Thursday, July 12, 2012

MemberNet India


2012: An Important Year for ACM India
from ACM India Council President P.J. Narayanan

Dear ACM Member,

In June we held our first election for officers of the ACM India Council. Each position of office bearer had one nominee, while 6 Council Members were elected from a slate of 10 excellent candidates. These 6 elected candidates along with the 4 office bearers and the past President form the new India Council from 1 July 2012. You can read more about them in this issue. Thanks to all who participated in the election!

This year there was also a special ACM celebration to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Alan Turing's birth in San Francisco, California, which some of us attended. One of the two students who received a special travel award from ACM India to attend attend reports on his experiences there.

Our Annual General Body Meeting and a joint meeting of the outgoing and incoming councils were held at Pune on June 30, 2012. The outgoing council worked hard to get ACM India to where it is today. Special mention must be made of the efforts of Mathai Joseph in this process. The new council consists of a bunch of enthusiastic individuals. I am sure they will carry the torch forward with vigour for the comingtwo years.

Finally, we encourage all qualified ACM India members to nominate your colleagues for ACM Awards (we are proud that this year's ACM - Infosys Foundation award winner is Sanjeev Arora), Advanced Member Grades, and especially the newly established ACM India Doctoral Dissertation Award. We have achieved much in the three years since the India Council was established. We are now poised to play an active role and I am sure the new team will drive ACM India forward to make ACM relevant to the larger computing community in India. We should hope to be the voice of the Indian academic, researcher, and professional, and an active catalyst of activities in these spheres all over the country.

With best regards,

P.J. Narayanan
President, ACM India Council
P.J. Narayanan is Professor and Dean of Research and Development at IIIT, Hyderabad.


TOP STORIES
ACM India Council
Introducing Your ACM India Council Members
Awards
ACM-Infosys Foundation Award Goes to Sanjeev Arora
Call for Nominations: ACM India Doctoral Dissertation Award
Call for General ACM Award Nominations
Member Recognition
Call for ACM Senior Member, Distinguished Member, and Fellows Nominations
Distinguished Speakers Program
Featured ACM Indian Distinguished Speaker: Ashish Verma
Conferences and Events
Technology Giants Celebrate Alan Turing at ACM Centenary Event
"A Memorable Trip," by Abhisekh Sankaran, IIT Bombay Research Scholar
SecurIT 2012: First International Conference on Security of Internet of Things, August 16–19, Amrita University, Kerala
CCSEIT 2012: Second International Conference on Computational Science, Engineering and Information Technology, October 26–28, Coimbatore
GHC India 2012: Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing India, December 13–14, Bangalore
HiPC 2012: IEEE International Conference on High Performance Computing, December 18–21, Pune
Student News
ACM-W Student Scholarships for Attendance at Research Conferences
Chapters News
Outstanding ACM Chapter: PVPSIT ACM Student Chapter
Publications News
Featured ICPS Conference Proceedings: First International Conference on Wireless Technologies for Humanitarian Relief (ACWR 2011), December 18–21, 2011, Amrita University, Kerala

ACM India Council

Introducing Your ACM India Council Members


President
P. J. Narayanan is a Professor and Dean (R&D) at IIIT, Hyderabad. His research interests include Computer Vision, Graphics, and Parallel Computing. "India has about a million students and over 2 million professionals in computing. I would like to make ACM relevant and useful to students, researchers, and professionals in India."



Vice President
Srinivas Padmanabhuni is Chair of the ACM Bangalore Chapter. He is a principal research scientist and associate vice president at Infosys Labs, the research and development arm of Infosys Technologies Ltd. in Bangalore, where he supervises software engineering research. He co-authored the book Distributed Systems Security: Issues, Processes and Solutions (Wiley, 2009), and has written several refereed articles and given several invited talks in areas of software engineering and artifical intelligence. He has 4 granted patents and several in-process patents. "I visualize ACM India as a force for institutionalizing the culture of computing research in India."



Secretary
Mangala Gowri Nanda is a Senior Researcher at IBM Research - India, New Delhi, where she initially worked on Web Services and led a project on decentralized orchestration of composite web services. She is on the program committee of ACM SPLASH 2012, and is a member of ACM Special Interest Groups SIGPLAN and SIGSOFT. "I would like to form a local SIGPLAN chapter, and to increase the ACM membership by bringing greater awareness of the benefits of belonging to such a society."



Treasurer
Shekhar Sahasrabudhe has more than 30 years of IT industry experience in manufacturing, consulting, product development, security, quality, human resources, and other areas. He is currently a consultant with Persistent Systems and Regional Vice President, Maharashtra & Goa, at Computer Society of India. He is Secretary/Treasurer of the ACM Pune Chapter. "I plan to help ACM Chapters to organize many events, have better coordination and discipline regarding accounts and elections, expand the membership base, strengthen student branch activities, and start new chapters."

Council Members:
  • Sangeeta Bhattacharya, research scientist in the Parallel Computing Lab (PCL) at Intel Labs, India
  • Supratik Chakraborty, Associate Professor in the Computer Science and Engineering Department at IIT Bombay
  • Madhavan Mukund, Professor and Dean of Studies at Chennai Mathematical Institute
  • Ganesan Ramalingam, principal researcher at Microsoft Research and an ACM Distinguished Scientist
  • S. Ramesh, a Technical Fellow at the India Science Lab, Global General Motors R&D, Bangalore
  • Rajeev Rastogi, Director, Machine Learning at Amazon

Awards

ACM-Infosys Foundation Award Goes to Sanjeev Arora
Sanjeev Arora received the 2011 ACM-Infosys Foundation Award in the Computing Sciences for his innovative approaches to problem solving. He is one of the architects of the Probabilistically Checkable Proofs (PCP) theorem, which revolutionized our understanding of complexity and the approximability of NP-hard problems. The Charles Fitzmorris Professor of Computer Science at Princeton, Arora was a co-winner of both the 2001 and 2010 Gödel Prize, an award sponsored jointly by the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science (EATCS) and ACM's Special Interest Group on Algorithms and Computation Theory (SIGACT). He was named an ACM Fellow in 2008, and a co-winner of the ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award in 1995. He coauthored Computational Complexity: A Modern Approach with Boaz Barak, which has become a popular text in higher education. A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with an S.B. degree in Mathematics and Computer Science, Arora earned a Ph.D. degree in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley. He also attended the Indian Institute of Technology at Kanpur for two years before moving to the U.S.
Read more about Sanjeev Arora and the ACM-Infosys Foundation Award.
Read the ACM press release.

Call for Nominations: ACM India Doctoral Dissertation Award
The ACM India Best Doctoral Dissertation Award was established in 2011 by ACM India with approval from the ACM Awards Committee. This award recognizes the best doctoral dissertation from a degree-awarding institution based in India for each academic year, running from August 1 of one year to July 31 of the following year. Each PhD granting institution based in India can nominate 1 student for the award each year. Institutions that produce more than 10 dissertations in the relevant areas per year can nominate 2 students in each year. Submissions must be received by August 31 to qualify for consideration. Please visit the ACM India site (click on "Dissertation Award" in the top menu bar) for complete information.

Call for General ACM Award Nominations
Each year, ACM recognizes technical and professional achievements within the computing and information technology community through its celebrated Awards Program. And annually, ACM's award committees evaluate the contributions of candidates for various awards that span a spectrum of professional and technological accomplishments. You and your colleagues are invited to nominate candidates for ACM awards, including:
Awards with November 30, 2012 nomination deadlines:
  • A.M. Turing Award
  • ACM-Infosys Foundation Award in the Computing Sciences
  • ACM-AAAI Allen Newell Award
  • Software System Award
  • Grace Murray Hopper Award
  • Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award
  • Eugene L. Lawler Award for Humanitarian Contributions within Computer Science and Informatics
  • Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award
  • Distinguished Service Award
  • Outstanding Contribution to ACM Award
Other Award nomination deadlines:
  • ACM-IEEE CS Eckert-Mauchly Award: March 30, 2013
Please take a moment to consider those individuals in your community who may be suitable for nomination. Refer to http://www.acm.org/nominations for nomination guidelines and the complete listing of Award Subcommittee Chairs and Members.


Member Recognition

Call for ACM Senior Member, Distinguished Member, and Fellows Nominations
The Senior Member Grade recognizes those ACM members with professional experience and continuous Professional Membership who have demonstrated performance that sets them apart from their peers. Please consider nominating an ACM member in your community who you feel merits this recognition. Nominations are accepted throughout the year; the deadline for the current cycle is September 4, 2012. Please see the nomination guide for more information.

The Distinguished Member Grade recognizes those ACM members with professional experience and continuous Professional Membership who have achieved significant accomplishments or have made a significant impact on the computing field. The deadline for nominations is August 1, 2012. Please see the nomination guide for more information.

The ACM Fellows Program was established by Council 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. The ACM Fellows serve as distinguished colleagues to whom the ACM and its members look for guidance and leadership as the world of information technology evolves. The deadline for nominations is September 5, 2012. Please see the nomination guide for more information.


Distinguished Speakers Program

Featured ACM European Distinguished Speaker: Ashish Verma
The Distinguished Speakers Program (DSP) is one of ACM's most valued outreach programs, providing universities, corporations, event and conference planners, and local ACM chapters with direct access to top technology leaders and innovators from nearly every sector of the computing industry.

This month's featured speaker is Ashish Verma. Ashish hss been a Senior Researcher at IBM Research - India, New Delhi since 1998, and manages the Contact Center and Speech Technologies group at the lab. At IBM Research, he was involved in various projects involving speech and text analytics, such as customer voice analytics, automatic spoken language evaluation, contact center data mining, conversational understanding, audio-visual speech recognition, and Indian language speech recognition. His areas of interest include speech processing, text processing, machine learning and contact center solutions. Ashish received his Ph.D. in Digital Speech Processing from Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi in 2006. In 1997, he received his Master of Engineering degree from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, and Bachelor of Engineering degree in 1995 from MMMEC, Gorakhpur. Ashish is a senior member of IEEE. "Being a DSP speaker is a highly enriching experience, as I learn a lot about other researchers and students around the world in addition to sharing my own work and interests," he says.

For more information on Ashish, please visit his DSP speaker information page.
Ashish Verma's Digital Library author page.


Conferences and Events

Technology Giants Celebrate Alan Turing at ACM Centenary Event
More than 30 ACM Turing Award winners joined with a host of other world-renowned computer scientists and technology pioneers at the ACM Turing Centenary Celebration on June 15 and 16, to honor and evaluate the life and legacy of Alan Turing. An audience of over 1,000 attendees gathered at the Palace Hotel to hear the leading innovators of the digital age as they celebrated Turing's wide-ranging contributions to computing, and projected how the future of today's always-on, interconnected world will unfold. Turing, known as the father of modern computing, envisioned the power of the thinking machine and opened the way for innovations that continue to change the world. His name is attached to the highest award in computer science, the ACM A.M. Turing Award.

Among the Indian delegates attending the event were past ACM India Council Co-chair Anand Deshpande; P. J. Narayanan; R.K. Shyamasundar, Senior Professor and J.C. Bose National Fellow, School of Technology & Computer Science at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research; and two students sponsored by ACM India. (A report from one of them appears below.)

Read the ACM press release.
The event, which was broadcast live, is available as a webcast.
Photos of the event are posted here.

"A Memorable Trip," by Abhisekh Sankaran,
IIT Bombay Research Scholar

I had been chosen by ACM India (along with Nitin Saurabh from Institute of Mathematical Sciences Chennai (IMSc) to attend the ACM Turing Centenary Celebration in San Francisco on 15-16 June; 11 ACM Special Interest Groups had sponsored about 75 other students from all over the world.

The event began with a brief video biography of Alan Turing from his boyhood to the dynamic young man who was to change the world forever. There were inaugural speeches by John White, CEO of ACM, and Vint Cerf, the 2004 Turing Award winner and incoming ACM President. There was a live Twitter feed for people to post questions/comments that were actually discussed. I will briefly describe three sessions that I found most interesting.

Panel Discussion: Turing, the Man
All panellists (Kelly Gotlieb, Wendy Hall, Charles Bachman and William Newman with Keith van Rijsbergen as the moderator) were directly or indirectly associated with Turing. How did ACM choose to institute an award in Turing's name in the 1960s when he was not well known then? According to Gotlieb, it was the importance of artificial intelligence that brought Turing to the public eye; Dana Scott added that in the US, there was a lot of work on logic and recursive function theory then, and people like Stephen Kleene held Turing and Turing machines in high esteem. Why is Church's lambda calculus not as popular as Turing machines as a model of computation? Scott felt that Turing started from first principles (as opposed to Church's more abstract formulation) and that is what caught everyone's attention. Communications of the ACM Editor-in-Chief Moshe Vardi agreed that while lambda calculus, recursive functions and Turing machines are all equivalent, the last is the only one that really modelled the mind of the problem solver. How would computing have changed if Turing was alive? Gotlieb believes Turing would have tackled the problem of large data; van Rijsbergen believes he would have taken up quantum computation; and Leslie Valiant feels he would have continued the work on biology he had begun a few years before his death.

Panel Discussion: Human and Machine Intelligence
The panellists were Raj Reddy (the only Turing award winner from India), Ed Feigenbaum and Judea Pearl. The moderator Barbara Grosz pointed out that Turing not only raised the philosophical question of "Can machines think?" but also replaced it with an operational one, namely "Can a machine play the Imitation Game (the Turing Test) in a manner indistinguishable from a human?" Feigenbaum said that Turing strongly believed that computers could in fact "perform any task a human can carry out"; he also talked about the Knowledge vs. Search problem. Reddy said that experience (read knowledge) translates a lot of reasoning (read search) to recognition and then the latter mostly is instantaneous; Feigenbaum emphatically supported this. Finally, Pearl had the highly philosophical view that the quest to make machines think is really the result of our quest to understand ourselves.

Panel Discussion: An Algorithmic View of the Universe
The panellists were Donald Knuth, Leslie Valiant, Leonard Adleman, Richard Karp and Robert Tarjan; the session was amusingly moderated by Christos Papadimitriou. After an entertaining introduction by Papadimitriou of the luminaries, the session began with Knuth saying that in the 16th century, an algorithm was called "augrime". Valiant, Adleman and Karp emphasized how computer science has had connections with the natural sciences since its earliest days. Citing Turing's deep interest in natural phenomena, Valiant and Karp said that his balanced approach towards knowledge was why he was so successful. Both Adleman and Karp pointed out that computation is in fact ubiquitous and not just restricted to the technological gadgets that we use. Finally, Tarjan ended on a philosophical note: luck favours the prepared mind, and young people should follow their hearts, read well, and challenge and question what they read. As I headed for the airport, my mind buzzed with memories of the event. I recalled one of Turing's famous quotes: "We can only see a short distance ahead, but there is plenty there that remains to be done." A great experience that I will cherish in for long time to come. Many thanks, ACM India!
(A more detailed version of this report is available at www.cse.iitb.ac.in/~abhisekh/SF-experience.pdf.)

SecurIT 2012: First International Conference on Security of Internet of Things, August 16–19, Amrita University, Kerala
SecurIT 2012 aims to bring together researchers, practitioners and "ethical hackers" for disseminating the latest advances in security and best practices in cloud computing, mobile networks and cyber-physical control systems. In addition to papers on these areas, the conference will include two contests, one for companies and one for students. PitchFest, a contest for start-ups with innovative ideas on internet of things, will feature 5-minute pitches by 25 selected companies, followed by lunch with Esther Dyson, a long-time catalyst of start-ups in information technology. SCTF, a Capture the Flag-style ethical hacking contest for students, is a strategic war-game designed to mimic real-world security challenges. The conference is organized in cooperation with SIGSAC (ACM's Special Interest Group on Security, Audit and Control), Cloud Security Alliance, and Trusted Computing Group.

CCSEIT 2012: Second International Conference on Computational Science, Engineering and Information Technology, October 26–28, Coimbatore
CCSEIT 2012 focuses on complex systems, information and computation using mathematics and engineering techniques. This conference will act as a major forum for the presentation of innovative ideas, approaches, developments, and research projects in the area of Computation theory and applications. It will also serve to facilitate the exchange of information between researchers and industry professionals to discuss the latest issues and advancement in the area of advanced computation and its applications.

GHC India 2012: Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing India, December 13–14, Bangalore
GHC India 2012 continues the series of conferences designed to bring the research and career interests of women in computing to the forefront. Presenters are leaders in their respective fields, representing industrial, academic and government communities. Leading researchers present their current work, while special sessions focus on the role of women in today's technology fields, including computer science, information technology, research and engineering. Past Grace Hopper Celebrations have resulted in collaborative proposals, networking, mentoring, and increased visibility for the contributions of women in computing. The call for participation opens this month, so check the conference website and subscribe to the newsletter to keep current on deadlines.

HiPC 2012: IEEE International Conference on High Performance Computing, December 18–21, Pune
HiPC 2012 serves as a forum to present current work by researchers from around the world as well as highlight activities in Asia in the high performance computing area. The meeting focuses on all aspects of high performance computing systems and their scientific, engineering, and commercial applications. Planned keynote speeches include: "How New Technologies and Big Data Are Expanding the Impact of Supercomputing on Science and Society" by Jay Boisseau (Texas Advanced Computing Center at University of Texas); "The Exascale Challenge" by Shekhar Borkar (Intel); and "Data Access, Management and Storage: The Road Ahead" by Peter Bramm (Parallel Scientific and Xyratex). Co-located workshops will cover Performance Engineering and Applications; Parallel Algorithms and Software for Analysis of Massive Graphs; Cloud Computing Applications; and Massive Data Analytics on Scalable Systems. Students can submit papers for the Student Research Symposium beginning August 16. HiPC is sponsored by IEEE in cooperation with ACM and other industry groups.


Student News

ACM-W Student Scholarships for Attendance at Research Conferences
The ACM Women's Council (ACM-W), with funding from Wipro Technologies, provides support for women undergraduate or graduate students in computer science and related programs who wish to attend research conferences. The student does not have to present a paper at the conference she attends. High school students will also be considered for conference support. As of 2011, 20 ACM-W/Wipro scholarships are funded annually: 10 scholarships of up to $600 will be awarded for intra-continental conference travel, and 10 scholarships of up to $1,200 will be awarded for intercontinental conference travel. ACM-W encourages the student's home department to match the scholarship award and recognize the student's achievement locally within her department. In addition, if the award is for attendance at one of several ACM special interest group conferences (SIGACCESS, SIGACT, SIGARCH, SIGCOMM, SIGCSE, SIGDA, SIGECOM, SIGSOFT, SIGGRAPH, SIGITE, SIGOPS, and SIGPLAN), the SIG will provide complementary conference registration and a mentor during the conference. Applications are evaluated in six groups each year, in order to distribute awards across a range of conferences. For application form, notification dates and more information, please visit the scholarships page.


Chapters News

Outstanding ACM Chapter: PVPSIT ACM Student Chapter
The PVP Siddhartha Institute of Technology Vijayawada (PVPSIT) ACM Student Chapter supports students aspiring to careers in technology with activities such as a career orientation workshop, training in Adobe Photoshop, a workshop on Cyber Security and Malware Analysis, and an Android workshop, all of which took place in the past academic year. A logo design contest for the chapter website is currently under way. You can view photos of some of these activities, and of the chapter's inauguration (January 6, 2012) in the Gallery.
ACM Student Chapters in India
ACM Professional Chapters in India


Publications News

Featured ICPS Conference Proceedings: First International Conference on Wireless Technologies for Humanitarian Relief (ACWR 2011), December 18–21, 2011, Amrita University, Kerala
ICPS is ACM's International Conference Proceedings Series, which enables conferences and workshops to publish their proceedings in ACM's Digital Library, providing maximum dissemination of the material through electronic channels. In this issue we are featuring the Proceedings of the First International Conference on Wireless Technologies for Humanitarian Relief. The conference reflected a broad range of research interests that target cutting-edge topics vital to focusing wireless technologies on humanitarian relief issues. There were over 300 paper submissions from Indian and international authors (58 submitted by researchers from countries such as Australia, China, Costa Rica, Germany, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States), out of which 65 papers (32 international) were accepted for presentation at the conference. The accepted papers were presented in 21 paper sessions over three days, organized into these broad topics: WSN architectures, wireless security, wireless communications, context aware systems, energy optimization, robotics, performance, vehicular networks, data management, 4G, humanitarian relief, localization, earthquake monitoring, body area networks, disaster monitoring, radar communication technology, community networks, wireless telemedicine, mobile adhoc networks, and emergency response.
See the full list of conferences in the ACM ICPS Series.