People of ACM - Bulletin Archive

"People of ACM" highlights the unique scientific accomplishments and compelling personal attributes of ACM members who are making a difference in advancing computing as a science and a profession. These bulletins feature ACM members whose personal and professional stories are a source of inspiration for the larger computing community.


Meet Kurt Mehlhorn

Kurt Mehlhorn was a director of the Max Planck Institute for Informatics for thirty years from 1990 - 2020. He was the recipient of the 2010 ACM Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award for contributions to algorithm engineering by creating the LEDA Library for algorithmic problem solving, and was named an ACM Fellow for important contributions in complexity theory and in the design, analysis, and practice of combinatorial and geometric algorithms. In his interview, he discusses computational complexity, algorithm engineering, the allocation of funds for research, and more.

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Meet Adrien Bousseau

Adrien Bousseau is a Senior Researcher at the French National Institute for Research in Digital Science and Technology (Inria). He focuses on helping designers communicate with computers. Bousseau’s work has been applied in areas including architecture, fashion, and industrial design. His honors include a Eurographics 2011 PhD award for his research on expressive image manipulations and a Young Researcher Award from the French National Research Agency (ANR). In his interview, he discusses creating imaging tools, diffusion curves, the challenges of reconstructing drawings as 3D models, and more.

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Meet Robert Metcalfe

Robert Metcalfe is the recipient of the 2022 ACM A.M. Turing Award for the invention, standardization, and commercialization of Ethernet. He is an Emeritus Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at The University of Texas at Austin and a Research Affiliate in Computational Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). In his interview, Metcalfe discusses the early development of Ethernet, why Ethernet became the preeminent connective technology, some advice for young inventors, and more.

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Meet Christina Harrington

Christina Harrington is an Assistant Professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s HCI Institute, where she is Director of the Equity and Health Innovations Design Research Lab. She also has a courtesy appointment in CMU’s School of Design.Among her volunteer activities with ACM, she was a General Co-Chair of the 2023 ACM Conference on Fairness, Accountability and Transparency (FAccT). This year, Harrington was recognized with the Computing Research Association’s (CRA) Skip Ellis Early Career Award. In her interview, she discusses “Black-centered design,” broadening the participation of underrepresented groups in computing, and more.

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Meet Alfons Kemper

Alfons Kemper is a Professor of Database Systems and Head of the Department of Computer Science at the Technical University of Munich, as well as Principal Technical Advisor at Tableau/Salesforce. His research interests focus on advanced, scalable database and data exploration systems. Together with his colleague Thomas Neumann, Kemper led the development of the innovative New-SQL database system HyPer—a main memory database system that was acquired by Tableau Software. In his interview, he discusses how the focus of his lab is unique within the field, a key innovation in the development of HyPer, and more.

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Meet Janet Haven

Janet Haven is the Executive Director of Data & Society, a non-profit organization with a mission to advance public understanding of the social implications of data-centric technologies, automation, and AI. She is also a member of the (US) National Artificial Intelligence Advisory Committee. For ACM, she serves as a member of the ACM US Technology Policy Committee (ACM USTPC). In her interview, she discusses her research and advocacy at the intersection of public policy and technology, AI regulation, her work with Data & Society, and more.

Janet Haven

Meet Wenwu Zhu

Wenwu Zhu is a Professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. His research interests include multimedia intelligence and graph machine learning. Zhu has been a leading volunteer with ACM conferences including the ACM Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM), where he served as General Co-Chair in 2019, and ACM Multimedia, where he served as General Co-Chair in 2018 and Technical Program Chair in 2014. He received the ACM SIGMM Technical Achievement Award in 2023. In his interview, he discusses advances in multimedia research, challenges to mining information from networks, and more.

Wenwu Zhu

Meet Julie Williamson

Julie Williamson is a Senior Lecturer in Human-Computer Interaction at the University of Glasgow, where she leads the Future Immersive Interaction Group. Her current research focuses on social signal processing in social immersive experiences, as well as exploring interpersonal social signals between individuals and across realities. In her interview, she discusses “design fiction,” being part of the annual ACM CHI Conference organizing committee, studying the willingness of users to perform gestures using their mobile devices in public spaces, and more.

Julie Williamson

Meet Partha Talukdar

Partha Talukdar is a Senior Staff Research Scientist at Google Research India and an Associate Professor at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore. He founded Kenome, an enterprise knowledge graph company with the mission to help enterprises make sense of big dark data. Talukdar also received the ACM India Early Career Researcher Award for combining deep scholarship of natural language processing, graphical knowledge representation, and machine learning. In his interview, he discusses challenges with natural language processing, the NELL project at CMU, the long-standing problem of word sense disambiguation, and more.

Partha Talukdar

Meet Stephanie Ludi

Stephanie Ludi is a Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of North Texas. Her research interests include accessibility in computing and tool support for the visually impaired, block-based programming, and the use of machine learning in support of software development activities. In her interview, she discusses how her own struggles with visual impairment led to her work in human-computer interaction, modifying block-based programming to allow visually impaired students to learn computer programming, and more.

Stephanie Ludi

Meet David Atienza Alonso

David Atienza Alonso is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Head of the Embedded Systems Laboratory and Scientific Director of the EcoCloud Sustainable Computing Center at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne. His research interests include system-level design methodologies for high-performance multi-processor system-on-chip and low-power Internet-of-Things  systems, as well as ultra-low power edge AI architectures for wireless body sensor nodes and smart embedded systems. In his interview, he discusses thermal management, making computing more sustainable, a common thread that runs through his work, and more.

David Atienza Alonso

Meet Briana Morrison

Briana B. Morrison is an Associate Professor at the University of Virginia. Her research focuses on computer science education, broadening participation in computing, and increasing K-12 access to qualified computing teachers. Morrison’s honors include a University of Nebraska Omaha Outstanding Teaching Award and a Georgia Tech College of Computing Dissertation Award. In her interview, she discusses how is the learning of computer science similar to other disciplines, effective strategies for reducing dropout and failure rates for introductory CS classes, her work with EngageCSEdu, and more.

Briana Morrison

Meet Gonzalo Navarro

Gonzalo Navarro is a Professor at the University of Chile. His main research interests are in the design and analysis of algorithms and data structures. He has made important contributions in areas including compressed data structures, text search, graph databases, information retrieval, and metric databases. In his interview, he discusses how he became become interested in algorithms and data structures, his work and insights which have made important contributions to text search, offers advice for young computer scientists creating a productive career, and more.

Gonzalo Navarro