SIG Governing Board Meeting

Friday, March 21, 2014

1.0 Welcome, Introductions (Cerf, Altman, Madden)

Eric Altman welcomed the group and those in attendance introduced themselves. Vint Cerf thanked everyone for all that they do for ACM and asked the group to contribute to his the endeavor of making members out of non-members.

2.0 Report from ACM CEO (White):

John White introduced himself and thanked everyone for attending. He reported that membership is strong with the rate of increase the greatest in India and China.

ACM Retreat: In November 2013 a group of volunteers and ACM staff met to examine ways that ACM might restructure its portfolio of core activities, and the business models that support our communities to stay viable in the future. Goals were to look at opportunities to get in front of publishing trends and identify major challenges to multiple dimensions of ACM: Membership, Technical communities (SIGs) and conferences, Publishing/DL, as well as the models that underpin all of the above. The group included Vint Cerf, Alex Wolf, Vicki Hansen, Erik Altman, Alain Chesnais, Ron Boisvert, Jack Davidson, Joe Konstan, Andrew McGettrick, Stu Feldman, Wendy Hall, Moshe Vardi, Salil Vadhan, John White, Pat Ryan, Bernard Rous, Scott Delman, Wayne Graves, Donna Cappo, Russell Harris and Darren Ramden.

The major issues discussed included: building an ACM community member database, building an initial model for the ACM community; defining the products, services, and benefits for the ACM community; improving the current publications business; move further with OA publishing within ACM; critically review the current portfolio of publications; journal vs. conference publishing; future published content; the future of the digital library; reposition conferences within the publishing culture of computing research; explore conferences outside the SIG structure; improve the SIG structure.

The significant outcomes included a focus on doing more to recognize non-member communities, moving toward a durable archive and making sure that journals and conferences are serving the communities well.

The participants will work together going forward on reviewing these issues and making recommendations.  

3.0 ACM EUROPE (Gagliardi)

ACM Europe Council Chair, Fabrizio Gagliardi gave an update on the activities of the ACM Europe Council.  Established in 2009, under Wendy Hall’s presidency, the ACM Europe Council is part of a global regional impact program including ACM councils in China and India.  In July 2013 ACM Europe incorporated as a non-for-profit legal entity in Brussels (Belgium).  The aim is to become a privileged interlocutor to international (European Commission) and national funding agencies similar to USACM in the US.

ACM Europe Council is composed of the following members: Fabrizio Gagliardi, (Council Chair), Reyyan Ayfer, Ricardo Baeza-Yates, Michel Beaudouin-Lafon, Carlo Ghezzi, Mashhuda Glencross, (Council Treasurer), Wendy Hall, (Council Vice Chair), David Harper, Paola Inverardi, Matthias Kaiserswerth, Gabriele Kotsis, (Council Secretary), Andrew McGettrick, Avi Mendelson, Bertrand Meyer, Burkhard Neidecker-Lutz, Gerhard Schimpf, Chair, Marc Shapiro, Paul Spirakis, Per Stenström, Serdar Tasiran, Alexander Wolf.  The Council meets twice annually.  Recent meetings focus on increasing ACM conferences in Europe. A review of the ACM Federated Research Conference (FCRC) for the European community (ECRC) which successfully took place in Paris May 2-4, 2013 in conjunction with SIGCHI & SIGACCESS , GLSVLSI, HT, WebSci, HiPEAC for a total of 578 attendees.  The Council is moving forward in sponsorship of ECRC 2017.  SIGs should use ACM Europe as a resource to advise and connect SIGs locally.

ACM Europe was involved in the first Heidelberg Laureate Forum (HLF) in 2013 which is privately funded by the Klaus Tschira foundation and successfully connected 200 young researchers with 40 laureates.  The second HLF will follow the same model and ACM is driving the process for the computing community by generating awareness and by participating in the reviewing and ranking of applicants.

European activities include a remarkable increase of DSP talks in Europe - from 3 to 15 in the last year.

DSP talks are a good way to promote ACM membership growth.  To promote the expansion and creation of ACM chapters in Europe we established the Council of European Chapter Leaders (CECL).  Other activities include collaboration with Informatics Europe to review CS education in Europe.  The result has been the formation of the Joint Committee on European Computing Education with 3 members from each organization working to map and monitor CS education in Europe and influence governments and funding agencies on CS education.  A major ACM-Europe/IE conference on computer science education is being considered.  Collaboration with other Societies includes EFICST with a cooperative platform with ERCIM, EATCS, ECCAI, IE, etc…   

4.0 Report on ACM Books Program (Ozsu)

M. Tamer Özsu, Editor-in-Chief of ACM Books, presented an overview of what the program involves.  Following a mandate, the program seeks to publish graduate-level textbooks, research monographs, books on the history of computing, books related to the social impact of computing and titles celebrating ACM activities such as doctoral dissertation winners and Turing award winners.  The program emphasizes high quality, unique and innovative work; books that may not individually have a large market.  All books in the series will be digital in various formats.  The program will leverage digital media for supplemental material.

The program is partnered with Morgan & Claypool for production and distribution.  They will be responsible for copy editing, production and distribution through their channels.  ACM will distribute through the Digital Library.  Individual titles will be available via Amazon, iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other eBook retailers.  Print-on–demand will be available.

Back-office activities so far include developing the web page (http://books.acm.org); publishing an article in CACM ( http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2541106); creating an internal design, cover art and advertising.

The program would like to align our editorial focus with the SIGs and ask that SIG leaders share ideas related to these areas of immediate concern: artificial intelligence, computer architecture, computer systems, networks and distributed systems.  The program is also interested in subjects related to computer vision, real-time and embedded systems, robotics, computer games and computational science. The SIGs are asked to please share book ideas as well as other general advice.

5.0 Research Highlights of CACM (Morrisett)

Greg Morrisett, who is Co-editor-in-chief of the Research Highlights column of the Communications of the ACM, gave a review of the current editing focus of the column.  The editors aim to call attention to “exciting” developments across all areas of research in Computer Science.  This often draws from “best” conference papers seeking to make the ideas accessible to a broad CS research audience.  Selected papers include a 1-page technical perspective by some senior person in the field. Selection doesn’t prevent publication elsewhere.

The Research Highlights column is second only to the news section in reader popularity. Readers strongly agree that Research Highlights papers are relevant to their work (54%); are well written (67%); and find the topics appropriate and valuable (60%). More than three quarters (77.6%) of those surveyed indicate that Technical Perspectives enhance their understanding of the Research Highlights papers.

Members of the editorial board nominate papers and the whole board discusses the nominations during monthly telecom.  The board is working on expanding so as to ensure that every CS area is covered.  Another focus is to educate the board on the pitfalls of succumbing to jadedness about exciting research developments.  The selection process also involves nominations from conferences – the committee works with PCs to identify best papers. On average, about 50% of the papers selected from the major conferences are included.

The board is reaching out to the SIGs to broaden the pipeline for papers. Annually, ACM publishes around 17,000 conference papers. RH’s goal is to find 4 papers a month to highlight.  SIGPLAN effectively assists efforts to improve coverage.  SIGs might want to follow their lead and include nominating information on their website as well as a link to the CACM RH nomination page. Help from the SIGs is needed to make sure that all areas of CS are represented in RH.

Comments from the SGB included the need to be more transparent about what constitutes a good RH article as well as the suggestion that it would be good to give feedback to the SIGs so that they can better judge what papers will get in.

6.0 ICPS Program (Perott)

Ron Perrott presented a review of the International Conference Proceeding Series.  This is a vehicle for promoting wider access to high-quality archival conference and workshop proceedings from the field of computing.  The overall goals are to enable conferences and workshops to offer effectively produced proceedings to their attendees and to provide maximum dissemination of the material through electronic channels, specifically, the ACM Digital Library, the scope of which includes a broad range of proceedings from international and regional conferences on areas including basic and applied research and professional interests.

The quality guidelines and policies dictate that applicants are judged according to the expected archival value of the proceedings and that they must be primarily composed of peer-reviewed papers or articles.  In addition, ACM requires titles and abstracts to be submitted in English.  We also reserve the right to exclude proceedings of events that only submit short abstract papers or articles.

The Editorial Board is composed of Alex K. Jones, Norm Jouppi, Brian Wyvill, Graham Hutton, Christoph Kirsch and Regina Bernhaupt.  The ACM India Council is composed of P.J. Narayanan, Srinvas Padmanabhuni, Mangala Gori Nanda, Chandrashekhar Sahasrabudhe, Sangeeta Bhattacharya, Supratik Chakraborty, Madhavan Mukund, Ganesan Ramalingam, S. Ramesh, Rajeev Ramnarain Rastogi and Anand S. Deshpande.  Presently there are no firm developments in forming an Asian Editorial Board.

The program works with conference organizers who fill out and submit the ICPS form.  The Editor-in Chief will review proposals to determine whether the conference proceedings are suitable for ACM publication.

ICPS downloads for 2013 totaled 827,028.  The US has the most number of downloads per year in a comparison of 53 countries.

7.0 Publications Activities (Konstan)

Joe Konstan provided an update on recent activities of the Pubs Board which is in the middle of a major reorganization.  It currently has 6 standing committees whose members are hand-selected to focus on ethics and plagiarism and data citation.  The main focus with the Digital Library involves determining the best way to archive all the publications and associated data.  Evaluations of the effectiveness of the editorial services are underway with the intent to serve the people that are supposed to be served. They are involved in finding organizers who can work together.  They are also evaluating business models for journals; examining the overall Open Access structure and APC’s and will be looking at the significance of the model that has the good works of ACM subsidized by conferences and publications.

8.0 Viability Reviews

8.1 SIGACESS Viability Review (Sears)

Andrew Sears presented the SIGs strengths and areas where growth is needed.  The SIG is comfortable in the area of reinvesting in the community.  They have successfully rebuilt their fund balance and have seen a significant growth from conferences and the revenue from the DL. The SIG has introduced new awards and increased travel scholarships as a way to support the community.

There is room for improvement in providing educational resources.  SIGACCESS recognizes that there is a need based on interest - however finding people to contribute has been a challenge.  Problems appear to lie in finding organizers who can make the time commitment as well as the way members perceive the possible return on investment.

RecommendationThe SGB EC congratulates SIGACCESS on their program performance and finds it viable to continue its status for the next 4 years.

Unanimous approval of the recommendation by SGB.

8.2 SIGACT Viability Review (Beame)

Paul Beame presented a review of the state of SIGACT. The SIG is happy with increases in conference attendance which have yielded surpluses allowing subsidizing of upcoming conferences, student travel grants and awards. Maintaining relationships with other groups has been very positive and rewarding.  This has been seen through co-sponsorship of the LICS conference with IEEE-TCMF as well as working to foster the development of the new Special Interest Group, SIGLOG.  The SIGACT research community considers recent awards to members of the community such as several Turing award winners, an Athena Lecturer and a large grant from the Simons Institute on Theoretical Science important measures of success.

RecommendationThe SGB EC congratulates SIGACT on their program performance and finds it viable to continue its status for the next 4 years.

Unanimous approval of the recommendation by SGB.

 8.3 SIGAda Viability Review (Cook)

Dave Cook presented a broad review of the goals of SIGAda and the benefits offered to members.  The goals are to coordinate, provide and disseminate information relating to the Ada programming language and high-integrity programming practices involving safety-critical and real-time coding.  Benefits include outreach such as the SIGAda/HILT conference, the SIGAda web page, the tri-annual publication, “Ada Letters,” The annual International Real-time Ada Workshop proceedings. The home page of the SIGAda website is devoted to outreach and transparency, providing many community related resources.

The SIGAda conference was renamed HILT in 2012 to bring focus to high-integrity design and programing.  Invited and accepted papers are high-quality and reflect the work of leaders in the industry.  Low numbers of submissions does not indicate a problem with the conference.  Overall, the conference has received positive reviews especially concerning improved quality.

In spite of a downturn in the economy and the military sequestration, our conference attendance is stable.  We feel an annual conference that continually draws 75 people or more is reasonable, if it meets the needs of our community.  We have shown we have the ability to predict and budget accurately based on our estimated attendance.  Our co-locating with SPLASH (SIGPLAN) will help us gather additional exhibitors – which is where we have lost part of our revenue.

In conclusion, SIGAda is more than a SIG based on what has been called a “dying language.”  Ada is not dying but is in fact used worldwide in both academia and industry.  The number of high-integrity applications in Ada is growing.  200 schools in 35 countries are using Ada in their curriculum.  Conferences focus on Ada as well as high-integrity design and coding, with top-notch speakers.  The SIG leverages membership and vendors with Ada-Europe.  Changes to conference policies have positively impacted the bottom line over the years and we expect to see more positive outcomes.

Comment from the SGB: The SGB EC notes that the Ada community is shrinking and is concerned about the viability of SIGAda. The SGB EC suggests that the SIGAda leadership review the needs of their community and determine if remaining a SIG is the most appropriate way to serve them.  

RecommendationIt is recommended that the SIGAda status be extended for a two year period. In one year, the SIGAda leadership is expected to report to the SGB EC on the success of the modifications made to the conference and provide the SGB EC with a plan for the future. That plan may include remaining a SIG, becoming a sub-unit of an existing SIG or completely de-chartering. Will Tracz will Mentor SIGAda and work with the leadership following the SGB meeting.

Unanimous approval of the recommendation by SGB.

 8.4 SIGCAS Viability Review (Adams)

Andrew Adams presented an overview of the current status of the SIG. The purpose of SIGCAS is to provide a societal impact angle to technical issues as they relate to social, legal and ethical aspects of computing and IT.  SIGCAS has been called the “Conscience of ACM.” Activities include the newsletter “Computers and Society” as well as participation in multiple conferences such as contributing to the IEEE/ACM Curriculum Development.  The SIG offers 2 awards: “Making a Difference Award” which is awarded externally and the “Outstanding Service Award” which is given internally.

Proactive contact with relevant conference committees has expanded their In Cooperation efforts with IEEE ISTAS 2013 and IEEE Ethics 2014 (which includes ISTAS) as well as CEPE 2014 and Ethicomp 2014 which are co-located.  SIGCAS is a sponsor of a speaker at the joint day on Women in Computing.  Many of the conference activities include social implications of their remit.  The regular SIGCSE pre-event is well attended by members and produces strong positive feedback.

The SIG has identified a problem with membership declining at 10% a year despite reasonable retentions percentages of longer term members.  The response to this has been to recruit more new members and improve our online presence by updating the website, create LinkedIn and Facebook groups and promote membership at In-Coop conferences through fliers and sponsored speakers and events.  They are also open to other suggestions.

A secondary problem involves an extended delay with the publication of the newsletter beginning in 2009.  At this point the 2014 issue is ready for typesetting.  A response to this has been to recruit two new assistant editors who are in the process of removing the current editor and issuing targeted calls for papers.

There is a small membership base which means they have a small revenue stream which limits activities.  Despite this they are committed to addressing links which have been allowed to drop and build membership with Professionals as well as Students.

Comment from the SGB: The SGB EC is concerned that the SIGCAS newsletter is more than 2 issues behind. They also noticed that the SIG has limited activity and no social media presence; a surprise considering the topic. The late newsletter is cause to put the SIG into automatic transition however, the SGB EC believes it is appropriate to give the SIG time to correct their concerns.

RecommendationIt is recommended that the SIGCAS status be extended for a one year period. In one year, SIGCAS leadership is expected to bring the newsletter up to date, develop a prepared set of plans and activities to include a social media presence and present to the SGB EC. If the newsletter is not brought up to date at the time of the next viability review, the SIG will automatically be placed in transition. Will Tracz will mentor SIGCAS and work with the leadership following the SGB meeting.

Unanimous approval of the recommendation by SGB.

 8.5 SIGCSE Viability Review (Rodger)

Susan Rodger presented a review of the positive and negative updates with SIGCSE. Overall, the SIG has had healthy conferences with worldwide outreach including worldwide conferences.  ICER rotates between US, Europe and Australasia.  ITiCSE started in 1996 in Europe and the SIG is looking at options on other continents.  Registration is steady and strong with the SIGCSE Symposium drawing 1250 and ITiCSE 250.  The SIG is talking with Informatics Europe (IE) about starting a new CS Education conference in Europe.

The SIG experienced an unpleasant surprise when planning for ITiCSE 2014 in Sweden when they ended up charging an additional $55 per registrant to make up for VAT charges.  Also, the SIGs youngest conference, ICER, is 10 years old and has not seen any growth beyond 70 attendees.

RecommendationThe SGB EC congratulates SIGCSE on their program performance and finds it viable to continue its status for the next 4 years.

Unanimous approval of the recommendation by SGB.

8.6 SIGDA Viability Review (Chang)

Naehyuck Chang presented an update on SIGDA’s strengths and weaknesses. The SIG recently celebrated its 50th anniversary and continuous contributions to semiconductor scaling including designing tools and methodologies, power/thermal management, technologies/tools/applications for emerging technologies.  Over its 50 year life, the SIG has consistently supported educational activities and professional development.  Goals for the future include an emphasis on embedded systems and software, vertical integration with cross-layer optimization within automation and security.

The SIG is growing.  They have newly launched local chapters in Asia; SIGDA affiliated professional awards; high membership retention rate within the 70-80% range over the last 4 years; more than 2,700 people receive the newsletter and the chapters are growing in members.

Areas of improvement include increasing consistency with policies and practices within co-sponsored events.  Plans include enhancing organizer education; participating in the conference steering committee meetings and working with local chapters because chapter officers are potential conference organizers.   Progress has been made and is evident in increased partnership with IEEE CEDA and IEEE.  Another area of improvement has been seen in the DAC budget which had a 105K loss in 2008 and gained a surplus of 42K in 2013.  Overall the fund balance is healthy but the SIG is challenged to return the surplus to members through travel grants, expanded educational activities and by the creation of new programs.

RecommendationThe SGB EC congratulates SIGDA on their program performance and finds it viable to continue its status for the next 4 years.

Unanimous approval of the recommendation by SGB.

9.0 SIGLOG Proposal to Charter (Shankar)

Natarajan Shankar presented a proposal for a new Special Interest Group, SIGLOG. Shankar shared an Executive Summary outlining how Logic is a central topic in computing.  He explained that ACM has a core constituency with an interest in Logic and Computing (L&C) as seen in the many Turing Awards given to work centered on L&C; the ACM journal Transactions on Computational Logic; Several long-running conferences such as LICS, CADE, CAV, ICLP, RTA, CSL, TACAS, and MFPS, and super-conferences like FLoC and ETAPS.  SIGLOG explores the connections between logic and computing covering theory, semantics, analysis, and synthesis.  SIGLOG delivers value to members through the coordination of conferences, journals, newsletters, awards and educational programs.

Logic has become the calculus of computing underpinning the foundations of many diverse sub-fields interacting in a significant way with the study of artificial intelligence, the theory of computation, databases, knowledge bases, programming languages, software engineering, computational biology, symbolic computing, semantic web and hardware design.

L&C is partly covered by volume B of the Handbook of Theoretical Computer Science.  There are many associated conferences including the Federated Logic Conference which has been running since 1996 with expected attendees at the 2014 conference to reach 1500.  The estimated size of the SIGLOG community is over 2000 with a substantial presence in Europe.  The SIG is expected to grow to 500 within five years.  There are plans to hold a session on SIGLOG at FLoC to kick start the agenda and begin recruiting members.

Activities include the formation of committees to guide the following activities:  sponsoring conferences; establishing awards with criteria and juries; make recommendations for undergraduate and graduate courses and programs; oversee website, newsletter and other forms of dissemination, recruit international members, coordinate conferences and events; disseminate information about the activities of SIGLOG; publish information relevant to the SIGLOG community; act in an advisory role with ToCL and other organizations.

The L&C community has been running several major events for over 30 years.  The SIG has set a slate of office-bearers with highly experienced volunteers.  All positions are filled.  A By-Laws document has been drafted.

In conclusion, ACM SIGLOG will serve the needs of a significant and growing international community of researchers.  The L&C community already has a strong tradition of volunteerism and strong connections to other SIG communities.  The SIGLOG proposal has already been enthusiastically received within the community.  A draft budget prepared by Prakash Panangaden with help from Darren Ramdin, shows SIGLOG to be on solid footing.  The organizers are looking forward to recruiting members at the Federated Logic Conference/Vienna Summer of Logic in July 2014.

Recommendation: The SGB EC recommends that the SGB grant SIG status to SIGLOG - The Special Interest Group on Logic and Computation effective April 1, 2014, contingent upon submission of a petition of 20 ACM members and the SGB EC’s approval of the following materials:  

1.    A set of bylaws

2.    A budget

3.    A statement of member benefits

 

Unanimous approval of the recommendation by SGB.

10.0 DL App Demo (Graves)

Wayne Graves gave a presentation on the DL mobile app. The development of the app unifies digital library and conference information.  Notable features include the ability to customize the home page and display the current issue of ACM magazines. ACM publications such as journals, papers, paper details, citation pages and abstract information are also available and videos are imbedded.  Author pages are linked. The app can distribute paper information.

A list of current conferences, their schedules and other data appear on the home page.  The app has a feature that allows users to add events to users’ calendar and convert the time of the event to the time zone that is local to the event.

The app uses the same authentication feature as the digital library and users must sign into their ACM web accounts to gain access.  It is available from iTunes or Google Play.

11.0 Webinar Programs (Tracz)

Will Tracz presented an opportunity from the Professional Development Committee for SIGs to use On24, a webinar service at no-cost for events with less than 1000 attendees.  The webinars will be available through open-access in the ACM Professional Development Learning Center (http://learning.acm.org). Topics, speaker and moderator selection will be left to the SIG. Schedule and logistics will be coordinated by the ACM Professional Development Webinar chair, Will Tracz. Registration and production logistics for the 1 hour webinar are provided by On24. General topic ACM webinars to date typically have 2000 registrants, but some events have gotten over 4000 members and non-members to register - though not all at once. Registration and production logistics for the 1 hour webinar are provided by On24.

12.0 SGB EC Administrative Reports

12.1 SGB EC Update (Altman)

Erik Altman delivered an update on the activities of the SGB EC. A new task force lead by Wolfgang Banzhaf (SIGEVO Chair) has been charged with examining the establishment of a “Retiree Policy” that would give discounts to conferences for longtime members who meet a certain criteria related to age and years of membership. Recommendations will be presented at the next meeting.

12.1.1 EC Update - Survey Results (Altman)

Erik Altman reviewed the survey results from the October 1, 2013 SGB meeting.  Out of 25 responses, the overall response was 64% good and 36% excellent.  The “Best Practice Session” was the overall favorite part of the meeting with the report on “Citizen Scientists and ACM” by Simon Harper the second most favorite. The least appreciated part of the meeting was the SIG viability reviews and second to that was the USACM update. Many positive comments were made about the organization of the meeting and the overall benefits of attending the meeting. Negative feedback focused on the viability review portion of the meeting, opportunities to improve the technical presentation at the SGB meeting, and general problems with increasing memberships to SIGs.

12.1.2 EC Update - Retreat Report (Altman)

Building off of the report from John White, Erik Altman presented an overview of the ACM retreat that took place in the fall of 2013.  The following new task forces were created that involve SGB participation: the task force on journals and conferences is charged with conducting an in-depth and coherent analysis of the publishing issues surrounding conferences and developing recommendations for fundamental changes to ACM’s conference model and related conference publishing model.  The task force on ACM SIG structure is charged with 1) recommending changes that simplify, strengthen and empower the SIG communities 2) Addressing how ACM technical communities and their activities can achieve greater coherence and maintain more consistent level of quality. 

12.1.3 EC Update - CCS/NSA Issue (Altman)

Erik Altman reviewed the matter of the responses to the CCS conference related to comments made about the NSA and its employees.  The EC has agreed that conferences should not address matters that might make anyone feel personally threatened. This specific issue involved an NSA employee attending the conference who felt threatened by the subject matter and left the conference believing personal safety was at risk.  The conference organizers arranged to fly the NSA employee home that day.  The matter was investigated by the SIG Chair (Trent Jaeger) and addressed by the ACM President (Vint Cerf) who expressed regret that the employee experienced this unwelcome treatment.

12.1.4 History Committee

Erik Altman presented an outline of the upcoming May 2014 Archiving Workshop on behalf of History Committee Co-Chair Tao Xie.  The goal of the workshop is to gain knowledge of professional archiving policies and practices, traditional as well as digital.  The committee hopes to also build a network of ACM members within the US and overseas who are doing archiving projects.  The committee asks that the SIGs reach out to members for participation with an interest in preserving ACM’s history.

The committee is also involved in selecting a winner for the 2014 ACM History Fellowship Award.  The selection aspires to selecting a winner with a deeper and wider knowledge of ACM’s history so that it includes ACM activities, SIG activities, ACM’s influence on government and computer security as well as journal articles, dissertation chapters and conferences.

12.2 SGB Elections (Hanson)

Vicki Hanson presented a review of the SGB Elections which will be taking place this spring and thanked the all of the SIG leaders for all of their dedication and service especially those whose terms have ended. Thanks was given to Erik Altman, Patrick Madden, Brent Hailpern, Andrew Sears, Yannis Ionnidis, Elisa Bertino who are leaving the SGB EC. The 2014 SGB election slate includes these 2 years positions commencing on July 1, 2014: For the position of SGB Chair (1 position), Patrick Madden (SGB-EC Vice-Chair for Operations, SIGDA Past Chair) and Andrew Sears (SGB Council Representative, SIGACCESS Chair).  For the position of SGB Council Representative (2 positions): Paul Beame (SIGACT Chair), Yannis Ioannidis (SGB Conference Advisor, SIGMOD Past Chair), John C.S. Lui (SIGMETRICS Chair, Barbara Boucher Owens (SIGCSE Past Chair).  For the position of SGB EC Member-at-Large (3 positions) Charles Clarke (SIGIR Chair), Srinivasan Keshav (SIGCOMM Chair), Donald Kossmann (SIGMOD Chair), Ilias Kotsireas (SIGSAM Chair), G. Scott Owen (ACM SIGGRAPH Past President).

12.3 Full Inclusion Task Force (Harper)

Simon Harper presented the final recommendations from the SIG Task Force on Full Inclusion.  The group is represented by Erik Altman (SGB Chair),  Florence Appel (SIGCAS),  Donna Cappo (ACM – New York),  Alain Chesnais (Past President of the ACM),  Vicki Hanson (Treasurer of the ACM), Simon Harper (SIGWEB), Zhengjie Liu (SIGCHI), Jeanna Matthews (SIGOPS),  Renee McCauley (SIGCSE), Barbara Boucher Owens (SIGCSE), Jenny Preece (SIGCHI), Shari Trewin (SIGACCESS).  The objectives are to 1) develop definitions (2) review and disseminate best practices; and (3) identify technologies and research areas that can help.

The groups’ recommendations are based on the examined constraints found in accessibility and disability, age equality, orientation as a hobbyist or maker, cultural equality and race, economic disadvantage, gender equality and unconventional educational routes.  The task force inquired into how such constraints might limit people wishing access to SIGs and their resources.

The group found that there are no significant constrains to people wishing to become members in the context of accessibility and disability.  The recommendations relating to encouraging SIG participation are: make your website conform to Web Accessibility Standards; use appropriate language on your website and SIG material; provide accessible electronic copies of publicity materials.

SIGs should support their members in the context of accessibility and disability and provide access to material and support at events.  The recommendations are: (1) create an accessible conference by conforming to the SIGACCESS Accessible Conference Guide (http://www.sigaccess.org/welcome-to-sigaccess/resources/accessible-conference-guide/) (2) Ask your conference organizers and paper authors to use the appropriate language when writing papers concerning disable people.  (3) Create accessible Adobe Acrobat/pdf documents and “Word” documents as well as accessible presentations http://office.microsoft.com/en-gb/frontpage-help/create-an-accessible-office-document-RZ006380094.aspx (4) Consider a companion assistance program to support a person with a physical disability necessitating a companion such as those offered by SIGARCH, SIGOPS and SIGPLAN

13.0 Best Practices Relationship with Steering Committee (Van der Veer)

Gerritt Van der Veer gave a presentation and answered questions related to SIGs developing Steering Committees based on the approach followed by SIGCHI, which is made up of 5000 members and sponsors about 15 conferences each year.  SIGCHI has an active steering committee which is actively developed by elected leaders (President, Executive Vice President, VP for Communications, VP for Finance and 2 VP’s at Large).  These committees are led by Steering Committee Chairs, who are appointed and charged with leading individual conference management committees for the SIG sponsored conferences.

Integral to the development of SIGCHI’s steering committees is the support given to the growth of communities based on topics of interest or geographical proximity, and sustained by making membership easily accessible, requiring only a free ACM web account.  Community members can join several different communities at once but can only vote and hold office if they are SIGCHI members as well.  Community members can create new communities easily through the SIG website.  Steering committees strengthen SIGCHI leadership and are grown out of these communities.

Erik Altman closed the meeting

The next meeting will be held on Thursday, October 16,2014 in Chicago, Illinois.

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