Minutes of the March 1, 1998 SIG Chairs Meeting

1.0 Welcome and Introductions [Lidtke]

Lidtke opened the meeting at 8:30 am.

Lidtke made several announcements. She indicated that much of the agenda was devoted to the SIG Operating Rules (SOR) which she was seeking to have endorsed subject to approval of the constitutional changes. She stressed the importance as this may be the last meeting of the SIG Chairs in this capacity. If the changes go through, the SIG Chairs become the governing body.

Lidtke announced that selections for 2 SIG Board Members at large will take place today. She requested that the group think about this and discuss over lunch.

Lidtke announced the appointment of Della Bonnette as the SIG Board Vice Chair, and Mary Whitton as the SIG Board Policy Advisor.

Introductions were made.

2.0 Approve Minutes of Previous Meeting

2.1 August'97 Meeting

2.2 January'98 Meeting

Motion:Move to approve minutes of the August'97 and January'98 SIG Chair meetings.
Cohoon, Kasper

3.0 Constitution and Bylaw Changes [Irwin]

Irwin stressed the importance of the bylaw and constitutional being voted on and approved by the membership. A special meeting of Council was held last July to focus on bylaw changes, specifically bylaw 7. These changes will be going out to membership in April. A 10% vote return is required to make constitutional changes. There is often a problem with getting people to vote. Council is concerned about this and is counting on the SIGs to help out.

Many rounds of changes have been made to the constitution and bylaws. Irwin summarized the most recent:

Article 3. Membership
Rewording so as to better define the term "Member".

Article 12. Amendments 
Increase the required vote of Council from a majority vote to a two-thirds vote.

Bylaw2. Membership, Dues, and Privileges
Rewritten to address the concerns expressed by Council. This version of Bylaw 2 has been reviewed and approved by the Membership Activities Board.

Bylaw 3. Nominations and Elections
Section 1. Nominating Committee
The SIGs have decided to have a separate nominating committee that will be responsible for nominating candidates for the SIG Governing Board (SGB) Chair and SIG Governing Board Representatives to Council. Therefore, the method of appointment for ACM Nominating Committee Members has been changed to Executive Committee appointment with Council confirmation. In addition, the enclosed transition plan calls for elections to occur only in even numbered years. Therefore, the time frame for appointing ACM Nominating Committee Members has been altered to better meet this schedule

Section 3. Nominations
Clarification that the ACM Nominating Committee is responsible for officer and Member-at-Large positions.

Section 5. SIG Governing Board (SGB) Representatives
Details the nomination process for SGB Representatives to Council. This has been reviewed and approved by the SIG Chairs.

Section 6. Notice to Members, Ballots
Details procedures to be followed by the SGB Nominating Committee.

Section 7. Withdrawals of Candidate Before an Election
Reflects SGB role should a SGB candidate withdraw.

Section 9. Policy and Procedures on Nominations and Elections
Reflects SGB involvement in maintaining this document.

Bylaw 4. Publications Board 
Section 2. Membership and Tenure
Clarification that there will be one additional member of Council besides the Chair on the Publications Board.

Bylaw 6. Special Interests Groups
This proposed version of Bylaw 6 has been reviewed and approved by the Executive Committee, the SIG Board, and the SIG Chairs. The SIGs have decided in favor of being referred to as "Special Interests Groups" rather than "Technical Communities". In addition, an effort has been made to streamline this bylaw by moving some of its contents into Policy and Procedures.

Bylaw 7. Committees and Boards
Section 1. Authority, Structure, Tenure and Membership
Reflects appropriate delegation of authority regarding the developments and approval of ACM policies and procedures.

Action: Lidtke will suggest that the ACM EC place a summary of Constitutional changes on the web.

Belkin questioned whether there was a time limit on a new professional membership. Irwin responded that it meant graduate student or 1 year past graduation.

Siegel was concerned with the removal of the associate membership category. Irwin indicated Council intends to continue to discuss and make adjustments as needed.

Action: Siegel will send e-mail to ACM EC regarding his concern of lack of Associate membership.

A discussion followed regarding lowering the required 10% vote return. Can we assume that people that didn't vote voted no? Other suggestions included offering a $5 credit on membership to those who vote, or electronic voting. Irwin indicated that the current constitution does not allow for electronic voting.

Whitton asked how a vacant position on Council is filled? Irwin explained that 2 names would be proposed by EC and Council would vote on it. Council usually looks at people who ran for office and were just below the cut-off.

Johnson inquired about electronic dissemination. He felt that the new language locks into paper returns. Why not generalize language to allow for electronic returns. Irwin explained that they tried not to go overboard, but just be sure they could explain so they could get the votes needed. Several other places have been opened so electronic voting could occur.

Haramundanis asked whether the constitution included a membership fee/dues structure?. It does not. Although Council does vote on the ACM structure of ACM member dues every year, SIGs develop their own membership pricing.

Irwin mentioned that if these changes to the Constitution pass, they will take effect on July 1st.

Lidtke thanked Irwin for her presentation.

5.0 Standard Operating Rules [Whitton]

The SIG Governing Board EC (SGB EC), is the group that will operate per the requests of the SIG Governing Board (SGB). The SGB will at all times govern the SGB EC and can overturn any decisions made by the SGB EC.

SGB EC: Size and Voting
The proposed group size is 10 members, 4 ex-officio and 6 elected. The elected members will decide duties among themselves. Size may be modified upon advice consent of ACM President. Each member of the SGB EC will operate with one vote.

The SGB EC positions are:

  • Elected
    • SGB Chair
  • Elected at Large--6 individuals to fill the positions of:
    • VC Operations
    • VC Development
    • Secretary
    • Large SIG Advisor
    • Small SIG Advisor
    • Conference Advisor
  • Ex-Officio:
    • Past SGB Chair
    • Publications Advisor
    • Director of SIG Services*


The present Area Director positions would be replaced by SIG Advisors. The 2 Vice Chair positions will come in handy because the SGB Chair will be 1 of 4 representatives to Council and ACM EC. This is an enormous responsibility for the Chair so the Vice Chair of Operations will help alleviate some of the responsibility for the SGB Chair.

Terms of Office: Elected

  • The Chair and elected EC members will serve 2 year terms starting July 1st.
  • Their terms will be staggered for continuity with half elected each year.
  • The Chair and 1/2 the elected members in even numbered years
  • The other 1/2 would be elected in odd numbered years.

Terms of Office: Ex Officio

  • The Immediate Past Chair term begins July 1st and term runs until there is a new Chair.
  • The Publications Advisor serves a 3 year term beginning July 1st.
  • The HQ Representative will be the Director of SIG Services.

Siegel questioned the replacement of the Area Directors . Whitton explained that this was done to keep the size of the SGB EC small. Yaverbaum added that the ACM Staff has taken on a greater role with regard to administration and has done a good job at it.

Bonnette asked how small and large SIGs will be defined? Some felt it would be perfectly fine to leave this in general terms and leave it up to the SIGs to identify themselves as small or large.

Others were concerned on how a small SIG would be guaranteed representation. Cassel explained that the idea or context of representation of the SIGs on the SGB EC will be different that the way it is now since the SGB will be making their own decisions and the SGB EC is there to handle any details. Lidtke added that this proposal can be changed by the SGB if they feel it doesn't work.

Nominating Committee

  • The SGB Nominating Committee is defined in Bylaw 3.
  • It will be appointed by the SGB EC.
  • The SGB Nominating Committee will consist of 3 people, with 3 year staggered terms.
  • No nominee will be concurrently a member of the SGB Nominating Committee.

The number of nominees will be as follows:

  • SGB Chair: 2 candidates (this position will also serve on Council and ACM EC)
  • SGB Council Reps: (2n) candidates for (n) positions
  • SGB EC: (n+2) for (n) positions plus 2 minimum and more encouraged up to 2n

Nominee Qualifications
All nominees must be:

  • - Voting members of the ACM
  • - Voting members of at least 1 SIG. (The rationale here is that participation in governance at this level should require membership.)
  • - Nominees should, in general, be current or past members of the SGB. (This is a suggestion not a requirement. The SGB can elect who they want as long as they meet the first 2 requirements.)

Additional Nominations
Consent of the nominee and either: - written petition signed by 2 SGB members - nomination and second from the floor by SGB members at the meeting preceding balloting. Petitions
Petitions will be delivered to ACM HQ and a duplicate will be sent to the SGB Nominating Committee Chair. The petition period will be a 30 day minimum.

Nominating Committee Report
The report will be sent via email to the SGB on or before February 1st including the slate and election schedule.

Siegel suggested a follow-up mailing to this e-mail in case some do not receive the email report.

Action: Whitton will add follow-up mailing (hard copy) from the SGB Nominating Committee to the SGB in the SOR.

SGB EC Election Voting

  • Weighted voting per bylaw 3
  • Balloting for Chair, SGB Representatives on Council and SGB EC will be by mail

The ballots will be mailed on or before April 25th. They will be counted no sooner than 30 days after mailing and on or before May 31st.

Sample Election Schedule

  • February 1st: Slate announced, minimum 30 day petition period begins.
  • SGB Meeting: nominations from floor
  • Nominations close
  • Candidate statement due: minimum 15 days
  • Distribute ballots: no later than April 25th.
  • Count ballots: no later than May 31st, no earlier than 30 days after mailing.

In the case of a tie vote, a recount with one vote per SIG will be done. The candidate with the majority of SIG votes wins. If this still results in a tie, the candidates will flip a coin (for 2 way tie) or draw straws (for >2 way tie).

SGB EC Vacancies

  • SGB Chair <= SGB VC Operations
  • Elected EC members and Past Chair: suggested by SGB Chair and approved by SGB.
  • Publications Advisor: per normal appointment

When a vacancy is filled it will be for the remainder of the term that became vacant.

Vitter indicated that he was uncomfortable with the n+1 requirement. Other Chairs were in agreement with his concern. Whitton changed the requirement to a minimum of n+2.

During the morning break, Baglio was advised that the SIGs would like to contribute a technical column to CACM monthly.

Action: Baglio will advise the CACM Editor that the SIGs would like to see a SIG Column in each issue of CACM.

Barbara Simons reported on USACM and Policy'98.

A vote was taken to accept the SGB EC operating Rules. Whitton believed they could be approved subject to changes, and suggested that the group not wait until the changes were made.

Motion: Move that the SIG Operating Rules (SOR) be accepted subject to the minor changes requested by the SIG Chairs.
Klein, Cunningham

Lidtke gave a special thank you to Mary Whitton for all her hard work on the SIG Operating Rules.

9.0 SIG Board Transition and Selection of 2 Members-at-Large [Lidtke]

The transition proposal was presented by Lidtke.

Lidtke indicated that she spoke to Zweben regarding the inability to have a SGB EC before a Nomination Committee was in place, but you can't have a Nomination Committee until you have a SGB EC in place. This transitional plan was developed by the SIG Board. There will be 4 members of the SGB on Council. Lidtke indicated it would take a few years before all 4 members of the SGB could preside on Council.

Transition Parameters

  • The results of the ACM elections will be available on or about June 1st.
  • Current SIG Board Chair term ends September 15th.
  • The goal is for the SGB and SGB EC to begin operation September 15th.
  • SGB EC elections will need to be held.

Transition Proposal

  • Current SIG Board will function as SGB EC from July 1st to September 15th.
  • SIG Board will appoint a one-time-only Nominating Committee.
  • SGB elects Chair, 1 Representative and 6 EC positions.
  • Two year EC terms will go to the 3 candidates receiving the most votes.

Transition Election Plan

  • Slate announced ASAP after June 1st.
  • At least 30 days for petitions
  • At least 30 days for mail ballot (either hard-copy mail or e-mail)
  • New SGB EC takes office September 15th.

SGB EC Elections

  • July 1998
    • Terms to 6/30/00: Chair and 3 EC members
    • Terms to 6/30/99: 3 EC members
  • April 1999
    • Terms to 6/30/01: 3 EC members
  • April 2000
    • Terms to 6/30/02: Chair, 3 EC members

Election of SGB Representatives on Council (Transition and Phase In)

  • July 1998 (election date): Chair (= Rep 1), Rep 2, term to 6/30/00
  • April 1999: Rep 3, term to 6/30/01
  • April 2000: Chair (= Rep 1), Rep 2, term to 6/30/02
  • April 2001: Rep 3, Rep 4, term to 6/30/03

Motion: Move to approve transition plan as presented by Lidtke.
Cunningham, Hayne

6.0 Program Reviews

6.1 SIGACT [Vitter]

The primary mission of ACM SIGACT is to foster and promote the discovery and dissemination of high quality research in the domain of theoretical computer science.

New SIGACT Initiatives
SIGACT has initiated procedures for electronic program committee meetings for its flagship conference STOC. The electronic submission server is now installed and running without problems on SIGACT's home machine, sigact.acm.org.

In the past year SIGACT has awarded two new prizes. SIGACT has endowed both and contributed an endowment to a third. They awarded the first Knuth Prize for Outstanding Contributions to the Foundation of Computer Science in October 1997. The Prize includes $5,000 plus a $1,000 travel fund. They also awarded the first SIGACT Distinguished Service Award at STOC in May 1997. This award includes a $1,000 prize and $500 for travel. SIGACT has also contributed to the endowment for the Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award, which was awarded for the first time last year.

SIGACT continues to be a major supporter of the FCRC meetings and of the ACM electronic publishing initiatives. SIGACT is the sponsor of the first two International Conferences on Computational Molecular Biology conferences. SIGACT began co-sponsorship in 1996 of the annual Workshop on I/O in Parallel and Distributed Systems.

The committee on Long-Range Planning completed its final report, "Contributions of Theoretical Computer Science."

SIGACT awards or co-sponsors the following awards: Gödel Prize, Knuth Prize, Kanellakis Award, Distinguished Service Award and STOC Best Student Paper.

SIGACT Conference Activities.
One of SIGACT's primary roles and successes is its sponsorship of conferences. During 1997 SIGACT sponsored 2 conferences, co-sponsored 6 others and was in-cooperation with 2 other conferences.

During 1997 SIGACT was affiliated with 11 conferences, and it will be involved in three additional conferences in 1998.

SIGACT Publications
The publications of the conferences sponsored by SIGACT are published by the ACM. The SIGACT newsletter, SIGACT News, is published four times per year. In 1997 the four issues comprised a total of 340 pages.

SIGACT Educational Activities
SIGACT News regularly prints research news columns in several areas of theoretical computer science. It also publishes book reviews and curricula and outlines of CS courses as they are taught at various universities. SIGACT sponsors deeply discounted registration fees for students at most of its conferences. The SIGACT student lunch program allows students to eat for free alongside full-paying registrants at most meetings.

Collaboration With Other SIGs and Organizations
SIGACT collaborates extensively with IEEE Computer Society, EATCS, SIAM, and other SIGs and organizations.

International Efforts
SIGACT works closely with overseas organizations such as EATCS, the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science. SIGACT and EATCS jointly sponsor the Gödel Prize. Several foreign countries have local SIGACT chapters, and SIGACT routinely sponsors or cooperates with conferences that are held overseas. SIGACT also sponsors a proceedings donation program for researchers in underdeveloped countries.

SIGACT Volunteers
SIGACT has benefited greatly from the substantial efforts and wisdom of its many volunteers. The SIGACT membership is highly active and involved in SIGACT and the field of research that it represents.

SIGACT Membership
The current overall SIGACT retention rate (71%) exceeds the combined average for all SIGs (65%).

The SIGACT retention rates for one year members (36%) and two or more year members (86%) also exceed the SIG averages (34% and 80% respectively). In fact, SIGACT has the second highest retention rate for two or more year members.

The decrease in student membership reflects the decrease in the number of students choosing to study theoretical computer science, because of the decline in job opportunities at universities and research labs.

The decrease in regular membership may reflect the decreased availability of research funding for theoretical computer science, especially in the United States, causing researchers, especially young researchers, to leave the field.

SIGACT Finances
SIGACT continues its strong financial performance because of successful conferences, member plus packages, and single copy proceedings sales. SIGACT has continued its recent policy of reducing the contingency line item on its conference budgets in order to reduce surpluses and registration costs. In order to permit this, SIGACT is required to increase its required fund balance by the amount of reduction. This is done with the guidance of ACM HQ.

Corporate Sponsors
The following seven corporation are the current SIGACT institutional sponsors. Each sponsor contributes $1,000 per year.

  1. Academic Press, Inc.
  2. AT&T Labs - Research
  3. IBM Corp.
  4. International Thomson Publishing
  5. Lucent Technologies - Bell Labs
  6. PWS Publishing Co.
  7. Xerox PARC

Additionally, Microsoft is becoming a SIGACT sponsor in 1998.

Newly Endowed Awards
SIGACT contributed $150,000 for award endowments in FY'97:

  • The Gödel Prize - $60,000 endowment
  • SIGACT Distinguished Service Award - $30,000 endowment
  • STOC Best Student Paper Award - $10,000 endowment
  • The Knuth Prize - $40,000 endowment
  • ACM Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award - $10,000 endowment

SIGACT is fulfilling its commitments well: The newsletter is frequent, informative, and timely, the many conferences it supports contain current research of the highest quality, and items of immediate interest are routinely posted on the internet. SIGACT is doing well financially and has experienced only a modest decrease in membership during the past few years.

The primary concern of the SIGACT membership is the recent decline in academic job opportunities for its graduate students. The decline in job opportunities is the result of the field reaching middle age, the rapid increase in the number of PhD-producing faculty during the past few years, and the contraction of giants such as IBM, Bellcore, and DEC.

In response, the SIGACT community is working together with funding agencies and industry to adapt to the changing job market. It is likely that SIGACT will pay even more attention to related applied fields and that its students will be increasingly encouraged to prepare for applied and/or non-academic positions upon graduation. At the same time SIGACT continues to highlight the accomplishments of its community and to advocate for the strategic importance of theoretical computer science. The current year is certainly more promising in terms of job opportunities for students in theoretical computer science; the situation may be turning around.

PLEASE NOTE: Chair chose to update report after meeting.

6.2 SIGCOMM [Floyd]

SIGCOMM is ACM's professional forum for the discussion of topics in the field of communications and computer networks, including technical design and engineering, regulation and operations, and the social implications of computer networking. The SIG's members are particularly interested in the systems engineering and architectural questions of communication.

Computer Communication Review (CCR): This is a strong publication, with 4 issues a year in addition to the conference proceedings, with 3-8 papers in each issue. The Tables of Contents of all issues are on-line, along with the back issues of CCR for 1992-1997. Every paper gets at least one detailed review by an expert, and turnaround time is generally very fast. The acceptance rate over the last few years has been close to 45% of the papers submitted.

Transactions on Networking is an archival, bimonthly journal committed to the timely publication of high-quality papers that advance the state-of-the-art and practical applications of communication networks. It is co-sponsored by the IEEE Communications Society, the IEEE Computer Society, and the ACM with its Special Interest Group on Data Communications.

SIGCOMM Conference: The conference has a high rate of submissions to acceptances. The proceedings are made publicly available on-line a few months before the conference. SIGCOMM has on-line proceedings for the 1995-1997 conferences.

The 1998 conference will be in Vancouver. There is some history of the tutorials being available over local Instructional Television and of on-line access over the Mbone. The submission of papers, reviews by members of the program committee, and feedback to the authors are all over the Internet, but they have an in-person program committee meeting each year. Each conference is preceded by two days of tutorials. Special events at conferences include the 1997 panel on Active Networking, the 1996 Multicast Workshop, and the 1995 Workshop on Middleware. Once every three years the SIGCOMM conference is held outside of North America.

SIGCOMM also co-sponsored VRML'97 with SIGGRAPH. SIGCOMM was one of the initial sponsors of MobiCom, which ended up as a new SIG, SIGMOBILE. SIG Multimedia also evolved from the yearly Multimedia conferences that were co-sponsored by SIGCOMM along with a long list of other SIGs. The Computers, Freedom and Privacy conference has also generally been co-sponsored by SIGCOMM, along with SIGSAC and SIGCAS.

Management and financial Status 
SIGCOMM is required to keep a fund balance of $116,637. It is partly this generous fund balance that allows them to do financially risky things like making all of the conference papers available on-line before the conference, or having the conference in Europe.

Awards include the SIGCOMM Award, the SIGCOMM Student Paper Award, the SIGCOMM Student Travel Awards, and the SIGCOMM Service Award.

Special Projects
Special projects that SIGCOMM has supported financially include the Internet Traffic Archive, the Network Bibliography, and a small amount for the National Laboratory for Applied Network Research (NLANR). The procedures for applying for funding for Special Projects are publicly available, along with a report on past funding.

7.1 SIGCAS [Martin]

Since its inception, the SIGCAS mission has been to provide a forum to discuss, debate and research all issues pertaining to the social implications of computing, including ethical and philosophical concerns, for the computing profession. Members of this group were leaders in developing and promoting the most recent ACM Code of Ethics, in developing an ethics code and certification process for software engineering, and in developing the new curriculum standards for teaching ethics and social impact in computing.

The main publication of SIGCAS is the quarterly Computers and Society Newsletter, which is publishing its 28th volume this year. The new editor, Tom Jewett, has updated the cover, streamlined the submission process for articles, increased the number of feature columns, and has never missed a publication deadline since he took over 2 years ago.

SIGCAS sponsors and cooperates with several annual conferences and symposia including NECC. They will also be in-cooperation with ACM Policy'98.

SIGCAS also sponsors a SIGCAS lecturer as part of the ACM Lectureship Program.

With the election of new officers last year, SIGCAS has a strong leadership team to carry out the tasks of running the organization for the next two years.

Like most of the SIGs, SIGCAS has been experiencing a slow downward trend in membership numbers, even though their retention rate has steadily risen from about 54% in 1994 to 67% in 1998. Currently, SIGCAS has about 750 members. This is of concern to the leadership, they are hopeful that the strong presence of SIGCAS at the ACM Policy'98 Conference in May will result in additional members.

There has been a cyclical pattern in the fund balance related to the sponsorship of the CQL'96. The fund balance was close to $30,000 prior to CQL'96. However, due to a loss from that conference as well as a $5,000 loss resulting from the CFP conference that year, the fund balance dropped down to $19,000. As a result of those two losses, the SIGCAS leadership decided not to sponsor a CQL'97 in San Jose, but instead to wait a year to allow the fund balance to stabilize again. They then agreed to work with USACM to sponsor the policy conference in Washington in May, 1998. SIGCAS has committed $5,000 to that effort, which will put a limit on the amount of resources expended on that conference by SIGCAS.

Future Strategic Goals:

  1. Increase membership to 1,000.
  2. Increase member involvement and the SIGCAS leadership base.
  3. Sponsor CQL 2000
  4. Continue involvement with policy issues with USACM.
  5. Continue to be the premier computers and society voice through the C&S Newsletter.

With careful management of funds and the energy of new officer and editors applied to all of the activities outlined above, SIGCAS anticipates that they will continue to be an active and financially viable SIG for the ACM. They are hopeful that one result of the greater interest in the ethical, social and policy issues related to computing will be an increase in the membership in SIGCAS and the annual subscriptions to the Computers and Society Newsletter.

7.2 SIGCHI [Atwood]

Goals of SIGCHI

  • increase the value and visibility of SIGCHI for its members
  • create an environment to draw from all areas of the HCI community
  • make SIGCHI the focal point for HCI in the world
  • be the heart of SIGCHI members' professional network

Membership and Financials
Their membership has dropped to 4,633 a -3.66% change since FY'97. Their retention rate for FY'98 is 54%. Their FY'97 total fund balance was $1,099,296, their required fund balance is $632,665.

SIGCHI sponsors the CHI (Computer-Human Interaction) , DIS (Designing Interactive Systems) and ESP (Empirical Studies of Programmers) conferences. They are also co-sponsors of CSCW with SIGGROUP, IUI with SIGART, and UIST and VRST with SIGGRAPH.

Initiatives from last review

  • Electronic publishing
Their goal was make publications available in electronic form. Since then SIGCHI has made their CHI conference proceedings are available on the web, as well as the SIGCHI Bulletin which is simultaneous with its print copy.
  • SIGCHI and the Internet
Their goal was to use the web to improve communication and facilitate access to information. Since then SIGCHI has moved their mail lists from xerox.com to acm.org. They have also contracted the services of an Information Director to support their conference lists, mail lists, and web site.
  • Membership Development & Inter-Society Relationships
Their goal was to gain a better understanding of their members and their needs. As a step in this direction SIGCHI brought together some focus groups, and have had new SIGCHI brochures printed.
  • "Tutorials to go"
Their goal was to extend the value of the tutorials from the CHI conference. Logistics, selection of tutorials, and the financial model were issues. A Champion has been found and the program has been funded.
  • SIGCHI Development Fund
Their goal was to fund the advancement of HCI and the communication of those advances within SIGCHI. The result was a Development Consortium at CHI'97, an Educational Development Resource Group, the SIGCHI web site in Russia and publication of ESP proceedings.

New Initiatives

  • Student Kits
  • SIGCHI and the Web
  • Membership & Volunteerism
  • Local SIGs
  • Conference Management
  • Education
  • CHIkids

Open Issues

  • Society/TC Structure
  • Elections/Officers
    • identify candidates
    • develop volunteers

Atwood thanked the ACM staff for all their help, especially their Program Director, David Riederman.

7.3 SIGCSE [Klein]

The scope of SIGCSE is to provide a forum for problems common among educators working to develop, implement, and/or evaluate computing programs, curricula, and courses, as well as syllabi, laboratories, and other elements of teaching and pedagogy.

In order to fulfill this mission SIGCSE provides a full range of member services. These include three annual conferences, regularly publishing a bulletin, having a web presence, and the maintenance of two email lists.

1. Publications
The March issue of the Bulletin has traditionally been the proceedings of their Symposium. Starting in 1997, the proceedings of the annual ITiCSE conference will be issued as the September Bulletin. Starting in 1997 the papers of the ITiCSE working groups were distributed in hard copy to ITiCSE registrants only. They are made available to the membership via immediate inclusion in the ACM's Digital Library. The Bulletin has a new editor and has been redesigned from front to back.

2. Electronic Presence
SIGCSE maintains an active web page. The page contains links of interest to computer science educators and is maintained by their information director. SIGCSE also has two very active listservs. One is for announcements such as calls for participation, job openings, grant deadlines, etc. The second is for discussions.

3. Conferences and Awards
SIGCSE's flagship conference is the Symposium on Computer Science Education held in February or March. It covers a broad spectrum of computing education interests. This conference also serves as the venue for presenting two awards and for SIGCSE's annual business meeting.

In 1996 SIGCSE helped start two new conferences: ITiCSE and the Australasian Computer Science Education Conference (ACSE).

4. Membership
In the past four years SIGCSE has experienced a decrease in membership and this is of concern. A membership campaign starting in 1996 and continuing to date seems to have reversed the trend. Over the past four years, SIGCSE has had an exemplary retention rate. In fact, their retention rate is the highest of all the SIGs more than one year old and exceeds the SIG average by more than 10%.

SIGCSE has a Board that is composed of a chair, vice-chair, secretary/treasurer, immediate past chair, and three members elected at large. Each Board member has an area of responsibility. In 1997 an election was held for all the officers and Board members at large. There were 2 nominees for each position. As part of the election process the bylaws were amended to add the immediate past chair to the Board, reflecting recent practice. The mission statement was also updated at this time.

SIGCSE has been prudent in its financial management. Their fund balance grew to almost $190,000 between 1994 and 1996. This strong financial position allowed the Board to propose a deficit budget in 1997. Even with the normal Symposium attendance and unanticipated Symposium expenses, the budgeted income and expenses were on target.

Participation with Other SIGs and related organizations
SIGCSE joined with SIGCUE to establish ITiCSE in 1996. With the success that ITiCSE has enjoyed, SIGCSE expects this conference and cooperation to continue. SIGCSE also continues to be "in-cooperation" sponsors of the SIGAda conference. After a long standing relationship with NECC, they have reduced membership in NECC to that of a non-voting member. This is to acknowledge that NECC has become a conference dealing with computers in K-12 education.

An NSF grant provides travel support to regional conferences sponsored by the Consortium for Computing in Small Colleges for Symposium workshop presenters.

The 1998 ITiCSE conference is being held in Dublin in conjunction with the 6th Conference on the Teaching of Computing which is jointly sponsored by the Center for Teaching of Computing at Dublin City University and the Computing in Teaching Initiative at Belfast. SIGCSE hopes this close interaction with people of like interests who were not totally aware of SIGCSE may well generate new members from Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Program Goals
During the past 4 years SIGCSE has benefited from dynamic and forward thinking leadership. The establishment has 2 new conferences, their strong electronic presence via a web page and 2 listservs, and the creation of the Lifetime Service Award are examples of this leadership. SIGCSE has a faithful and involved membership. The retention rate and the large number of volunteers who make their conferences successful and who are willing to take on projects such as the Computer Laboratory Repository attest to this.

The challenge to the current leadership is to continue to meet the changing needs of computing educators by guiding the evolution of their conferences and bulletin, by maintaining their electronic presence, and by sponsoring new services. They will poll their membership this spring for their opinions on issues concerning the Symposium, the Bulletin, other member services, and dues.

7.4 SIGDA [Cohoon]

Cohoon began his report by thanking SIGDA's Program Director, Lisette Burgos for all her hard work.

The focus of SIGDA is electronic design automation. Many members view themselves as computer or electrical engineers.

Membership is at 825 over all categories. This is down 20% over 4 years. The majority of the drop was last year. Their retention rate is 55% with students being the most volatile.

Their current fund balance is $1.8 million. They publish a newsletter twice a year and maintain a web site on acm.org.


  • Sponsor of major EDA meetings.
    • DAC
    • ICCAD, ASP-DAC, FPGA, Low Power, Physical Design, Systems Synthesis
    • Numerous workshops
    • Provide logistical support
  • Maintain an EDA Digital Library
    • Captured all major EDA literature prior to 1991 available as the CDROM DA Library and in HTML on the web.
    • Annual compendium CDROM
    • Currently capturing "The Missing Years"
  • Provide unrestricted access to their site in the ACM Digital Library
  • Captured video and audio of panel and tutorial sessions of DAC
    • available on www
    • supplemented one session with multimedia articles (they plan to package this as a CDROM to be distributed to their members)
  • Establish and provide ongoing support to TODAES.
  • University Booth
    • Allow students and faculty to demonstrate their research and software at DAC (typically 15-25 universities run demonstrations)
  • Travel Grants
  • Women in Design Automation Conference
  • Scholarships (graduate and college)
  • Library Grants
  • Historic supporter of SDF

Developing Leadership

  • SIGDA seeks members to propose and run projects both for SIGDA and for sponsored conferences.
  • They provide equipment grants to coordinate University Booth.
  • Student outreach

Their main concern worry is getting qualified people to run for office. They are discussing the possibility of running a Board rather than individuals for positions. SIGDA's recommendation to all SIGs is that they put on an annual conference with both technical presentations and exhibits.

8.0 Selection of 2 Members at Large

Motion: Move to nominate Lewis Johnson for SIG Board Member-at-Large.
Bucher, Cohoon

Motion: Move to nominate Steve Cunningham for SIG Board Member-at-Large.
Cohoon, Klein

Motion: Move to close nominations for SIG Board Members-at-Large.
Cohoon, Martin

11.0 SIG Board Report on Completed Action Items [Lidtke, Baglio]

Lidtke reviewed the action items the Board accomplished over the past year.

Lidtke announced that she would like to showcase 1-2 SIGs at the May Council meeting. SIGGRAPH will be one of them. She requested suggestions for another from the group.

12.0 Wrap-up and Agenda Suggestions for Next Meeting

Motion: Move to thank Joe DeBlasi for his contributions to the SIGs.
Cohoon, Floyd
Motion passed by voice vote

The Chairs asked if Joe's replacement has been found. Lidtke responded that the search is still underway.

Snodgrass suggested that a membership discussion take place.

Furuta suggested a discussion on SDF and the individual SIG development funds. Lidtke suggested that in order to address these subjects we set aside a time and come prepared.

Action: Baglio will add a membership discussion to the agenda of the next SIG Chair meeting

Action: Baglio will add a conference surplus discussion lead by Snodgrass to the agenda of the next SIG Chair meeting.

Action: Snodgrass and Cassel will work together to develop topics for a discussion with SIG Information Directors.

Action: Lidtke and Baglio will work on date options for Fall'98 SIG Meeting once Council Meeting dates have been determined.

Motion: Move to adjourn 
Johnson, Haramundanis

Meeting adjourned at 3.20 pm.



  SIG Chairs/Representatives
  • Karl Klee SIG3C
  • Jeff Vitter SIGACT
  • Ben Brosgol SIGAda
  • David Siegel SIGAPL
  • Jon McGrew SIGAPL
  • Gary Lamont SIGAPP
  • Alan Berenbaum SIGARCH
  • Lewis Johnson SIGART
  • Ephraim Glinert SIGCAPH
  • Dianne Martin SIGCAS
  • Mike Atwood SIGCHI
  • Sally Floyd SIGCOMM
  • Al Lederer SIGCPR
  • Bruce Klein SIGCSE
  • Jim Hightower SIGCUE
  • Jim Cohoon SIGDA
  • Kathy Haramundanis SIGDOC
  • Steve Cunningham SIGGRAPH
  • Catherine Beise SIGGROUP
  • Stephen Hayne SIGGROUP
  • Nicholas Belkin SIGIR
  • Marc Nanard SIGLINK
  • George Kasper SIGMIS
  • Richard Snodgrass SIGMOD
  • Carla Ellis SIGOPS
  • Robert Kessler SIGPLAN
  • Alexander Wolf SIGSOFT
  • John E. Bucher SIGUCC
SIG Board
  • Della Bonnette
  • Lillian Cassel
  • Richard Furuta
  • Doris Lidtke
  • Keith Miller
  • Stuart Shapiro
  • Mary Whitton
  • Nina Wishbow
  • Gayle Yaverbaum
  • Donna Baglio
  • Maria Rivera
ACM Representatives
  • Mary Jane Irwin, ACM EC
  • Joe Turner, ACM EC
  • Barbara Simons, USACM