Draft minutes of the SGB EC Meeting February 5, 2000

1.0 Welcome, Introductions Review Agenda

Ellis and Chesnais welcomed the SGB and guests. Each of the attendees introduced themselves.

1.1 Approve Minutes from October Meeting

The minutes of the October'99 meeting were distributed as back-up prior to the meeting.

Motion:Move to approve the minutes of the October'99 SGB meeting.
Partridge, Soffa

2.0 Review Voting Practices (Chesnais)

Chesnais reminded the SIG leaders that votes would be conducted by weighted voting when necessary. He outlined the number of votes for each of the SIG leaders.

3.0 Report on IFIP Activities (Robert Aiken)

Robert Aiken was introduced as ACM's representative to the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP). He provided background on the organization and indicated that IFIP is a non-governmental, non-profit umbrella organization for national societies working in the field of information processing. It was established in 1960 under the auspices of UNESCO as an aftermath of the first World Computer Congress held in Paris in 1959. Each country held membership under an umbrella organization. In the USA that was The American Federation for Information Processing (AFIP). ACM, IEEE and other CS organizations were members of AFIP. When AFIP was dissolved, ACM requested membership in IFIP directly. As an international organization with 80,000+ members the request was granted. ACM now holds membership directly in IFIP without an umbrella organization.

Technical work, which is the heart of IFIP's activity, is managed by a series of Technical Committees. Each of these committees has two major types of activities - Events and Publications.

IFIP's mission is to be the leading, truly international, apolitical organization which encourages and assists in the development, exploitation and application of Information Technology for the benefit of all people.

  1. To stimulate, encourage and participate in research, development and application of Information Technology (IT) and to foster international co-operation in these activities.
  2. To provide a meeting place where national IT Societies can discuss and plan courses of action on issues in our field which are of international significance and thereby to forge increasingly strong links between them and with IFIP.
  3. To promote international co-operation directly and through national IT Societies in a free environment between individuals, national and international governmental bodies and kindred scientific and professional organizations.
  4. To pay special attention to the needs of developing countries and to assist them in appropriate ways to secure the optimum benefit from the application of IT.
  5. To promote professionalism, incorporating high standards of ethics and conduct, among all IT practitioners.
  6. To provide a forum for assessing the social consequences of IT applications; to campaign for the safe and beneficial development and use of IT and the protection of people from abuse through its improper application.
  7. To foster and facilitate co-operation between academics, the IT industry and governmental bodies and to seek to represent the interest of users.
  8. To provide a vehicle for work on the international aspects of IT development and application including the necessary preparatory work for the generation of international standards.
  9. To contribute to the formulation of the education and training needed by IT practitioners, users and the public at large.

Aiken described the organizational structure of IFIP which is governed by a General Assembly, which meets once every year and consists of one representative from each Member organization, The General Assembly decides on all important matters, such as general policy, the program of activities, admissions, elections and budget. The day-to-day work of IFIP is directed by its Officers: the President, Vice-Presidents, Secretary and Treasurer, who are elected by the General Assembly and together constitute the Executive Board. The Council, consisting of the Officers and up to eight Trustees elected from the General Assembly, meets once a year and takes decisions which become necessary between General Assembly meetings. The Headquarters of the Federation are in Laxenburg, Austria where the IFIP Secretariat administers its affairs.

The technical work, which is the heart of IFIP's activities, is managed by a series of Technical Committees (TC). Each TC supervises a number of Working Groups (WG) which deal with specialized aspects of the field of their parent TC. The goal of the TCs is to establish and maintain liaison with national and international organizations with allied interests and foster cooperative action, collaborative research and information exchange. The subject matter of the TCs is closely aligned with several SIGs. Ellis has asked the SIGs for suggestions on making appointments from ACM to the TCs. ACM and the SIGs have supported these individuals. Ellis provided the current list of TC reps to the group. The leaders questioned whether they could sponsor an individual with another society. Each person can only represent 1 society, payment arrangements are made separately. Aiken was asked when the TCs met. He explained that each TC holds an annual meeting and it is decided 1-3 years ahead of time where they will be. The World Computer Conference is held every 2 years, this year it is in Beijing and several of the TCs will have their annual meetings in conjunction with that.

Aiken encouraged the SIG leaders to continue in the support and activities of IFIP. He provided his e-mail address ([email protected]) for SIG leaders with additional questions.

4.0 Election Task Force Report and Discussion

Baer reported that one year ago at the SGB meeting in San Francisco, he was asked to chair a task force on elections. The task force was charged with determining if the SIGs were satisfied with the current bylaws mandating slates of 2 candidates per office and, if not, what they'd prefer. The SIGs were asked if they wanted to impose term limits and what the lengths of terms of office should be. Baer distributed a survey and received a response rate of 50% including 10 large and 8 small SIGs. The survey provided only one clear answer: to allow a choice between in voting procedure: electronic and/or mail. There does not appear to be a great desire to change the current slate make-up. There is a 50-50% split on length of terms of office (2 or 3 years) and term limits are advocated for a given office (2 terms) but not for the same person serving on different positions.

Since ACM does not have e-mail address for all members, ballots will be mailed but the recipient will have the option of returning either via postal mail or electronically. In order to accommodate those SIGs that would prefer 3-year terms without extension, ACM's bylaws will need to be changed. It was suggested the ACM Bylaws be changed to refer to the individual SIG bylaws. The ACM EC can make that change to ACM's bylaws at the request of the SGB Chair. The individual SIGs would then need to change their bylaws as appropriate.

Motion: To request that ACM bylaws be changed from the current 2 year limit to point to the bylaws of the individual SIG.
Brown, Hayne

Action: Ellis to bring bylaw amendment request regarding 2 year election terms to ACM EC.

Baer and his committee were thanked.

5.0 SGB EC Nominations Report

Ellis reported that the slate for the upcoming SGB elections was incomplete. The nominations committee was seeking to secure two more Member-at-Large candidates. She reviewed the process for nominations from the floor; nominations would require the endorsement of two SIG Chairs and a written note from the proposed candidate indicating their willingness to serve.

The slate of candidates was reported as follows:

SGB Chair:

  • Alain Chesnais
  • Jim Cohoon

SGB Member-at-Large:

  • Alan Berrenbaum
  • Stuart Feldman
  • Bruce Klein

SGB Council Representatives:

  • Boots Cassel
  • Mary Lou Soffa

6.0 TSC Recommendation and Discussion

Soffa provided background on the ACM Technical Standards Committee (TSC). The committee was chartered with coordinating all official ACM participation in standards-related activities. This included designation of ACM memberships and liaisons in standards-related organizations and development of policy and procedures for ACM participation in standards-related activities. The committee was also charged with encouraging and coordinating individual SIG standards-related activities, and promoting the dissemination and understanding of standards-related information to ACM members. Soffa explained that the ACM Technical Standards Committee has been under the oversight of the SGB EC for the last few years. The committee was placed there on the premise that the SIGs were the body where standards would be generated. The committee has been inactive for the last few years and since the last SGB meeting, Soffa has sought individuals willing to revitalize it. She requested input from those SIGs that are active in this area including SIGCHI and SIGGRAPH. She has had difficulty in generating interest for the committee and its activities.

The SGB leaders determined that it was important for ACM's web-site to include pointers to standards and associated activities. However, maintaining that web-site and any ACM committees regarding standards should be the responsibility of the organization not the SIGs.

Motion: Due to the fact that work on standards is carried out individual SIGs and the lack of interest in a coordinating committee, we recommend that the TSC be dissolved.
Soffa, Brown

Action: Ellis to inform ACMEC of SGB's decision to dissolve TSC. She will also inform them of the importance of keeping an updated web site with pointers to standards activities.

7.0 Program Reviews

Notkin directed the attendees to review the two-page summary provided by ACM HQ. This summary included the SIG mission, membership and newsletter statistics, fund balance, conference, officer and viability histories. SIG leaders were reminded that mission statements could not be changed without approval from the SGB EC.


Kathy Haramundanis presented a review on SIGDOC. She explained that the mission and program goals included the promotion of professional development of technical communication practitioners, researchers, and educators. SIGDOC encourages interdisciplinary approaches to solving online, print documentation communication problems, and human-computer interfaces and provides avenues for publication, exchanged of professional information. The organization supports research focusing on the needs of humans, their goals and tasks in technological contexts and the development and improvement of computer-supported communication technologies.

New Initiatives:
New initiatives started a few years ago with a membership drive. They have established a listserve for all of their members and will be distributing an electronic newsletter shortly. Their newsletter is successful within the industry and receives many contributions. Each year members receive a quarterly newsletter along with a copy of the SIGDOC annual proceedings. A membership directory was recently printed and distributed to all members.

International Efforts:
SIGDOC frequently holds their annual conference in Canada. They are currently negotiating with European members to find a European conference location and Chair. They intend to advertise the conference worldwide.

The leadership of SIGDOC requested that the SGB endorse an external relationship with INTECOM. The proposed relationship of ACM SIGDOC to INTECOM is that SIGDOC is to become a full member of this society. SIGDOC would have the same status as other members in the organization. INTECOM is the International Council for Technical Communication. It promotes international cooperation between technical communication organizations, and aims to improve both technical documentation and communication. INTECOM represents approximately 30,000 technical communicators in 12 member organizations.

  1. This relationship will benefit both SIGDOC an ACM by increasing SIGDOC's role in the international community, improving information exchange on relevant subjects, and enabling SIGDOC and ACM to influence the direction of technical communication initiatives.
  2. The benefits to SIGDOC and its members are:
    • Reduced rates (mainly member rates) when attending other societies' events
    • Member rates when attending Forum conferences
    • Free access to INTECOM publications
    • Access to society journals
    • Reduced subscription costs
    • Right to reproduce articles from member society journals
    • Access to standards and cultures in other countries
    • Access to other societies educational, employment, and research information
    • Access to member society profile data
    • Contacts in other countries
    • Participation in INTECOM working groups
    • Support in planning and organizing international conferences
    • Assistance for students looking for educational opportunities in other countries.
  3. The obligations that SIGDOC incurs when joining this organization include:
    • Payment of membership dues
    • Participation where feasible in society activities (conferences, and so on).

Motion: The SGB recommends that the ACM EC approve the proposed relationship between SIGDOC and INTECOM.
Partridge, Snodgrass

Action: Ellis to request approval from ACM EC on external relationship between SIGDOC and INTECOM.

Collaborative Efforts:
Some conferences are held jointly or in conjunction with IEEE PCS. The SIGDOC leadership is having discussions with STC regional conference committees and other ACM SIGs regarding collaborative opportunities.

Volunteer Recruitment, Development Efforts:
To recruit members, the SIGDOC leadership has approved extending advertising to other organizations. They are also developing a membership brochure and expect exposure through INTECOM and non-ACM conferences.

Commitment to Members:
The SIGDOC leadership is responsible for a successful annual conference, which is known for well-received presentations, tutorials and awards. The Journal JCD is consistently high in quality and distributed on time.

SIG Concerns:
The SIGDOC leadership is concerned about membership retention, membership recruitment, leadership recruitment and election participation. The participation in the recent election was very low. It is a concern with SIGDOC and they really do not know why. Many people come to the SIGDOC conference as a non-member. They have made attempts to add in a discount with registration to the conference. In the end, those same people do not re-new their membership.

Haramundanis was asked the distinction between the scope between IEEE's TC and ACM SIGDOC. She indicated that ACM's focus is more software oriented. Notkin reported that the SGB EC recommended that SIGDOC be declared viable for the next four years.

Motion: The SGB approves continuation of SIGDOC as a multipurpose SIG.
Brown, Feldman

7.2 SIGBIO - Edward Lamie

Notkin reported that during the meeting last year, SIGBIO had an accelerated review. A standard review is every four years. An accelerated review takes place when a SIG appears to be having problems with their programs, newsletter delivery, election slate, etc. Last year the SGB made no decision about what to do with regard to SIGBIO's status so, they continued as a multi-service SIG and were asked to present a program plan. The plan was to include the focus and goals for the future of BIO and how they were to be met.

Lamie reported that SIGBIO is in the process of redefining their mission statement.

Mission Statement:
The mission of SIGBIO is to promote the interests of computer scientists and professionals in the health and biological sciences. This mission statement basically means that SIGBIO is to serve the research community that is working at the boundary between computing and biomedicine. Measured in terms of the number of ways that computing research can impact the biomedical field, this is a very long boundary of opportunity. Some seem to feel that the current interactions across this boundary are much too sparse. Some feel that there is much that can be gained by encouraging more collaborative activities. Since this is the defining mission of SIGBIO, a major challenge for the future is to focus on developing explicit mechanisms that will encourage more cooperation between the two research communities.

Program Goals:
Lamie reported that the program goals of the SIG were to sharpen the focus of the mission statement, improve the quality and timeliness of the Newsletter, recruit new volunteers and leaders, improve program value to membership and develop SIGBIO Bridge Awards and a research workshop.

Newsletter Goals:
Lamie explained that the goal of the newsletter was to solicit contributions of interest to constituencies of academia, industry, and government as well as develop points of liaison with biomedical computing conferences and workshops for reports. They intended to develop mechanisms for building collaborative bridges between computer science and biomedical communities and to create editorial board of broad scope to implement above the goals.

Collaborative Efforts:
SIGBIO cooperated with the 1999 SIGAda and the SAC'00 Conferences. They are in the process of developing liaison contacts with other conferences.

New Volunteer Activities in 1999:
SIGBIO appointed a new N/L Editor in August '99. During 1999 they also appointed an Information Director, Chair of Student Club, Associate Editor for Bioinformatics, Associate Editor for Medical Informatics, Liaison Officer for American Medical Informatics Association.

Self Assessment:
Lamie reported that the newsletter is being published on time and that the content has been enhanced significantly. The group has recruited new volunteers and the membership has increased slightly. The SIG is financially healthy and the mission is more focused.

The SIG membership decline has stopped; new member recruitment is high priority. The leadership's progress with development of awards has been slow. Visibility of the SIG has been low, but is improving and the number of volunteers and leaders is low, but is improving. There is also a concern that SIGBIO is not attached to conferences.

The SGB noticed that the issues that triggered the program review such as lack of focus, volunteer development and conference activity have been discussed with SIGBIO over many years. The SIG appears to be doing better and the leadership should be commended. The SGB worried that they still are not building a brand name, there are no tutorial/workshop program, no conferences. It was noted that awards don't build brand name, there are too many out there. A successful award needs to be a long-term effort of 7-10 years in order to solidify.

This is an area of computing that ACM should have a real presence in and the SGB wondered where SIGBIO fit in. It appears that there is a lack of agreement among the SIG leaders as to where SIGBIO's focus should be.

The SGB EC recommended placing SIGBIO in transition with the intent of moving toward dissolution. The leaders should consider to retransition it. Does this particular SIG have enough momentum to cover the entire area? There are times that it is a wise policy to start over again. The SGB EC agreed to work with the leadership of SIGBIO during their transitional phase and come back to the SGB with a recommendation on status or dissolution.

Motion: Move to place SIGBIO in transitional status.
Kasper, Martin
Motion passed


Notkin reported that SIGAPP was placed in transition, triggered by a low election return. Baer confirmed that only 5 ballots were returned even though there had been 8 nominees. The SGB EC recommends that SIGAPP stay in transition until an election is held. Following a successful election, the SGB EC would make a recommendation about the next program review with APP. A successful election would put SIGAPP out of transition and then the EC would put them on a normal review cycle. APP would work with the EC and ACM Headquarters to get a election schedule together.

SIGAPP Mission:
Further the interest of the computing professional engaged in the development of new computing applications and applications areas and the transfer of computing technology to new problem domain.

SIGAPP Opportunity:
Offers practitioners and researchers the opportunity to share mutual interests in innovative applications, technology transfer, experimental computing, strategic research, and the management of computing. In addition, the SIG promotes widespread cooperation among business, government, and academic computing programs.

There are currently 229 members. The SIG leadership recognizes the need to encourage renewing memberships and new memberships.

SIGAPP distributes their newsletter biannually. Lamont indicated that the newsletter was back on track with a newly appointed editor.

New Initiatives
Lamont proposed that SIGAPP move to a quarterly newsletter.

With regard to membership enhancement, the SIGAPP leadership intends to include SIGAPP membership as part of the SAC registration, encourage renewing memberships and new ones, recruit new membership chair and produce a membership directory. They also intend to enlarge the view of applied computing application areas through more SIG interaction, reflected in new SAC tracks & ACR articles.

International Events
The next SIGAPP conference is SAC 2000 to be held in Lake Como, Italy from March 19 - 21, 2000.

  • # of Papers: 165 accepted/235 submitted/blind reviews (2 - 5 per paper depending on track)
  • # of attendees: ~200+
  • Budget: ~$60,000

The leaders of SIGAPP are looking to hold the SAC 2001 in Western US, perhaps Las Vegas.

Collaborative Efforts
SAC Co-sponsors have included SIGBIO (special session at SAC 2000) and SIGCUE ("Computer Uses in Education" tracks). Lamont suggested that the SAC Tracks need to be support by a larger number of SIGs.

ACR & SAC continue to provide opportunities to share and integrate mutual interests in computing applications across a wide spectrum. (Recent survey indicates members want more issues). ACR & SAC continue to provide opportunity for information transfer among professional in new computing applications. The leadership also recognizes the need to emphasize SIGAPP membership development.

Recent SIGAPP Election returns very small due (we think) to very limited mailing (?) "anomaly".

  • at next SIGAPP meeting nominate new officer slate
  • redo election promoting more participation
  • Recent SIGAPP Survey results indicate similar communication problem
  • Increasing and maintaining membership & leadership
  • SIG Boards view of SIGAPP as a viable special interest group

SIGAPP is a "strong" special interest group with interdisciplinary appeal across a wide spectrum of ACM. The SIG currently has an adequate financial foundation. With SIG support, SAC has a history of successful symposiums from a financial and technological perspective. The Applied Computing review (ACRA) provides a desired interdisciplinary technology transfer between ACM Professionals. SIGAPP continues to improve and develop as a contributing and viable special interest group to ACM.

The SGB was concerned with SIGAPPs viability history, the election return, the focus of the conference. Although several special areas of interest were noted in the program none of the SGB Chairs for those areas was involved.

Motion: Move that SIGAPP be authorized to hold an election at the earliest possible time under the supervision of the SGB EC, any rule against holding elections by a transitional SIG being waived.
Siegel, Partridge


Notkin provided the SGB with background information on SIGAPL. They are currently a viable multi-service SIG presenting an accelerated review focusing on their newsletter slippage. Siegel distributed recent issues of the newsletter for the SGB review.

SIGAPL's mission has been and remains the promotion and dissemination of information about the APL programming language, and related, array-based, programming languages. It fulfills this mission largely through publications and through the annual APL conference. Since this was a special accelerated review, based on problems in the past, Siegel focused on the areas where SIGAPL has had problems.

Material for APL Quote Quad continues to be submitted and published. In the last year they have published on an accelerated schedule, to get the cover dates back in sync with the calendar. They have met the rigorous schedule to which they agreed, and intend to continue on it.

The APL 99 conference was a success for the attendees, and the proceedings were available at the conference and have been submitted to the ACM for distribution. While the conference books have not been closed, even in the worst case a sizable profit (several thousand dollars) will have been realized.

Planning for the 2000 APL (Berlin) conference is already underway, with a strong conference committee in place. Siegel has been notified that a number of strong papers have already been submitted. Proceeding editors have been appointed, and they expect to have the Proceedings delivered in a timely fashion.

SIGAPL has been meeting its technical goals through these activities, and will continue to do so.

Notkin indicated that the SGB EC recommended that APL continue in their current status with a review in 1 year internal to the SGB EC.

Motion: Move to continue SIGAPL's status as a multi-service SIG with a program review (expected to be handled by the SGB-EC) in one year.
Klein, Snodgrass


At the last meeting the SGB EC placed SIGCUE in transition triggered for missing a 2nd program review. Although scheduled for a review at this meeting, there was no representation making this the third program review that SIGCUE has missed. This is not a standard situation. Upon lengthy discussions with the EC and Jim Hightower, SIGCUE is interested dissolving. Some things need to be worked out in making this happen. Right now SIGCUE will continue in transitional status. Should dissolution be the correct coarse of action, the SGB will need to endorse dissolution and ACM Council would need to vote on it. If this goes to dissolution, the membership as a whole needs to be notified and the obligations to the membership must be fulfilled. The SGB will be notified of further discussions with the SIGCUE EC.

8.0 Special Project Funding Proposal and Discussion

Klein presented the recommendations of the SIG Project Fund (SPF) Development Group. The SPF was created in order to further the work of the SIGs by pooling SIG funds to support projects that will benefit multiple SIGs. It will be managed by the SIG Governing Board with decisions about the SPF being made by those SIGs that contribute to the fund according to a formula agreed to by the SGB.

It was proposed that the SPF be funded by a formula that assesses each SIG in terms of the number of its members as follows:

The assessment for each SIG is based on the number of members, with the assessment per member being one unit for each of the first 1000 members, two units for each of the second 1000 members, three units for each of the third 1000 members, and so on. The actual assessment is the number assessment units times the value of an assessment unit, with the SGB setting that value as it sees fit to achieve the needed fund balance for the SPF.

A SIG may contribute more than the assessment if it wishes, and participation and decision-making in the fund is limited to those SIGs that meet their assessment. A SIG may opt out of participating. If a SIG is financially distressed and does not meet its required fund balance, its assessment is zero and it is automatically assumed to have met its assessment for participation purposes. Initially we suggest that the value of the assessment unit be set at $1.00 until some experience is gained with the fund and its pattern of use.

It was suggested that proposals meet the following guidelines:

  1. The project proposal should outline: its goals, its operation plan and timelines, its participants and their qualifications, its funding needs and sources, its plan to evaluate its outcomes, and its reporting plans including a required final report that must be submitted within 90 days of the end of the project's operation.
  2. The outcomes supporting the goals of the project should be concrete and measurable.
  3. The project must describe specifically how it will support the efforts of more than one SIG and must be sponsored by one or more SIGs through a transmission letter from the sponsoring SIG Chairs. The sponsoring SIGs must all be contributors to the SPF by meeting their SPF assessment.
  4. For each project, a sponsoring SIG is responsible for submitting the required reports. A SIG that has not met its project reporting requirements may not sponsor a new project. Thus any required interim reports must have been submitted for ongoing projects; the final report must have been submitted for a completed project.

ACM SIG Services must receive proposals two months before each SGB meeting in order to allow enough time for the project proposals to be reviewed.

Evaluation and Approval:
The SGB EC will appoint a small SPF committee to review proposals as they are received to ensure that they comply with the fund guidelines. Proposals that fit the guidelines will be sent to the Chairs of all participating SIGs at least one month before each SGB meeting along with a report on the available SPF fund balance. The SIG Chairs based on the value of the proposed project to the overall SIG community, the quality of the project plan, and the likelihood of successful project completion will evaluate proposals. SIG Chairs are encouraged to discuss the proposals within their SIG, as they see appropriate, and to determine for each proposal whether they will support it, not support it, or have questions about it.

At the SGB meeting, the set of proposals will be presented for discussion and vote. For each proposal, the SIGs that sponsored a proposal should be prepared to respond to questions in a short discussion period on the evening before the actual meeting. The actual time for discussing the proposals in the meeting should be limited so that the process can fit within the SGB meeting time. A project will be approved if it receives 60% of the votes of all participating SIGs.

At the end of each fiscal year, SIG Services will report to SGB on the SPF fund balance at the beginning of that year, the amount of funds coming in during the year from SIG assessments, the amount of funds committed during the year, and the fund balance at the end of the year. SIG Services will also report the number of members of each SIG for both voting and SPF assessment purposes. At the first SGB meeting of the fiscal year, the SGB will determine the value of an assessment unit in order to provide sufficient funds for the anticipated activity level for the SPF.

Each year, project reports are due to SIG Services in time to provide them to the SGB at the first meeting of the fiscal year. SIG Services will track the required reports and will note missing reports for any project that should have a report at that meeting.


  • If a SIG has fewer than 1000 members, the number of assessment units is the number of members
  • If a SIG has at least 1000 members but fewer than 2000, the number of assessment units is 1000 plus twice the number of members over 1000
  • If a SIG has at least 2000 members but fewer than 3000, the number of assessment units is 3000 plus three times the number of members over 2000
  • If a SIG has at least 3000 members but fewer than 4000, the number of assessment units is 6000 plus four times the number of members over 3000
  • If a SIG has at least 4000 members but fewer than 5000, the number of assessment units is 10,000 plus five times the number of members over 4000
  • If a SIG has at least 5000 members but fewer than 6000, the number of assessment units is 15,000 plus six times the number of members over 5000.

Klein sought the SGB's support of the proposed plan to implement the SPF.

Motion: Move to accept the SPF proposal.
Cohoon, Brown

Action: Baglio to implement procedures to begin accepting SPF proposals as approved by the SGB.

9.0 Awards Report and Discussion

As the SGB Awards Committee Liaison, Mark Scott Johnson presented an Awards Committee report to the SGB. He indicated that ACM had its first successful stand-alone ACM Awards Banquet on May 15, 1999 in New York. The next banquet is planned for May 6th in San Francisco. At that banquet, ACM will induct 30 new 2000 ACM Fellows. The next awards committee meeting will be held on May 6th prior to the 2000 event.

He congratulated the SGB Leaders; during the past year, the Awards Committee has endorsed 10 new SIG awards:

  • SIGACT/SIGOPS PODC Influential Paper [endowed]
  • SIGART Excellence in Autonomous Agent Research [endowed]
  • SIGCAS Service and Making a Different awards
  • SIGCHI CHI Achievement
  • SIGCPR Best Paper
  • SIGDA Outstanding Ph.D. Dissertation Award in EDA
  • SIGGRAPH New Computer Graphics Researcher [endowed, approval pending]
  • SIGKDD Innovation and Services awards
  • SIGOPS Mark Weiser [endowed, approval pending]
  • SIGUCCS Penny Crane [endowed]

As always, he encouraged the SIG leaders to endow their awards and grants. Both SIGGRAPH and SIGIR have endowed their conference travel grant programs over the past year. Johnson indicated that an ACM-Wide Awards Matrx is being maintained and changes to the ACM Awards Policies are being discussed. They include: clarification of prizes and grants vis-a-vis the ACM Awards Policies, new section on Jointly Sponsored (i.e., inter-Society) Awards, delegation of final approval for named awards from ACM Council to ACM Awards Committee. He believes that the final approval for named awards should reside with the Awards committee rather than with Council and is working to convince members of the awards committee and council of this. He noted that some SIGs had requested clarification on the disposition of endowed awards upon their discontinuation. The SGB was informed that upon endowment, they are required to outline what would happen to the fund should the award be discontinued. Most indicate that it is to revert back to the SIGs fund balance.

Johnson urged the SGB leaders to nominate candidates for Association-wide awards (due 2000-09-01). He advised the leaders to include their award recipients in the ACM Awards brochure. In order to meet the print deadline, each must provide the information to their program director by March 17, 2000. He encouraged the SIG leaders to continue to establish and endow SIG awards, especially service and paper awards. He urged the leaders to become familiar with the ACM Awards Policies and to contribute to the endowment of existing ACM-wide awards.

It was suggested that SIG awards be evaluated as part of a SIGs viability review.

Motion: Move that for any SIG, which has an award, that the viability of the award be evaluated as, part of the SIG's viability review.
Partridge, Hayne

Action: Baglio to include award evaluation as part of the viability review in the SOR.

10.0 DL Revenue Recommendations and Discussion

Ellis reviewed the recommendation of the SGB EC with regard to DL revenue splitting. The SGB EC had a brainstorming session the previous evening and discussed the possibilities for distribution of the income. She reminded the SGB that they agreed that 30% of DL surplus would be returned to the SIGs. The income to SIGs and ACM is after expenses of DL (including infrastructure enhancements). During the last SGB meeting the leaders had urged ACM to reinvest in the DL and get the whole ACM corpus into the DL and this is happening. The SGB now needs to decide what to do with the surplus funds that they will receive at the conclusion of the fiscal year. The SGB EC recommends a 50-50% split as follows:

  1. Create a pool managed by SGB to do good works with / for the SIG community
  2. Return money to the SIGs

Suggestions for the pool of good works included: matching SIG endowment contributions, making SGB endowment contribution to ACM awards, funding start-up SIGs, funding to enable a SIG to make a "splash" and take leadership in their field, outreach programs like DL for K-12; DL for 3rd world, subsidizing SIG membership for people joining more than 1 SIG and contributing to DL for non-recurring expenses

Suggestions for returning money to the SIGs included: Offsetting allocations (HQ and SGB ops), paying SPF allocations for all/some SIGs, direct rebate

The SGB EC recommended that a committee be chartered to suggest ways to split the return to the SIGs.

Motion: Move to approve the 50-50% split of DL revenue as outlined by SGB EC and revisit in two years.

Motion: Move that the SGB EC appoint a committee to recommend methods and formulae to allocate DL surplus among the SIGs, and that these recommendations be shared with the SIG Chairs and feedback from the Chairs solicited before the SGB EC approves and acts on them.
Siegel, Kasper
Motion passes

Motion: Move to revisit the 50-50% split of DL revenue in two years.
Partridge, Hayne

Action: Ellis to appoint a committee to recommend methods & formulae to allocate DL surplus among SIGs.

11.0 Computing Portal Update and Discussion

Snodgrass reported that ACM is just about finished capturing and loading the conference proceedings for the period 1985-1990 into the ACM Digital Library. There are about 340 volumes involved in this task, of which 315 have been scanned, loaded, and quality checked. Many of these proceedings are already available in the DL. By March 1 all 340 volumes should be in the DL. There will still be a few missing volumes, but we will fill those in as they are discovered.

The abstracts for proceedings articles in the 1985 - 1990 period will be in the DL by the third week of February. Between March and June, we will complete the capture/extraction of proceedings abstracts for the 1991-2000 period. At that point, all proceedings abstracts 1985 - current will be captured and in the DL as HTML files in the meta-data.

With regard to proceedings 1947-1985, ACM has identified and developed page estimates and costs. They anticipate that the capture process will begin this summer. Also this summer, ACM will begin the preliminary work for capturing and entering SIG Newsletter meta-data, followed by the capturing and entering of the Newsletters full text.

On both of these tasks, the costs will be appropriately allocated to the SIGs.

As ACM completes the capture of all ACM content, there is need for a single point of contact. Mark Mandelbaum has agreed to oversee that. Bernie Rous will be the single point of contact at ACM HQ who will take responsibility for ensuring that the design for the Computing Portal that emerges from the Portal Committee is implemented correctly, achieves conceptual clarity, and takes advantage of deep knowledge of the ACM DL.

Snodgrass outlined the commitments already made from the SIG Leaders to cover the costs of digitization for proceedings and newsletters. He asked those that hadn't responded for an update. Snodgrass requested the SGB to act on behalf of those SIGs that were defunct or financially non-viable for digitization of proceedings prior to 1985.

Motion: Move that the SGB funds cover the cost (up to $25K) of producing PDF versions of newsletters and pre-1985 proceedings relevant to defunct and financially non-viable SIGs, with the resulting material added to the digital library.
Snodgrass, Partridge

12.0 Allocation Task Force Report

Chesnais requested that the SGB Leaders make sure that their subcommittee members who are directly influenced by allocations (finance committee, treasurer, conference committee, others?) get the URL and contribute to it. The input received will help the allocation task force formulate a recommendation that takes all views into account.

Chesnais wants there to be representation from all types and sizes of SIGs and has made recommendations to Ellis on the composition of the committee. If anyone wishes to be included, they should contact Ellis or Chesnais.

13.0 Conference Software

This project was begun by Rick Snodgrass while a member of the SGB EC. At that time, its primary emphasis was on support of the reviewing process. When he left the EC, Cassel picked up the chair duties. The committee is reviewing the various conference software packages being utilized by ACM conferences in an attempt to avoid duplication of effort, make the best use of materials developed and to give conference leaders a source of supporting software.

Many solutions exist to support submission, review, registration, and more. It is not easy to know if a solution exists that is suitable for a given conference event. A Web page has been created to summarize what is available and the characteristics of existing packages.

About 30 people expressed some level of interest at the start of the project, ranging from strong interest to "let me know what you end up with." Most recently, e-mail was sent to those who had expressed interest to see if they still wish to have any involvement with the project and 20 people responded. Some are no longer interested; some want final results; a few want to be involved. Time is the major issue, of course.

The plan for the future is to revise the current web page to show updates and make recommendations for the future. Those that want to participate were asked to send mail to [email protected], Subject: SGB Conference Support Project. Ask to be included, recommend direction, suggest someone who would be an asset, etc.

14.0 Publications Update

Cohoon reported the results of recent member survey by Lillian Israel. The goal of the survey was to measure satisfaction and usefulness, determine interests in new benefits, and understand the reasons for lapsing. The reasons given for lapsing follow:

  • 33% not enough value
  • 31% have no time to benefit
  • 19% ACM not relevant to job

It was determined that more practical publications are necessary to bring a lapsed member back to the organization. The satisfaction levels with benefits of current and lapsed members were not that different. It was discovered that professional members would like more discussion of applications software. It was recommended that this be one of the editorial focuses.

Student membership accounts for ACM's positive growth rate. The student membership dropout rate is 47%. Growth rate is 64%. One-third of student members are undergraduates.

During the publications board meeting, there was significant discussion regarding conference papers being automatically part of an ACM Transaction. The difference in logistics associated with proceedings and transactions seem to preclude this. The Publications Board will work on formally describing the review process necessary for a Transactions and Journal. They suggest that strategies be explored to facilitate moving papers from the Proceedings to the Transactions and recommend the establishment of new categories of publications.

The Publications Board received the proposal on Transactions on Learning about Computers with favor. Additional work and joint discussion were held with the SIGCSE leadership. The proposals for the on-line Distance Learning magazine and Transactions on Asian Language Information Processing were accepted.

Cohoon indicated that the nomination of Carlo Ghezzi as Editor-in-Chief of Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology was approved. The search committee was headed up by SIGSOFT. The nomination of Jessica Hodgins as Editor-in-Chief of Transactions on Graphics was approved. The search committee was headed by SIGGRAPH.

A name change for SIGCSE's newsletter was approved. The new name is Inroads: A Quarterly Publication of SIGCSE. A recommendation was made that the SGB and Pubs Board form a working committee to come up with a classification and naming system.

The publication board was enthusiastic about starting an e-commerce publication. The Chair of SIGecom does not believe that this is an endeavor ACM should put effort into. There are several publications already serving the community and there would be difficulty getting papers.

15.0 Best Practices Session

  • The SGB engaged in a best practices session where they shared the successes and failures of programs sponsored by their special interest group.
  • SIGGRAPH is having their 1st campfire. It's not quite a workshop. They will define an area, get 30 or so people together in the hope it will build into a small conference.
  • SIGCPR sought strategies for developing interaction with folks that publish on your topic but don't have interest in collaborating with the SGIG. It was suggested that they invite them to the conference and place the program in other journals to build a name.
  • SIGGRAPH's student travel grants have been endowed. Their Chapters Chair continues to encourage the start up of SIGGRAPH Student Chapters.
  • SIGIR provides student travel grants.
  • SIGOPS has found it is not difficult to get money from corporations.
  • SIGARCH has been giving out student travel grants for sometime. They recently decided that only SIGARCH student members would be eligible.
  • The ISCA conference co-sponsored by SIGARCH has a traditional banquet and tends to be more costly than the student fee. For many years it was not included in student conference registration. SIGARCH is allowing members to pay for students to participate in the banquet.
  • SIGPLAN supports paying for students to go to their banquet.
  • SIGSOFT co-sponsors conferences with IEEE showing support for the community.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:00 PM.



  • Alan Berenbaum, SIGARCH
  • Judy Brown, SIGGRAPH
  • Susan Dumais, SIGIR
  • Jennifer Fajman, SIGUCCS
  • Stuart Feldman, SIGecom
  • Katherine Haramundanis, SIGDOC
  • Stephen Hayne, SIGGROUP
  • George Kasper, SIGMIS
  • Bruce Klein, SIGCSE
  • Ed Lamie, SIGBIO
  • Gary Lamont, SIGAPP
  • Dianne Martin, SIGCAS
  • John McCormick, SIGAda
  • Elli Mylonas, SIGWEB
  • Fred Niederman, SIGCPR
  • David Notkin, SIGSOFT
  • Craig Partridge, SIGCOMM
  • Ravi Sandhu, SIGSAC
  • David Siegel, SIGAPL
  • Richard Snodgrass, SIGMOD
  • Mary Vernon, SIGMETRICS
  • Jeffrey Vitter, SIGACT


  • Robert Aiken, ACM IFIP Representative
  • Jean Loup Baer, SGB EC
  • Donna Baglio, SGB EC
  • Boots Cassel, SGB EC
  • Alain Chesnais, SGB EC
  • Jim Cohoon, SGB EC
  • Carla Ellis, SGB EC
  • Rick Furuta, SGB EC
  • Mark Scott Johnson, SGB Council Rep.
  • Doris Lidtke, SGB EC
  • Jon McGrew, SIGAPL Newsletter Editor
  • Maritza Nichols, ACM Staff
  • Patricia Ryan, ACM Staff
  • Mary Lou Soffa, SGB EC
  • Mary Whitton, SGB Council Rep.