SIGCHI FY'04 Annual Report

July 2003 - June 2004
Submitted by: Joseph Konstan, SIGCHI Chair


SIGCHI's 2004 Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded to Tom Moran, a pioneer in both analytic and systems design research in HCI.

SIGCHI's 2004 Lifetime Service Awards were awarded to Robin Jeffries and Gene Lynch.

SIGCHI inducted the following new members into the CHI Academy: George Furnas, Jonathan Grudin, William Newman, Brad Myers, Dan Olsen, Brian Shackel, Terry Winograd

In addition to these awards, several SIGCHI Conferences conveyed awards:

UIST 2003 gave three awards.

  • A "Most Influential Paper" published at least 10 years prior award to Pierre Wellner for his 1991 paper "The DigitalDesk calculator: tangible manipulation on a desk top display." 

  • A "Best Paper" award to Eric Saund, David Fleet, Daniel Larner, and James Mahoney for the paper "Perceptually-supported image editing of text and graphics." 

  • A "Best Student Paper" award to Bongwon Suh, Haibin Ling, Benjamin B. Bederson, and David W. Jacobs for the paper "Automatic thumbnail cropping and its effectiveness."

SOFTVIS'03 gave out a single best paper award.

  • Jorma Sjaniemi and Marja Kuittinen for their paper "Program Animation Based on the Roles of Variables."

CUU'03 gave out two best paper awards.

  • T. Parikh, K. Ghosh, A. Chavan, P. Syal, and S. Arora for the paper "Design Studies for a Financial Management System for Micro-credit Groups in Rural India." 

  • K. Kottapally, C. Ngo, R. Reddy, E. Pontelli, T.C. Son, and D. Gillan for the paper "Towards the Creation of Accessibility Agents for Non-visual Navigation of the Web (A Progress Report)."

Significant Programs and Key Issues

SIGCHI's activities continue to revolve around four key areas: (1) Conferences, (2) Chapters, (3) Publications, and (4) Membership and Communications. In the past year we have implemented newly approved by-laws changes to enhance our focus on these areas, and we are in the midst of two significant SIG-wide efforts: an extensive long-range planning effort to shape the future of the organization, and a shorter-term focus on tactical improvement in key areas.


SIGCHI continues to sponsor and co-sponsor conferences with exciting, cutting-edge research and opportunities for professional development. Our conference proceedings remain among the most sought-after content in the ACM Digital Library as they continue to attract both newcomers, experienced researchers and professionals. Like other SIGs, we are experiencing significant increases in conference submissions and have been working to streamline the mechanics of the peer review process (through software systems) while maintaining our traditional high standards.

SIGCHI has made great strides in improving the financial operations and success of our largest conference. Thanks to heroic efforts by the conference leadership and bold cost-cutting steps undertaken in partnership with ACM staff, we were able to reverse three years of substantial deficits to cover all costs for CHI 2004 and even return a small surplus to start rebuilding our fund balance. These changes are being continued in 2005, and we are working on institutionalizing the successful practices. At the same time, we are exploring new mechanisms for embracing communities that have not traditionally been at the core of the CHI conference. Our smaller, specialized conferences are technically successful and mostly strong financially. Overall the specialized conferences, for which we have closure data and fall into the period in question, have returned a surplus which also contributes to rebuilding our fund balance. Nonetheless, we are working to ease the burdens of financial planning for these conferences and provide more advice and oversight on budgeting and budget revisions to better manage the risks.


SIGCHI chapters continue to serve thousands of members in dozens of countries on six continents. Our chapters range from small gatherings of HCI students or practitioners at a university or in a city to large national and regional chapters with hundreds of members and extensive calendars of monthly or weekly activities. For many years, SIGCHI has focused its energy on supporting individuals wishing to form chapters and in providing practical support to chapter leaders. We are now extending our reach to approach individual chapter members and provide them with better access to information about SIGCHI's other opportunities (conferences, publications, membership, and volunteer opportunities). We are working with ACM's MSB to develop mechanisms for closer contact between ACM in general and members of its local chapters.


This has been a particularly active year for SIGCHI in the area of publications. We worked with the ACM Pubs Board in its search for new editors-in-chief for interactions magazine, and are happy to report that the new editors are selected and in place. Second, we worked to restructure the SIGCHI Bulletin into a web and e-mail online newsletter with greater interactivity. The new bulletin is on-line at Third, we created a task force to study the question of conference and journal publishing and recognition for publishing high-quality work in conferences. This task force recommended (and we subsequently adopted with ACM Pubs Board approval) replacing our CHI Letters serial designation with a more general awards mechanism tied to review process and selectivity. We also have been exploring the idea of creating a new on-line journal specifically geared towards publishing more highly revised versions of conference papers. Fourth, we have started to work on the policies and procedures needed to restructure our conference program into "community-based" tracks--separate tracks with separate reviewing criteria for both archival and non-archival submissions--while maintaining the traditional high-quality of the archival venues. Fifth, we've continued our work with ACM on enhancing the DL not only with media, but also with greater metadata to support conference identity, "front matter," and award information.

Membership and Communications

SIGCHI is in the early stages of two significant programs in the area of membership and communications. First, we are rejuvenating our volunteer development and recognition program. This program has three goals: (a) being more effective at getting volunteers involved in SIGCHI; (b) fostering the transition between "casual volunteers" and future volunteer leadership; and (c) developing a volunteer recognition program to improve the volunteer experience and make the role of volunteers more visible to prospective volunteers. Second, we are commencing an overhaul of our on-line communications--streamlining our currently overlapping sets of web sites, mailing lists, etc., to create a more comprehensible and better organized on-line presence. In the near future, we will also be developing a more comprehensive marketing plan to hone our message, explore better ways to communicate it, and more effectively communicate the varied opportunities for professional development and participation to our members, chapter members, conference attendees, and DL readers.

What's Next

We are excited by and optimistic about the future of SIGCHI. The excellence of our content and our steady membership are a solid foundation. Our demonstrated ability to turn around a series of conference losses is a testament to our ability to adapt to changing circumstances. Still, we have many challenges ahead. Our conference finances still need to be institutionalized and further improved. We need to improve our oversight of smaller conferences. And we strongly need to improve our communications with the full-range of individuals who come in contact with our products and services. All of this must build upon a core of dedicated volunteers--a core we are investing in renewing. We are up to the task and look forward to continuing this important work in partnership with ACM staff and volunteer leadership.

Why I Belong to ACM

Hear from Bryan Cantrill, vice president of engineering at Joyent, Ben Fried chief information officer at Google, and Theo Schlossnagle, OmniTI founder on why they are members of ACM.

Prediction-Serving Systems

ACM Queue’s “Research for Practice” is your number one resource for keeping up with emerging developments in the world of theory and applying them to the challenges you face on a daily basis. In this installment, Dan Crankshaw and Joey Gonzalez provide an overview of machine learning server systems. What happens when we wish to actually deploy a machine learning model to production, and how do we serve predictions with high accuracy and high computational efficiency? Dan and Joey’s curated research selection presents cutting-edge techniques spanning database-level integration, video processing, and prediction middleware. Given the explosion of interest in machine learning and its increasing impact on seemingly every application vertical, it's possible that systems such as these will become as commonplace as relational databases are today. 

ACM Case Studies

Written by leading domain experts for software engineers, ACM Case Studies provide an in-depth look at how software teams overcome specific challenges by implementing new technologies, adopting new practices, or a combination of both. Often through first-hand accounts, these pieces explore what the challenges were, the tools and techniques that were used to combat them, and the solution that was achieved.