Sigaccess fy’09 Annual Report

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SIGSAM sponsors prizes in computer algebra and nominates our best researchers for top-level awards and prizes.

ISSAC Awards. SIGSAM sponsors the ISSAC Distinguished Paper and Distinguished Student Author prizes. This is from an endowment with a value of USD 40,662 as of March 1, 2009.

  • The ISSAC 2008 Distinguished Paper award was given to Adam Strzebonski for the paper entitled “Real Root Isolation for Exp-Log Functions”.

  • The ISSAC 2007 Distinguished Student Author Award was given to Adrien Poteaux for the paper “On the Good Reduction of Puiseux Series and the Complexity of Newton-Puiseux Algorithm over Finite Fields” (coauthored with Marc Rybowicz).

Jenks Memorial Prize. SIGSAM also sponsors and administers the ACM SIGSAM Richard Dimick Jenks Memorial Prize for Excellence in Software Engineering applied to Computer Algebra The prize is given out every two years, and in 2008 was awarded to “The GAP Group". This award is granted from an endowment with a value of USD 27,285 as of March 1, 2009.
Paris Kanellakis Award. The Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award honours specific theoretical accomplishments that have had a significant and demonstrable effect on the practice of computing. It is one of the ACM's top prizes. SIGSAM nominated Bruno Buchberger (Johannes Kepler University, Linz, Austria) and he was awarded the 2007 prize in June 2008.

Transactions on Mathematical Software

SIGSAM has a seat on the editorial board of the ACM Transactions on Mathematical Software (TOMS). This position is currently held by Gene Cooperman of Northeastern University (USA).

Viability Review

At the SIG Board meeting on March 27, 2009, SIGSAM was found to be viable and given a renewal for the standard four-year period. For the previous two renewals, SIGSAM had only been given two-year renewals.

SIGSAM Elections

ACM/SIGSAM elections were held following the usual two-year term of office. A full election slate was put forward by the nomination committee consisting of Stephen Watt (Chair), Daniel Lazard, Tateaki Sasaki, B. David Saunders, and Emil Volcheck.

SIGSAM Membership

As of June 30, 2008, SIGSAM had 292 members, down slightly from 303 in June 2008. As a response to these rather flat membership numbers, and smaller than desired overlap between SIGSAM membership and ISSAC attendance, all non-SIGSAM-members attending ISSAC 2009 will be given SIGSAM memberships.

SIGSAM Advisory Board

The Advisory Board advises the Chair on matters of interest to SIGSAM. It consists of the officers, the Past Chair, the newsletter Editor(s) and up to ten Members at Large elected by ballot by the members of SIGSAM at the Annual General Meeting. At ISSAC 2008 Stephen Watt (Canada), Tateaki Sasaki (Japan) and Dongming Wang (China/France) were elected (by acclamation).

SIGSAM Finances

The following information was prepared by Daniel Lichtblau (SIGSAM Treasurer, outgoing) and Mark Giesbrecht (SIGSAM Chair, outgoing).

A summary of SIGSAM's recent financial history, and operational budget for 2008-9, is found in Figure 1 below.

Finances for 2008-9. Financial figures for 2008–9 are preliminary. All known income and expenses have been entered. However, additional changes have been made as late as early August in previous years so it is possible that SIGSAM's year-end fund balance will change slightly in the next few weeks.

Required Fund Balance. ACM expects its SIGs to maintain a “minimum fund balance.” The projected SIGSAM fund balance at the end of 2008–9 will meet this requirement.









2008-9 Preliminary


SIG Dues






Subscription Revenue






Publication Sales






Digital Library






Other Revenue






Total Organizational Revenue






Conference Revenue






Total Revenue







Publication Expenses












Service Charge to Conferences






Other expense






Total Organizational Expenses






Conference Expenses






Total Expenses






Initial Fund Balance






Net Surplus






Ending Fund Balance






Figure 1: Fund Balance and Projections: 2005–9
Explanation of Categories

Revenue. SIG Dues include membership dues that have been transferred to SIGSAM. Subscription Revenue includes revenue from subscriptions to SIGSAM publications by non-members and other miscellaneous subscription revenue. Publication Sales includes revenue from the sales of newsletters and bulletins, journals and conference proceedings. Digital Library revenue has been transferred by ACM to SIGSAM in compensation for the SIGSAM material provided through this online service. Conference Revenue includes revenue from SIGSAM-sponsored meetings –the ISSAC conference held during the reporting period. Since ISSAC 2008 was not sponsored by ISSAC, this is zero. Other Revenue includes the voluntary payment of revenue from the organizers of ISSAC 2008, as well as interest payments as well as income from service charges that has been transferred to SIGSAM.

Expenses. Publication Expenses includes the cost to produce, store and distribute the ACM Communications in Computer Algebra as well as proceedings that are delivered to ACM instead of the conference site. Conference Expenses includes expenses of SIGSAM-sponsored meetings. Allocations include charges to SIGSAM for services provided by ACM staff. Service Charges to Conferences are paid by SIGSAM-sponsored meetings (and appear as an expense with a negative value on financial statements). Since ISSAC was not sponsored by ACM in 2008, this is zero. Other Expenses include the costs of volunteer travel, elections, special meetings, promotions and projects, and miscellaneous fund transfers and service charges.
Source of Information.

This is a summary of data from the ACM Financial Management Reporting System prepared by the SIGSAM Treasurer. Please send electronic mail to for additional information.

SIGSIM FY’09 Annual Report

July 2008- June 2009

Submitted by: Osman Balci, Chair



1.1 Establishment of M&S Knowledge Repository

A Modeling and Simulation (M&S) Knowledge Repository (MSKR) has been created under the domain name of

Introductory content with hyperlinks has been added for 17 different areas of M&S. Some M&S resources are provided. The entire content is searchable and password protected for use only by SIGSIM members. The objective is to provide valuable content to SIGSIM members, by which to increase SIGSIM membership.

The site currently runs on a Virginia Tech server computer. It will be ported to an ACM server soon so that SIGSIM members can use their ACM logon information to access the MSKR site.

1.2 Bylaws Change
SIGSIM Bylaws Article 1.a is changed from

“…Special Interest Group on Simulation (SIGSIM)…” to

“…Special Interest Group on SImulation and Modeling (SIGSIM)…”; and

SIGSIM Bylaws Article 1.b is changed from

“… computer-based models.” to “… modeling and simulation.”
1.3 Establishment of SIGSIM Advisory Board

An Advisory Board is established with the following Chair and members:

Richard E. Nance, Chair

ACM Fellow

Professor Emeritus of Computer Science

Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, Virginia, USA

Paul Fishwick


Department of Computer & Information Science and Engineering

University of Florida

Gainesville, Florida, USA

Richard M. Fujimoto


Computational Science and Engineering Division

Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

David M. Nicol

Professor, ACM Fellow

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Urbana, Illinois, USA

Ernest H. Page, Jr.

Senior Principal Scientist

The MITRE Corporation

McLean, Virginia, USA

Simon J.E. Taylor

Reader / Senior Lecturer

Department of Information Systems and Computing

Brunel University

West London, England

Alexander Verbraeck


Department of Systems Engineering

Delft University of Technology

Delft, The Netherlands

1.4 New SIGSIM Membership Dues Adopted

2 Mission

ACM SIGSIM mission is to promote and disseminate the advancement of high quality state-of-the-art in Modeling and Simulation (M&S) across a broad range of interests and disciplines.

3 Member Benefits

• SIGSIM-members-only access to ACM SIGSIM M&S Knowledge Repository

• Proceedings (CD) of each Winter Simulation Conference (WSC) mailed to each SIGSIM member

• Proceedings (hard copy) of each International Workshop on Principles of Advanced and Distributed

Simulation (PADS) mailed to each SIGSIM member

• Discounted conference attendance fees for many conferences including WSC and PADS.

• SIGSIM members are granted full on-line access to the proceedings of the SIGSIM sponsored /

supported conferences in the ACM Digital Library.

4 Journal - TOMACS

SIGSIM’s journal is the ACM Transactions on Modeling and Computer Simulation (TOMACS).

5 Membership

Membership from 2005 to 2009:

Membership Retention from 2005 to 2009:

6 Management

Current Officers Elected for the Term 2008-2011:

Chairman: Osman Balci

Vice Chairman: Drew Hamilton

Secretary/Treasurer: Margaret Loper

Webmaster & Listserv Moderator:

• Simon J.E. Taylor

M&S Knowledge Repository Editor-in-Chief

• Osman Balci

Advisory Board

• Richard E. Nance, Chair

• Paul Fishwick

• Richard M. Fujimoto

• David M. Nicol

• Ernest H. Page, Jr.

• Simon J.E. Taylor

• Alexander Verbraeck

SIGSIM Distinguished Contributions Award Committee:

• Richard E. Nance, Chair

• David M. Nicol

• George F. Riley

• Stewart Robinson

7 Awards

1. SIGSIM Distinguished Contributions Award
The SIGSIM Distinguished Contributions Award recognizes individuals based on their overall contributions to the field of modeling and simulation, including technical innovations, publications, leadership, teaching, mentoring, and service to the community. It is given annually at each Winter Simulation Conference. The 2008 award was given to Prof. Ray J. Paul at Brunel University, UK.

2. ACM SIGSIM Best Ph.D. Student Paper Award

The SIGSIM Best Ph.D. Student Paper Award is given as part of the Ph.D. Colloquium and Poster Session at each Winter Simulation Conference.

The 2008 award was given to Volkan Üstün at Auburn University.

8 Conferences
8.1 SIGSIM Sponsored Conferences

Acronym Conference / Workshop Proceedings Published in ACM Digital Library

WSC Winter Simulation Conference 1971-2008

PADS Workshop on Principles of Advanced and Distributed Simulation (a.k.a. Workshop on Parallel and Distributed Simulation) 1993-2008

MSWiM ACM International Conference on Modeling, Analysis, and Simulation of Wireless and Mobile Systems 1999-2008

8.2 Conferences with SIGSIM In-Cooperation Agreements

Acronym Conference / Workshop Proceedings Published in ACM Digital Library

MASCOTS 2009 17th IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Modelling, Analysis and Simulation of Computer and Telecommunication Systems (Sept 21-23, 2009, London, England)

to appear


Operational Research Society 5th Simulation Workshop (March 23-24, 2010, Worcestershire, England)

to appear


International Conference on Simulation Tools and Techniques: 2009, 2010

to appear


Spring Simulation Multiconference 2009 (March 22-27, 2009, San Diego, CA):

• Agent-Directed Simulation (ADS)

• 42nd Annual Simulation Symposium (ANSS)

• Business and Industry Symposium (BIS)

• 12th Communications and Networking Simulation Symposium (CNS)

• DEVS Integrative M&S Symposium (DEVS)

• High Performance Computing Symposium (HPC)

• Military Modeling and Simulation Symposium (MMS)

• Modeling & Simulation in Education (MSE)

• Modeling & Simulation in Engineering (MSEng)

to appear

EOMAS 5th International Workshop on Enterprise & Organizational Modeling and Simulation (June 8-9, 2009, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

to appear

MSI 2009 The IASTED International Conference on Modelling, Simulation and Identification (Oct. 12-14, 2009, Beijing, China)

to appear

DS-RT 2009 13th IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Distributed Simulation and Real Time Applications (Oct. 25-28, 2009 Singapore)

to appear


Annual Simulation Symposium

1978-1992, 2003-2007


4th International Workshop on Internet Performance, Simulation, Monitoring and Measurement



2007 Summer Computer Simulation Conference



1st International Conference on Bio inspired Models of Network, Information and Computing Systems


Symposium on the Simulation of Computer Networks

1973-1976, 1987


Joint International Conference on Measurement and Modeling of Computer Systems


9 Financials
Fund Balance as of June 30, 2009:

10 SIGSIM’s 40th Birthday

SIGSIM was first created as a Special Interest Committee on Simulation in 1967. It was founded as a Special Interest Group (SIG) in April 1969.

We will be celebrating SIGSIM’s 40th birthday throughout 2009.

SIGSOFT FY’09 Annual Report

July 2008 - June 2009

Submitted by: William G. Griswold, Past Chair
SIGSOFT had an excellent year, maintaining the success of its conferences during difficult economic times, while continuing to reach out to the community in many dimensions.

Our major conferences continue to be strong – in attendance, sound finances, and intellectual vibrancy. FSE 2008 was held in Atlanta, Georgia, USA in November, with Gail Murphy serving as Program Chair and Mary Jean Harrold serving as General Chair. ICSE 2009 was held in Vancouver, Canada, with Stephen Fickas as General Chair, and Paola Inverardi and Joanne Atlee as Program co-Chairs. Both events featured SIGSOFT’s successful “Town Hall Meeting” format whereby we open the floor to an open discussion on the issues of the day, while those present relax with refreshments.

FSE 2009 will be held jointly with ESEC 2009 (the European Software Engineering Conference) in Amsterdam, Netherlands, held in late August. Hans van Vliet will be the General Chair and Valerie Issarny the Program Chair. FSE 2010 will be held in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA, with Catalin Roman as General Chair and Andre van der Hoek as Program Chair. ICSE 2010 will be held in Cape Town, South Africa. Jeff Kramer and Judith Bishop are the General Chairs, with Premukar Devanbu and Sebastian Uchitel as the Program Chairs. ICSE 2011 will be held in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, with Richard Taylor as General Chair, and Harald Gall and Nenad Medvidovic as Program co-Chairs.

On the awards front, we continued to make our annual service and research awards. This year's ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished Service Award was presented to Stuart Zweben of The University of Ohio. We awarded the ACM SIGSOFT Outstanding Research Award to Richard Taylor of UC Irvine. The awards were presented to the recipients at ICSE 2009 in Vancouver. Dr. Taylor will also give a keynote address at the upcoming ESEC/FSE 2009 in Amsterdam. We made a number of ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished Paper awards across our many sponsored conferences.

In mid-2008 ACM approved the new SIGSOFT Impact Paper Award to recognize papers published in SIGSOFT conferences at least 10 years earlier that have had exceptional impact on research or practice. Last year we made our first round of awards. The 2008 SIGSOFT Impact Paper Award committee, led by ACM Fellow Carlo Ghezzi, recognized “A Design Framework for Internet-Scale Event Observation and Notification” from the 5th ESEC/FSE (1997), co-authored by Alex Wolf and David Rosenblum. ACM Fellow Richard Adrion headed up the 2008 Retrospective Impact Award committee, which is looking far beyond 10 years to the early days of SIGSOFT in search of up to 23 early high-impact papers over the next five years. His committee recognized these papers:

Harel, D., Lachover, H., Naamad, A., Pnueli, A., Politi, M., Sherman, R., and Shtul-Trauring, A. STATEMATE: a working environment for the development of complex reactive systems. In Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Software Engineering (Singapore, April 11 - 15, 1988).

Ungar, D. Generation Scavenging: A non-disruptive high performance storage reclamation algorithm. SIGPLAN Not. 19, 5 -- ACM SIGSOFT/SIGPLAN software engineering symposium on Practical software development environments, (May. 1984), 157-167.

Parnas, D. L., Clements, P. C., and Weiss, D. M. The modular structure of complex systems. In Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Software Engineering (Orlando, Florida, United States, March 26 - 29, 1984).

Weiser, M. Program slicing. In Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Software Engineering (San Diego, California, United States, March 09 - 12, 1981).

Liskov, B., Snyder, A., Atkinson, R., and Schaffert, C. Abstraction mechanisms in CLU. In Proceedings of An ACM Conference on Language Design For Reliable Software (Raleigh, North Carolina, March 28 - 30, 1977). D. B. Wortman, Ed., 140.

We continue to expand our conference attendance awards, both in budget and scope. The joint SIGSOFT-SIGBED Frank Anger student travel award’s most recent award from the SIGSOFT side went to Basil Becker of the Hasso Plattner Institute for Software Systems Engineering (HPI) at the University of Potsdam. We made dozens of awards to students for travel support to SIGSOFT-sponsored conferences, under our CAPS (Conference Attendance Program for Students), for which our budget approached $40,000, increasing the size of the awards to reflect increasing travel costs, as well as focusing on first-time attendees, those in need. This year we expanded CAPS to include undergraduates as well. This year we also extended our conference attendance programs to childcare at conferences. At FSE we contracted with KiddieCorp to provide onsite care, but in general we provide for the travel of a caregiver to accompany the conference attendee and his/her child. This program is open to all attendees.

New for this year was our SIGSOFT Influential Educator Award. The 2009 award was made to Laurie Williams of North Carolina State University for her work on the use of pair programming in programming pedagogy, among other contributions. We also made a one-time posthumous award to A. Nico Habermann for his contributions in graduating so many influential Ph.D. students, including many who have gone on to continue his legacy as an inspiring Ph.D. advisor.

As part of our international outreach efforts, we co-supported a special session at the annual India Software Engineering Conference. This session features presentations of ICSE and FSE from the previous year that won ACM Distinguished Paper Awards. The authors of the winning papers are flown to India to re-present their papers. This has been highly successful, being lauded by both the ISEC organizers as well as the ICSE and FSE authors who have flown to the conference. We plan to continue supporting this effort in the future.

Will Tracz has continued to make our newsletter, SEN, stronger and better as we move into the digital era. Because the SEN is produced in two versions, online and a print “tip of the iceberg” summary (including RISKS), production is complicated and time consuming. To this end, Will has been working with a group of undergraduates at the Rochester Institute of Technology to develop a content management system that can handle the unique work flow to produce these two documents. The system is expected to be ready in the coming year.

SIGSOFT adopted revised updated bylaws this year. The most significant changes are that (a) the term of the elected executive committee has been increased from two to three years, and (b) the number of at-large members has been increased by one and the Secretary/Treasurer position is now appointed from the at-large members.

SIGSOFT is working to help our conferences more, especially as we see conference costs rising. In the coming year we will be showing more flexibility in budgeting for those sponsored conferences that minimize the risks of a financial loss, while at the same time striving to meet the goals of SIGSOFT, such as holding down student registration fees. Our plan is to help our sponsored conferences subsidizing student registration fees from our budget, rather than the traditional method of increasing registration fees for regular registrants, which has proven unsustainable.

SIGSOFT has a new incoming committee this year, chaired by David Rosenblum. For the coming year, among other initiatives, he has stated a specific interest in reaching out to practitioners, and he plans to appoint a practitioner liaison as well as a practitioner advisory board, to be chaired by the new liaison. Another goal is to institute a dissertation award to recognize the great research of our graduating PhDs.

SIGSPATIAL FY'09 Annual Report

July 2008-June 2009

Submitted by: Hanan Samet, Chair
SIGSPATIAL's mission is to address issues related to the acquisition, management, and processing of spatially-related information with a focus on algorithmic, geometric, and visual considerations. The scope includes, but is not limited to, geographic information systems (GIS). These issues have become increasingly important in terms of public awareness with the growing interest and use of online mapping

systems such as Microsoft Virtual Earth and Google Maps and Google Earth as well as the integration of GPS into applications and devices such as, but not limited to, the iPhone. Presently, SIGSPATIAL is

fulfilling this mission by sponsoring high quality research conferences and workshops. As indicated by its mission, SIGSPATIAL's domain is much more than just geographic information systems and with

this in mind it tries to differentiate its conferences and workshop from others by focusing on the computer science aspects of the field rather than on the available commercial products. In addition, a major concern and focus of the SIGSPATIAL leadership is keeping its flagship conference, the ACM SIGSPATIAL International Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems (ACM SIGSPATIAL GIS), affordable so that it can continue to be of good value to its attendees and be

competitive price-wise with related conferences which are priced at considerably lower levels than most ACM SIG conferences. SIGSPATIAL has been able to achieve this goal by being very active in soliciting sponsor contributions as well as being vigilant at minimizing SIGSPATIAL's financial exposure in terms of contractual obligations when planning the conference by building reserves that can be used in years when the financial climate is not so healthy.
2008 was the first year of SIGSPATIAL and its main activity was its flagship conference (ACM SIGSPATIAL GIS) that was held in Irvine, California, USA, on November 5-7, 2008. ACM SIGSPATIAL GIS 2008 was the sixteenth event of an annual series of symposia and workshops with the mission to bring together researchers, developers, users, and practitioners carrying out research and development in novel systems based on geo-spatial data and knowledge. The conference fosters interdisciplinary discussions and research in all aspects of Geographic Information Systems and Science (GIS) and provides a forum for original research contributions covering all conceptual, design, and implementation aspects of GIS and ranging from applications, user interface considerations, and visualization down to storage management and indexing issues. This year’s conference was the first time that the conference was held under the auspices of SIGSPATIAL. What was new this year was the introduction of two new conference tracks, namely a demonstration track and a Ph.D. showcase track. A program committee

of 93 members reviewed the submissions.

The call for papers led to 232 paper submissions over all three tracks. The research paper track attracted 193 research paper submissions, of which 38 were accepted as full papers (an acceptance rate of slightly below 20%) and another 37 papers were accepted as poster papers. The Ph.D. Showcase track attracted 19 Ph.D. showcase submissions, of which 8 were accepted, while the demonstrations track attracted 20 demonstration paper submissions, of which 13 were accepted. These numbers indicate the continued health, interest, and growth of the research field of geographic information systems, and the need to bring its researchers, students, and industrial practitioners together.
The conference was attended by 190 people and had a single track. The program featured two outstanding invited speakers:
1. Vinton Cerf, VP of Google, USA and 2004 ACM Turing Award Winner

2. Jack Dangermond, Founder and President of ESRI, USA

The conference was run in a single track with one of the highlights being a fast forward poster session in the first afternoon where each poster author was given 2 minutes to present the highlights of their

work to the audience. This was followed by a poster reception in the evening where the conference participants had an opportunity to interact with the poster authors. Poster paper authors were

encouraged to do a good job by having two awards: one for best fast forward presentation and one for the actual poster. The poster component of the conference proved to be very popular with both the

conference audience and the poster authors.

The conference was also the site of the first open business meeting for SIGSPATIAL which was held in the evening of the first day of the conference just before the poster session. The meeting was open

to all SIGSPATIAL members as well as to all conference attendees. In addition to discussing budgetary issues, plans for next year's conference, and soliciting member's feedback, the business meeting

featured a presentation by Dr. Maria Zemankova of the National Science Foundation (NSF) about potential funding opportunities at the NSF that are available to members of the ACM SIGSPATIAL community.
The conference was preceded by the First Workshop on Security and Privacy in GIS and LBS (SPRINGL08). The goal of the SPRINGL workshop series is to provide a forum for researchers working in the area of geospatial data security and privacy. Both security and privacy are critical for geospatial applications because of the dramatic increase and dissemination of geospatial data in several application contexts including homeland security, environmental crises, and natural and industrial disasters. Furthermore, geospatial infrastructures are being leveraged by companies to provide a large variety of location-based services (LBS) able to tailor services to users. However, despite the increase of publicly accessible geospatial information only little attention is being paid to how to secure geospatial information systems (GIS) and LBS. Privacy is also of increasing concern given the sensitivity of personally-identifiable location information. This is despite major advancements that have been made in secure computing infrastructures and the secure and privacy preserving management of traditional (relational) data in particular. The workshop spanned across security and privacy aspects, as they relate to the management of geospatial data and to the development of emerging LBS. Eight papers were selected for presentation at the workshop and inclusion in the workshop proceedings. The workshop was well-received and it is intended to hold it again in 2009.
The SIGSPATIAL leadership is currently planning for the 2009 ACM SIGSPATIAL GIS Conference which will be held in Seattle on November 4-6, 2009 with a number of workshops on November 3.

SIGSPATIAL is also participating in the 2nd International Workshop on Similarity Search and Applications (SISAP) on August 29-30, 2009 in Prague, Czech Republic on an in cooperation basis.

In addition, SIGSPATIAL is exploring sponsoring other conferences in the field as well as cooperating with other SIGs and professional organization in the GIS area.
SIGSPATIAL is exploring the idea of starting an ACM Transactions on Spatial Systems and Algorithms or some mutually acceptable variant of this title, but this is still a year or two away as the current focus of the SIG is on maintaining the quality of the flagship conference, and getting the workshops organized. The model is based on the anticipation that the papers published in the workshops and conferences would be expanded upon and submitted to the Transactions for consideration for possible publication.
In 2008, SIGSPATIAL offered for the first time a best paper award which was chosen by the program committee from the accepted submissions to the 2008 ACM SIGSPATIAL GIS Conference. This award was shared by the following three papers:
1. David Eppstein and Michael Goodrich: Studying (Non-Planar) Road Networks Through an Algorithmic Lens.

2. Benjamin Teitler, Michael Lieberman, Daniele Panozzo, Jagan Sankaranarayanan, Hanan Samet, and Jon Sperling, NewsStand: A New View on News.

3. Kenneth Weiss and Leila De Floriani, Sparse Terrain Pyramids.
SIGSPATIAL plans to expand its presence in the ACM Digital Library by soliciting workshop proposals both in its role as a sponsor and on an in cooperation status. This can be seen by the increased number of workshop that it will sponsor in 2009. These workshops were proposed independently to SIGSPATIAL. In 2010, SIGSPATIAL will actively solicit workshop proposals and will also designate a Workshops Chair for the ACM GIS Conference as well as delegate such duties to one of its officers who will be tasked with creating a uniform framework for them.
SIGSPATIAL is working hard to fulfill its mission of sponsoring high quality research conferences and workshops. It will start to be more proactive in soliciting workshops and will also continue to seek out

sponsors and try to devise activities that will increase its attractiveness to the potential sponsors. It will try to continue to maintain the momentum of its first year of existence and build on it.

SIGUCCS FY’08 Annual Report

July 2008- June 2009

Submitted by: Robert Haring-Smith, Chair

SIGUCCS (Special Interest Group for University and College Computing Services) continued to serve the community of professionals who provide computer support at institutions of higher education during 2008-2009 by sponsoring two successful conferences with nine associated workshops, maintaining active mailing lists for discussion of issues of common concern, and generally facilitating networking among this group of individuals.

The Executive Committee members for 2008-2009 were: Chair, Bob Haring-Smith; Vice Chair/Fall Conference Liaison, Kelly Wainwright; Secretary/Spring Conference Liaison, Tim Foley; Treasurer, Alex Nagorski; Information Director, Patti Mitch; and Past Chair Leila Lyons. This group completed the first year of a three-year term of office to which they were elected in the spring of 2008. Aside from the chair and past chair, all members are new to the Executive Committee.
Several volunteers in Executive Committee-appointed positions headed specific operational areas: Karen McRitchie served as Tutorial Chair; Greg Hanek coordinated the Communication Awards program; and Christine Vucinich chaired the Membership and Marketing committee. These volunteers contributed significantly to the ongoing success of the organization and conferences, and are continuing to do so.
Awards Program

The SIGUCCS Awards Programs have been in place for several years. The Penny Crane Award recognizes significant multiple contributions to SIGUCCS from individuals over an extended period of time. The Hall of Fame awards recognize the many individuals who have contributed their time and energies to benefit SIGUCCS. For descriptions of the awards programs, please go to:

Penny Crane Award – Jerry Smith was the recipient of the 2008 Penny Crane Award. For more information please go to:
Hall of Fame – There were three people inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008. They were: John Lateulere, Jack McCredie, and Rob Paterson. For more information about the recipients please go to:
Travel grants – Early in 2008, the Awards Committee proposed and the Executive Committee approved a new program, the SIGUCCS Grant Program, to provide partial support for students and employees in institutions of higher education to participate in the annual SIGUCCS Fall Conferences and Spring Management Symposia. This support is funded by SIGUCCS and consists of a complimentary conference registration and hotel room accommodations. Grants were made for each of our conferences for the first time in 2008-2009.
From 20 applicants for Fall Conference grants, the following five people received grants:

Raymond Cheung (Kansas University), Andrew Cunningham (Kenyon College), Chris Koerner (St. Louis University), Lisa McKinney (Linfield College), Ray Jeremiah (Valparaiso University).

From 18 applicants for SIGUCCS Management Symposium grants, the following five people received grants:

Robert Campbell (CUNY Graduate Center), Allan Chen (Santa Clara University School of Law), Gail Farally-Semerad (Widener University), Kirk Klaphaak (Indiana University Southeast), Tom McMurtry (Montreat College).

In selecting grant recipients, we favor applicants from institutions that have not been represented at recent SIGUCCS conferences. This approach is intended to make the conferences more widely known and build future attendance.
On January 1, 2009, John Bucher became Chair of the SIGUCCS Awards Selection Committee and Jennifer Fajman became Past Chair, following the rotation of the committee’s membership described at Two new members, Chris Jones and Dennis Mar, replaced Jack Esbin and Linda Hutchison, who retired from the committee at the end of 2008.

2008 Communications Awards - As we have done for many years, we held our Communications Awards competition in conjunction with the Fall Conference. A description of these awards and the 2008 winners can be found at: Judging for this competition is led by Greg Hanek who has overseen the Communications Awards competition for several years. The Communications Awards Committee is formed each year from the previous year’s top award winners in each category.


The thirty-sixth Fall Conference was held October 19-22, 2008 in Portland, Oregon with the theme of “Moving Mountains, Blazing Trails.” While papers on topics like managing student employees and overseeing computer labs remain perennial favorites, this year’s conference saw a lot of discussion of information management (through content management systems, wikis, and other means) and of new technologies for enhancing the on-line learning experience. The keynote speakers were Dr. Laurence Johnson, CEO of the New Media Consortium, and Dr. Bryan Alexander, Director of Research for NITLE (National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education). For the complete program, see

The thirty-sixth spring symposium, now known as the SIGUCCS Management Symposium, was held from March 29-April 1, 2009 in Nashville, Tennessee. The theme was “Fine-Tuning IT Solutions.” The program featured discussions of deploying enterprise systems, enhancing information security, and nurturing staff and future IT leaders. Brian Voss, Vice Chancellor for Information Technology at Louisiana State University, and Kelly Gaither, Associate Director, Research & Development Visualization and Data Analysis, University of Texas at Austin, delivered the keynote addresses. The complete program is available at
Special Projects

As we reported last year, a narrative history of SIGUCCS was completed by long-time SIG member and leader Jack Esbin in response to the call by ACM’s History Committee to document the history of the SIG. This year, through the efforts of Information Director Patti Mitch, Past Chair Leila Lyons, and a graduate student in history from the University of Delaware, we have augmented the narrative with a nearly complete listing of all volunteers who served on the SIG’s Executive Committee, on the many conference committees, or in other significant roles.

We have established a closer relationship with ResNet, an organization that supports those who manage residential networks and associated IT services in higher education. We have many concerns in common with ResNet, which serves a subgroup of the community to which SIGUCCS is devoted. By the end of June, 2009, a memorandum of understanding that had the approval of ACM, the ResNet board, and the SIGUCCS board needed only to be signed. The memorandum envisions that each group will be represented at the other’s main conference and that a specially selected paper from each conference will be presented at the other conference. In June, 2009, Karen McRitchie, a member of the SIGUCCS board, attended the ResNet conference to promote SIGUCCS.

The current SIGUCCS web site ( has been in place in its current form (albeit with updated content) for many years. During the past year, the SIGUCCS board embarked on an effort to redesign the web site completely to give it a fresh look and, above all, to serve better the needs of SIGUCCS members and others interested in SIGUCCS activities. We hope that the new site will go live within the next few months.


The most important influence on SIGUCCS activities, especially its conferences, over the next two years is likely to be the economic downturn and its consequences. Participation in our conferences, from submission of papers through attendance at the conference, depends on college and university support for staff travel and professional development—support which has been greatly curtailed over the past year. In the months preceding the Fall Conference in Portland, an unusually large number of authors of accepted papers were forced to withdraw their papers because their institutions had frozen or cut travel budgets. For the SIGUCCS Management Symposium in the spring, we had an adequate number of session proposals, but conference attendance was down more than 20% from the levels maintained in recent years. To judge by post-conference evaluations, both conferences were valuable experiences for those able to attend, but we cannot help but be concerned by reduced participation.

SIGUCCS is fortunate to have a substantial reserve fund, which we hope will enable us to weather the economic situation without significant loss of organizational momentum. We also have an invaluable asset in the form of a sizeable membership of people who are professionally helpful and have been unstinting volunteers on behalf of SIGUCCS. We should be able to use data from recent conference registration as well as from paper submissions and participation in our awards programs to focus our marketing of the conferences.

In addition to a more intensive marketing effort to ensure that institutions of higher education throughout the country are aware of the services we offer, we are contemplating two substantial changes in those services. First, the board has initiated a discussion throughout the SIG of a proposal to combine the two conferences into a single annual event. Our mission to provide professional development for our members would be the primary reason for doing so. The Fall Conference is targeted at front-line computer support personnel, while the Management Symposium, as the name implies, focuses on managerial issues. A combined conference could provide a better opportunity for front-line staff interested in moving into management to prepare themselves for such a move. Combining the two conferences would almost surely reduce our costs, but the effect on net revenue is less clear, in part because SIG members are divided on when during the year that the combined conference should occur. There may also be ways to enhance professional development without abandoning the two-conference format that has served us for the past thirty-six years.

A second significant change would be to start a series of on-line events devoted to selected topics that

are of particular interest to the membership. We might draw on the most successful topics at the conferences, or issues being actively discussed on our mailing lists, or recent technological developments in higher education to determine the focus of the event, which would take the form of a webinar or facilitated discussion. Our intention is to have the first such event in November 2009, and perhaps quarterly thereafter, depending on the response we get.

SIGWEB FY’09 Annual Report

July 2008 - June 2009

Submitted by: Ethan Munson, Chair
Fiscal Year 2009 was the second year of a two-year term for SIGWEB’s officers, who were elected in June 2007 and completed their terms in June 2009.
SIGWEB represents a unique and interdisciplinary research community centered on augmenting the human intellect, a vision articulated by the legendary computing pioneer Douglas Engelbart nearly half a century ago. Engelbart, Ted Nelson, and other early researchers realized this vision through hypermedia systems, which are still of interest to the SIGWEB community today, including the World Wide Web, the largest hypermedia system ever built. Modern researchers have found a host of other realizations of this vision, ranging from digital libraries to knowledge management systems. SIGWEB includes more than just computer researchers and professionals, though. From cognitive psychologists to ethnographers to anthropologists to hypertext writers, SIGWEB embraces those researchers and practitioners that address how people use computers, so that better tools for augmenting the human intellect can be built. SIGWEB also balances the findings of the research world with the experiences of the practical world, in which our ideas and theories are tested daily.
SIGWEB (originally SIGLINK) was founded 18 years ago to provide a home for the hypertext community and the ACM Hypertext conference. Over the years, SIGWEB has changed its name and has begun to sponsor a wide range of conferences encompassing hypertext, the Web, digital libraries, and document engineering.
In 2009, with the support of the entire Executive Committee, the SIGWEB elected officers asked to have their terms extended by 2 years. The SGB approved this request. The membership of the Executive Committee for the 2009-11 term is:
Ethan Munson (Chair)

Maria de Graça C. Pimentel (Vice-Chair)

Simon Harper (Secretary/Treasurer)

Yeliz Yesilada (Information Director)

Darren Lunn (Newsletter Editor)

Claus Atzenbeck (Interviews Associate Editor)

Peter Brusilovsky (Member-at-large)
The technical meetings sponsored by SIGWEB were:

  • ACM Symposium on Document Engineering (DocEng) 2008
    (held in September 2008 in São Paulo, Brazil)

  • ACM Conference on Information and Knowledge Management 2008
    (held in November 2008 in Napa, California, USA)

  • ACM International Conference on Web Search and Data Mining (WSDM 2009)
    (held February 2009 in Barcelona, Spain)

  • ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL) 2009
    (held June 2009 in Austin, Texas, USA)

  • ACM Conference on Hypertext and Hypermedia (HT) 2009
    (held June 2009 in Torino, Italy)

The awards presented by SIGWEB in FY 2009 were:

  • The Douglas C. Engelbart Award for 2009 (HT 2009)
    “Hyperincident Connected Components in Tagging Networks”
    Nicolas Neubauer and Klaus Obermayer

  • The Theodor Holm Nelson Award for 2009 (HT 2009)
    “The Dynamics of Personal Territories on the Web”
    Thomas Beauvisage

As recently as 2002, SIGWEB was sponsoring only two conferences, HT (100%) and JCDL (34%). About this time, SIGWEB’s leaders embarked on a plan to expand the SIG’s scope via a wider range of sponsorships. SIGWEB now sponsors five conferences regularly and is in discussions with other conference and workshop organizing committees about further sponsorships.
SIGWEB’s finances have strengthened considerably over the past few years. The SIG’s fund balance stands at over $430,000, which is an increase of about $90,000 over June 2008.
SIGWEB’s conferences have generally been making profits and in some cases have made large profits. This has been the primary reason for the increasing fund balance. However, in 2007, SIGWEB’s executive committee also examined non-conference operating expenses closely and decided to end the annual conference proceedings distribution in order to cut costs. This action combined with growing revenue from the ACM Digital Library has allowed the SIG to show a modest operating surplus.
In June 2009, SIGWEB had 699 members (506 professional, 68 student, and 125 affiliate). This is a substantial increase from June 2007 (535 total) and June 2008 (644 total).
Like many ACM SIGs, SIGWEB had seen falling membership in recent years. While the declines were not precipitous, they were a real cause for concern and the Executive Committee has taken several actions to successfully reverse this trend:

  • SIGWEB has been giving complimentary SIGWEB memberships to attendees at our two 100% sponsored conferences (Hypertext and DocEng). The hope is that members will continue their memberships in years that they do not attend. More importantly, we hope that more of them will be willing to be volunteers. Predictably, first year retention has dropped from about 47% to 40%, but overall retention looks acceptable. The Executive Committee continues to monitor this initiative.

  • SIGWEB has restarted its newsletter. The primary distribution medium is the Internet, but a one-page color flyer containing abbreviated articles with URLs is mailed to all members. This is done in the belief that a physical document is easier to share and provides a tangible reminder of membership.

  • SIGWEB has initiated a Student Travel Award program, modeled on those of SIGIR and SIGAPP, for its 100%-sponsored conferences.

  • SIGWEB has worked to strengthen its traditional flagship conference by broadening its scope to include Social Linking and Networking. The meeting saw a dramatic increase in attendance in 2009 (from 90 to 150) and SIGWEB is optimistic for its future.

  • SIGWEB has initiated a new Advisory Committee, which has a broader membership than the Executive Committee. The Advisory Committee is used to sound out policy decisions in front of a broader audience than the 7 members of the Executive Committee. It also serves to expose a larger set of volunteers to the issues that SIG leadership is confronted with.

Volunteer development has been another challenge for SIGWEB. It has become particularly acute as the SIG’s sponsorships have become more diffuse and our flagship conference (Hypertext) has seen falling attendance. Starting in FY 2008, SIGWEB formed a SIGWEB Advisory Committee that is a proper superset of the Executive Committee. This Advisory Committee discusses policy issues and plans for SIGWEB via an online group. Formal policy decisions continue to rest with the Executive Committee. The Advisory Committee’s membership includes representatives from each sponsored conference, past officers, past candidates for office, and others who are active in SIGWEB projects. The goals of the Advisory Committee are multiple. It broadens the pool of people who are discussing SIGWEB policy and activities and can be prepared to serve as officers in the future. It should strengthen the connection between SIGWEB and the conferences that it sponsors. Finally, it helps ensure that SIGWEB listens to its constituents.

SIGWEB continues to explore other conference sponsorships. There have been ongoing discussions with the International World Wide Web Conference (IWWWC), but we are not optimistic about them, because the business model of the IWWWC is quite different from ACM’s. More promising discussions are underway with the organizers of the new Web Science conference.
SIGWEB has successfully expanded its range of conference sponsorships and hopes to continue this trend. SIGWEB is also working hard on membership and volunteer development. SIGWEB is financially healthy and has solid leadership.

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