SIGARCH Annual Report

July 2002 - June 2003
Submitted by: Alan Berenbaum, SIGARCH Chair

Overview

The primary mission of SIGARCH continues to be the forum where researchers and practitioners of computer architecture can exchange ideas. SIGARCH sponsors or cosponsors the premier conferences in the field as well as a number of workshops. It publishes a quarterly newsletter and the proceedings of several conferences. It is financially strong with a fund balance of nearly one and a quarter million dollars.

Elections

Like most SIGs, SIGARCH holds its elections every two years, and the most recent election was held in the spring of 2003. The previous Vice-Chair, Norm Jouppi of HP, was elected as the new SIGARCH Chair, with Margaret Martonosi of Princeton as Vice Chair and Matt Farrens of UC Davis as Secretary/Treasurer. SIGARCH has a four member Board of Directors, which for 2003 through 2005 will consist of Alan Berenbaum, Joel Emer, Bill Dally and Mark Hill.

Awards

The Eckert-Mauchly Award, cosponsored by the IEEE Computer Society, is the most prestigious award in computer architecture. SIGARCH endows its half of the award, which is presented annually at the Awards Banquet of ISCA. The award for 2003 goes to Josh Fisher of Hewlett Packard Laboratories. Like the 2002 recipient, Bob Rau, Josh was one of the first proponents of the now-popular Very Long Instruction Word architectures. The citation on the award recognizes VLIW architectures, as well as trace-scheduling compilation techniques, which have made VLIW architectures effective.

SIGARCH endows the Maurice Wilkes Award, an award established to recognize computer architects early in their careers, and named after one of the pioneers of computer architecture. The award is selected by a vote of the Executive Committee and Board of SIGARCH, from a list of nominees supplied by a three person nominating committee. The 2002 award went to Glenn Hinton of Intel, for contributions to the Pentium version of the x86 architecture. The 2003 award, goes to Dirk Meyer of AMD, for his contributions to AMD's version of the x86 architecture.

For 2003 SIGARCH, along with the IEEE-CS TCCA, has instituted a new award, the Influential ISCA Paper Award, to be presented annually at the ISCA conference, and recognizing the paper, presented at the ISCA conference 15 years previously, which has had the most impact on computer architecture. The first Influential ISCA Paper Award was presented to Jean-Loup Baer and Wen-Hann Wang for their 1988 paper, "On the inclusion properties for multi-level cache hierarchies"

All three awards, the Eckert-Mauchly Award, the Maurice Wilkes Award and the Influential ISCA Paper Award were presented at ISCA 2003 in San Diego, California.

Conferences

SIGARCH is a 50% cosponsor of ISCA, the International Symposium on Computer Architecture, which is the premier conference in the field of computer architecture. The 30th annual ISCA, ISCA 2003, was once part of the Federated Computing Research Conference (FCRC), held in San Diego, with Allan Gottlieb of NYU once more as the ISCA-FCRC General Chair and Kai Li of Princeton as the Program Chair. As part of a tradition stretching back to 1980, where once every three years ISCA is held outside of North America, ISCA 2004 will be held in Munich, Germany. Michel Dubois will share the General Chair position with Arndt Bode and Per Stenstrom as the Program Chair. ISCA 2005 is planned to be an all- Wisconsin affair, to be held in Madison, Wisconsin, with Guri Sohi as General Chair and Mark Hill as Program Chair. SIGARCH takes a leadership role in recruiting the General and Program Chairs for ISCA, as well as in organizing the conference.

The SC'XY Conference is jointly sponsored by SIGARCH and the IEEE Computer Society. Formerly known as the Supercomputing Conference, the conference has successfully evolved away from its focus on supercomputers and is now the High Performance Networking and Computing Conference. In addition to its technical success, SC'XY is large enough that it must be scheduled many years in advance. SC had been financially very successful in the past (and was the source for most of SIGARCH's fund balance). However, like several other large ACM conferences in recent years, SC 2002, held in Baltimore, lost money. SC 2003 is scheduled for November 2003, in Phoenix, Arizona, and the organizers have pledged to budget much more carefully. Future planned sites include Pittsburgh and Seattle.

SIGARCH is a 50% cosponsor of the Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems, commonly known as ASPLOS, along with SIGPLAN and SIGOPS. The conference has been held biannually since 1982, alternating its location between San Jose and Boston. The most recent ASPLOS, ASPLOS-X, was held in San Jose in October 2002. Kourosh Gharachorloo was the General Chair and Dave Wood the Program Chair. The next ASPLOS, to be held in Boston in 2004, will have Shubu Muhkerjee of Intel as the General Chair and Kathryn McKinley of University of Texas as the Program Chair.

The International Conference on Supercomputing has most often taken place outside of North America. In 2002, ICS took place in New York City. The 2003 ICS was again held in North America, in June 2003, in San Francisco. Utpal Banerjee of Intel was the General Chair and Kyle Gallivan of Florida State and Antonio Gonzlez of University Politcnica de Catalunya were co-Program Chairs.

The thirteenth Symposium on Parallel Algorithms and Architectures (SPAA 2001), jointly sponsored by SIGARCH and SIGACT, was, like ISCA, associated with the Federated Computing Research Conference, and thus, like ISCA, was held in San Diego, California. Arnold Rosenberg was again the General Chair and Friedhelm Meyer auf der Heide was the Program Chair.

SIGARCH is one-third cosponsor of the Conference on Parallel Architectures and Compiler Techniques (PACT), along with the IEEE Computer Society and IFIP, and annually held in the fall. In 2002 PACT took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, with Jack Davidson and Kevin Skadron as Co-Chairs and Erik Allman and Sally McKie as Program Co-Chairs. PACT 2003 will be held in September 2003, with David Kaeli (who will be the General Chair of ISCA 2006) and David Koppelman as co-General Chairs and Mary Hall and Vivek Sarkar as co-Program Chairs.

In addition to the above conferences, SIGARCH has taken a small sponsorship position, or in-cooperation status, with several other conferences. For the last several years SIGARCH has been a minor sponsor of the International Conference on High Performance Computing (HiPC), held annually in December and alternating between Bangalore and Hyderabad, India. HiPC 2002 was held in Bangalore. SIGARCH also has a small sponsorship position in CCGrid, a conference on grid computing held annually in Japan. New this year is SenSys, a conference on Sensor Systems, in which SIGARCH is also taking a small sponsorship position. In addition, SIGARCH has also been in in-cooperation status with MASCOTS and IPDPS.

Travel Grants

SIGARCH annually gives travel grants to students who attend ISCA or ASPLOS. The grants are restricted to student members of SIGARCH, following several votes of the SIGARCH membership. The precise amount of the grants depends on the number of students who apply, but we have made an attempt to give at least a little to every student who applied. SIGARCH has also funded significant education programs at SC'02 and SC'03.

Publications

CAN (Computer Architecture News), SIGARCH's newsletter, is published 4 times a year. In addition, the ISCA Proceedings form a special fifth issue, and, every other year, the ASPLOS Proceedings is likewise distributed as a special issue. The newsletter consists of technical contributions, reports of panels, Internet nuggets (the most interesting or controversial articles from the comp.arch newsgroup), book reviews, and call for papers. There are occasional single topic special issues. Proceedings of SC, SPAA and ICS are available through the Member Plus program.

SIGARCH has, for several years, contemplated a major publication project of the collected literature on computer architecture. For several reasons the projects have been scaled back, but for 2003 SIGARCH will issue a DVD-ROM containing all the ISCA proceedings from 1973. We are also collecting material from all SIGARCH-sponsored conferences in 2003, including both proceedings and presentation materials, with the intention of issuing a compilation optical disc early in 2004.

Finances

Thanks to long-running large surpluses from the SC'XY conferences, SIGARCH enjoys a very healthy fund balance, currently about one and a quarter million dollars. Although SC, like other SIGARCH conferences, is budgeted to break even, it has usually done very much better than the very conservative assumptions, and so the fund balance had accumulated In recent years, the surplus has been very much smaller, and in 2002 the conference operated at a loss. SIGARCH and the SC Steering Committee had agreed that future profits from SC'XY will be in large part returned to the SC community, in the form of a series of large project-oriented grants (to be matched by the other sponsor of SC'XY, the IEEE Computer Society). In SC 2000 and SC 2001, SIGARCH supported the funding of a 2-year program to invest in improving the conference's outreach to teachers and students from under-served populations. In 2002 and 2003 we funded two similar but different programs for SC. Since there were no profits in 2002 to return, it is yet determined what kind of projects will be funded in future SC conferences.

Membership

Like many SIGs, SIGARCH membership is monotonically decreasing. There is some consolation in that the membership retention rate is among the highest rates of the long-established SIGs, and membership was essentially flat in the past year.

Summary

SIGARCH remains a financially healthy institution with an enthusiastic (if declining) membership. The interest of its members can be gauged by the health of all of its major conferences in the past year. The challenges remain as they have in previous years: how to retain the members we do have, and to encourage others to join, as well has how to use the large fund balance most effectively.

 

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