ACM Elects New Leaders Committed to Expanding International Initiatives

ACM Elects New Leaders Committed to Expanding International Initiatives

New Officers Pledge to Extend ACM's Online Presence and Continue to Improve Health of the Computing Field

The Association for Computing Machinery
Advancing Computing as a Science & Profession

Contact: Virginia Gold

 Printable PDF


NEW YORK, June 9, 2010 – The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) today announced the election of Alain Chesnais as president for a two-year term beginning July 1.  Chesnais, who heads Visual Transitions, a Toronto-based consulting company, said his goal as president is to strengthen ACM’s presence in China and India and to expand its online presence to serve the needs of the next generation of computing practitioners, educators, researchers, and students.  Also elected to two-year terms were Vice President Barbara Ryder, of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and Secretary-Treasurer Alexander L. Wolf of Imperial College London UK.  In addition, Members-at-Large elected to four-year terms include Vinton Cerf, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist at Google, and Salil Vadhan, the Vicky Joseph Professor of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics, and Director of the Center for Research on Computation and Society at Harvard University.             

The new officers elected by ACM professional members represent the more than 97,000 computing professionals and students who comprise ACM’s international membership.  They pledged to continue ACM’s increasing involvement in initiatives aimed at ensuring the health of the computing discipline and advancing the profession worldwide. Within the past year, ACM’s leaders established councils in Europe and India to strengthen ties in these regions and raise awareness of its many benefits and resources among the public and local decision-makers.  ACM also led federal and state initiatives to establish the first Computer Science Education Week, and formed a partnership with WGBH, funded by a National Science Foundation grant, to attract young college-bound women to computing, known as Dot Diva.              

Chesnais, a French citizen now residing in Canada, has made international expansion a priority for ACM during his term, with an emphasis on changes to the chapters program designed to increase ACM’s worldwide presence.  First introduced to ACM through the annual SIGGRAPH conference more than 20 years ago, he joined the local SIGGRAPH chapter in Paris, and volunteered for a variety of responsibilities with SIGGRAPH and ACM through the years.  As president, he plans to apply his experience with social networking sites to expand ACM’s online presence and facilitate the exchange of ideas and information among members.  

Chesnais has more than 20 years of management experience in the software industry, with a recent focus on 3D social media.  He founded Visual Transitions, which specializes in computer graphics and social networks. Formerly chief technology officer at SceneCaster, he served as director of engineering at Alias|Wavefront on the team that received a technical award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for developing the Maya 3D software package.  Prior to his election as ACM president, he was vice president from July 2008 – June 2010 as well as secretary/treasurer from July 2006 – June 2008.  He also served as president of ACM SIGGRAPH (Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques) from July 2002 – June 2005, and as SIG Governing Board Chair from July 2000 – June 2002. 

            Download an audio interview with Alain Chesnais in which he shares his passion for ACM and tells how members can make a difference in the field of Computer Science.

Barbara Ryder, Head of the Department of Computer Science in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, indicated her determination to maintain ACM’s strong voice on technology issues affecting public policy worldwide.  She urges expanded support for computing education from K–12 through college and postgraduate levels, and advocated additional support for the Special Interest Groups and more meetings outside of North America.  Ryder, who was ACM secretary/treasurer from 2008 – 2010, chaired the Federated Computing Research Conference (FCRC) in 2003, and ACM’s Special Interest Group on Programming Languages (SIGPLAN).  She was named a Fellow of ACM in 1998 for her seminal contributions to interprocedural compile-time analysis.  The first woman to serve as a department head in the nationally ranked College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, Ryder was previously a professor of computer science at Rutgers University. 

In his recent roles as chair of the ACM SIG Governing Board and ACM Council member, Alexander Wolf, a professor of computing at Imperial College London, has helped to reshape ACM as a key player in advancing the computing discipline. He was instrumental in nurturing the formation of conferences and SIGs that represent new areas of computing, helping ACM members enhance computing’s role in driving innovation. Named an ACM Fellow in 2006, Wolf is a Chartered Fellow of the British Computer Society and holds a UK Royal Society-Wolfson Research Merit Award.  He currently serves on the newly formed ACM Europe Council, and chairs the ACM Software System Award Committee.


About ACM

ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession’s collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.