ACM in the News 2020

"Gift from Ann S. Bowers '59 Creates New College of Computing and Information Science"
Cornell Chronicle, December 17, 2020
Bowers' gift "will propel Cornell to lead the way in addressing the technological and societal challenges of our time," said ACM SIGGRAPH 2020 Computer Graphics Achievement Award recipient Kavita Bala.

"Norman Abramson, Pioneer Behind Wireless Networks, Dies at 88"
The New York Times, December 11, 2020
"It was an incredibly audacious idea, real out-of-the-box engineering," said Google Chief Internet Evangelist and former ACM president Vinton Cerf, of Abramson's ALOHAnet wireless network.

"Researchers Receive Hall of Fame Award for Seminal Paper on Smartphone Security"
Penn State News, December 7, 2020
ACM's Special Interest Group on Operating Systems (SIGOPS) named a multi-institutional research team to receive a Hall of Fame Award for a 2010 paper that detailed how smartphone applications use personal data.

"Gordon Bell Special Prize for COVID-19 Research Announced"
UC San Diego, November 20, 2020

"UC San Diego Leads Research that Earns Gordon Bell Special Prize"
UC San Diego, November 19, 2020
The authors built an artificial intelligence-based workflow to more efficiently model the SARS-CoV-2's spike protein, and scaled it to Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Summit supercomputer.

"Gordon Bell Special Prize Goes to Massive SARS CoV2 Simulations"
HPCWire, November 19, 2020

"Gordon Bell Prize Winners Leverage Machine Learning for Molecular Dynamics"
Next Platform, November 23, 2020

"Gordon Bell Prize Winner Breaks Ground in AI-Infused Ab Initio Simulation"
HPCWire, November 20, 2020

"Is facial recognition too biased to be let loose?"
Nature, November 18, 2020
ACM US Tech Policy Committee statement on facial recognition referenced.

"The ‘Most Secure’ U.S. Election Was Not Without Problems"
Government Technology, November 16, 2020
Former ACM President Barbara Simons suggests that increased transparency and more dedicated investment in auditable machinery should be prioritized.

"Blockchain voting is the alternative for trusted democratic elections"
Cointelegraph, November 14, 2020
ACM USTPC Vice Chair Jeremy Epstein co-authored electoral security report, “Email and Internet Voting: The Overlooked Threat to Election Security.”

"CS Education Still Not in Majority of U.S. Schools”
eSchool News, November 13, 2020
Research by, the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA), and the Expanding Computing Education Pathways Alliance indicates that fewer than half of US schools are teaching computer science. ACM founded CSTA and is a partner in

"4 Teams Using ORNL's Summit Supercomputer Named Finalists for 2020 Gordon Bell Prize"
HPC Wire, November 11, 2020
Four projects named by ACM as finalists for the 2020 ACM Gordon Bell Prize for outstanding high-performance computing achievement used the IBM AC922 Summit supercomputer at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

"NHS Signs Up for Tim Berners-Lee Pilot to Reinvent Web"
Financial Times, November 9, 2020
The UK's National Health Service is one of more than a dozen partners that have signed up for a pilot program of Inrupt, a company founded by World Wide Web inventor and 2016 ACM A.M. Turing Award recipient Tim Berners-Lee to promote a new web data architecture. Note: subscription required

"Big Tech Snags Hollywood Talent to Pursue Enhanced Reality"
The Wall Street Journal, November 3, 2020
Academy Award-winning visual-effects artist Paul Debevec at the University of Southern California helped design the Life Stage, perhaps the most refined device for capturing digital scans of humans for animation. Debevec was recognized by ACM SIGGRAPH with its first Significant New Researcher Award. Note: subscription required

"'Sneakernet' Helps Election Officials Process Results"
The Wall Street Journal, November 3, 2020
Former ACM President Barbara Simons says any electronic method comes with the potential for mistakes or abuse, such as software bugs that might give a vote to candidate A when it should have gone to candidate B.

"Turing Award for Computer Scientists: More Inclusiveness Needed"
IEEE Spectrum, November 2, 2020
National Tsing Hua University (Taiwan) professor argues ACM’s Turing Award needs to recognize more geographic/ethnic diversity.

"Taking Back Our Privacy"
The New Yorker, October 26, 2020
ACM A.M. Turing Award recipients Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman's dual cryptographic key system revolutionized encryption technology; ACM Prize in Computing recipient Dan Boneh also mentioned. Note: paid registration may be required.

"Translating Lost Languages Using ML"
MIT News, October 21, 2020
ACM member Regina Barzilay and Jiaming Luo (both of MIT) developed a decipherment algorithm that can segment words in an ancient language and map them to words in related languages.

"Experts: Florida Voting Machines Ripe for Foreign Hackers"
Government Technology, October 16, 2020
ACM Fellow Andrew Appel of Princeton University said a hacker could penetrate a border router from the internet or by walking near a polling place with a Stingray, a portable device that can capture data by mimicking a cellphone tower.

"Deep Learning Gives Drug Design Boost"
Rice University, October 5, 2020
ACM Fellow and multiple ACM award recipient Lydia Kavraki and colleagues unveiled Metabolite Translator, a computational tool that predicts the production of metabolites, the results of interactions between small molecules like drugs and enzymes.

"AI Could Expand Healing with Bioscaffolds"
Rice University, September 21, 2020
ACM Fellow and multiple ACM award recipient Lydia Kavraki said, "We were able to give feedback on which [printing] parameters are most likely to affect the quality of printing, so when they continue their experimentation, they can focus on some parameters and ignore the others."

"New Technologies Shaping Today’s Big Data World"
Big Data Quarterly, September 11, 2020
Big Data “is like oil in our new era, and machine learning is the technique to turn raw oil into gas and many powerful products,” said Jian Pei, Chair of the ACM Special Interest Group on Knowledge Discovery from Data (SIGKDD) and professor at Simon Fraser University.

"USPS blockchain voting patent not ready for primetime, experts say"
Decrypt, August 18, 2020
ACM USTPC Vice Chair Jeremy Epstein says the patent application “attempts to cover every conceivable voting architecture with a blockchain in it (and any kind of blockchain), with the result that it recommends no specific architecture at all.”

"Mockapetris Receives ACM Software System Award"
USC Viterbi School of Engineering, August 27, 2020
Mockapetris received the award for development of the Domain Name System (DNS) while working at the University of Southern California's Information Sciences Institute.

"USC ISI Researchers Honored for Contributions to Networking Simulator"
USC Viterbi News, August 13, 2020
The ACM Special Interest Group on Data Communications (SIGCOMM) named researchers from the University of Southern California's Information Sciences Institute to receive the 2020 Networking Systems Award.

"Facebook's AI Chief Pushes The Technology's Limits"
The Wall Street Journal, August 13, 2020
2018 ACM A.M. Turing Award recipient Yann LeCun is one of a handful of scientists at companies and universities world-wide training artificial intelligence to better learn by itself.

"AI-Driven Cacophonic Choir Amplifies Voices of Sexual Assault Survivors"
CNet, August 12, 2020
The 2020 ACM SIGGRAPH conference's online art gallery will showcase an artificial intelligence-powered interactive sound installation designed to amplify the accounts and voices of sexual assault survivors.

"Frances Allen, Who Helped Hardware Understand Software, Dies at 88"
The New York Times, August 8, 2020
Frances Allen, the first woman to receive the ACM A.M. Turing Award and early computer software pioneer, passed away on Tuesday, August 4.

"Gilbert Creates Inline Ticketing System to Lower Health Risk When Voting"
University of Florida, August 5, 2020
Juan Gilbert, former Coalition to Diversify Computing Chair, has created a ticketing system to help voters maintain social distancing while exercising their right to vote.

"SCOTUS Can Stop Abuse of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act"
Bloomberg Law, August 3, 2020
The purpose of the CFAA was to proscribe hacking, and not to turn a breach of a contract, company policy, or website notice into a federal criminal offense, says Andrew Grosso, Chair of the law subcommittee of ACM's US Technology Policy Committee.

"Rock Star, Web Founder Teaming Up on Technology"
Bloomberg Quint, July 17, 2020
The Interspecies I/O forum has announced the $1 million Coller Prize for Interspecies Conversation, whose backers include rock artist Peter Gabriel, former ACM president and Turing Award recipient Vint Cerf, and private equity investor Jeremy Coller. “Now that machine learning has become a powerful tool, one can start imagining trying to extract signals from the interactions that we observe intra-species, in the same way that we train the machine learning systems to translate between languages,” said Cerf.

"Publishers Develop Inclusive Name-Change Policies"
The Scientist, July 14, 2020
ACM is one of the first publishers to enact a policy allowing authors to change their names on previous work.

"ACM SIGHPC Announces Doctoral Dissertation Award Winner"
HPCwire, July 13, 2020
The ACM Special Interest Group on High Performance Computing has named Google software engineer Patrick Flick to receive the 2020 SIGHPC Doctoral Dissertation Award.


Coverage of ACM US Tech Policy Committee’s Statement on Facial Recognition:

"Large-scale facial recognition is incompatible with a free society"
The Conversation, July 9, 2020
"How can we ban facial recognition when it’s already everywhere?"
Vox, July 6, 2020
"ACM Calls for Temporary Ban of Facial Recognition Systems"
Etcentric, July 6, 2020
"The U.S. calls for ban on face recognition technology"
US News Latest, July 2, 2020
"ACM statement on facial recognition technology"
AIHub, July 1, 2020
"ACM’s U.S. Policy Committee pushes for facial recognition suspension, Boston Mayor signs ban"
Biometric Update, July 1, 2020
"ACM Calls for Suspension of Facial Recognition Use"
Decipher, July 1, 2020
"ACM calls for governments and businesses to stop using facial recognition"
World Best News, July 1, 2020
"ACM Calls for Governments, Businesses to Stop Using Facial Recognition"
VentureBeat, June 30, 2020
"Facial Recognition Has a New Foe—the World's Largest Group of Computing Professionals"
NBC News, June 30, 2020
Comments on Reddit


"How fake accounts constantly manipulate what you see on social media— and what you can do about it"
The Conversation, June 24, 2020
ACM US Technology Policy Committee’s Jeanna Matthews explains how social media platforms can be easily manipulated to curate what users see, based in part on “likes” or “votes.”

"Why You Can’t Just Vote on Your Phone During the Pandemic"
The New Yorker, June 19, 2020
“Attackers may well use a low-consequence election to scout out the landscape, learn the vulnerabilities, and then save their opportunities for attacking a real election later on,” says ACM USTPC Vice Chair Jeremy Epstein.

"Ceze, Strauss Share ACM SIGARCH Maurice Wilkes Award"
University of Washington, June 16, 2020
ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Architecture cites UW, Microsoft researchers for work on DNA-based digital data storage.

"Discovering How the Brain Works through Computation"
Columbia Engineering, June 11, 2020
Team led by ACM Fellow Christos Papadimitriou proposes a new computational system to expand the understanding of the brain at an intermediate level, between neurons and cognitive phenomena such as language.

"Prof. Tauhid Zaman Receives Test of Time Award "
Yale School of Management, June 9, 2020
A 2010 study by Yale School of Management's Tauhid Zaman and Devavrat Shah was awarded the ACM SIGMETRICS Test of Time Award, which recognizes research with a lasting impact on computer systems performance evaluation.

"ISCA Honors Scientists for Paper's Lasting Impact"
UC San Diego News Center, June 3, 2020
Paper by University of California, San Diego scientists wins Influential Paper Award at ISCA 2020.

"Brave new world: five things to consider before going virtual"
Association Meetings International, June 3, 2020
ACM provides guide to best practices for virtual conferences.

"European Tech Groups Seek Privacy Controls on COVID-19 Contact Tracing Tools"
Associations Now, May 19, 2020
ACM Europe Tech Policy Committee’s statement calls on governments to factor in privacy when considering contact tracing systems.

"Risks Overshadow Benefits with Online Voting, Experts Warn"
Government Technology, May 15, 2020
"Given the threat of the virus, vote-by-mail seems like the safest way for voters to cast their ballots in November," says former ACM president Barbara Simons.

"UCLA Student Club Honored by World's Largest Educational, Scientific Computing Society"
UCLA Samueli Newsroom, May 15, 2020
ACM has named its University of California, Los Angeles Student Chapter to receive its Outstanding School Service Award for 2020.

"VR Blood Flow Simulation to Improve Cardiovascular Interventions"
Duke University Pratt School of Engineering, May 13, 2020
2018 ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award recipient Amanda Randles has demonstrated that HARVEY, a simulation tool whose code she developed, can accurately model blood flow through patient-specific aortas and other vascular geometries on longer scales.

"Experts say mobile voting tech isn't the answer to COVID-19"
TechTarget, May 13, 2020
"It's pretty obvious that the coronavirus is making it difficult to have our standard election. That's having an even bigger impact in urban centers where voting lines can already last for hours and be quite packed. And people are looking for other ways we can have the constitutionally mandated vote without putting people at risk," said ACM US Technology Policy Committee Chair Jim Hendler.

"European comms bodies set up standards group, call for vigilance on contact-tracing apps"
Computer Weekly, May 13, 2020
ACM’s Europe Technology Policy Committee calls for transparency, interoperability, privacy and scrutiny in Covid-19 contact tracing. Read their statement and principles.

"Yann LeCun, Yoshua Bengio: Self-Supervised Learning Is Key to Human-Level Intelligence"
VentureBeat, May 2, 2020
2018 ACM A.M. Turing Award co-recipients Yann LeCun and Yoshua Bengio say that self-supervised learning could lead to the creation of artificial intelligence programs that are more humanlike in their reasoning.

"CICS Faculty, Alumni to Receive ACM PODS Test-of-Time Award"
University of Massachusetts Amherst, April 22, 2020
University of Massachusetts Amherst College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS) professor Gerome Miklau, associate professor Andrew McGregor, and alumni Chao Li and Michael Hay will receive the Alberto O. Mendelzon Test-of-Time Award at ACM SIGMOD/PODS 2020.

"Your Internet Is Working. Thank These Cold War-Era Pioneers Who Designed It to Handle Almost Anything"
The Washington Post, April 6, 2020
Designers like Vinton G. Cerf, former president of ACM and a 2004 ACM A.M. Turing Award recipient, aimed to create a system resilient enough to remain operable after a nuclear attack by continuously calculating and recalculating the best data-transmission routes.

"Artificial intelligence isn’t as smart as it thinks"
Politico, March 11, 2020
ACM Fellow Anil Jain says there's a possibility that facial recognition systems may be biased because of how they are trained.

"Inside Code of Conduct"
Association Forum, March 4, 2020
“We use the [ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct] in a proactive way—we intend for it to be aspirational,” says ACM Committee on Professional Ethics Co-chair Marty Wolf.

"Engaging talks by experts at ACM annual event"
Times of India, February 28, 2020
ACM A.M. Turing Award co-recipient Yann LeCun, ACM Prize in Computing recipient Shwetak Patel, and ACM Lawler Award recipient M Balakrishnan were among the luminaries who spoke at this year’s ACM India Annual Event.

"Should All Children Learn to Code by the End of High School?"
The Wall Street Journal, February 23, 2020
Robert Sedgewick (2018 ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Award Outstanding Educator recipient) and Stanford University's Larry Cuban disagree on whether computer coding should be a graduation requirement for high school students. Article access available through CACM subscription.

"MIT Researchers Say Mobile Voting App Is Rife with Vulnerabilities"
Computerworld, February 13, 2020
Jeremy Epstein, Vice Chair of ACM's ACM US Technology Policy Committee, said, "Any election official using Voatz products would be well advised to cancel their plans, before a stealthy attack in a real election compromises democracy."

"Kicking off a New Approach to Cyber Ethics at the Department of Defense"
War on the Rocks, February 12, 2020
ACM Code of Ethics recommended for adoption by US Department of Defense.

"Iowa Caucus Chaos Likely to Set Back Mobile Voting"
Computerworld, February 4, 2020
“The Iowa Democratic Party had planned to allow voters to vote in the caucus using their phones; if this sort of meltdown had happened with actual votes, it would have been an actual disaster," said ACM US Technology Policy Committee Vice Chair Jeremy Epstein.

"Keith Webster: Libraries will champion an open future for scholarship"
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 29, 2020
Former ACM Publications Board member Webster, now Dean of University Libraries and Director of Emerging and Integrative Media Initiatives at Carnegie Mellon, says "great progress has been made, but we need to do more if we are to address the wishes of the scientific community."

"Why asking an AI to explain itself can make things worse"
MIT Technology Review, January 29, 2020
Preview of a paper to be presented at CHI 2020.

"Seattle Tries Out Mobile Voting"
Computerworld, January 28, 2020
ACM US Technology Policy Committee Vice Chair Jeremy Epstein says Seattle’s “experiment is very ill-advised,” and that voters who use it are hoping the software correctly records their vote, even though “there's no way to ensure that's the case.”

"Hey Google, are my housemates using my smart speaker?"
Science Daily, January 28, 2020
University of British Columbia researchers’ paper to be presented at CHI 2020 finds people are concerned about friends, family and others having access to these devices.

"'I Wish We Could Connect on This Level.' Memes Still Aren't Accessible to People Who Are Blind. What's Being Done About It?"
TIME, January 27, 2020
Paper on memes by Columbia, Carnegie Mellon researchers presented at ASSETS 2019.

"Compassionate Health IT Understands Whom It’s Dealing With: News from a Lumeon Installation"
Health Care IT Today, January 27, 2020
Andy Oram, who participates in ACM’s US Technology Policy Committee, says that health IT can solve many of health care’s problems, but only when it's designed and rolled out with the greatest sensitivity to the needs of the users.

"California to resume Elsevier talks after signing deals elsewhere"
Times Higher Education, January 25, 2020
University of California signs open access agreement with ACM; discussions with Elsevier on similar agreement resume.

"It takes too long to detect hacking after elections. Here’s 3 ways to help"
Fifth Domain, January 24, 2020
ACM US Technology Policy Committee Vice Chair Jeremy Epstein offers three non-technical actions that can be taken, pre-election, to make it more difficult for foreign governments and others to successfully use technology to interfere.

"Why Have So Few Women Won the Turing Award?"
Slate, January 6, 2020
ACM has made some progress toward gender inclusivity with regard to the Turing Award in recent years. This article explores how it could do more.

"Indian American at Princeton named Fellow of Association for Computing Machinery"
News India Times, January 6, 2020
Princeton University computer science professors Michael Freedman and Mona Singh named 2019 ACM Fellows.