SGB Meeting Minutes, September 23, 2011

1.0 Welcome

1.1 Welcome, Introductions (Hanson)

The microphone was passed around for those in attendance to introduce themselves.

1.2 Welcome, ACM President (Chesnais)

Alain Chesnais expressed his pleasure in seeing new faces as well as old and explained how attending an SGB meeting feels like coming home. He provided details about his ACM background beginning with his chapter activities, moving into the SIG area and then into the higher levels of ACM governance.

2.0 Report from ACM CEO (White):

White provided the group with the state of ACM as well as the organizations' priorities. He outlined how they fit within the context of the SIGs.

Membership: ACM has 108,415 members and over 700 chapters around the world. The organization is working hard not to be US-centric. We have been working with CCF and gaining members. Over the last 10 years our membership has increased with most new members being outside of the US.

Finances: Last year was a good year for Financials. We had a large net surplus and the general revenue and SIG revenue were both high. There was a positive swing in conference net last year. SIG performance is driven by how well conferences go. Our 150 conferences are dominated by Supercomputing, SIGGRAPH, SIGGRAPH Asia, CHI and DAC and these were very strong. The DL distribution has increased and further contributed to our strong financials. Overall, ACM is extremely healthy. Our overall fund balance of $54 million has increased from last year.

International Initiatives in China: CCF will continue to be promoting membership and we will continue to nurture our relationship with them.

International Initiatives in India: ACM India is a focus. We have created and put in place a business model. The India Council is quite successful and the chapters are growing. The initiatives coming out of this effort continue to enrich the community there.

International Initiatives in Europe: At ICT in Brussels the focus was on how we can add to our already strong list of conferences in Europe. We are planning a small version of FCRC in Europe – the first ECRC. The ACM Europe Council is looking at co-locating multiple European workshops and conferences and bringing resources and networking opportunities. We are focused on learning from CHI’s presence in Europe without detracting from CHI’s future there. We are looking into the possibilities of a joint plenary during the overlap day with CHI.

International Initiatives in Latin America: We are working on potential initiatives in this region and we will have more updates on this next year.

Celebrating Alan Turing 2012: ACM is honoring the 100thAnniversary of Alan Turing. Many SIGs are represented on the committee organizing the one and a half day celebration centered around Turing Award winners. We are looking for a distinguished winner to be the MC for the event.

Policy initiatives: we have CSEd week as a focus right now and our policy committee is continuing to work with law makers to promote Computer Science Education.

New Products and Services: We have had many major releases in the DL including books, courses and tech packs in the learning center. ACM’s first tech pack, by Doug Terry, has been updated and Learning Paths are more of a focus.

White ended his ACM update with a request for all SIG leaders to think about developing a presence in Europe.


Yolanda Gil: I am very impressed with all the activities. My one suggestion would be that ACM should focus developing Computer Science Education within underprivileged areas.

John White: I’d like to point out the resourceful work of Jay Margolis in LA who has been successful in introducing Computer Science to many kids in urban LA.

3.0 Report from ACM US Public Policy Council (Eugene Spafford):

The Public Policy Council’s mission is to be the focal point for ACM's interaction with U.S. government organizations, the computing community, and the U.S. public in all matters of U.S. public policy related to information technology and computing. A focus is on improving the opportunities for quality education in computing and computer science.

The council focuses on education and seeks to represent the computing community with a balanced and diverse set of views. The focus is on the technology aspects, while being vendor-neutral and non-partisan. The council promotes the responsible use of technology to address social concerns and educate about the inappropriate use of technology.

SIG are represented by two reps on the Council, appointed by SIG Board. The terms are alternating years, July 1-June 30.

Spafford is seeking the help of the SIG leaders to participate and provide new members. He left the SIG leaders with an action item to let the Council know when SIG members point out related issues as they come up.

3.1 Viability Reviews:

3.2 Viability Review: SIGEVO (Wolfgang Banzhaf)

Recommendation: The SGB EC congratulates SIGEVO on their program performance and finds it viable to continue its status for the next 4 years.

Unanimous approval of the recommendation by SGB

Action: Frawley to update viability schedule.

3.3 Viability Review: SIGMOBILE (Roy Want)

Recommendation: The SGB EC congratulates SIGMOBILE on their program performance and finds it viable to continue its status for the next 4 years.

Unanimous approval of the recommendation by SGB

Action: Frawley to update viability schedule.

3.4 Viability Review: SIGBioinformatics (Armen Mikler)

Recommendation: The SGB EC congratulates SIGBIOINFORMATICS on the success of the BCB conference and appreciates the work of the leadership to develop the SIG. The SIG leaders are encouraged to continue their efforts over the next 6 months with a focus on their plans forgrowth and mission. Janice Sipior, the SGB EC New SIG Advisor will work closely with the leadership prior to the next SGB meeting where we will discuss bringing the SIG out of transition.

Unanimous approval of the recommendation by SGB

Action: Frawley to update viability schedule.

4.0 Publications Board Update (Joe Konstan)

What is the Publications Board? It is ACM’s authority on Journals, Magazines, ICPs and Tech Packs. It regularly reviews existing publications and considers proposals for new ones. We have been reviewing concerns over plagiarism. Our approach is to deal with potential plagiarism prior to possible publication. We are currently in discussions over increasing our review process and continue to take the matter seriously.

Questions/Comments: The group shared various submission programs being used such as, HOTCRP, CyberChair, turn it in

5.0 History Committee Update (Brent Halpern)

Our current focus is on developing the Turing Centenary Celebration. The curator for this is Michael R. Williams ([email protected]). He is looking for authors for pages on individual award winners.

6.0 SIG Proposals (Dave Pennock)

6.1 SIGHPC Final Proposal

Recommendation: The SGB EC recommends that the SGB grant SIG status to SIGHPC - The Special Interest Group on High Performance Computing effective November 1, 2011, contingent upon submission of a petition of 20 ACM members and the SGB EC’s final approval of the following materials:

  1. A set of bylaws
  2. A budget
  3. A statement of member benefits

Approval of the recommendation from the SGB.


Report to the SGB: The SGB EC has decided not to pursue this proposal.

6.3 SIG on Enterprise Architecture

Report to the SGB: The SGB EC will pursue activities in enterprise architecture by first discussing the concept with Brian Cameron and a subset of the SGB.

6.4 SIG on Enterprise Computing Systems

Report to the SGB: The SGB EC has decided not to pursue this proposal considering its lack of industry participation and narrow focus.

6.5 SIG on computing for Development (SIGDEV)

Report to the SGB: The SGB EC is pleased that the Symposium on Computing for Development conference series started at ACM. The leadership of the proposed SIG will be asked to form a steering committee to report to the SGB EC.

6.6 SIG on Broader Participation (SIGBP)

Report to the SGB: The SGB EC will follow-up with the BP leadership regarding the proposal being US focused. The SGB EC will discuss the proposal with the ACM EC to determine the best way to proceed considering overlapping ACM activities with ACM-W and CDC.

7.0 Social Networking Opportunities (Cliff Lampe):

Review of research of how not-for-profit organizations use Social Networking using SIGGRAPH as an example. Timing of social networking is important. Best utilization is done before, during and after an event. Consideration of your audience is important. There may be core attendees, occasional attendees, new attendees and those who are potential attendees for the next event. Materials should be designed with Social Media in mind. Include hash tags. Integrate Social Media channels in all your promotional efforts. Being mindful that Social Media groups want to know who is talking to them will help you avoid frustrating your audience. Spoofing events has been known to promote them in the end. We haven’t researched whether the use of Social Networking increases attendance. This research as well as the influence Social Media has on globalization is worthy of further attention.

The ACM Author-Izer Service allows every ACM author to place a link on their own web page or in an institutional repository which will allow visitors to obtain the definitive version of their article from the ACM Digital Library at no charge.

The ACM Author-Izer Service will also enable the author to display real-time download and citation statistics for each “authorized” article. The requirements include having an ACM web account and an author page containing ACM published articles.

9.0 Best Practices Session (All):

The group was asked by Vicki Hanson to comment on their reaction to Moshe Vardi’s article “You Talking To Me?" which proposes that papers should be presented in video format.

David Wood: advisors are responsible when students make poor presentations.

Christopher Kirsch: I agree that the level of quality is lower than it should be.

Laura Dillon: we have discussed this option and most of our faculty was not in favor but many thought the approach to group the presentations together is a good idea. Also, students are not the only ones who give bad talks. Also, providing feedback after presentations is a good idea.

Dick Bulterman: attention is no longer expected of audience members. This can be disconcerting for graduate students and is as much a part of the problem as presentation style.

Jeanne Matthews: there are times when having a group discussion is more appreciated than a formal presentation.

Jeff Jortner: attendees do not need to have laptops to participate. It can create a distraction.

Andrew Adams: I am in favor of limiting presentation to 10 minutes as it is easier to hold people’s attention for 10 minutes rather than the usual half an hour.

Yolanda Gil: I am concerned that papers will be accepted based on a presenter’s perceived telegenic qualities as opposed to the quality of the paper.

Barbara Boucher-Owens: Our review process includes a box on suggestions for improvements.

Patrick Madden: we video talks and share with advisors to help presenters polish their presentations.

Yannis Ioannidis: we are moving in the direction of presentations being poster presentations which allows us to accept more papers and create more spots on the plenary.

David Parkes: we do care about talks and think that giving a shortened synopsis might be a good idea.

Bruce Davie: I am unhappy about laptop usage in talks. We have heard that shortening the length of a talk might be better. We are not supportive of the extreme measures Moshe suggests.

Jeremy Johnson: I agree that the emphasis on talking is better at conveying subject matter.

Pradip Bose: In our case we do have best presentation awards. I am impressed by the quality of the presentations - sometimes better than faculty presentations. The laptop issue is an issue for all of us. We could make a rule that email stays out in the hall not in the conference room.

Jeanna Matthews: student talks are important because they influence the student’s ability to find a job. Encouraging people to vote on the talks and provide feedback would allow us to actively capture any ongoing discussion surrounding the paper.

Erik Altman: videos might offer a double blind. If you have a good paper and a bad video it is best that the paper go to a journal. In terms of laptop usage, there is some value in taking notes.

Michael Saks: I like the best student presentation award.

Kelly Wainwright: we have tried turning off wireless in the presentation area and it was not well received.

Rick Sward: we talked about this idea of video presentations and did not like the idea. We engage the audience with discussions on controversial subjects. We have 25 minute presentations and we do not limit laptop use – we incorporate it in the presentation and find this makes people happy.

Gang Luo: last year we had more people attend the poster presentations than the other talks. The poster works well with our conference.

James Allan: short and sweet is best.

Brad Mehlenbacher: tech people are infamously poor presenters. Lecture style is the worst way to expect people to learn.

Janice Sipior: it is great that we are talking about the quality and not the attendance numbers because this shows we are doing a good job of getting people to our presentations. I agree that providing feedback is also a good idea.

Joe Konstan: being proactive is a good idea. The issue of laptop use is interesting because we are using technology to talk about technology.

Gerrit van der Veer: laptop use makes sense. About poor presentations: I get the feeling that North Americans are better at presenting and are better prepared.

Armin Mikler: I agree that not presenting in your native language is a factor. We have reached a point where we might want to de-couple the presentation from the paper. Also, if we give an author a choice on the forum, they may give a better presentation.

David Pennock: if poster papers were not regarded as second class citizens, it might help.

On-going discussion on contests for best papers which resulted in a show of hands on which SIGs offer these. Hands raised: Barbara Boucher Owens, Laura Dillon, Yannis Ioannidis.

Vicki Hanson closed the meeting.

The next meeting will be held in March 2012 in Chicago, Illinois.


  • Andrew Adams, Chair, SIGCAS
  • James Allan, Chair, SIGIR
  • Erik Altman, SGB EC
  • Walid Aref, Chair, SIGSPATIAL
  • Douglas Baldwin, Treasurer, SIGCSE
  • Wolfgang Banzhaf, Chair, SIGEVO
  • Elisa Bertino, Chair, SIGSAC
  • Pradip Bose, Chair, SIGMICRO
  • Barbara Boucher-Owens, SGB EC
  • Dick Bulterman, Vice Chair, SIGWEB
  • Netiva Caftori, Vice Chair, SIGCAS
  • Donna Cappo, ACM SIG Services Director
  • Alain Chesnais, President, ACM
  • Ashley Cozzi, Program Coordinator, ACM SIG Services
  • Bruce Davie, Chair, SIGCOMM
  • Laura Dillon, Secretary/Treasurer, SIGSOFT
  • Irene Frawley, Program Coordinator, ACM SIG Services
  • Yolanda Gil, Chair, SIGART
  • Maria da Graça Pimentel, Secretary/Treasurer, SIGWEB
  • Wayne Graves, Director of IT, ACM Information Systems Director
  • Adrienne Griscti, Program Manager, ACM SIG Services
  • Brent Hailpern, ACM History Committee
  • Drew Hamilton, Chair, SIGSIM
  • Vicki Hanson, SGB EC Chair
  • Simon Harper, Chair, SIGWEB
  • Ginger Ignatoff, Program Director, ACM SIG Services
  • Yannis Ioannidis, Chair, SIGMOD
  • Jeremy Johnson, Chair, SIGSAM
  • Jeff Jortner, President, SIGGRAPH
  • Christoph Kirsch, Chair, SIGBED
  • Joe Konstan, SGB EC, Publications Advisor
  • Ann Lane, ACM SIG Services
  • Cliff Lampe, ACM Social Network Committee
  • John C.S. Lui, Chair, SIGMETRICS
  • Gang Luo, Chair, SIGHIT
  • Patrick Madden, Chair, SIGDA
  • Jeanna Matthews, Chair, SIGOPS
  • Renee McCauley, Chair, SIGCSE
  • Brad Mehlenbacher, Chair, SIGDOC
  • Armin Mikler, Secretary/Treasurer, SIGBioinformatics
  • April Mosqus, Program Coordinator, ACM SIG Services
  • Klara Nahrstedt, Chair, SIGMM, SGB EC
  • Maritza Nichols, Program Coordinator, ACM SIG Services
  • Scott Owen, SGB Council Rep
  • David Parkes, Chair, SIGecom
  • David Pennock, SGB EC
  • Darren Ramdin, ACM Finance, Associate Director
  • Bernard Rous, Director of Publications, ACM
  • Pat Ryan, ACM COO
  • Stephanie Sabal, Program Coordinator, ACM SIG Services
  • Michael Saks, SIG Member at Large, SIGACT
  • Andrew Sears, Chair, SIGACCESS, SGB EC, SGB Council Rep
  • Dilma M. da Silva, Secretary-Treasurer, SIGOPS
  • Sung Shin, Chair, SIGAPP
  • Janice Sipior, Chair, SIGMIS, SGB EC
  • Eugene Spafford, USACM
  • Mark Stockman, Chair, SIGITE
  • Ricky Sward, Chair, SIGAda
  • Doug Terry, SGB Council Rep
  • Gerrit van der Veer, President, SIGCHI
  • Kelly Wainwright, Chair, SIGUCCS
  • Roy Want, Chair, SIGMOBILE
  • John White, ACM CEO
  • Alex Wolf, SGB EC
  • David Wood, Chair, SIGARCH