ACM MemberNet - August 26, 2021

Welcome to the August 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.

August 26, 2021















Call for Nominations for Fran Allen Mentorship Award

ACM announces a new award that highlights the value of mentoring in the development of computing professionals. The ACM Frances E. Allen Award for Outstanding Mentoring emphasizes contributions in mentoring students and young professionals from diverse communities. Please consider nominating a deserving individual for this unique award that promotes diversity in computing. Nominations are due December 15.

2021 ACM SIGGRAPH Election Results

The 2021 ACM SIGGRAPH Election concluded on August 13. The following officers were elected for the term September 1, 2021 – August 31, 2024:

  • Director A: Masa Inakage (Keio University Graduate School of Media Design)
  • Director B: Barbara Mones (University of Washington)
  • Director C: Brad Lawrence (Kennedy Space Center)

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 Select covers 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 is December 15, 2021. Other deadlines: Gordon Bell Special Prize for High Performance Computing-Based COVID-19 Research: October 8; Doctoral Dissertation: October 31 (for dissertations being translated into English: November 30).


Call for ACM Senior 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.

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 Membership within the last 10 years. The deadline for nominations is September 7.


AI for Good Global Summit 2021 (online), continuous digital event

The 2021 edition of the AI for Good Global Summit is a continuous digital event, featuring weekly programming across multiple formats, platforms and time zones, including keynotes, expert webinars, project pitches, Q&As, performances, demos, interviews, networking and more. Upcoming highlights include presentations on AI and climate science, health, and data, and a keynote on "The EU's Artificial Intelligence Act: How will it impact your life and business?".

Tapia 2021, September 14 to 18 (online)

The ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing features panels, workshops, poster sessions, networking opportunities and a career fair. Tapia will bring together undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, researchers, and professionals in computing from all backgrounds and ethnicities. Plenary speakers are Omar U. Flórez (Twitter Cortex); Jenny Lay-Flurrie (Microsoft); NASA astronaut John B. Herrington; and Cecelia Aragon (University of Washington).

HLF 2021, September 20 to 23 (online)

The 2021 Heidelberg Laureate Forum will introduce new components, including the laureate debate and speed-networking. The timely Hot Topic for this year is “Spread of Infectious Diseases.” As in past HLFs, many of the laureate lectures will be delivered by ACM A.M. Turing Award and ACM Prize recipients, such as Vint Cerf and Daphne Koller. Workshops will include a pitch session to science news and magazine editors, and panel discussions will cover "The Scientific Vocation Revisited" and other topics.

UbiComp 2021, September 21 to 26 (online)

The 2021 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing will feature workshops on mental health; emotion sensing; pervasive systems; ubiquitous health monitoring; computing for well being; and more. UbiComp is collocated with the ACM International Symposium on Wearable Computers (ISWC), which includes a design exhibition and student competition.

womENcourage 2021, September 22 to 24 (online)

womENcourage 2021 will be virtually hosted by czechitas in Prague, Czech Republic. Keynote speakers and panel discussions will include Jaya Balloo (Avast), Justine Sass (UNESCO), Margaret-Anne Storey (University of Victoria) and Danica Kragic (Royal Institute of Technology). Conference participants can attend ask-me-anything sessions with some of the speakers, workshops, tutorials, a hackathon and a career fair.

RecSys 2021, September 27 to October 1, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (hybrid)

The 15th ACM Conference on Recommender Systems will be a hybrid in-person/virtual event, with sessions livestreamed and recorded for remote access. Workshops will cover topics including Graph Neural Networks for Recommendation and Search, News Recommendation and Analytics, Podcast Recommendations, Recommender Systems for Human Resources, and much more. Industry talks will feature a wide range of speakers from AstraZenica to Salesforce.

MMSys 2021, September 28 to October 1, Istanbul, Turkey (hybrid)

The ACM Multimedia Systems Conference provides a forum for researchers to present and share their latest research findings in multimedia systems. Sessions will cover Detecting Cheapfakes; Multimedia in Outdoor and Mobile Environments; video streaming technologies; and much more. Keynotes will be delivered by Caitlin Kalinowski (Facebook), Chris Bregler (Google), and Sriram Sethuraman and Deepthi Nandakumar (Amazon Prime Video).


USTPC Statement Promotes Principles for Remote Testing Administration Software

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

Just in time to leverage renewed policymaker and public focus as millions of children return for a second year of pandemic-dictated schooling, both at home and in the classroom, ACM's US Technology Policy Committee has crafted and released a Statement on Principles for Secure Remote Test Administration (or RTA) software. Such systems are intended to permit enrolled students and other individuals taking tests to complete them by computer in their homes or other non-institutional settings by “proctoring” (i.e., monitoring) test-takers to detect unauthorized conduct.

In practice, however, serious questions have been raised publicly about the accuracy of claims that these systems can reliably detect cheating; bias in their algorithms that produce false results often disproportionately among test-takers of color; whether economically disadvantaged test-takers are effectively precluded unfairly from participating in classes whose exams are monitored by RTA systems; and whether the data collected by such systems is appropriate and can be kept safe by RTA vendors and academic institutions.

The Statement, conceived and initially drafted by University of Washington undergraduate and USTPC student member Christopher Kang, has proven to be extremely timely. It was approved for release just days after news broke of a data breach at the University of Kentucky traced to its RTA software that compromised the personal data of more than 350,000 people. The release also came the day before a committee at the University of Texas at Austin publicly advised against using AI software to oversee students' online tests.

USTPC Commends Watershed Algorithms Statement and ACM Code of Ethics to OSTP and NIST

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

In an unusual confluence of policy proceedings, ACM USTPC took advantage of two opportunities since the July issue of MemberNet to commend its most-cited policy, Statement on Algorithmic Transparency and Accountability, as well as ACM’s benchmark Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, to two important federal science policy arms. The first of these submissions was made jointly in late July with the Computing Research Association in response to a Request for Information to Improve Federal Scientific Integrity Policies by the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), a proceeding intended “to help improve the effectiveness of Federal scientific integrity policies to enhance public trust in science.”

The second filing, Comments to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, in the first stages of a docket to develop an Artificial Intelligence Risk Management Framework (AI RMF), was made in mid-August. According to NIST, responses to its Request for Information “will help NIST draft… a guidance document for voluntary use intended to help technology developers, users and evaluators improve the trustworthiness of AI systems. The draft AI RMF will answer a direction from Congress for NIST to develop the framework, and it also forms part of NIST’s response to the February 2019 Executive Order on Maintaining American Leadership in AI. NIST also emphasized in its RFI that there will be multiple future opportunities for further input, including “open, public workshops, along with other forms of outreach and feedback.”

Europe TPC Weighs in on Proposed European Commission Artificial Intelligence Regulations

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

Several years in the making, last April the European Commission opened a formal consultation seeking broad public comment on a Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council Laying Down Harmonised Rules on Artificial Intelligence. The ACM Europe Technology Policy Committee responded in early August with Comments produced by a working group of members led by Alejandro Saucedo and Committee Chair Chris Hankin. Among other more technical points, the Committee urged the Commission to amend its proposed regulations to better protect public health, safety, and privacy; leverage universal Informatics education to close the current profound European "skills gap" in its workforce; and, in the process, assure that the workforce of the future is both diverse and AI-literate.

Connect with ACM's Tech Policy Groups!

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, please email [email protected].


ACM Congratulates Our Grand Prize Winners and Top Ambassadors

ACM congratulates Neil Croll, Lead Enterprise Architect at ON Semiconductor, who won the 2020-2021 Ambassadors for ACM Grand Prize, a Google Pixel Slate. Winning the 2nd Grand Prize (Apple AirPods Pro) was Vagisha Jain, Executive Board Member, UPES ACM and ACM-W Student Chapters, University of Petroleum and Energy Studies.

ACM also recognizes our top Ambassadors for the final three months of the program year:

  • April: Neil Croll
  • May: Kavitha S Murugesan
  • June: Bhaumik Bharat Shah

These members also received gifts from ACM acknowledging their initiative in sharing the importance of ACM's valuable programs, such as career development and continuous learning, with others.

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 access to Communications of the ACM, eBooks and videos, an online courses program featuring in-demand skills and certifications, and the Digital Library, ACM offers more tools than ever to empower our members to succeed in the computing field. The Ambassador program offers opportunities to earn new prizes, rewards and bonus gifts with each referral.

Learn more about rules, recruitment tips and tools, and prizes.

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.

A sense of wanderlust has been building…it's only natural that we want to explore new places after so much time at home. 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 Ayanna Howard

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 Ayanna Howard, Dean of the College of Engineering at The Ohio State University and founder and President of the Board of Directors of Zyrobotics.

Watch ACM TechTalk with ACM Prize Recipient Scott Aaronson

Watch the ACM TechTalk, Quantum Computational Supremacy, to be presented on Thursday, September 9 at 12 PM EDT by Scott Aaronson, a Computer Science Professor at the University of Texas at Austin and 2020 ACM Prize in Computing Recipient.

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.


2021 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 mathematics and astrophysics to chemical engineering and agriculture, and represented large, mid-sized, and small institutions around the world. Of this year's 11 fellows, 73% identify as female, and 91% are 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 SIGMETRICS 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.


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.

Athena Vakali is Professor of the Informatics Department at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, where she leads the Data and Web Science Research Lab. Athena has served as Program Chair for the IEEE/WIC/ACM International Conference on Web Intelligence since 2019. She is a founding member of the Greek ACM-W Chapter and a mentor of the AUTH ACM-W Student Chapter at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

For more information on Athena, please visit her DSP speaker information page and read her People of ACM interview.

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.


Reminder to Chapters: Submit Annual Reports by August 31

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 2021 (July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021) and is due by August 31, 2021. To complete the report online, you must log in with your unique chapter web account at

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:

If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact [email protected].

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 August 10, 2021:

ACM Student Chapters:

  • Carleton University ACM-W Student Chapter, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • CSUF ACM SIGGRAPH Student Chapter, California State University, Fullerton
  • Farmingdale State College ACM Student Chapter, Farmingdale, New York
  • IIT Jodhpur ACM Student Chapter, Indian Institute of Technology, Jodhpur
  • MUJ ACM SIGBED Student Chapter, Manipal University Jaipur, India
  • OIST ACM Student Chapter, Oriental Institute of Science & Technology, Bhopal, India
  • TINT ACM Student Chapter, Techno International Newtown, Kolkata, India

ACM Professional Chapters:

  • Darwin ACM SIGCHI Chapter, Parap, Australia
  • Hangzhou ACM Chapter, Hangzhou, China
  • La Paz ACM Chapter, La Paz, Bolivia
  • Tehran ACM Chapter, Tehran, Iran


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. The latest episode featured "Tech Returnships for Women" on August 18; previous webinars featured tech entrepreneurship, UI/UX, data, robotics and cybersecurity. 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 Signs Open Access Publishing Agreement with Virginia Consortium

ACM has entered into an open access agreement with VIVA, the academic library consortium of Virginia. The agreement covers both access to, and open access publication in, ACM’s journals, proceedings and magazines for more than 50 educational institutions, including major centers of research such as Virginia Tech, The University of Virginia, and George Mason University. The license represents ACM’s largest such agreement by number of institutions to date. Under the new agreement, which runs until the end of 2024, faculty and students of all participating universities will receive unlimited and unrestricted access to all articles in the ACM Digital Library. Read the ACM news release.

ACM, BCS to Publish Formal Aspects of Computing Journal

ACM and BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT will co-publish the journal Formal Aspects of Computing starting in 2022. Currently published by Springer Nature for BCS, the journal's scope includes fundamental computational concepts, fault-tolerant design, theorem-proving support, state-exploration tools, formal underpinning of widely-used notations and methods, history of formal methods, and more. With the new agreement, the journal will transition to Gold Open Access status. Read the ACM news release.

Distributed Ledger Technologies: Research and Practice: Call for Papers

The new ACM journal Distributed Ledger Technologies: Research and Practice (DLT) seeks to publish high quality, interdisciplinary research on the research and development, real-world deployment, and/or evaluation of distributed ledger technologies, e.g., blockchain, cryptocurrency, and smart contract. DLT will offer original research work and innovative practice-driven advancements by DLT experts and researchers from academia and public- and private-sector organizations. For more information see the Call for Papers or email [email protected].

ACM Queue Presents: "Real-world String Comparison"

In his article for ACM Queue, Torsten Ullrich, a researcher at Fraunhofer Austria Research GmbH, explains the proper ways to correctly handle Unicode sequences. String comparison can be a pitfall for beginners in many languages, and Unicode can be even more challenging. The comparison of two strings for equality often raises questions concerning the difference between comparison by value, comparison of object references, strict equality, and loose equality. But the most important aspect is semantic equivalence, which requires a normalization of the strings before comparing them.

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