Minutes of the October 3, 1998 SIG Governing Board Meeting

1.0 Welcome and Introductions

Ellis opened the meeting at 9:05 am.

Ellis thanked the SGB for voting in the recent election. She thanked the outgoing SIG Board for all their hard work, especially Doris Lidtke. Ellis introduced Notkin as the SGB EC Vice Chair of Operations. In this position he would be required to facilitate the SGB & SGB EC meetings as well as the SGB EC conference calls. Notkin invited all participants to introduce themselves.

2.0 Approval of minutes of February SIG Chair's meeting

Motion: Move to approve the minutes of the February'98 SIG Chairs Meeting
Soffa, Johnson

3.0 Report of the SGB EC Meeting

3.1 Goals and Objectives

This item was moved to agenda item #7.0

3.2 Position Descriptions

Ellis reported on the SGB EC meeting and described the governing positions along with the names of the Board EC members who took on these roles.

  • SGB EC Vice Chair for Operations = David Notkin
  • SGB EC Vice Chair for SIG Development = Rick Furuta
  • SGB EC Secretary = Jean-Loup Baer
  • Conference Advisor = Rick Snodgrass
  • Large SIG Advisor = Mary Lou Soffa
  • Small SIG Advisor = Lillian (Boots) Cassel

Notkin welcomed questions regarding the new structure of the SGB EC.

Mansour questioned how small SIGs & large SIGs were distinguished? Notkin explained that it had not been addressed yet, but might come down to membership size.

Levitan asked what approval the SGB needed from the SGB EC? Notkin explained that the SGB makes decisions and the SGB EC's job was to work them out, and follow through. Basically, the EC is an advocate for the SGB as a whole and encourages communication. There were still many details to work out, and they would be flexible to change as appropriate. There were many choices which needed to be made and would be discussed during the afternoon session.

4.0 IFIP Appointments [Turner]

Turner began by saying how great it was to see the new SIG organization get under way. He thanked Lidtke, MSJ, and Irwin for all their hard work.

Turner summarized his report which focused on ACM's involvement in IFIP. Traditionally it has been structured on the basis of having only one society from each country as the representative of its' country in IFIP activities. Originally the U.S. member of IFIP was the American Federation of Information Processing Societies (AFIPS), and after the demise of AFIPS, ACM and the IEEE Computer Society formed the Federation on Computing in the US (FOCUS) for the sole purpose of representing the U.S. in IFIP. For the past several years, FOCUS has been the organization that is the U.S. member of IFIP. Late last calendar year the IEEE provided one-year's notice that it was withdrawing from FOCUS as of the end of FY 1998. They decided that since their membership was over 40% international, they couldn't continue as a U.S. representative. According to the FOCUS Constitution, if either ACM or the IEEE withdrew, FOCUS would cease to exist, so FOCUS will cease to exist as of January 1999. IEEE wanted ACM's help in convincing IFIP to allow international representatives or recognize ACM and IEEE as international societies. IFIP has very established procedures and this was not accepted immediately, there was tremendous opposition from IFIP.

A compromised proposal was made in October at an annual IFIP meeting allowing IEEE and ACM to be individual members. This will most likely be passed by Council, and appointments will have to made for each of the technical communities of IFIP. It is very important for our members that ACM participate in IFIP. Under this new structure it seems feasible that all appointments to technical communities (TCs) be made by the SGB EC. Therefore, the question is would the SGB be interested in managing the whole TC aspect: appointments, reporting, etc.)?

The SGB's questions are followed by Turner's response:

  1. Whitton asked whether there would be any financial commitments expected from the SIGs?

    This had not been decided, but eventually if the SGB takes on the whole management of IFIP then each SIG participating could contribute $2 - 3K per year per group (12 groups). The upper limit could be $36K but more realistically somewhere in the mid $20's. This is probably what it will cost for dues and maintenance of a secretariat.

  2. What was Turner's opinion of the TCs?

    The TCs are the official mechanism and body, they start up and shut down working groups (WGs), which is where the real work goes on.

  3. What will happen to the U.S. representation?

    The modified bylaws state that more than 1 organization can represent the U.S. (both ACM and IEEE are being allowed to join as members to IFIP). The U.S. representative could be a representative of U.S. or headquartered in the U.S. ACM has written a letter to IFIP that they would join if allowed to appoint representatives from their organization regardless of citizenship.

  4. Would this mean we would have 2 representatives from IEEE and ACM? This could happen, but with International membership being so high, representatives may not always be U.S. citizens.
  5. What do working groups entail in terms of financial considerations?

    For people who participate in working groups, funding is individual, but the TC should support the working groups.

    The SGB agreed to discuss the funding at a later time and agreed that this was a good idea.

Motion: Move that the SGB formally express interest in pursuing the IFIP proposal presented by Joe Turner and work on implementation.
Cunningham, Levitan

Action: SGB EC is to inform appropriate volunteer leadership that the SIGs wish to pursue the IFIP proposal presented by Joe Turner and work on implementation.

Nanard presented a proposal to change SIGLINK's name change to SIGWEB. A summary of his report follows.

SIGLINK was formed in order to provide a focus for hypermedia research and applications. Since that time, the World Wide Web has become one of the most prominent application domains in hypermedia research, and therefore in the work of SIGLINK members (see charter). Cooperation with the WWW community has always been active and is becoming more so. Nevertheless, we need to improve the visibility of SIGLINK: the name SIGLINK is no longer informative or intriguing to newcomers in the hypermedia domain, since they tend to focus on the 'Web' which is the most visible and notorious part of the domain.

SIGLINK EC proposes to rename 'SIGLINK, ACM Special Interest Group on Hypertext' to 'ACM SIGWEB, The ACM Special Interest Group on Hypertext, Hypermedia and Web'.

This proposal was discussed in an online forum with the membership, announced in the newsletter, and discussed at the annual business meeting in June where it was approved by a ballot.

Nanard indicated that the name change, together with some other actions in progress will create a new dynamic and attract new membership in a critical emerging domain, one which is not yet sufficiently represented in the ACM.

The SGB voiced concern that SIGLINK not just change the name to a more appealing name to bring in new members. They were asked to actively focus on new programs that represent strong ties with activities in the realm of the WWW.

A written vote was taken to approve the motion for SIGLINK's name change.

Motion: Move to endorse the SIGLINK name change to SIGWEB and forward to ACM EC for approval.
Levitan, Martin

Action: Ellis is to bring the SIGLINK name change forward to the ACM EC for approval.

6.0 Program Reviews

Before starting the program reviews, Notkin asked the SGB for suggestions on procedures with regard to program reviews. One of the most important things the SGB has to do is implement an effective review policy. The SGB EC recommended that reviews be handled as in the past, with the information part in an open session and viability in an SGB EC session.

After some discussion, the consensus was to revert to the old policy in the absence of a new policy and the time to create one. The SGB could make suggestion/comments to the SGB EC for future reviews.

6.1 SIGARCH [Baer]

Jean-Loup provided a program review for SIGARCH.

The primary mission of SIGARCH is to be the forum where researchers and practitioners of computer architecture can exchange ideas. To that effect, SIGARCH sponsors or co-sponsors the premier conferences in the field as well as a number of workshops. It publishes a quarterly newsletter and the proceedings of several conferences.

SIGARCH co-sponsors (50%) with IEEE-TCCA, the premier conference in Computer Architecture, namely the International Symposium on Computer Architecture (ISCA). Historically, SIGARCH has taken the lead in selecting the venue for the Symposium, its General Chair, and its Program Chair (ISCA's locations and Chairs have been selected up to ISCA 2000 included).

Attendance is around 400 when in North America and around 300 when abroad. Acceptance of papers to be presented at ISCA is highly competitive with an acceptance ratio hovering around 20%. Several workshops (some of them with attendance close to 100 participants) and Tutorials are held in conjunction with ISCA.

SIGARCH also co-sponsors (50%) with SIGOPS and SIGPLAN, the International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems (ASPLOS). ASPLOS is a highly successful and competitive Conference with about 350 attendees and with a paper acceptance rate of 20-25%.

In the area of Supercomputing, SIGARCH sponsors the International Conference on Supercomputing (ICS) and co-sponsors (50%) SC (Supercomputing) with the IEEE-CS. Attendance at ICS is getting lower and the acceptance rate of papers is between 30-45% for the last 3 years. SC on the other hand is highly successful in terms of exhibit and attendance (over 1,700 registration in '97).

SIGARCH so-sponsors (25%) with SIGACT and SIGPLAN, the Symposium on Parallel Algorithms and Architectures (SPAA). It has a steady attendance of over 100 participants.

SIGARCH also co-sponsors a number of conferences or workshops such as IOPADS, HICS etc. with other SIGs as well as IEEE TC's and occasionally some IFIP WG.

CAN (Computer Architecture News), SIGARCH's newsletter, is published 4 times a year. In addition the ISCA Proceedings form a special fifth issue. SIGARCH also publishes the ASPLOS Proceedings every other year. Proceedings of ICS, SC, and SPAA are available through the Member Plus program.

In order to commemorate the 25 years of ISCA, a selection committee comprised of former program chairs of the past several conferences has compiled a retrospective of the first 25 ISCA's consisting of 41 papers they judged "most influential". The anthology has been distributed free to SIGARCH members.

SIGARCH has endowed an Award named after Maurice Wilkes. The recipient receives a $2,500 prize and a free trip to ISCA for the presentation.

The Eckert-MauchlyAwards (co-sponsored with IEEE-CS) is the most prestigious award in computer architecture. The monetary component of the prize has been raised to $5,000.

SIGARCH annually gives travel grant awards to SIGARCH student members who are authors or co-authors of papers presented at ISCA and ASPLOS. There have been about 25 awards per year per conference.

Educational Activities
SIGARCH co-sponsors the Annual Workshop in Computer Architecture Education when it is held in conjunction with ISCA.

International Activities
ISCA is held once every 3 years outside North America. ICS is held almost all the time outside the USA and many of the members of its Steering Committee are from Europe or Asia.

Membership has declined by about 25% sine 1995. The bad news is that they continue to see a slight decline in membership. The good news is that they have a high retention rate.

The decline in membership is a primary concern. They would like to know whether they are losing members with multiple SIG associations for which they are only a second or third interest, or whether they are losing members because most of the services they provide can be obtained free of charge on the WWW or for other reasons to be determined.

SIGARCH is in great shape financially. They have a fund balance of over $1 million which was garnered through the successes of several recent SC conferences. SIGARCH's required fund balance is only $322,949.

SIGARCH is active and financially healthy. During the last 4 years, it has sponsored high quality conferences, created a new endowed award, continued to be visible internationally, and has provided its membership with the timely publication of Proceedings and even an extra anthology.

The second terms of the current SIGARCH Officers and Board members will end requiring an election. A nominating committee is in place.

Several of the SGB members agreed that SIGARCH should do something with their big fund balance. Baer explained that the reason SIGARCH is so rich is because of SC which is difficult to control. However, it is feasible that their fund balance will decrease over the coming years.

Motion: Move that SIGARCH retain their status as a multi-service SIG.
Levitan, Soffa

6.2 SIGMICRO [Bondi]

Jim Bondi presented a program review for SIGMICRO.

Bondi indicated that they are happy to be a conference-only SIG. They function better than when they were a full-service SIG.

Through the annual Micro-n conference, provide a forum for interchange of state-of-the-art ideas, concepts, advanced developments, and research results in computer microarchitecture.


  • Newsletters - none beyond mailed proceedings.
  • Proceedings - "Proceedings of Micro-n", average # pages is 350-380
  • Electronic Groups (chat, discussion, etc.) - none


  • Topic: Advancements in microarchitecture and compiler techniques that together enable higher computing performance, especially through increased exploitation of instruction level parallelism (ILP).
  • Quality: In the 1990's, it has become widely recognized as the premier forum with this focus.
  • Attendance: 250+
  • Health: Excellent. Attendance gradually increasing, reputation strengthening, financial picture positive.


  • Educational Programs: None
  • Local Units: None
  • International Units: None

Management (General)

  • Operation - largely self-governing per "Conference SIG"/SIGMICRO '93 operating rules
  • Mission - hold best possible Micro-n
  • SIGMICRO "representation" in Micro-n: membership in at least "conference committee"
  • SIG leadership - Chair, appointed by ACM; other officers if any appointed by Chair.
  • Leadership change - retiring Chair recommends successor for ACM approval/appointment

Special Recognition and Awards

  • Student Travel Grants at Micro-n
  • Best Paper/Best Presentation Awards at Micro-n
  • SIG Service Awards - need more activity here

Technical Program Goals/Milestones

  • Micro-31 (30 Nov - 02 Dec 1998)
  • Micro-32 (late 1999)
  • Micro-33 (late 2000)

Motion: Move that SIGMICRO retain their status as a conference SIG.
Belkin, Soffa

6.3 SIGPLAN [Soffa]

Soffa presented a program review for SIGPLAN.

SIGPLAN, the premier programming languages organization, promotes awareness and advancement of research and practice in programming languages.

SIGPLAN accomplishes its mission by sponsoring conferences and publishing newsletters.

The SIG also serves as a coordinating body for the volunteers who wish to undertake projects to further the goals of the SIG.

SIGPLAN accomplishes its mission by providing benefits to members and providing service to the community:

  • Newsletters
  • Conferences
  • Workshops
  • Educational activities
  • Awards
  • Special projects
  • Special funding

Membership Statistics

  • Current members: 6,511
  • Retention of members (overall): 74.6%
  • Average retention rate (overall): 65.3%

SIGPLAN has 2nd highest retention of all SIGs.

SIGPLAN sponsors/cosponsors 10 conferences and workshops per year.

  • PLDI (Programming Languages Design and Implementation)
  • OOPSLA (Object Oriented Programming Systems, Languages, and Applications)
  • ICFP (International Conference on Functional Programming)
  • PPoPP (Symposium on Principles and Practice of Parallel Programming)
  • PEPM (Symposium on Partial Evaluation and Semantics)
  • POPL (Principles of Programming Languages)
  • ASPLOS (Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems)
  • Java Workshop for High Performance Network Computing
  • LCT-RTS (Workshop on Languages, Compilers, and Tools for Real Time Systems) O
  • OPSLA Midyear Workshops- devoted to Applied Technology - target practitioners.
  • PASTE Workshop (Programming Analysis and Software Testing Environments)

On average, SIGPLAN offers 5-6 special purpose workshops that co-locate with one of the SIGPLAN conferences.

Typically SIGPLAN is in-cooperation with 8 conferences and workshops per year.

SIGPLAN has a set of guidelines for conferences looking for SIGPLAN sponsorship or cooperation.

Member Benefits
Members receive:

  • SIGPLAN Notices
  • Discounts on SIGPLAN sponsored conferences, workshops and tutorials.
  • Discounts on SIGPLAN publications and CD ROMs.
  • CD ROM of POPL proceedings for first 10 years upon membership renewal.
  • Access to Member Value Plus Program - POPL proceedings at discount price.
  • Electronic access to current and past SIGPLAN proceedings.
  • Access to SIGPLAN sponsored Professional Activities grants.
  • Access to a special newsletter on Fortran, published three times a year.

Educational Activities
Professional Activities Committee (PAC) funding for graduate students to attend conferences - travel, hotel and conference registration.

Free HOPL II (History of Programming Languages) for student membership.

OOPSLA Educator's Symposium Scholarships - SIGPLAN sponsors 50 $1,000 scholarships for educators from 2 and 4 year colleges to attend the OOPSLA Educator's Symposium and Conference.

Tutorials at conferences -

  • funding providing to professor's from colleges with pre-dominantly underrepresented students in Computer Science - also get support from NSF
  • High school teachers - tutorial on C++

Student attendees subsidized at conferences (breakfasts, lunches, receptions). They are able to attend all events.

Awards - endowed
ACM SIGPLAN Programming Languages Achievement Award
Award is based on significant and lasting contribution to programming languages - $1,000 prize

SIGPLAN Distinguished Service Award
Awarded on basis of value and services to programming languages community - $500 prize

Special projects and funding

  • CD-ROM projects
    • 10 year retrospective of OOPSLA proceedings
    • First 10 years of POPL Proceedings
  • MASPLAS - Midwest Systems and Programming Languages Meeting Funding to develop Conference Submission Software
  • SIG Discretionary Fund - 5K
  • Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award
  • SIGPLAN supplies professional support for sponsored conferences including local arrangements and registration. Providing this support keeps conference expense down.
  • Web Site - continuously updated. In addition to ACM and SIGPLAN information, it includes other information and links to sites of interest
    • WWW sites in programming languages
    • Special information for graduate students
    • WWW sites on women in computing
    • Help in preparing latex documents

SIGPLAN Executive Committee

  • Meetings three times a year, usually with conference - open to conference attendees
  • Open meeting once a year at PLDI - EC members give reports and then open discussion
  • Try to groom people for officers
  • Conferences that are sponsored/cosponsored by SIGPLAN have steering committees
    • define who serves and for how long
    • how to rotate members off and on


  • SIGPLAN is financially healthy.
  • Budget: $2.5M per year
  • Conference revenue: $2M per year
  • Fund Balance: $2.8M
    • $2.1M over what is required
    • 40% increase in last 4 years


  • Continue to work on membership.
  • More interaction with SIGs, in particular SIGSOFT.
  • More interaction with international members and international profession organizations on languages.
    • EAPLS - European Association for Programming Languages and Systems
  • Provide more interaction and services with industry.
    • Panels, involvement in conferences

Motion: Move that SIGPLAN retain their status as a multi-service SIG.
Baer, Levitan

Reviewer Database Software was mentioned during the SIGPLAN review. Several SIG leaders began discussing their activities in this area. It was decided that the SGB EC should examine collaboration possibilities.

Action: SGB EC is to examine the collaboration possibilities on the SIG reviewer software and report to the SGB.

6.4 SIGCAPH Program Review [Karshmer]

Karshmer presented a program review for SIGCAPH.

SIG Highlights

  • Financially in the Black
  • Newsletter published three times per year
    • no issues missed since November 1995
    • new format
    • expanded in size
  • ASSETS 98 Best Papers Being Published in a Special Issue of BIT (British Journal)
  • Vice Chair is from Europe.

ASSETS Highlights

  • Continuous Growth since first meeting in 1994
  • Has become one of the most important meetings of it's kind
    • Small (<100) & single-track
    • Highly refereed
    • Designed to enhance interaction
    • Attended by many from overseas
    • Next meeting (2000) in Europe, possibly combined with ICCHP
    • Deemed a high quality meeting

SIG Membership

  • Unfortunately a Declining Membership
    • Decline mirrors that of total ACM SIG membership
    • With success of ASSETS meetings & new connections in Europe we hope to increase membership
  • SIGCAPH is RELEVANT and responds to an important socioeconomic problem.

SIGCAPH Tomorrow

  • Financially sound today & tomorrow
  • Very relevant given:
    • Concerns for Information Society for All
    • The ADA and need for integration into the workplace
    • Explosion of information society
    • Value of information access
    • Possibility of creating a new underclass

They have a good pool of volunteers, all except for Ephraim are new, they did not have any problems getting volunteers for their slate, their problem was constraint of time.

There was a question on whether there was any overlap between SIGCAPH and SIGCHI. Karshmer responded that all of their ASSETS meetings are co-located with SIGCHI for overlap of interests and it draws a larger audience.

The SGB had some concerns about SIGCAPH and decided that a smaller group would be in a better position to discuss. Their concerns included:

  • small declining membership
  • moving a conference that has low attendance outside the U.S.
  • would like to see history of how things have gone

Motion: Move that SGB EC further review viability of SIGCAPH.
Johnson, Levitan
(38, 36, 0)

6.5 Review of common themes discussed during Program Reviews for lunch discussion

The following activities were suggested as lunch topics.

  • International Activities
  • Activities (e.g. Anthologies)
  • Support travel grants, etc.
  • Fund balance issue

7.0 Brainstorming Session - We're running the Show, What do we do now?

During this session the SGB discussed possible goals and objectives, the new structure, what goals the SIGs hoped to accomplish, what tools they needed to accomplish them and how.

The SGB focused on the following categories. Categories (Goals/Objectives)

  1. Increase effectiveness and efficiency of SIGs
  2. Increase visibility, credibility, influence of SIGs within ACM.
  3. Help ACM and SIGs define a vision, program development.
  4. Interaction with ACM HQ and Services.

A discussion followed on various SIG concerns.

  • What is a SIGs role? Are they enforcing rules and regulations or supporting them?
  • Shrinking membership - It's more than losing membership, many SIGs have an overlap of members.
  • Disconnect between SIGs and Publications Board.
  • People's interests are changing and do no want to be pigeonholed. A SIG outlives the person's interest length of SIG vs. professional interest).
  • Helping SIGs succeed as a small SIG, for those who were medium sized and now are small. For example, SIGAda had a problem learning how to be small (small SIG issues).
  • Developing volunteers
  • Interaction with other Societies, particularly with respect to International groups.
  • Interaction with HQ and services it can provide such as registration and conference management.
  • Support of SIG-like organizations.
  • Collaboration between/among SIGs.
  • Societies.
  • Collection of ideas of how SIGs make things work in order to share them. (How SIGs organize themselves and their activities, model building).
  • Membership discounts for joining multiple SIGs.
  • Make sure we have areas/issues we feel strongly about (e.g. physically handicapped, minorities in computing) and make sure we're visible in the area/issue. (Defining issues, vision/focus of SIGs).
  • Governance Issue. Rules/constitution should be streamlined for small SIGs who struggle with things like elections.
  • How do we go about identifying emerging technical areas?
  • Financial reports from ACM. Baglio and Ryan pointed out that this is something they are working on. The SGB would like to be in on the remodeling from the beginning.
  • Revision of the allocation formula. As a group, the SIGs should be able to subsidize each other.
  • Lead rather than leave. (For e.g., electronic publishing, understanding how it works).
  • Concerns about the future, in particular SIG members not being ACM members. What happens when we have more members than ACM.

Notkin pointed out that it was very important to make a small set of things priority in order to get things done.

Summary (the number preceding the item reflects the category the SGB determined it belonged to).

  • (1) Length of SIG vs. professional interest.
  • (1) Developing volunteers.
  • (1) Small SIG issues.
  • (2 & 3) Interaction with other societies (particularly with respect to International groups).
  • (4) Interaction with ACM HQ and services.
  • (1, 3&4) Electronic implications on finance for SIGs.
  • (4) ACM vs. SIG-only membership - implications.
  • (4) SIG influence on ACM infrastructure.
  • (2 & 3) Serving members outside SIG communities who are "related to" specific SIGs.
    • What is our role?
    • Are we enforcing rules?
    • Supporting the process?
  • (3) Membership, is it just numbers?
  • (2) SIGs and publications (relationships).
  • (3) Registration and conference management - HQ services.
  • (1 & 3) Support of SIG-like organizations.
  • (1) SIG structure (local SIGs)
  • (1) collaboration between/among SIGs.
  • (2) Societies

The SGB requested that the EC review these and make recommendations on how to proceed with change.

Action: SGB EC is to review results of SGB brainstorming session and develop recommendations on moving forward.

8.0 Awards Update (Ryan)

Pat Ryan reported on the ACM Awards Committee.

Mark Scott Johnson's term as ACM SIG Chair's Liaison with the ACM Awards Committee has been extended to the year 2000. Kelly Gotlieb has been reassigned as Awards Committee Chair for 2 years to expand and increase the awards visibility.

The awards committee held their first committee meeting in nearly 2 years in September. They approved new SIGGRAPH and SIGGROUP awards. There will be an ACM Awards banquet at the Waldorf Astoria in New York on Saturday, May 15th. All SIG Chairs are invited to attend.

Ryan reported that Mark Scott Johnson deserved a lot of credit for the awards guidelines indicating that there has been valuable collaboration between the SIGs and the ACM awards committee since he was named liaison.

9.0 SDF & SIG Development Funds

Baglio explained that this item was placed on the agenda at the request of a SIG Chair at the last meeting. She reported that last FY, $40K was deposited by the SIGs into the SDF. The program hasn't been as active as it was when first developed. On behalf of the SDF Panel Chair, Lori Pollock, she asked the SIGs to decide if the SDF is something they want to continue in its' current state or make changes to improve? The SGB discussed mechanisms for changing and improving the SDF.

Issues discussed by the SGB included:

  • SIGs having their own discretionary funding and looking at things that lend to their SIG first.
  • It's voluntary and takes the weight off only 1 SIG getting hit because projects can apply though the SDF.
  • Turner explained that in the past SDF was at the SIG level to control/verify technical quality of projects, same at council level. This is something that can change.
  • There have been a lot of successful projects funded through SDF.
  • It is a chicken and egg problem. If proposals aren't worth funding they won't get funded, but if you don't have enough money in the SDF you're not going to get good proposals.
  • There are two things wrong with the proposal process. Proposals come in twice a year, the first wrong thing is the 6 month wait, the 2nd wrong thing is that good ideas are thrown out if we don't have the money to fund it.
  • The SGB determined that they were arguing mechanism instead of whether to proceed. Ellis remembered receiving email asking whether any SIG wanted to fund those projects that were not funded by the SDF. The SDF was developed so the SIGs would have a part in supporting projects that benefited the computing community. This is an outreach program. The SIGs really need to support this fund and so they have to be willing to donate money to it. She also suggested 2 pots of money. The SDF the way it works now, and the another fund where money would be collected to fund projects on a project by project basis.
  • Cohoon felt the SDF should remain the way it is now. It is a voluntary fund and it should stay like that. SIGs should choose whether they want to spend their money on their members or donate it to the SDF.
  • Another suggestion was to rethink the SDF to use it as a discretionary fund or support other priorities as established by the SGB rather then for pet projects.
  • Is it possible to combine these funds and reduce it's overhead? One way to reduce overhead in this activity is to funnel SDF to Council and charge the way Council administers. Martin suggested they consider a fund where the SIGs allocate money to that fund and they would continue to have control over it as a SIG body. If it's going to continue, all should contribute.
  • Atwood suggested a model be created to bring back to the SIGs.

Action: SGB EC is to formulate recommendations on the future of the SDF and a possible SGB EC discretionary fund.

10.0 Sharing Session - Outstanding Projects of FY'98

During this session, the SIG Chairs were given the opportunity to discuss the outstanding projects their areas have nurtured and developed throughout the past year. Snodgrass led the discussion.

He enjoyed the SIG program reviews because it is a chance for him to get ideas to bring back to his SIG. The problem is that by the time the program review comes about, he'll be long gone so he would like to hear ideas now. He opened the floor to specific ideas that the SIGs executed that another SIG might benefit from. Hart indicated the annual report submitted by the SIGs should be a source for these kinds of ideas and they could also have a web page for ideas. Notkin reminded the SGB that bad ideas are good too. It sounds like we're describing an intranet amongst the SGB not focused on the whole community, things the SIGs thought were going to work and didn't. Levitan suggested that what's working and not working should be something they talk about at every meeting.

A discussion followed where each SIG shared the programs that worked for their SIG.

  • SIGDA developed a MM Monograph series. Tutorials were recorded in video and analogue and produced as an educational resource. SIGDA has done 2 last year and another 2 this year. The cost to produce 2 was about $30K. This is free to members and they believe members see it as a benefit.
  • SIGCOMM holds a student dinner where the program committee is required to attend and sit at the table with the students.
  • SIGDA holds a Ph.D. Forum where students staring a Ph.D. program are invited to attend and present at the poster session. This has increased attendance.
  • SIGPLAN has something similar to SIGDA. Their poster session is very successful. They accept small description of research work, and fund these students to attend the session. This year 20 students presented, they try to accept all students.
  • SIGART sponsors a doctoral consortium for Ph.D. students who are in the process of finalizing their thesis. They provide the students with feedback at their presentations. This is co-sponsored with AAAI. Students receive a travel grant and the conference fee is waived. Awarded competitively.
  • SIGCSE also sponsors a doctoral consortium. They also offer a NSF grant, preparing future faculty. They also maintain a member's only listserv. This is a place to provide help to their members and serves as a recruiting device.
  • SIGCAS is getting ready to launch a project on curriculum guidelines on ethical and social impact for undergraduate and even high school students. The program is named ISWET. They plan to survey the computing and IT workplace. The results will be entered into a database which will be shared all over the world.
  • SIGGRAPH has been weak in the area of small conferences but has recently been in contact with a sister society in Europe who proposed a co-sponsored workshop in Europe 1 week before their big conference. It was a huge success. The revenue from this program goes to the sister society who needs it, and the publications from this workshop go to the SIGGRAPH Member Plus Program.
  • SIGSOFT includes a interview with ACM Fellows that are SIGSOFT members in their newsletter. It's simple but nice, it personalizes members.
  • SIGMOD's newsletter has a column for people that have influenced them and why.
  • SIGIR has an alternating in North America and out of North America conference. The out of North America conference is organized and funded by a local organization. SIGIR doesn't reap any benefits so they don't take any financial risk.
  • SIGAPL provides a local 1 day workshop for their chapters.
  • SIGDA is donating $50K to small SIGs that want to place their older proceedings in the ACM DL and can't afford it. They're willing to match up to another $50K if other SIGs do the same.

A discussion followed where each SIG shared what programs did not work for their SIG.

  • SIGDA - free membership at workshops was an overwhelming failure.
  • SIGARCH - doesn't send as much publicity out in CACM or Computer.

Johnson asked how many SIGs are currently sending e-mail to their members?

  • SIGDA has a moderated listserv that seems to be working, they send Calls and a Chairman's letter two times a year.
  • SIGCSE has an announcement listserv where 25% of their members have chosen to be included.

Action: SGB encourages SGB EC Operations Chair to place the sharing of SIG programs on the agenda at each of the meetings.

Other Business
Baglio announced that appointments to the USACM have to made. Suggestions should be sent to Ellis.

Atwood thanked the SGB EC for taking on their positions. The group agreed via acclamation.

Notkin thanked Atwood and commented that there was still much progress to be made.

Ellis closed the meeting at 6:05 pm.



  SIG Governing Board/Representing SIG
  • Hal Hart SIGAda
  • Steve Mansour SIGAPL
  • Jean-Loup Baer SIGARCH
  • Lewis Johnson SIGART
  • Ed Lamie SIGBIO
  • Dianne Martin SIGCAS
  • Mike Atwood SIGCHI
  • Al Lederer SIGCPR
  • Bruce Klein SIGCSE
  • Jim Hightower SIGCUE
  • Steven Levitan SIGDA
  • Steve Cunningham SIGGRAPH
  • Nicholas Belkin SIGIR
  • Won Kim SIGKDD
  • Marc Nanard SIGLINK
  • Jim Bondi SIGMICRO
  • Lawrence A. Rowe SIGMM
  • David Johnson SIGMOBILE
  • Richard Snodgrass SIGMOD
  • Carla Ellis SIGOPS
  • Mary Lou Soffa SIGPLAN
  • David Notkin SIGSOFT
Past SIG Board
  • Jim Cohoon Publications Liaison
  • Gayle Yaverbaum Area C Director
  • Lillian Cassel Area D Director
  • Richard Furuta Member-at-large
  • Mary Whitton Member-at-large
  • Lewis Johnson Member-at-large
SIG Governing Board EC *
  • Carla Ellis Chair
  • Mary Whitton Council Rep
  • Mary Lou Soffa Large SIG Advisor
  • Richard Furuta Vice Chair for SIG Development
  • Boots Cassel Small SIG Advisor
  • Richard Snodgrass Conference Advisor
  • Jean-Loup Baer Secretary

*May be listed under SIG Governing Board as well


  • Donna Baglio
  • Lisette Burgos
  • Julie Goetz
  • Heather Levell
  • Patrick McCarren
  • David Riederman
  • Maria Rivera
  • Patricia Ryan