Minutes of the June 28, 2001 SGB EC Conference Call

1) Review status of current action items -

The following items were reported complete.

Action: Chesnais to name SGB members to committee to look at short term and long term plan for working with small SIGs and allocation issues. Mark Scott Johnson, Alan Berenbaum and Bruce Klein have agreed to serve on behalf of the SGB EC. A report is to be issued within 6 months. (4/26/01)

Action: Council Reps are to ask Council for suggestions as to how ACM could be a player in the BIO specialty and what are other areas ACM should be involved in. (5/31/01)

Chesnais and Notkin requested that Mark Scott Johnson take charge of the SGB Committee to look at a short term and long term plan for the small SIGs and allocation issues.

Notkin reported that he is a SIG Representative on USACM. Currently the group is in discussions regarding the Felton case. A tremendous amount of work has been carried out by both volunteers and staff in the preparation of material for ACM to file an amicus brief.

3) New SIG on Uncertainty and Artificial Intelligence -

Feldman was unavailable for the call. This item will be added to the next conference call agenda.

4) SIGDA's request for a 5 year agreement with GES on behalf of DAC ($1.35 million/year with 4% annual cap)

Chesnais reported for Berenbaum. Steve Levitan submitted the following request:

GES Exposition Services (GES) would like to enter into a second 5-year agreement with the ACM/IEEE Design Automation Conference to provide general exposition contracting services. These services include conference registration counters, signs, demo suite walls and carpet, exhibition set-up and carpet, drayage, and furnishings. GES also provides services and labor for the exhibiting companies.

Due the extensive capital investment in the demo suite walls and doors by GES and the DAC Executive Committee's interest in containing costs; the agreed upon contract is for a 5-year term (2002-2006). DAC feels that by signing a long-term agreement we are best able to secure favorable rates and a guaranteed supply of materials to properly ensure demo suite availability.

DAC solicited competitive bids from the only two viable companies providing these services: GES and Freeman Decorating Company (FDC). FDC was approximately 3.5 times more expensive on the Demo Suite wall package, DAC's largest expense, than GES. FDC has no wall system in its inventory to accommodate the suites and was faced with building and storing a system specifically for DAC.

After extensive negotiations over the last six months on all aspects of the agreement we have finally reached a deal that fair for both parties.

The value of the contract in the first year is approximately $1.35 million. Annual increases are anticipated of approximately 4% depending on the growth of DAC.

The approximate Contract Expenses break down as such:

  • Demo Suite expenses: 68%
  • General decorating: 10%
  • Booth pavilions: 8%
  • Signs/Banners: 3%
  • Carpet: 6%
  • Miscellaneous: 5%

As a one-third sponsor of DAC, the ACM would have exposure of $450,000 to $500,000 per year for the contract period.

The SGB EC discussed DAC's successful record and endorsed the request. There was not a quorum so no vote was taken. Baglio was asked to request endorsement from the SGB EC via e-mail. If approved Chesnais will take to the ACM EC for approval.

5) Election Update -

Both SIGecom and SIGGROUP have yet to turn in slates for their elections. Hayne reported that SIGGROUP had a full slate and was working to finalize bios and other administrative requirements.

Furuta sent e-mail to the SGB EC with a concern that individuals were running for executive committee positions for multiple SIGs. The SGB EC indicated that there was no policy against this.

6) SIGAPP/BIO activitiy request -

Klein received several proposals requesting funds for Bioinformatice Activities. Chesnais reported on behalf of Klein.

The first proposal:

SAC2002 Activities

  • Bioinformatics Symposium Director (W. Jones) expenses to attend SAC2002: $3,000
  • W. Jones will is responsible for the coordination of all bioinformatics events at SAC2002.
  • Bioinformatics Keynote Honorarium and expenses: $3,000
  • Luncheon Speaker Honorarium: $1,000

The SGB EC agreed that it would be reasonable to support the keynote and luncheon honorarium at the SAC'02 conference for a total of $4,000. The $3,000 in travel expenses for the Bioinformatics symposium Director was denied. The SAC conferences will need to support committee expenses for bioinfomatics activity through the conference budget. That is up to the conference organizers and the leadership of SIGAPP.

The 2nd proposal:

Sponsorship of CAMDA 2001 at Duke University - October 2001

  • SIGAPP sponsorship of a keynote speaker: $2,000
  • Sponsorship of the best paper award: $1,000

This request was denied. SIGAPP should be supporting these activities through their budget if indeed their intent is to move into the bioinformatics area.

The 3rd proposal:

Sponsorship of Bioinformatics Research Workshop at UAB - Fall 2001

This is envisioned as a small scale regional workshop which is to be designed as a model for campuses that have computer science and research-oriented medical centers co-located on the same campus. This workshop will add a bioinformatics dimension to the current UAB Cancer Center Fall Retreat at which cancer research reviews are held here in Birmingham at the Medical Forum facility. The costs involved will include expenses for four invited participants. The participants would not only be involved with bioinformatics research presentations but would be required to develop a set of recommendations for the critical factors and strategies for bioinformatics research success at campuses like UAB. The resulting model recommendations will be presented at SAC2002 as a short paper in either a technical sessions or the planned bioinformatics panel. In addition, these results will be presented at another workshop (Development, Evaluation and Dissemination of Methodology for the Analysis of Microarray Gene Expression Data) in upstate New York which will have broad national representation as well as disciplinary representatives from statistics, computer science and the biological sciences.

  • Expenses for four visitors: ($2,000 each) $8,000
  • Expenses for upstate New York workshop presentation by W. Jones: $3,000

This request was denied. The SGB EC did not believe that this request would provide value to ACM.

7) Publications -

Cohoon was unavailable for the call, no publications report was given.

8) Other issues

Mark Scott Johnson indicated that the SIGDA EC had submitted an Award proposal. The Award is named, endowed and co-sponsored requiring Council approval. He forwarded the request to Feldman but has not seen activity. He will remind him that the request needs to be send to the SGB for input and forwarded to the Awards committee so that it can be endorsed and then approved by council.

Furuta sent e-mail requesting that the SGB EC consider approving the SIGCAS bylaw changes. The bylaw change went to the membership but did not get enough of a return to pass. Those members that did vote were in favor of the changes. With SGB EC endorsement the changes can be taken to the ACM EC for approval. Baglio was asked to send this info. via e-mail to the SGB EC for approval.

Chesnais reported that Council discussed the fees for ACM member vs. SIG only member. Council requested additional information on this. They wish to know what SIGs would do if this passed and would like to see some examples of fees.

Dave Arnold also brought SIGGRAPH's membership card request to Council. Council again requested additional information wishing to understand the implication and impact on fiances and activities. They did not have enough information to make an informed decision.

The SGB EC decided there would be a call on Thursday, July 19th at 2:00 pm EST. Baglio will inform SGB EC and if too many are unable to make the call it will be cancelled.



  • Donna Baglio
  • Alain Chesnais
  • Stephen Hayne
  • Mark Scott Johnson
  • David Notkin
  • Alan Berenbaum
  • Jim Cohoon
  • Carla Ellis
  • Stuart Feldman
  • Rick Furuta
  • Bruce Klein
  • Mary Lou Soffa