BESiDE Principal Investigator Elected President of ACM

BESiDE's Principle Investigator, Prof. Vicki Hanson, has been elected as President of the Association for Computer Machinery (ACM) for the term July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2018.

ACM is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society.  It delivers resources that advance computing as a science and a profession. ACM provides the computing field's premier Digital Library and serves its members and the computing profession with leading-edge publications, conferences, and career resources. ACM has approximately 110,000 members spread over 190 countries and publishes 43 academic journals and 8 magazines.  With this election, ACM will have its first all-female Executive Committee. This is an opportunity to highlight the contributions that women have made to computing and to inspire young women to view computing science as a career.

I am honored to have been nominated for the position of ACM President. ACM is a strong organization, but there are on-going challenges we must address. With my experience in industry, academia, and within ACM itself, I believe I am well positioned to lead our work on these challenges. I seek your support and your help in making ACM the strongest organization it can be.

ACM is a volunteer-driven society. Throughout my career I have been involved with ACM as a member and volunteer, as an officer at both SIG and SIG Board levels, as a journal Editor-in-Chief, as a member of the ACM Executive Committee and Council, and now as Vice President. In all these roles I have come to admire the dedication of the many people who further our shared community objectives. As a result of their efforts, ACM has the largest membership in its history, a record number of conferences and publications, and a world-leading Digital Library. Our global members are well served through our SIGs and our contributions to a broad range of educational programs for both students and professionals.

Although strong, we must continue to evolve in response to societal shifts, and we must do this without sacrificing our reputation for quality or our financial viability. We must create mechanisms to rapidly identify and support emerging technical areas. We also must continue to find ways to provide value to practitioners. This past year saw new offerings with the launch of the acmqueue app and the Applicative conference, but additional practitioner-focused opportunities are needed. Efforts to interconnect our global computing community as well as our diversity efforts related to women, ethnicity, and accessibility have been well received, but work remains to integrate these into the core fabric of ACM.

In addition to these focus areas, two topics will dominate ACM deliberations going forward: membership and publishing. Both are key to our future.

For membership, ACM must better meet the needs of young professionals. Coming of age surrounded by readily available content, and having increasingly fluid careers shaped by social networking, many wonder what additional value can be derived from ACM membership. As Vice President, I have brought these concerns to the foreground and have started efforts to reach out, such as spearheading ACM’s first participation at South by Southwest Interactive 2016 and proposing the formation of a Young Professionals Advisory Board.

In publishing, we must continue to explore how best to address requirements for increasingly open access and the inclusion of rich media and open data in our Digital Library. As we move forward, we must keep in mind that publishing is key to ACM’s financial health. Our goal, therefore, must be a plan that financially sustains ACM while addressing these evolving needs.

There is much to do at ACM. With your help and support, as President I will work to ensure that ACM initiatives meet the needs of our community.

Prof. Vick L Hanson.