SIG Governing Board Minutes: October 12, 2018
Sarita Adve, SIGARCH, SGB Council Rep
Shan Lu, SIGOPS
1.0 Welcome, Introductions (Jortner)
Jortner opened meeting at 9:07 am and introduced Claire Lauer as the VC of Operations on the SGB EC. He explained that it is her role to run the meeting as VC of Operations. The meeting began with introductions; each person introduced themselves and the SIG they represent.
2.0 Report from ACM CEO (Hanson)
Jortner introduced ACM CEO Vicki Hanson. She explained that she was going to give an update on financials, membership, boards, regional councils and other activities as well as ACM EC priorities.
Hanson provided a high level financial overview of the FY’19 budget compared to actuals from the previous 3 years. Financially ACM is doing very well. There’s a projected loss coming from the SIGs, most of which are expenses to give back to the community. She then reviewed the membership totals. There are fewer members due to a loss of student membership but there is an increase in professional members. The student membership numbers reflect free membership from the collegiate program contest which we no longer have an affiliation with. In terms of the contest, free membership were given to all participating students (10,000) but they weren’t active and didn’t renew. We are not replenishing those students so it is a one- time drop. This also causes a slight shift in global membership versus domestic since these are international students.
Only 13% of our graduate students and 2% of undergrad become professional members. What is it we do for student members and how do we hold on to them?
The SGB asked about ICPC and Hanson explained that it was a mutual decision to drop the ICPC. They started their own foundation and we still work with them and some SIGs support regional events but our official support was working with world finals which we don’t do anymore. We still encourage work with the regional contests.
Beginning in September 2017 ACM has been offering an academic department membership which provides ACM professional membership to their faculty at the cost of $49 per person. 86 universities are currently enrolled equating to 1,549 professional memberships, with 60% being new. This is a successful program.
A lot of what Ed Board does is related to the development of curricula recommendations which have global impact. We have encouraged global representation and had a face to face meeting to engage other societies in Europe. They have a few curricula projects and a new one is in data science. For that we’ve engaged with the National Academies of Science Round Table putting together a curriculum. We’re hoping for a cross-exchange for our board and the national academies. Separate from Ed board is CSTA who works with K-12 teachers or primary and secondary school teachers trying to help these teachers deliver on teaching CS principles to younger students. Few are trained in computing and come from many disciplines. CSTA is an LLC within ACM working on this issue of dealing with teachers of younger students. Traditionally members did not pay dues. They are beginning to charge a fee by starting CSTA +. Half of the fees will go to chapters that apply for funding for special projects. Experimental but will see if the member fees are working out. They have an annual conference. There is a CS4all curriculum to make curriculum accessible for all communities and CSTA has signed onto that effort.
The ACM Practitioners Board is chaired by Terry Coatta. Who are ACM’s practitioners? They are a range of people with varied interests and jobs skills. Surveys indicate they tend to be people who believe they would benefit in learning about our research. They like the material published in journals and conferences but don’t have the time to go to conferences or read the material. They have aneed for research to practice. They want the information translated into something more digestible for practitioners. The webinar series is a high impact activity for practitioners.
We have 3 regional councils that deal with activities in their local communities. In China, their main activity is the ACM Turing Celebration conference. They bring in high level people like Turing lecturers. They have chapters and ACM-W China meet. Hanson asked for input from SGB members that have gone. Smeaton indicated that it was a well-organized event and the quality of presentations was good. Simultaneous translation was noted. Settle reported that the SIGCSE chapter is active and next year SIGCSE is developing a new conference which will co-locate with Turing C planned for May. China council has established an editorial board and they’ve taken articles from CACM and summarized them in Chinese; short versions of about 400 words to get a sense of the articles. There will be a regional insert in CACM and it will come out next month. There will also be several articles written by authors from China talking about the flavor of the research there.
Europe Council created 2 white papers which were presented to the European commission in March and are being highly cited. Also interested in chapters, they have a conglomeration that works with chapters for mutual support. There was a Conference in Barcelona on HPC and for the past 7-8 years an ACM-W in Europe WomEncourage event which has been well attended. They are offering Summer schools on Data Science and there will be another next summer. They will also do a CACM insert. Europe is the next region on tap.
The India Council started an annual event, which is very successful. They bring in some high level speakers and have their chapters attend and the host a women’s program. Education is the main emphasis of the group. They are encouraging PhD students to get degrees from various universities in India. Their biggest initiative is Cpathshala to bring a modern computing curriculum to schools via a computational thinking curriculum and teaching aids translated into 5 languages.
The FCA: Future of Computing Academy was started to meet the needs of future computing professionals. People coming along now are learning and benefitting differently from groups. What is value of ACM for them? The FCA was established to work with younger people to determine how ACM should change in the future to meet the needs. The first intake of students was a year ago – post docs and brand new professors. A video that the FCA developed was shown to the SGB.
They are thinking of having a 2nd recruiting effort and Hanson encouraged the SIGs to get involved and help nominate academics and practitioners.
ACM approved a new code of professional ethics a few months ago and the point of the code is that it is not a set of “do nots” it is a set of talking points. The Code as a whole is concerned with how fundamental ethical principles apply to a computing professional’s conduct. The Code is not an algorithm for solving ethical problems; rather it serves as a basis for ethical decision making.
In June of 2018, the ACM adopted a policy against harassment at ACM activities. Hanson was asked if harassment has been an issue. She explained that harassment is a problem across all professions and it is not unique to ACM. Many organizations are developing similar codes. The policy applies to all events not just sponsored conferences. The Code of Professional Ethics applies to ACM members the Harassment policy applies to anyone that participates in an ACM event. We want to make it transparent on registration forms where there is a link and an acknowledgement box. Please add if you work with a vendor outside of ACM. Mentis asked if the tick box was required and Hanson indicated it was. Individuals can report anonymously or with a name. With a name we investigate, without we keep the information on file. With regard to authors - when you certify you’re an author you agree to publication policies. Adve thanked Hanson and asked how enforcement linked back to the SIGs. This is new and specifics are still being worked through. We are able to keep track of individuals at HQ. If a SIG submits names we can check for them. These things are evolving and for now that’s the way it is, if it is unwieldy we’ll work on a better process. Hanson reminded SGB leadership that in order to make these things work there has to be a change in culture and climate. SGB Leaders need to continually work with their communities. Pancake agreed and said that SIG leaders can do the most in this area. A typical conference interacts with ACM at a high level. The sponsoring SIGs are the ones in technical area and it’s the more realistic place to police those efforts. Bulterman asked if a check box should be a condition for membership and renewal rather than each event? That would mean only non-members attending a conference would have a check box. It was agreed that was something to think about. Hollingsworth mentioned that a lot of conference registration is done in bulk so, it might be more effective to secure acknowledgement of policies at badge pick-up. SIGMETRICS reported that the policy looks good but questioned if it applied to other activities happening at a conference. Should it be wherever you’re required to wear your badge? Hanson announced that there will be a training webinar announcement in early December.
One of the things ACM’s done in the past few years provide gold sponsorship for AI for Good. Jeanna will be speaking this year and we’ve asked them to make an effort to get SIGs involved. They’re expected to get back to us so, some of you may hear about that.
ACM is very involved in the Heidelberg Laureate Foundation. This is a 1 week meeting with laureates from CS meeting laureates from mathematics. They bring in 200 young scientists to interact with dignitaries in the field. There are lectures and a huge number of social events.
There has been a name change – US ACM is now the ACM US Technology Policy Committee. In addition, we’ve established an ACM Europe Technology Policy Committee.
There is a new ACM Award for Chuck Thacker funded by Microsoft. Hanson asked the SGB to get out and nominate for awards. People can’t get awards unless they’re nominated.
3.0 Breakout Discussion
Lauer indicated we want to find ways to attract students and see ACM as a lifetime home. The SGB was divided into 3 groups to discuss ideas about student programs and how to attract students to ACM and serve them better. There will be a report out and at the next meeting we’ll discuss what people have been able to put into place. The white boards included the following ideas:
- Travel Grants
- PhD events at Conferences
- Mentor workshops just before a conference
- Fellowship for study
- Student Paper Awards
- Dissertation Awards
- Job Events (job fairs)
- Students included in all social events
- Metrics – participation and retention
- Member message – focus on good works for community/society not benefits to members
- Summary of recent dissertations in SIG NL
- How do we explain value of society and membership?
- Prizes and giveaways
- Value of SIGs/ACM
- Countering the “not belonging” mentality
- Survey young professionals
- Free registration
- Seed money for student chapters
- University based student registration
- FCA socially conscious focus @ SIG level
- Travel grants
- Review Sessions @ conferences
- Competitions/Consortiums/Senior Mentors
- ACM Mentors to young professionals
- Pioneers mentoring to high school students
- Reach out to local schools where conferences are held
- Initiatives for attracting teachers to bring students
- Measure student involvement
- Developing more contests
- ACM Central Repository for scholarships, fellowships, student groups, mentorships/previous winner’s giveback
- Mentoring workshops
- SIGARCH 20-80 Slack
The report out discussion – Targeting students – discussion of student programs – what works, what doesn’t? How do we attract and retain? What metrics do you use to judge success? Each group was asked to provide 5 ideas from their session.
Group 1: Lauer reported that their ideas addressed attracting and retaining young professionals to view ACM and the SIGs as their intellectual home. They liked the FCA video and how socially conscious students are making computing. It is an effective avenue to attract people and the group suggested holding mini FCA focus groups in individual SIGS. They also would like to provide ACM mentors to students not SIG specific. ACM mentors could link up with students to advise them on which SIGs and conferences they should attend based on their interests. We should also consider initiatives to attract teachers to bring in students. In order to measure student involvement we need to understand where they are, how many there are and what happens after graduation. ACM can do this using alumni lists, contacting them and surveying them about continuing involvement with ACM and SIGs. The group decided it came down to establishing value of SIGs – countering the not belonging mentality and surveying about what’s important to them and what SIGs and ACM can do better.
Group 2: Hollingsworth reported for the group. Students need to be included in all social events. A discount to exclude these is not a good discount. We should hold mentoring workshops and be sure to do them the day before the conference starts to give people the opportunity to apply what they’ve learned. Travel grants are popular with all SIGs. It was suggested that the SIGs run 1 or 2 sentence summaries of dissertations in their field with links to dissertations in their NL. This will help to link students to the profession. Focus on societal good aspect by emphasizing public policy and good works to future generations including the various ways students are funded.
Group 3: Chaintreau reported that the group discussed what is going on in their SIG right now. Mentoring workshops are popular; SIGPLAN is organizing one before every conference at a cost of about $40K for each. There are also doctoral consortia. These are especially important for people at small universities. SIGARCH has a mentoring forum using Slack. Participants range from undergraduates to senior members of the academic and industry community. The Slack mentoring program engages members through weekly discussion topics, a news channel, job postings and a monthly AMA with an established researcher. In SIGAI there is an essay competition which allows the winner to have a skype session with a legendary figure in the field. Another SIG is organizing shadow pcs for conferences. Students reproduce the same work as the PC as an educational experience to promote better reviewing and create strong community networking.
Post meeting follow-up from Augustin Chaintreau :
Thanks for the meeting last week. That initiative below from CRA is exactly what I think will be an “Added service” that the ACM could do for students: a place to have a presence, and a way to be matched with opportunities, especially fellowship and internships.
This requires time, people who are committed to twist a few arms in industry and others. There will also be a need to make a fair decision on how much and how many features are reserved for members. If we seriously want to do something about student’s membership and a sense that being an ACM member makes a difference, then that’s what we ought to do for students.
I don’t know who to send suggestions since it’s not a SIG thing, so I thought of sharing with you.
I hope this helps,
Best, -- Augustin
Dear CRA member:
CRA has started a new service intended to improve the recruiting process for academic and industrial/government laboratory research positions.
This service is intended for PhD students in their final year.
Candidates for these positions can upload their resumes, research and teaching statements, job objectives and other preferences, and a link to a presentation video. Recruiting officers with access are able to search this information and are encouraged to contact candidates.
Please encourage all of your finishing PhD students looking for academic or industrial/government laboratory research positions to post their applications there as soon as possible before the academic recruiting season begins.
4.0 Table Discussion
Discussion on what SIGs are doing or have done regarding Industry/Practitioner involvement since the September 2017 Breakout Session – Did the discussion make a difference to any other SIGs?
- SIGWEB organizes symposia that are geared to areas with a lot of industry interest. The SIG works with those people to bring them into the fold. Organize with research departments to bring practical energy into the workshop.
- SIGAI is on the forefront of interest among practitioners. They have a monthly webinar which is well attended.
- SIGHPC in addition to SC tech tracks has exhibitor forum where practitioners can give tech discussions of cutting edge products that didn’t fit into research model. Not a sales pitch.
- SIGCAS social media designed and targeted toward practitioners.
- SIGSOFT instituted webinar series which is a way to reach out to a larger audience. They struggle with attracting people who have deadlines and daily tasks to come to a conference. They have an industry liaison and have discussed having more than 1 to reach out to different regions. For SIGSOFT it has been a struggle. A few conferences have started doing industry days mostly on a single day because people cannot get away for longer.
- SIGIR runs an industry day which is now a 2 day event. People come to keep the connections they had when they were grad students.
- SIGBED reasonably successful attracting researcher industry but reaching out to everyone else and showing value has been a struggle.
- SIGARCH echoed same. They have more advanced development and research oriented people. There is a healthy interaction with them. They do nothing specific for industry colleagues but not lacking.
- SIGACCESS sent speaker to a professional society conference and they spoke about SIGACCESS and what it does. Complimentary activities can be useful.
- SIGGRAPH happy hour to talk to developers and companies learn what is going on. Professional chapters host student volunteer workshops to have breakfast or lunch and talk to them.
- SIGUCCS has seen a decline in attendance at conferences (98% practitioners). Constituency sees a value in on-line communities. Travel budget cuts at universities have hurt attendance at the conference. As conference numbers decline it makes it difficult to do non-conference activities if the conference doesn’t make money to support them. They do have a vibrant mentoring program but if people don’t come to conference it is difficult to support.
- SIGCHI think about a mechanism of having registrants that are on-line attendees. SIGUCCS is considering this.
- SIGCOMM has an industry liaison board that put 2 initiatives in place; demo sessions bringing together people form industry at conferences and co-location with major industry events but it is hard to tell if that is working or not.
- SIGPLAN ICFP co-located with Strange Loop in St. Louis with lots of back and forth between communities. SPLASH in Boston is arranging evening meet-ups for attendees and practitioners in the local community in whatever topic area that interests them. Videos of all conferences are on-line and they monitor views.
- SIGMM has an annual ACM MM Grand Challenge where they work with companies that stay for 2-3 or 4 years, give data sets for people to try interesting things with. There is a regular turnaround of companies.
- SIGOPS from time to time prepares a special industry section in the NL. The papers would not get into conference proceedings but this is a great way for people to know what’s happening in industry. At SOSP every sponsor was offered an industry day – a session or talk. Each night 3 or 4 sponsors offer a mix of tech talk and recruiting. Also offers travel grants to retired practitioners to allow them to go to conference if they no longer have financial support.
- SIGGRAPH started business symposium which is the business of CG not just how I use it but the impact in area, how you do production. Not applicable to all SIGs but could be for some. Well received in last few years.
- SIGMIS has panels at their annual conference focusing on MIS in different areas like health sciences. Also conduct a panel on what practitioners need academics to teach.
- SIGAda industry wants CS majors to work for them and one way to increase student participation is to have a competition. Easy to get a corporate sponsor for this and it allows for both industry and student engagement.
- SIGGRAPH – lots of companies have internships – is there an opportunity for ACM or the SIGs to be a clearing house into industry for various areas?
- SIGHPC clearly industry has money to send people to conferences there is a lot of opportunity to send people to conferences that focus on industry products. We need to decide if we want to do that or not. A lot of it is about products, networking and job advancement. Doing research to find out why practitioners aren’t coming to conferences is important.
- SIGLOG is not doing enough. Pure logic is embedded in industry (Facebook and Amazon). Don’t think of it as an ivory tower subject anymore.
- SIGSAC industry interacts as well as academics. Panel at their next conference – Is security education meeting the needs of industry?
- SIGSPATIAL has a poster demo category of papers and an evening is dedicated to them coupled with a recruiting evening. Company reps get to look at what students are doing and students get to meet them. 7 pm to midnight. People like social aspect of it.
- SIGGRAPH NAB allows companies that work at NASA to get hands on hardware and experiment with software. You have capability of comparing at that moment in time. It’s an on-hands experience that can’t be done through the web. Perhaps ACM should look at bringing multiple ideas together to let industry compare them in a real-time environment.
Tracz reminded the SGB to add these ideas to the Best Practices web-site.
5.0 SGB Report
Jortner provided an SGB update. He reviewed the volunteer structure. He reported that the following SIGs were found viable: ACCESS, ACT, Bio, CSE, DA, LOG, MIS, OPS, SAM, SOFT, WEB.
6.0 Publications Board Report
Jack Davidson provided a publications board update. He indicated that the publications board is currently reviewing all policies to make them consistent, collect them all into a single easy to find location revise to reflect Board’s past actions and understanding and fill any gaps identified. For the SGB meeting, he was focusing on 2 policies - 1) The ACM Publications Policy on the Withdrawal, Correction, Retraction and Removal of Articles from ACM Publications and the ACM Digital Library and 2) The ACM Publications Policy on Conflict-of-Interest in Peer Review. See slides.
Davidson reviewed the definitions of withdrawal, correction, retraction and removal. The SGB was concerned about the way this policy would affect current conference practices which require authors of accepted papers to attend and present at the conference in order for papers to appear in the DL. Pubs board knew this would be controversial. An annotation can be made in the DL that the person didn’t show up and if people continue you can prohibit from submitting. There are actions that can be taken. A question was asked about the date of publication. It is normally the policy that the 1st day of the conference is the date of publication unless an earlier date is disclosed in the call for papers. Jortner indicated that there was a great deal of disagreement around the table related to this policy and asked Davidson how he wanted to handle. It was decided that Medvidovic, the SGB Pubs Advisor would collect feedback from the SGB and forward it to the publications board.
Davidson went over the COI policy specifics and applications. He explained the background and process on development of the policy and then detailed the policy with examples of COI. He reviewed how to manage a COI and what actions should be taken. The publication’s board is currently revising the document based on feedback received and is seeking final comments from the SGB. Davidson said he got some great feedback to take back to committee. The SGB will see this again as these policies take several iterations to get right.
7.0 Carbon Footprint Discussion
SIGPLAN has a Climate Change Committee Benjamin Pierce is the Chair and VC of SIGPLAN. See slides.
We need to do whatever we can and we need to do it now. Look in local environment and see what kind of change can we make? Looking at a small amount of data, it was obvious that air travel is the place to focus. Is ACM the right place to address this problem? That’s the wrong question. Is ACM a useful place to address this problem? The answer should be yes given how much jet fuel we burn putting on conferences. SIGPLAN has lots of ideas for strategies that can be adopted: use virtual PCs, choose locations to minimize carbon footprint, consider co-locating, merging or deleting conferences, develop alternatives to traveling to conferences, encourage regional meetings, offer vegetarian meals or buy carbon offsets. Concentrating on buying carbon offsets for conferences. An offset provide offers to do something to prevent or removed greenhouses gases form atmosphere to save X tons of carbon for $Y. Offset market has vendors and verifiers. Pierce suggested calculating average distance of travel to ACM conference, then turn that into a number of tons of carbon emissions per participant and raise registration fee by that amount; about $30-$40/participant. Conference Chair would buy offsets from reputable vendor and the conference would be net carbon neutral. Not long term solution however, according to Pierce an easy cheap way to mitigate the harm that conferences do in the short-term to buy time for other ways to reducing footprint. Moreover side effect of putting carbon into budget as a number allows planners to optimize. ACM has indicated that utilizing member funds in this manner could jeopardize ACM’s tax status. Pierce agreed that there are issues that deserve attention. SIGPLAN asked for SGB support to have ACM staff and legal counsel work to find a way for conferences to purchase carbon offsets if they wish to.
Pierce opened the discussion to questions. Is there a problem if the carbon offset done voluntarily upon registration? Need expert opinion on that. It’s been explored and it’s hard to tell if it is acceptable. Providing a link to an outside vendor that can be voluntarily followed was tried and uptake was disappointing. Perhaps an email with confirmation is a better way to handle. There was concern that this would be double charging attendees because many institutions already do this. Suggest leaving it as optional and not mandating into fee structure. What about people with financial hardship? It would be better to make it at least opt out to give people a choice. COMM did survey of member via registration on offsetting and results were abysmal – concern about diversity of location selection. Given the uphill battle SIGCOMM would face, would there be a challenge associated with a SIG deciding to allocate budget for this. Yes, would have ACM in same position. SIGEC supported this concept and the idea to pool resources and ask once for a large group of conferences. Opt out model was again suggested as the better way to go with a fixed fee for everyone. SIGWEB would like us to take more significant steps in all areas rather than just air travel. SIGPLAN is pushing hard on virtual PCs and collecting data on other areas of decision making (location). Pancake asked if SIGPLAN had tried the other suggestions. Pierce responded that they have been pushing virtual PC meeting and that 2 of 4 have gone virtual. Similarly they are talking about gathering data to support decision making on locations. They did gathered data on co-location and found 2 conferences with most overlap have only a 5% overlap – good idea but that didn’t work out. Need more data on others. There are things we should do and are pushing on but none of them will get anywhere close to zero so attraction of carbon offsetting is a way of getting to net zero in short term at low cost. In SIGBED most conferences are within 2 big conferences and not sure if it reduces travel instead of going to 2 places, attendees to go to 1 and have time to go somewhere else. Pierce was asked about the impact of virtual pcs and live-streaming and virtual presentations because they obviously have impact on the community. Virtual pcs mean less networking especially for junior community members but the pluses are many. Their experience shifting from physical to virtual has been positive.
The SGB indicated support for ACM to pursue carbon offsetting. ACM staff will secure an opinion on this from their legal representatives.
8.0 History Committee Report
Kim Tracy from the History Committee indicated that he was at the meeting to appeal for SIG participation in the ACM History Committee SIG Heritage Workshop to take place in May at the Charles Babbage Institute. The history committee fosters collection, preservation, and interpretation of ACM’s history of the ACM and its role in the development of computing. To this end, the committee provides guidance within the Association and carries out activities independently and in collaboration with other ACM groups. The workshop will take place in May for 1 ½ days. The goals are to share formal archival agreements and procedures, share process to encourage and guide each SIG in archiving materials collected, train and support SIG Heritage historians in systematic process of collecting materials and interviews and to support SIG historian in writing articles about SIG’s history from SIG concept through the present day. The ACM HC is providing travel funding. See the CFP.
9.0 Table Discussion
Discussion on what SIGs are doing or have done regarding diversity and inclusion since the March 2018
- SIGGRAPH elected Tony Baylis as Chair of Diversity Group. He spent most of the SIGGRAPH conference providing workshops on diversity topics. Lauer asked about the types of workshops and Lawrence was going to forward the names and types.
- SIGCOMM creating Director of diversity and outreach. Initiatives being developed in South America and has a CARES committee that held its first session and introduced itself at SIGCOMM in August. Sponsor CRA workshop and extended relationship with n2women network. They will have a workshop at the annual SIGCOMM conference each year.
- SIGMICRO use a land acknowledgement statement in the opening statement at all conferences. Holding listening sessions at end of conferences to determine if they’ve had an inclusive experience.
- SIGARCH created subcommittee for women in computer architecture. By bringing it in SIG received more formal recognition and funding. Mentoring programs run through slack channel and students like the sends of community that builds.
- SIGMICRO pushing flagship conference to create bylaws important for diversity and inclusion to include term limits and diversity requirements.
- SIGARCH – CARES program joint with SIGMICRO. They’ve been involved in 2 conferences. Try to insure they are seen as autonomous from conference organization. Still trying to figure out right balance between SIG and conference. Working on bylaws and structure. Welcome remarks at start of conference, on website Committee that helps someone that becomes a target of harassment friendly people who can listen and help make complaint to ACM. Don’t get involved in process just a sounding board to help some people. The ISCA conference ran a bias busting workshop supported by GOOGLE encouraged people to look it up and do it at their conferences and workshops.
- SIGLOG FLOC had a workshop called women in Logic and they invited SIGLOG Chair. Glad to hear positive things. At the event he learned that women are angry and he was distributed that many men are still in denial. Not fixed by workshop or harassment officer, problems are deeper but that is a good start.
- SIGBio has a women in bioinformatics panel during lunch. Panelists are from academia and industry to share experiences. All attendees are invited to attend to create a better understanding. Travel support from NSF for women and minorities and trying hard to have at least one woman in leadership position (Chair or Co-Chair). One keynote speaker is always a woman.
- SIGHPC has formally adopted requirement for committees and conferences to collect demographic information. Also awarded 7 new Intel SIGHPC Fellows supporting diversity in computational science.
- SIGBED lots of activity in these ongoing discussions. An informal advisory board for SIG and they are fairly active. Close to finalizing diversity chairs for 2 main conferences. They hold regular lunches for women attending the conference events which generate active follow-up discussions.
- SIGSOFT workshops on gender equality in software engineering and an LGBTQ lunch series. Looking for volunteers to drive diversity forward. Collection more data about diversity at conferences and pushing for each to have diversity chair. Software fairness hot topic, there will be a workshop at the upcoming ICSE conference.
- SIGCSE Wrote article for Sept issue. Gathered stats on SIGCSE female representation to start to think about it as a community.
- SIGMM has done data gathering going through previous conferences and will present at flagship conference. Put out a call to fill a diversity and inclusion chair position. There will be a diversity lunch at the conference.
- SIGOPS gathered data and presented at conference last year. They received mixed feedback because the percentage of females is consistent with percentages of membership. Discussing and copying good practices of other SIGs like offering child care and travel support to conferences. Trying something outside US by providing funding for workshops in Saudi Arabia and Africa. Seeking a diversity officer but unable to find one. Adve commented about the number of women being proportional. Women do suffer from a climate is not welcoming to them. Is it reasonable to say that if 12% of men get awards that is the right proportion? Is X the right representation.
- SIGACCESS makes a big effort to make conference available for people with disabilities. There are pointer sin ACM conference guidelines. There is a tool for generating a page for your conference website that is useful to help people think in advance of including people with disabilities in the conference.
- SIGCHI used the SIGACCESS resources for all conferences. It took time to gently and consistently and annoyingly remind conferences that they need to have a page on website that talks about accessibility and how you can convey your needs and what you can ask for. Close to 100% but after 6 months of conference VP sending e-mails after email and now a new round of conference. Once you get it in 1 year the likelihood of the next year is higher. At the same time hit hiccups you need to get attendees to tell you as early as possible if you need some time of accommodation. Hitting bumps when you start being more inclusive. Diversity lunch at conference for years and now people are angry saying it’s just a bunch of white men patting themselves on the back about diversity. They now have an EC position Adjunct Chair for Inclusion. Had kind of a riot at CHI because there was a small but vocal group of people unhappy about things opening plenary speaker said causing problems throughout the conference saying that CHI doesn’t care. Mentis warned the group that when you start doing these things there will be bumps.
- SIGHPC – the ACM portal gender is still binary. Mentis said there are a number of people pushing back on this. Pancake indicated they were looking at that.
- SIGIR Recruiting 2 people for the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to together be the chairs so no one person is overburdened.
Pancake indicated that one of ACM’s strategic priorities for this year focuses on diversity and inclusion. ACM will be putting together some working groups to look at good practices and painful lessons to propagate more widely through ACM. Diversity is not about gender only or primarily. Diversity includes gender, racial and ethnic, geographic (where you work) some groups measure in terms of citizenship or origin but that’s not accurate in terms of professional life. Where people are actually working and living is the way to measure. Another underemphasized area is institutional diversity because ACM came largely from an academic background we tend to be dominated in terms of governance structure by academics. We need to consider its important when talking about computing community to share opinions across academia, not for profits, research labs and view organizational diversity as important too. As SIGCHI and ACCESS reminded us, it is important to be inclusive of everyone to the extent possible. Think about disciplinary diversity as well. We don’t want diversity to brag, we want it because that’s how we get the best ideas and be the strongest organization going forward. Stage in career should also be considered.
Jeff announced to the group that there is one more position to fill for the distinguished speakers committee. The commitment is for a monthly conference call. Anyone interested should let Jeff know.
The meeting was adjourned at 3:55 pm.