Girish Mahajan (Editor)

Association for Computing Machinery

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Vicki L. Hanson

15 September 1947


Richard Hamming

Association for Computing Machinery httpslh6googleusercontentcomATBqUuodapcAAA

1947; 70 years ago (1947)

501(c)(3) not-for-profit membership corporation

New York City, New York, United States

John R. White (Jan 1999–)


Institute of Electrical and Elect, Carnegie Mellon University, International Federation for Inform, Society for Industrial and Appli, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Association for computing machinery

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) is an international learned society for computing. It was founded in 1947 and is the world's largest scientific and educational computing society. It is a not-for-profit professional membership group. Its membership is more than 100,000 as of 2011. Its headquarters are in New York City.


The ACM is an umbrella organization for academic and scholarly interests in computer science.

Association for computing machinery


ACM is organized into over 171 local chapters and 37 Special Interest Groups (SIGs), through which it conducts most of its activities. Additionally, there are over 500 college and university chapters. The first student chapter was founded in 1961 at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Many of the SIGs, such as SIGGRAPH, SIGPLAN, SIGCSE and SIGCOMM, sponsor regular conferences, which have become famous as the dominant venue for presenting innovations in certain fields. The groups also publish a large number of specialized journals, magazines, and newsletters.

ACM also sponsors other computer science related events such as the worldwide ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC), and has sponsored some other events such as the chess match between Garry Kasparov and the IBM Deep Blue computer.


ACM publishes over 50 journals including the prestigious Journal of the ACM, and two general magazines for computer professionals, Communications of the ACM (also known as Communications or CACM) and Queue. Other publications of the ACM include:

  • ACM XRDS, formerly "Crossroads", was redesigned in 2010 and is the most popular student computing magazine in the US.
  • ACM Interactions, an interdisciplinary HCI publication focused on the connections between experiences, people and technology, and the third largest ACM publication.
  • ACM Computing Surveys (CSUR)
  • ACM Computers in Entertainment (CIE)
  • A number of journals, specific to subfields of computer science, titled ACM Transactions. Some of the more notable transactions include:
  • ACM Transactions on Computer Systems (TOCS)
  • IEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics (TCBB)
  • ACM Transactions on Computational Logic (TOCL)
  • ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI)
  • ACM Transactions on Database Systems (TODS)
  • ACM Transactions on Graphics (TOG)
  • ACM Transactions on Mathematical Software (TOMS)
  • ACM Transactions on Multimedia Computing, Communications, and Applications (TOMM)
  • IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking (TON)
  • ACM Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems (TOPLAS)
  • Although Communications no longer publishes primary research, and is not considered a prestigious venue, many of the great debates and results in computing history have been published in its pages.

    ACM has made almost all of its publications available to paid subscribers online at its Digital Library and also has a Guide to Computing Literature. Individual members additionally have access to Safari Books Online and Books24x7. ACM also offers insurance, online courses, and other services to its members.

    In 1997, ACM Press published Wizards and Their Wonders: Portraits in Computing (ISBN 0897919602), written by Christopher Morgan, with new photographs by Louis Fabian Bachrach. The book is a collection of historic and current portrait photographs of figures from the computer industry.

    Portal and Digital Library

    The ACM Portal is an online service of the ACM. Its core are two main sections: ACM Digital Library and the ACM Guide to Computing Literature.

    The ACM Digital Library is the full-text collection of all articles published by the ACM in its articles, magazines and conference proceedings. The Guide is a bibliography in computing with over one million entries. The ACM Digital Library contains a comprehensive archive starting in the 1950s of the organization's journals, magazines, newsletters and conference proceedings. Online services include a forum called Ubiquity and Tech News digest. There is an extensive underlying bibliographic database containing key works of all genres from all major publishers of computing literature. This secondary database is a rich discovery service known as The ACM Guide to Computing Literature.

    ACM adopted a hybrid Open Access (OA) publishing model in 2013. Authors who do not choose to pay the OA fee must grant ACM publishing rights by either a copyright transfer agreement or a publishing license agreement.

    ACM was a "green" publisher before the term was invented. Authors may post documents on their own websites and in their institutional repositories with a link back to the ACM Digital Library's permanently maintained Version of Record.

    All metadata in the Digital Library is open to the world, including abstracts, linked references and citing works, citation and usage statistics, as well as all functionality and services. Other than the free articles, the full-texts are accessed by subscription.

    There is also a mounting challenge to the ACM's publication practices coming from the open access movement. Some authors see a centralized peer–review process as less relevant and publish on their home pages or on unreviewed sites like arXiv. Other organizations have sprung up which do their peer review entirely free and online, such as Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research (JAIR), Journal of Machine Learning Research (JMLR) and the Journal of Research and Practice in Information Technology.

    Membership grades

    In addition to student and regular members, ACM has several advanced membership grades to recognize those with multiple years of membership and "demonstrated performance that sets them apart from their peers".


    The ACM Fellows Program was established by Council of the Association for Computing Machinery in 1993 "to recognize and honor outstanding ACM members for their achievements in computer science and information technology and for their significant contributions to the mission of the ACM." There are presently about 958 Fellows out of about 75,000 professional members.

    Distinguished Members

    In 2006 ACM began recognizing two additional membership grades, one which was called Distinguished Members. Distinguished Members (Distinguished Engineers, Distinguished Scientists, and Distinguished Educators) have at least 15 years of professional experience and 5 years of continuous ACM membership and "have made a significant impact on the computing field". Note that in 2006 when the Distinguished Members first came out, one of the three levels was called "Distinguished Member" and was changed about two years later to "Distinguished Educator". Those who already had the Distinguished Member title had their titles changed to one of the other three titles.

    Senior Members

    Also in 2006, ACM began recognizing Senior Members. Senior Members have ten or more years of professional experience and 5 years of continuous ACM membership.


    ACM has three kinds of chapters: Special Interest Groups, Professional Chapters, and Student Chapters.

    As of 2011, ACM has professional & SIG Chapters in 56 countries.

    As of 2014, there exist ACM student chapters in 41 different countries.


    ACM sponsors numerous conferences listed below. Most of the special interest groups also have an annual conference. ACM conferences are often very popular publishing venues and are therefore very competitive. For example, the 2007 SIGGRAPH conference attracted about 30000 visitors, and CIKM only accepted 15% of the long papers that were submitted in 2005.

    The ACM is a co–presenter and founding partner of the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC) with the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology.

    There are some conferences hosted by ACM student branches; this includes Reflections Projections, which is hosted by UIUC ACM. . In addition, ACM sponsors regional conferences. Regional conferences facilitate increased opportunities for collaboration between nearby institutions and they are well attended.


    The ACM presents or co–presents a number of awards for outstanding technical and professional achievements and contributions in computer science and information technology.


    The President of ACM for 2016–2018 is Vicki L. Hanson, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Information Sciences and Technologies at the Rochester Institute of Technology and Professor and Chair of Inclusive Technologies at the University of Dundee, UK. She is successor of Alexander L. Wolf (2014–2016), Dean of the Jack Baskin School of Engineering at the University of California, Santa Cruz; Vint Cerf (2012–2014), an American computer scientist who is recognized as one of "the fathers of the Internet"; Alain Chesnais (2010–2012), a French citizen living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where he runs his company named Visual Transitions; and Dame Wendy Hall of the University of Southampton, UK (2008–2010).

    ACM is led by a Council consisting of the President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Past President, SIG Governing Board Chair, Publications Board Chair, three representatives of the SIG Governing Board, and seven Members–At–Large. This institution is often referred to simply as "Council" in Communications of the ACM.


    ACM has five "Boards" that make up various committees and subgroups, to help Headquarters staff maintain quality services and products. These boards are as follows:

    1. Publications Board
    2. SIG Governing Board
    3. Education Board
    4. Membership Services Board
    5. Practitioners Board

    ACM Council on Women in Computing

    ACM-W, the ACM council on women in computing, supports, celebrates, and advocates internationally for the full engagement of women in computing. ACM–W's main programs are regional celebrations of women in computing, ACM-W chapters, and scholarships for women CS students to attend research conferences. In India and Europe these activities are overseen by ACM-W India and ACM-W Europe respectively. ACM-W collaborates with organizations such as the Anita Borg Institute, the National Center for Women and IT, CRA-W.

    Athena Lectures

    The ACM-W gives an annual Athena Lecturer Award to honor outstanding women researchers who have made fundamental contributions to computer science. This program began in 2006. Speakers are nominated by SIG officers.

  • 2006–2007: Professor Deborah Estrin of UCLA
  • 2007–2008: Professor Karen Spärck Jones of Cambridge University
  • 2008–2009: Professor Shafi Goldwasser of MIT and the Weitzmann Institute of Science
  • 2009–2010: Susan Eggers of the University of Washington
  • 2010–2011: Mary Jane Irwin of the Pennsylvania State University
  • 2011–2012: Judith S. Olson of the University of California, Irvine
  • 2012–2013: Nancy Lynch of MIT
  • 2013–2014: Katherine Yelick of LBNL
  • 2014–2015: Susan Dumais of Microsoft Research
  • Cooperation

    ACM's primary partner has been the IEEE Computer Society (IEEE-CS), which is the largest subgroup of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The IEEE focuses more on hardware and standardization issues than theoretical computer science, but there is considerable overlap with ACM's agenda. They have many joint activities including conferences, publications and awards. ACM and its SIGs co-sponsor about 20 conferences each year with IEEE-CS and other parts of IEEE. Eckert-Mauchly Award and Ken Kennedy Award, both major awards in computer science, are given jointly by ACM and the IEEE-CS. They occasionally cooperate on projects like developing computing curricula.

    ACM has also jointly sponsored on events with other professional organizations like the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM).


    Association for Computing Machinery Wikipedia

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