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Association for Computing Machinery annual report '89.



ACM is a not-for-profit, educational, scientific, and technical association that serves computer professionals and the public. It is an international organization whose more than 75,000 members work as computer hardware and software researchers, developers, application specialists, teachers, managers, consultants, and users in the information processing field. ACM is guided by three purposes: (1) to advance the art and science of information processing; (2) to promote the free interchange of information among specialists and the public; and (3) to develop and maintain the integrity and competence of individuals engaged in the practice of information processing.

The association is governed by a Council of 25 elected members. An Executive Committee, consisting of the President, Vice-President, and Secretary, oversees the operational activities of seven boards: Chapters, Conferences, Education, External Activities, Management, Publications, and Special Interest Groups (SIGs). The current Executive Committee began its two-year term on July 1, 1988.

The ACM headquarters office in New York City is managed by the Executive Director, who works under the direction of the Executive Committee. Headquarters is organized into five offices. These offices are primarily responsible for membership and professional services, publications, management information systems, finance, and administration.

Total membership was 75,472 as of June 30, 1989. In addition, ACM has 858 institutional members. Membership benefits include the montly publication Communications of the ACM. Members are eligible for special rates when subscribing to ACM's major journals, when joining any of the SIGs, and when attending ACM-and SIG-sponsored conferences. ACM Press Books are available at discounted prices to members. Membership in ACM also includes support of ACM's educational and public service activities.


ACM to Co-Sponsor PBS Series

In February, ACM Council endorsed a proposal to co-sponsor a six-part series on the history of computing entitled "The Information Age." The series will be produced by WGBH Boston, America's premiere Public Broadcasting Service station, and is scheduled for prime time broadcast in the United States in 1991 and throughout the world on other networks. The series chronicles computing technologies and the role of such visionaries as ACM founder John Mauchly. Millions of people will learn about the scientists, engineers, industrial pioneers, and entrepreneurs whose work and determination changed forever the way we process information and the way we think.

Total cost of the series is approximately $3.67 million. The British Broadcasting Corporation is providing $1.2 million as co-producer and Unisys is assuming corporate sponsorship for $1.9 million. ACM is the sole association sponsor. The SIGs contributed half of the remaining $560,000 and the association and its members will provide the matching half.

Council Forges Ties to CRB

The ACM Council is developing a formal liaison between the Computing Research Board (CRB) and ACM. The mission of CRB is to provide public understanding and appreciation for the enormous importance of computing as an enabling technology for other disciplines. It will promote awareness of the critical need for research in computing science and engineering and will foster the education and growth of this community of researchers. ACM will have two representatives on the CRBM Board of Directors. ACM will provide $100,000 initially to CRB in financial support.

Council Approves Governance


At Council's direction, an ad hoc governance committee was appointed in 1986 to examine the governing structure of ACM and to recommend changes as appropriate. Council approved the proposed restructuring to take effect by 1992. Under the new plan, the number of Regional Representatives will be reduced from 12 to 4, while the number of Members-at-Large will be reduced from 6 to 4. Council membership will continue to include the President, Vice-President, Secretary. Past President, Treasurer, SIG Board Chair, and Publications Board Chair. These positions plus the four members-at-large and the four regional representatives will make up a 15-member Council that will replace the current 25-member Council.

In addition, the composition of the five-member Nominating Committee will change to include directly the influence of SIGs and Chapters. The SIG Board Chair will be responsible for the appointment of two members of the Nominating Committee. The Chapters Board Chair will be responsible for the appointment of one member of the Nominating Committee. The Boards will collectively contribute to the appointment of one member and the ACM President will retain the appointment of one member. The Past President will no longer automatically be a member.


Number of Headquarters Staff (as of June 30, 1989) 92 Number of chapter start-up inquiries 20 Number of student chapter start-up inquiries 99 Number of local SIG start-up inquiries 5 Number of chapter information inquiries 1,500 Number of career scholarship education information requests 2,000 Number of technical meeting request forms processed 114


Regular Chapters Number of chapters 104 Total estimated membership 11,084 Student Chapters Number of chapters 467 total estimated membership 8,954 Local SIGs Number of local SIGs 89 Chapter officer training Workshops 15 ACM Lecturers 45 Lectures Given 179

Seven new chapters and 22 new student chapters were chartered by the Chapters Board. Seven chapter charters and 42 student chater charters were revoked. In addition, seven chapters and 71 student chapters were placed on a one-year probationary status due to inactivity.

Due ti a decrease in the number of participating lecturers, the number of lectures given during FY 1989 dropped to 179 from 191 in FY 1988. The 1989-90 lectureship program manual (listing 58 lecturers) was printed and distributed to all chapters and student chapters.

Fifteen chapter officer training workshops were conducted during the year, with 353 people attending, representing 19 chapters, 302 student chapters, and 1 local SIG.

The team from UCLA won the 1989 ACM Scholastic Programming Contest, held in conjunction with the 1989 Computer Science Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. Twenty-five teams participated, including one from New Zealand. The runners-up, in order, were Rensselaer Polytechnic, Texas Tech University, and Duke University.


Tutorial Weeks 1 New Self-Assessment Procedures 2 Accreditation Visits 36

The certification of program evaluators for the Computer Science Accreditation Commission (CSAC), which is part of the Computing Sciences Accreditation Board, was continued. Eighteen new programs were evaluated and 15 accredited, bringing the total number of accredited programs to 81. In addition to the newly accredited programs, 18 programs were re-accredited.

The Council on Postsecondary Accreditation (COPA) has recently recognized CSAC and granted it membership in COPA's Assembly of Specialized Computing Bodies. The U.S. Secretary of Education had previously recognized CSAC as a reliable authority and a nationally recognzied agency for accreditation of baccalaureate programs in computer science.

Last year a report entitled "Computing as a Discipline" was completed. The report examines the nature of undergraduate computer science and defines an introductory course sequence that forms the major part of the core of an undergraduate computer science program. "Computing as a Discipline" is now being used by a ACM/IEEE-CS joint task force in completing revised curriculum recommendations for undergraduate programs in computer science. The task force has met five times to work on what has become a more complicated and thorough document than originally planned. A core of approximately 60 faculty reviewers have participated in the process. The task force reported at a SIGCSE 89 panel session and a complete (and third) draft should be available in early 1990.

The 1989 Professional Development Seminar Handbook was published and distributed to Chapters, SIGs, and lecturers. Efforts continued by MGI to market home study courses; one new course is being reviewed for future publication.

A tutorial week was held in Los Angeles in June 1989 with extensive support from the Southern California Region, the Los Angeles Chapter, and the San Fernando Valley Chapter.

The Careers in Computing Task Force has been developing materials and procedures for the dissemination of information on computing careers to students, primarily at the secondary school level. The newest addition to the package is a videodisc that explains career kit presentation methods to ACM volunteers using the kit at high schools and career centers.


ACM Sponsored Conferences 1 SIG Sponsored Conferences 37 SIG Co-Sponsored Conferences 12 Chapter/Local SIG Sponsored Conferences 1 Region-Sponsored Conferences 2 Conferences in Cooperation with other Societies 34 Total Estimated Attendance at Sponsored and Co-Sponsored Conferences 55,000

CSC 89, the ACM 17th Annual Computer Science Conference, was held February 21-23, 1989 in Louisville, Kentucky, in conjunction with the SIGCSE Technical Symposium. In addition to many of the standard program features, theme day tutorials and a history of computing exhibit were introduced. The Turing Lecture and Award and other special recognition presentations were also made at CSC this year; in the past, these presentations have been made at the ACM fall conference.

A number of new conferences, sponsored or co-sponsored by SIGs, were initiated this year. These conferences served as new initiatives into high-impact technology areas, as new cooperative ventures among the SIGs, and as innovative management processes for conference operations. The Conferences Board will seek further ventures of this nature in the future.

The Second Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, sponsored by SIGCHI and SIGOIS, was held September 26-28, 1988, in Portland, Oregon. The conference brought together academic and industry representatives from many disciplines to share their perspective on computer supported cooperative work. These perspectives included computer science, organization design, cognitive science, anthropology, sociology, artificial intelligence, design theory, and practical engineering disciplines.

The ACM Conference on Document Processing Systems was held December 5-9, 1988, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It was sponsored by SIGCHI, SIGOIS, and SIGGRAPH. This inaugural international conference brought together researchers, developers, and users to examine the theory, development, and applications of document processing systems for generating disseminating, searching, and viewing information.

TRI-Ada 88 was sponsored by SIGAda and took place October 24-27, 1988, in Charleston, West Virginia. Although this conference existed in many different forms before TRI-Ada, this was the first time that SIGAda had assumed responsibility for the exhibits management and non-technical aspects of the conference. TRI-Ada 88 succeeded in creating a synergy of industry, academe, and government to promote and improve Ada technology.

ACM/IEEE-CS Supercomputing 88, sponsored by ACM/SIGARCH and the Computer Society of IEEE, was held November 14-18, 1988 in Kissimmee, Florida. Supercomputing 88 was a new conference that brought together supercomputing systems researchers, designers, and users to explore the applications, algorithms, and architectures as they apply to high performance computing.

Several of ACM's largest conferences, considered to be premier events in their fields, met with success this year. Not only financial successes, they represent the technical excellence that is the goal of ACM. The excellence of these conferences results from the dedicated efforts of many volunteers in the SIGs and the Chapters who create high quality forums for the exchange of technical information. Notable among this year's conferences are:

* SIGGRAPH 88, the Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, was held in Atlanta, Georgia, August 1-5, 1988. Total attendance was close to 20,000.

* CHI 89, Human Factors in Computing Systems, held April 30-May 4, 1989, in Austin, Texas, drew over 1600 participants.

* OOPSLA 88, ACM SIGPLAN's conference on objected oriented programming systems, languages, and applications, was held September 25-29, 1989, in San Diego, California, and had an attendance of 1571.

* The 11th ICSE, the ACM/IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering, sponsored by SIGSOFT and the Computer Society of IEEE, was held May 15-18, 1989, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and attracted over 1000 registrants.

* The 26th ACM/IEEE Design Automation Conference, sponsored by SIGDA and the DATC of the Computer Society of IEEE, held June 25-28, 1989, in Las Vegas, Nevada, experienced attendance growth of over 7.5%, drawing over 49000 people.


Number of formal publications 11 Number of pages of formal publications 7,802 Percentage change since FY 88 - 1.0% Total circulation 162,952 Percentage change since FY 88 2.0%

This year several special issues of Communications of the ACM drew attention to the magazine. In July 1988, Communications focused on hypertext and spawned one of ACM's first electronic products, "Hypertext on Hypertext." Another issue (June 1989) examined the events and ethical questions surrounding the Internet Worm incident of 1988. In addition to articles and reports, the magazine featured several quarterly columns on topics ranging from programming techniques and personal computing to legal trends. The extensive news section highlighted both association and industry news. A reader service card was placed in the magazine beginning with the July 1989 issue. The card will enable the editorial and advertising staff as well as advertisers to monitor reader response to editorial content and advertisements.

Effective with the January 1989 issue, Transactions on Office Information Systems was renamed Transactions on Information Systems. A call for papers was distriguted in Spring 1989 for the new Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology, which will begin publication in January 1991. Another quarterly, Transactions on Modeling and Computer Simulation, is also expected to begin publication in January 1991.

Specifications and requirements for a new database publishing system for Computing Reviews (CR) and ACM Guide to Computing Literature (Guide) were developed and a vendor was selected. Full implementation is expected by early calendar 1990. The database for CR and Guide went on-line with STN International this year as a significant portion of the Compuscience database. A CR Extract program was begun with the first product expected to be a collection of material on Ada.

Seven new titles were published as part of the ACM Press Books program in FY 89, bringing the total number of books to 13. Among these were the first five books in the Frontier Series including the widely acclaimed Object-Oriented Concepts, Databases, and Applications edited by Won Kim and Frederick H. Lochovsky. The SIGGRAPH 88 Proceedings were distributed worldwide for the first time through ACM Press Books-Addison Wesley channels, and the SIGCHI 89 Proceedings were similarly distributed for the second year.

A number of electronic products were developed this year. The successful Hypertext on Hypertect product, which sold approximately 2200 copies during FY 89, recovered direct expenses. A videotape product on interactive digital technologies is in production. In addition, specifications are being developed for a series of CDROM products.


Total number of SIG memberships 112,643 Number of SIGs 32 Number of newsletters 127 Pages of newsletter 15,000 Number of conferences and symposia (sponsored, co-sponsored, and in cooperation) 83 Pages of conference proceedings 17,000

The aggregate number of SIG memberships increased by 4.8%. SIGGRAPH (computer graphics) continues to maintain the largest membership with 11,757 members, followed by SIGPLAN (programming languages) with 11,154 members, SIGSOFT (software engineering) with 11,038 members, and SIGART (artificial intelligence) with 9,787 members. Approximately one half of the SIGs have less than 2,000 members. SIGCHI (computer-human interaction) had the greatest percentage increase in membership in FY 89 (21.2%) while SIGGRAPH had the largest absolute increase (799 members).

SIGForth, a new SIG devoted to promoting the education, scientific, and technical interchange of information related to all aspects of the programming language Forth, was officially chartered in September 1988.

The SIG fund balances (the specified reserve funds maintained by the SIGs) totaled $7,111,294 as of June 30, 1989, which represent a growth a $910,000 during the fiscal year.

The SIG Board met two times in FY 89 at OOPSLA 88 and CSC 89. A major topic of discussion at OOPSLA 88 was that of governance; a highlight of the CSC 89 meeting was the SIG Discretionary Fund Proposal Review.

A major accomplishment in the previous fiscal year, was an agreement reached among the SIGs on a plan to increase SIG funding of non-SIG programs through a SIG Discretionary Fund. In FY 89, the SIGs deemed the first year's use of the fund to be a success and agreed to continue with the fund for at least another year. On a voluntary basis, SIGs pledged contributions to the fund for used in FY 90 totaling $543,000. The fund is administered by the SIG Board in accordance with the objective of funding activities and programs that will enhance the technical excellence of ACM. The following projects were selected for funding: a WGBH Boston television series on the history of computing, the ACM Scholastic Programming Contest, the Computing Research Board, the Lecturership Progra, and the Strategic Directions in Computing Research Conference.


Number of Affiliations with other Organizations 10 Number of Major Awards Given 7 Recognition of Service Certificates Issued 217


The Forum on Risks to the Public in Computers and Related Systems, a moderated on-line digest, operates under the auspices of the Committee on Computers and Public Policy. Since its inception in August 1985, the RISKS forum has continued to attract a steady flow of new direct subscribers, new BBOARD sites, and redistribution centers throughout the Internet. The digest is distributed electronically to individuals and redistribution centers via major computer networks, including ARPANET, MILNET, CSNET, USENET, and BITNET. It also reaches subscribers in Europe and Australia. This year, approximately 200 issues of RISKS were distributed. Highlights from the on-line RISKS Forum appear quarterly in ACM SIGSOFT Software Engineering Notes.

The financial position of ACM is given in the pages that follow, in the form of the adopted budget for FY 90 (july 1, 1989 through June 30, 1990) and the audited reports for FY 89 (July 1, 1988 through June 30, 1989). A summ ary of that position is given in the table below in thousands of dollars:

One again, ACM did much better than budget in FY 89, but it was only the SIGs that fared well this time. The non-SIG portion (General Fund) fell several hundred thousand dollars lower than budgeted, and is once agin well into the red. While this was partly the result of a deficit budget, some revenues did not materialize as fast as expected, and some fell short of the budget. Offsetting that is the unexpected growth in membership late in the year, which will eventually provide extra revenue, as dues are credited over the period of membership.

As explained last year, ACM also has a number of special funds of a restricted or designated nature, which represent substantial assets. They are the Optional Contributions Fund (restricted to educational and public interest expenditures) and the following designated funds: Capital Improvements Fudn, Data Processing Facilities Fund, Award Endowment Fund, and SIG Discretionary Fund. The SIG Board controls the SIG Discretionary Fund, which is used to promote technical excellence throughout ACM, and the Award Endowment Fund at the moment is simply accumulating the endowment needed to support the Turing Award The other funds are controlled by Council. Therefore a complete picture of ACM's financial health requires a listing of the status of all of ACM's funds, given below in thousands of dollars.

While the General Fund balance projected is not encouraging, we hope it represents a worst-case scenario. Also, the increasing accumulations into the Capital Improvements and Data Processing Facilities Funds bode well for the future, when potential expenses accompany a move of headquarters in early (calendar) 1992. Those accumulations will continue at least through FY 92 for that purpose.

Of special note is the decision by Council, with the very strong support of the SIGs (financial and otherwise) to provide almost $600,000 to the production of the TV series "The Information Age" to be aired in 1991. While this will substantially affect ACM's bottom line, it is hoped that optional contributions will be increased to help cover the costs involved. This represents a major investment by ACM in public services, but one which Council felt was precisely in keeping with our mission statement.

In summary, ACM overall did well in FY 89 and prospects for the future are excellent, but the General Fund still has not recovered from its trauma of FY 86. The Executive Committee, with the support of Council, is developing a new plan to rectify that situation. The next three years will be critical in determining how well that plan is working.
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Publication:Communications of the ACM
Article Type:technical
Date:Dec 1, 1989
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