W’s webinar series, Celebrating Technology Leaders, aims to inform students and early-career professionals about the multitude of career options open to them. Previous webinars featured ACM-W's work to support, celebrate and advocate for women in computing; tech entrepreneurship; UI/UX; data; and robotics. To watch the recorded webinars, visit the YouTube playlist.

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.


ACM Computing Surveys Increases Issue Frequency

Due to the considerable growth in submissions and publication of ACM Computing Surveys (CSUR), the number of CSUR issues published yearly will increase from six to nine. The change will take effect with Volume 54 in 2022. CSUR's comprehensive, readable surveys and tutorial papers give guided tours through the literature and explain topics to those who seek to learn the basics of areas outside their specialties in an accessible way.

ACM TOCL, TIST Seeking New Editors-in-Chief

ACM Transactions on Computational Logic (TOCL): nominations due May 7.

ACM Transactions on Intelligent Systems and Technology (TIST): nominations due May 20.

ACM Queue Presents: "WebRTC—Realtime Communication for the Open Web Platform"

During the pandemic, the world has turned to internet-based realtime communication (RTC) as never before. The number of RTC products has grown because of cheaper high-speed network access and more powerful devices, but also because of an open, royalty-free platform called WebRTC. Authors Niklas Blum, Serge Lachapelle, and Harald Alvestrand of Google discuss how WebRTC is growing from enabling useful experiences to its essential role in allowing billions to continue their work and education.

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