Attendees/Projects

20-21 May 2019


Balakrishnan Prabhakaran

Editor-in-Chief, ACM Special Interest Group on Multimedia (SIGMM) Web Portal

Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Texas at Dallas

SIGMM (Special Interest Group on Multimedia) adopts a T-shaped vision for multimedia, striving to achieve strengths in both the technical depth of media related research and the breadth of applications. Multimedia technologies are now a foundation stone across many application areas, from digital humanities to educational technologies, from gaming to healthcare. It is exciting and rewarding to be working in this field, so join us and help to explore how we can push boundaries and create an exciting future for us all. Each year we sponsor or co-sponsor 10 international conferences plus at least as many workshops, with a combined attendance of thousands of delegates. Those conferences feature things research papers and posters, tutorials, panels, brave new ideas, open source competition, grand challenges, interactive arts, doctoral symposia, women/diversity lunches, a maker’s program, a video program and more, and they run smoothly thanks to the massive volunteer contributions of organizers, chairs, reviewers and more. It is a real challenge for us in SIGMM to keep track of all these important events, capture and archive salient parts of these events, if not the entire events. We do have two major venues for such a history preservation: SIGMM Web Portal (sigmm.org) and SIGMM Records. However, history preservation of the multi-faceted SIGMM activities in a consistent manner just based on volunteer time and efforts is not an easy task. This task becomes even more complex when we need to transition from one volunteer team to another.
By participating and presenting in this workshop, we, at SIGMM, hope to share notes with other SIGs, learn and adopt the best practices in other SIGs that will lead to consistent history preservation in SIGMM.

Loren Terveen

Past President ACM Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction (SIGCHI)

Distinguished McKnight University Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Minnesota

SIGCHI sponsors over 20 conferences in various specialties of Human-Computer Interaction. Its longest standing events are the CHI conference (dating to the early 1980s), the CSCW conference (covering collaborative and social technologies and theories, since the mid 1980s), and the UIST conference (covering user interface software, since the late 1980s). These and other SIGCHI events and activities have generated large numbers of artifacts, both pre-digital and digital. SIGCHI currently has a YouTube channel, where many conference presentations are available (in addition to selected presentations appearing in the ACM Digital Library). We currently are in the process of digitizing large numbers of VHS tapes featuring system demonstrations that accompanied CHI conferences from the 1990s into the early 2000s, and that currently are not publically available. We also are engaged in efforts to collect and curate other physical artifacts from early in our history, such as conference programs, fliers, and badges. Finally, while SIGCHI does not currently have any systematic oral history efforts, some of our members have engaged in similar activities, so there is opportunity for us to build on these.

Kevin Walsh

Past Project Lead, 30th Anniversary of the IEEE/ACM Supercomputing Conference (SIGHPC)

Systems Integration Engineer, University of California, San Diego

The ACM/IEEE Supercomputer Conference (SC) held its inaugural conference in 1988 in Kissimmee, Florida. There were 1,400 attendees at the first conference. The conference has grown exponentially, with nearly 14,000 attendees in 2018 30th Anniversary at the Dallas Convention Center. SC is now known as The International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage, and Analysis. The historical significance of the conference is understudied. The funding of supercomputing and high performance computing infrastructures represents one of the largest investments in research and development by developed nations and industry since the end of WWII. The challenge is how to organize, catalog and preserve material artifacts, oral history interviews, and multimedia objects created by conference participants. Time is of the essence. Many of the pioneers in the supercomputing community are leading edge Baby Boomers. We need to capture their memories and contributions sooner, not later.

Hanan Samet

Founding Chair, ACM Special Interest Group on Spatial Information (SIGSPATIAL)

Distinguished University of Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Maryland

Over the years I have tried to stress the importance of capturing the history of the SIG. To do this, I think we need to first have available online all of the SIG’s publications. This is not the case for all of the SIGs. For example, its true for SIGSPATIAL in the sense that it is missing online versions of some of the proceedings of the early years. I think that there should be serious efforts by all SIGs to have a complete online collection of their publications (primarily sponsored but also those of “in-cooperation” status). There are also conferences whose subject is closely related to the SIG. The SIG should make efforts to get these missing proceedings. To do this the SIGs could work closely with the ACM Digital Library as they have the expertise in converting to online the paper versions of the proceedings, as well as the possible financial support.

Douglas Schuler

Historian, ACM Special Interest Group on Computers and Society (SIGCAS)

Former Faculty, Evergreen State University

As the new SIGCAS Historian and as a researcher, educator, and activist who has long been involved in computing and society issues I am excited about the prospect of working on historical aspects of this theme. I’m planning to focus on the opportunities and challenges of computing in society, especially as they have evolved over time and how they relate to social responsibility, then, now, and into the future. I see SIGCAS as an important link between the research and development of computing systems and their deployment and how they play out within social contexts. This is particularly important today when these systems have become more deeply embedded — and powerful — in daily life. The systems in fact are establishing in many ways new social trajectories and rearranging and disrupting many established social arrangements. I’m particularly interested in discussing these issues with other attendees and learning more about historical approaches used by ACM and by historians generally in relation to computers and society. I also believe that this work could help inform my work on the ACM Task Force on Social Responsibility. I’m new to the historian role but I would be happy to give a presentation on a variety of other topics including my initial findings related to social responsibility issues based on 30+ interviews currently underway, Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility, the rise and fall of community networks, etc.

Donna Harman

Historian, ACM Special Interest Group on Information Retrieval (SIGIR)

Retired Scientist Emeritus, National Institute of Standards and Technology

Starting before I retired, I became concerned about the availability of the “grey” literature in the field; the printed copies were few and rapidly disappearing. These are mostly government reports that contain the early literature of the field (such as NSF reports, etc.) and the ACM Digital Library does not want them. Nor is it reliable that the originating organization would make these digitally available at some point. So I started collecting things and contacting others for suggestions, and over the years sending three sets to be professionally scanned. Djoerd Hiemstra and a student helped get the initial set into the ACM SIGIR “museum” and this has been added to over the years, including several textbooks.

The project has involved getting suggestions of what might be useful, finding a source for the material and getting help with copyright clearance if needed. Then finding places for the scanning (I have used the same company that the ACM digital library uses), and building the metadata. Students have found it useful and I am happy to talk about it.

Most importantly, these artifacts will not be lost. While I was doing the history book, I found this museum invaluable and also similar sources that other groups in computer history have built, such as data on the early IBM machines, etc.

David Johnson

Past Chair, ACM Special Interest Group on Mobility of Systems, Users, Data, and Computing (SIGMOBILE)

Professor of Computer Science and of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Rice University

SIGMOBILE will soon be 25 years old, yet we have not adequately archived or preserved many documents from our history, particularly from our early years. In a previous project in 2002, I recovered and collected the web pages of all our past conferences from various servers onto sigmobile.org so that these conference websites can be preserved. For one of these conferences (MobiCom 1999), I even had to extract the website from archive.org, since the original server on which it had been hosted apparently had been decommissioned right after the conference.

However, many documents (paper and electronic) from our history (including conference CFPs, advance programs, other promotional material, SIGMOBILE election materials, etc.) are at risk of being lost forever. For many of these, I have personal copies (some of which I originally created). But for many others, I do not know what copies still exist, although it is likely that other people (including longtime SIGMOBILE members and former members) still have personal copies.

I plan to organize a solicitation for and collection of such documents in an attempt to preserve as much of this material as possible. This would include physical paper documents, as well as electronic copies if available, including PDF or Postscript documents and JPG or other image formats. I look forward to learning at the workshop how best to organize this collection and preservation of these documents.

Briana Morrison

Historian and Board Elected Member-At-Large, ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE)

Assistant Professor of Computer Science, University of Nebraska Omaha

In 2018, SIGCSE celebrated the 50th anniversary of its founding as an organization. As an At Large Board Member, I volunteered to write 50 blog posts, one for each year of the organization’s history, and distribute to the members during the course of the year. Little did I know at the time where that would lead me. To create the running history of the organization I solicited stories and pictures from members, reviewed all the past issues of the SIGCSE Bulletin, and scoured through proceedings of conferences. I developed a format for the posts to keep them short, readable, and enjoyable. The results can be seen at https://sigcse.org/sigcse/events/50years, where we are preserving the posts. I have received many emails from SIGCSE members indicating their enjoyment and appreciation of the posts. During this process I came to realize how much information is missing from our historical records-conference attendance, acceptance rates, and even the names of early volunteers. We are at a crucial point in time where we may soon lose the ability to ever obtain this data. I wish to become SIGCSE official historian and help to document its story for future members. I want to document a complete history of the organization in a suitable format. I am happy to share with others the process I used to document SIGCSE’s history and I look forward to learning from others.

Bonnie Mitchell

Co-Director, ACM Special Interest Group on Computer GRAPHics and Interactive Techniques (SIGGRAPH) Art Show Archives

Professor of Digital Arts, Bowling Green State University

Jan Searleman

Co-Director, ACM Special Interest Group on Computer GRAPHics and Interactive Techniques (SIGGRAPH) Art Show Archives

Adjunct Research Professor of Computer Science, Clarkson University

The goal of this project is to preserve the art works, scholarly papers and art presentations from the SIGGRAPH Art Shows, SIGGRAPH Asia Art Shows, and the ACM SIGGRAPH Digital Art Community Exhibitions from 1980 to the present.

ACM and ACM SIGGRAPH have paved the direction that digital technology and creative endeavors using technology has taken over the past 70 years. We felt it was essential to develop an innovative infrastructure and online database to enable all SIGGRAPH art-related materials to be stored online in a single accessible and searchable location. This project is being developed using open-source software: WordPress with the PODS content management framework and a MySQL database. PODS enables us to program custom relationships between data and automatically populate pages with information from search queries. Because of this approach, the infrastructure we are developing is reusable for other archives.

  • Contents to date: ​65 art show exhibitions, 3,787 people pages, 3,838 artworks and 273 writings/presentations.
  • People categories:​ artists, chairs, authors, speakers/presenters, collaborators, art reviewers, jury members, writing reviewers, committee members
  • People data:​ associated affiliation, location, short bio, personal website, and unique ID from VIAF, ISNI or the Library of Congress, and more.

Barry Lunt

Founder and current Chair, ACM Special Interest Group for Information Technology Education (SIGITE)

Program Director and Full Professor, School of Technology, Brigham Young University

I’m a founder of my SIG (SIGITE), and have been actively involved in it since its founding in 2003. Second, I’m presently serving as the Chair of SIGITE, and for 10 years before that served as the appointed Education Chair of SIGITE. Third, my research area for many years has been the permanent storage of digital data, which includes a strong interest in archival projects and in history.

The raw materials that I believe are available through my contacts in SIGITE and from my own resources include details of the founding of the SIG and its subsequent development over the years. These include member lists, interested parties, conferences, reports, studies, and many published items. These resources are all in standard formats including doc, xls, pdf, ppt, jpg, and other similar formats.

Frances Corry

2018 Fellow, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) History Committee. “’Capture it while you can.’ Revisiting SIGCOMM ‘99s Technical History of the Internet.”

Ph.D. Candidate in Communication, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, University of Southern California

Anna Loup

2018 Fellow, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) History Committee. “’Capture it while you can.’ Revisiting SIGCOMM ‘99s Technical History of the Internet.”

Ph.D. Candidate in Communication, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, University of Southern California

‘Capture it While You Can:’ Revisiting SIGCOMM 99’s Technical History of the Internet is a project that looks to a dynamic history event held at SIGCOMM’s 1999 meeting in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Organized largely by Chris Edmondson-Yurkanan, the late computer scientist, technical historian, and SIGCOMM member, this tutorial brought together 19 key players in the history of the Internet to reflect on their foundational work.

Our research will culminate in an exhibition at SIGCOMM 19 in Beijing, marking the 20th anniversary of the 1999 tutorial and the 50th anniversary of the ARPANet’s first connection. This point-of-presence will feature documents, videos, and web pages from the tutorial, along with contemporary interviews of technical players discussing the tutorial in the context of Internet history.

Primary source materials principally come from Edmondson-Yurkanan’s personal archive, maintained by her husband at his home in Austin, Texas. A January 2019 trip to Austin resulted in the assessment, organization and digitization of thousands of pages of materials related to SIGCOMM 99 and Internet history, from ARPAnet reports to personal notes about the tutorial’s organization. An earlier phase of this research recovered related materials hosted on obsolete websites once maintained by Edmondson-Yurkanan.

The SIG Heritage workshop offers the opportunity to hone our research skills and meet with like-minded scholars. We hope to not only share our research while there, honoring Chris Edmondson-Yurkanan’s dedication to historical work within ACM, but also communicate what we have learned through our active research into the history of a key event in SIG history.

Richard Nance

Advisory Committee, Computer Simulation Archive, North Carolina State University, ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Simulation (ACM SIGSIM)

Professor Emeritus, Computer Science Department, Virginia Tech

The Computer Simulation Archive was established at the North Carolina StateUniversity (NCSU) Libraries in 1998, as documented by an article in the Proceedings of the 2017 Winter Simulation Conference (WSC). The Archive’s endowment enables acquisition of materials donated by distinguished professionals in the field of computer simulation, expedited processing of acquisitions, and digitization of key documents in the history of the field.

The Archive’s centerpiece is an NSF-funded collection of videotaped oral-historyinterviews of 26 pioneers in the field. The Archive also contains collections of the papers, books, conference proceedings, professional-society newsletters, educational materials, computer hardware, etc., donated by distinguished researchers and practitioners.

A second article in the 2017 WSC Proceedings details the contents, accessibility, and ongoing development of the Archive. In a more recent, third article, Susan K. Nutter, the immediate past Senior Vice Provost and Director of the NCSU Libraries, and Gregory K. Raschke, her successor, note:

Rather than looking back into the distant past through specific perspectives and collections, the Computer Simulation Archive can be built in real-time, with the content coming directly from those who participated in its development and growth. The hybrid nature of a collection that includes print and digital files makes for broader discovery and enables users to access digital files across space and time.


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