Thursday, July 30, 2015

MemberNet India


ACM India Looks to the Future with Expanding Programs and Outreach
from ACM India Council President Srinivas Padmanabhuni


Dear ACM India Members,

It has been a busy first half of 2015. The ACM India Annual Event in Goa again delighted attendees with inspiring talks from both US and Indian ACM luminaries. At this event, we launched an Indian Chapter of SIGCSE, the ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education. In its third year, the ACM India Doctoral Disseration Award honored two students for their outstanding research. Our roster of Eminent Speakers has grown to nearly 30. Women are driving many of the advances in computing entrepreneurship, employment and outreach in our part of the world; read about ACM-W India's activities here. We are closely studying what can be done to improve computer science education in India. Stay tuned for news of many exciting events scheduled for the fall and winter, including the ACM India Chapter Summit, October 29 at COMPUTE 2015, ABES Engineering College, Ghaziabad, and the ACM India Annual Event, January 21 - 23, 2016 in Trivandrum.

With best regards,

Srinivas Padmanabhuni
President, ACM India Council
Srinivas Padmanabhuni is Principal Research Scientist and Associate Vice President at Infosys Labs.


TOP STORIES
Eminent Speaker Program
Ten New Eminent Speakers Join Roster of Lecturers
Awards
2014 ACM India Doctoral Dissertation Award Winner: Rijurekha Sen
Nominate the Next Best ACM India Doctoral Dissertation: Nominations Due August 31
Education
Education Committee Holds Two-day Workshop on Computing Curricula
Updates to ACM Survey on PhD Production in India for Computer Science and Information Technology
Conferences and Events
  Recent Events:
ACM India Annual Event 2015, February 5 - 7, Goa
Travel Grants for Conferences
  Upcoming Events:
COMPUTE 2015, October 29 - 31, Ghaziabad
FIRE 2015, December 4 - 6, Gandhinagar
HiPC 2015, December 16 - 19, Bangalore
ACM-W News
ACM-W India Activities
Student News
ACM-W Student Scholarships for Attendance at Research Conferences
Chapters News
Welcome New ACM India Chapters

Eminent Speaker Program

Ten New Eminent Speakers Join Roster of Lecturers
The ACM India Eminent Speaker Program (ESP) was established last year to provide speakers from leading academic institutions and industry to give talks at local professional and student ACM chapters. Since December, 10 new Eminent Speakers have joined the roster: There were 30 talks by ACM Distinguished Speakers and 18 talks by ACM India Eminent Speakers during FY 2014-2015. Please visit the Guidelines for Chapters on how to host an event, and Guidelines for Speakers on what's involved in giving a talk.

Awards

2014 ACM India Doctoral Dissertation Award Winner: Rijurekha Sen

The 2014 ACM India Doctoral Dissertation Award was presented to Rujurekha Sen for her dissertation Different Sensing Modalities for Traffic Monitoring in Developing Regions, nominated by Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. Honourable Mention was presented to A. J. Sreejith of for his dissertation Regular Quantifiers in Logic, nominated by Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai. The awards were presented during the ACM India Annual Event on February 6.

Nominate the Next Best ACM India Doctoral Dissertation: Nominations Due August 31
The ACM India Doctoral Dissertation Award recognizes the best doctoral dissertation in Computer Science and Engineering 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. The award consisting of 2,00,000 Rupees is funded with generous support from Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). In case of a joint award, the award amount will be shared equally among the recipients.

Each PhD-granting institution based in India can normally nominate one student for the award. Institutions that produce more than 10 dissertations in relevant areas per year can nominate two students. Each dissertation nominated for the 2015 award must have been defended successfully between August 1, 2014 and July 31, 2015. Nominations must be received by August 31, 2015 to qualify for consideration of the 2015 award.

Winning dissertations will be published in the ACM Digital Library. Each nomination must be accompanied by an assignment to ACM by the author of exclusive publication rights, as per ACM's copyright policies. Copyright will automatically revert to an author if her/his dissertation is not selected.

Please refer to the Doctoral Dissertation Award page for complete nomination instructions.


Education

Education Committee Holds Two-day Workshop on Computing Curricula
The ACM India Education Committee conducted a two-day workshop on computing curricula in April, co-sponsored by Savitribai Phule Pune University and organized by the ACM India Pune chapter led by Abhijat Vichare. ACM Education Board chair Mehran Sahami (Stanford University) and Barbara Owens (South Western University, immediate past chair, ACM SIGCSE) gave talks, and ACM CEO John White gave an overview of international ACM activities. The main objective of the Workshop was to contrast the remarkable success seen by the Indian IT industry with the lack of similar progress in computing education in India, and to bring into focus what can be done to advance the future of computing and the meet the needs of employers. The workshop concluded with the following observations:
  1. The ACM CS2013 curriculum provides a model that can lead to a modern curriculum design; however, any new curriculum will need careful implementation and this will take time.
  2. The goals of a new curriculum should be to build the ability to think independently, to solve problems and to work collaboratively; these would be best accomplished if there was a a flexible approach to teaching and evaluation.
  3. Practices in the current education system have led to a very rigid and inflexible system that has slowly lowered educational standards.
  4. A well designed curriculum must be complemented by giving teachers far greater control over all aspects of the delivery of a course, from teaching, problem-solving and setting examination papers to final evaluation.
  5. Given the continuing shortage of good faculty, new methods need to be urgently introduced to scale up good teaching and enable it to reach a large number of students.
  6. A major improvement in teaching can be achieved by empowering teachers and providing them with video and textual resource material that they can use in their courses.
  7. Employers must not merely look for skills of short-term value to serve immediate needs but concentrate on recruiting well-educated computing graduates who might one day lead their industry. This will be a stimulus for the long-term goals of education and move the focus away from placement and towards career building.
Updates to ACM Survey on PhD Production in India for Computer Science and Information Technology
The 2013–2014 ACM India Survey on PhD Production in India for Computer Science and IT expanded the institutions surveyed, and divided them into two categories: those that have 80% or more faculty with PhDs, and others. Presumably the first category represents the more research-focused institutions, while the second category is likely to be the more teaching-focused institutions. There are 29 institutions in the first category, and 19 institutions in the second category. With this classification, research-focused institutes produced a total of 148 PhDs and other institutions produced 46. The total number of PhDs produced for the 2013–2014 academic year from all institutions was 194. For the previous study year, the number was 137, but that study had included mostly the research-focused institutions. Compared with the institutions that were included in the previous study, the number of PhDs produced increased by about 10 for the 2013–2014 academic year. Of the total PhDs produced, 59% were for male students and 41% female students. The total number of students who are enrolled is about 1,600. The estimated number of PhDs graduating will gradually increase in five years to about 260 from research-focused institutes, and a total of about 350 per year from all institutions. If we also include part-time PhD students, then the estimated number of PhD in the next five years will total about 420.


Conferences and Events

RECENT EVENTS:
ACM India Annual Event 2015, February 5 - 7, Goa
The sixth ACM India Annual Event celebrating computer science in India was hosted by the ACM Goa Professional chapter. The co-located Inter Research Institute Student Seminar (IRISS 2015) gave research scholars from Indian academic institutes an opportunity to present their work as well as a forum for 16 of the best PHD students to present their work.

Krithi Ramamritham of IIT Bombay delivered an engaging keynote address on "Smart things," and S. Srikanth of IIT Bombay also delivered a invited talk. 2013–2014 ACM-W Athena Lecturer Kathy Yelick (University of California, Berkeley) delivered a keynote on "Antisocial Parallelism: Avoiding, Hiding and Managing Communication." John Hopcroft, 1986 ACM 1986 A M Turing Award recipient, gave a keynote address on "The Future of Computer Science," which was very relevant and interesting to the large student group of attendees. ACM Fellow and 2013 Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award recipient Susan Rodger (Duke University) spoke on "Computer Science Concepts Come Alive." Susan also helped launch the ACM India chapter of the the Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE). ACM India Council vice president Madhavan Mukund (CMI Chennai) chaired a panel discussion on "Overcoming Challenges within the University System," a hotly debated topic.

Present at the event were ACM president Alexander L. Wolf, ACM Europe chair Fabrizio Gagliardi, ACM India chair Srinivas Padmanabhuni, ACM-W India chair Sheila Anand, acting director of BITS Pilani Goa Campus K. E. Raman, and ACM India CEO Shri Chandrashekar Sahasrabudhe. The event was sponsored by Oracle Academy, Google, TCS, Microsoft and Persistent.


Turing Award recipient John Hopcroft with conference attendees.

Other conferences conducted with ACM sponsorship or cooperation in 2015 included ICDCN, PerMin, CoDS, and AIR.

Travel Grants for Conferences
ACM India and the Indian Association for Research in Computing Science (IARCS) jointly offer partial travel grants to faculty, students and postdocs from India to present papers co-authored by them at premier international conferences. For more information, please visit the ACM India-IARCS Travel Grants page.

UPCOMING EVENTS:
COMPUTE 2015, October 29 - 31, Ghaziabad
The theme of COMPUTE 2015, ACM India's flagship conference, is Big Data and Analytics. Track I, Information and Knowledge Management, will cover topics relating to Data Management and Databases; Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing; Data Mining; Text mining; Information Retrieval Models; Information Retrieval Models; Semantic Web, Web 3.0, and Semantic Technologies; and more. Track II, High Performance Computing, will cover topics includuing Parallel and Distributed Algorithms/Systems; Parallel Languages and Programming Environments; Fault-Tolerant Algorithms and Systems; Cluster, Cloud, and Grid Computing; On-Demand and Ubiquitous Computing; Performance and Benchmarking Techniques; and more. High-quality submissions describing original and unpublished results are invited. Accepted submissions will be included in the ACM Digital Library. Visit the Call for Papers for information and deadlines.

FIRE 2015, December 4 - 6, Gandhinagar
Begun as a South Asian counterpart for TREC, CLEF and NTCIR, the Forum for Information Retrieval Evaluation has since evolved to meet the new challenges in multilingual information access. It has expanded to include new domains like plagiarism detection, legal information access, mixed script information retrieval, and spoken document retrieval. This year's edition of FIRE will show a marked departure from its status as an evaluation workshop for South Asian languages. While continuing its traditional evaluation activities, it will introduce a peer-reviewed conference track. We invite full and short papers from information retrieval, natural language processing and related domains. The conference proceedings will be published in the ACM Digital Library. Visit the Call for Papers for information and deadlines.

HiPC 2015, December 16 - 19, Bangalore
The IEEE International Conference on High Performance Computing (co-sponsored by ACM) serves as a forum for researchers from around the world to present their current research efforts and findings, and provides a venue for stimulating discussions and highlighting high performance computing-related activities in Asia. The conference has a history of attracting participation from reputed researchers from all over the world. In addition to two days of industry exhibits, the sponsoring conference partners hold industry symposia to bring together providers and users of HPC in a forum for presenting state-of-the-art developments in HPC platforms and technologies, for discussing best practices, and for exchanging experiences. The HiPC 2015 Student Parallel Programming Challenge will be the first parallel programming challenge for students in India and abroad. Visit the website for registration information and deadlines.


ACM-W News

ACM-W India Activities
The collaboration between ACM-W India and the Madras Management Association (MMA) has always led to interesting and engaging talks. The February 2015 talk was an example of this. Ajitha Molakalapalli of Paypal helped demystify the world of online and mobile payments, covering the history, growth, and current technologies used as well as trends in the field, relevant to India in particular with the advent of the smart phone and the multibillion-dollar opportunity for stakeholders in this domain. M.S. Ramanujam of the Institute of Mathematical Sciences helped chair the event and ACM-W India chair Sheila Anand gave the welcome address. Around 70 participants comprising industry professionals, bankers, consultants and students made for an engaged audience and a very active Q & A session.


Arati M. Dixit and Maria Chaudhary represented ACM-W India at the NYUAD Women in Computing in the Arab World Conference 2015 in May. As part of a panel devoted to "Prominent International Women in Computing Organizations and Venture Capitalists," Dixit delivered a keynote on "ACM-W and Global Women in Computing (ACM-W India and Europe)," highlighting the vision, activities and benefits of ACM and ACM-W. Her talk extended to women in computing in India with respect to education, IT workforce, research, and entrepreneurship. The statistics used in this keynote clearly showed that the number of women in India who are interested in computing has been growing steadily over the past few decades, which is not the case in many developed and developing nations. Dixit volunteered as a mentor for PhD scholars and Chaudhary volunteered to mentor IT Industry mentees at the ArabWIC Mentoring Session. The empowerment and encouragement of women in computing globally can be achieved by actively joining hands with ACM-W initiatives.


Student News

ACM-W Student Scholarships for Attendance at Research Conferences
The ACM Women's Council (ACM-W) provides support for women undergraduate or graduate students in computer science and related programs who wish to attend research conferences. This exposure to the Computer Science research world can encourage a student to continue on to the next level (Undergraduate to Graduate, Masters to Ph.D., Ph.D. to an industry or academic position). The student does not have to present a paper at the conference she attends. Students can apply an unlimited number of times; however, once a student receives an award, she is no longer eligible for future ACM-W scholarships.

The ACM-W scholarships are divided between scholarships of up to $600 for intra-continental conference travel, and scholarships of up to $1200 for intercontinental conference travel. Scholarship applications are evaluated in six groups each year, in order to distribute awards across a range of conferences.

ACM-W encourages the student's home department to match the scholarship award and recognize the student's achievement locally within their department. In addition, if the award is for attendance at one of several ACM Special Interest Group conferences (SIGACCESS, SIGACT, SIGARCH, SIGCOMM, SIGCHI, SIGCSE, SIGDA, SIGECOM, SIGEVO, SIGGRAPH, SIGHPC, SIGIR, SIGITE, SIGMM, SIGMOBILE, SIGOPS, SIGPLAN, and SIGSOFT), the SIG will provide complimentary conference registration and a mentor during the conference. The number of free registrations available varies from SIG to SIG.

The 2014-2015 scholarships are made possible by generous support from Google.

For application form, notification dates and more information, please visit the scholarships page.


Chapters News

Welcome New ACM India Chapters
ACM India welcomes these new Chapters in India that have been chartered from November 24, 2014 to July 15, 2015:

Student Chapters:
  • BML Munjal University ACM Student Chapter, Gurgaon
  • BV College of Engineering ACM-W Student Chapter, Bharati Vidyapeeth College of Engineering for Women, Pune
  • CSE-IMSEC ACM Student Chapter, IMS Engineering College, Ghaziabad
  • DYPIMCA ACM Student Chapter, Padmashree Dr. D.Y. Patil Institute of Masters of Computer Applications, Pune
  • Integral University ACM Student Chapter, Lucknow
  • Jayamukhi ACM-W Student Chapter, Warangal
  • JECRC University Jaipur ACM Student Chapter, Jaipur Engineering College and Research Centre, Jaipur
  • MESCOE ACM Student Chapter, Modern Education Society's College of Engineering, Pune
  • MMCOE ACM Student Chapter, Marathwada Mitra Mandal's College of Engineering, Pune
  • N.M.I.E.T. ACM Student Chapter, Nutan Maharashtra Institute of Engineering and Technology, Pune
  • NMAMIT ACM Student Chapter, Nitte Mahalinga Adyanthaya Memorial Institute of Technology, Udupi
  • PVPIT Pune ACM Student Chapter, Padmabhooshan Vasantdada Patil Institute of Technology, Maharashtra
  • Siksha 'O' Anusandhan University ACM Student Chapter, Bhubaneswar
  • SNU ACM Student Chapter, Shiv Nadar University, Gautam Buddha Nagar
  • Sri Aurobindo Institute of Technology ACM Student Chapter, Indore
  • Sri Aurobindo Institute of Technology ACM-W Student Chapter, Indore
  • St. Peters Engineering College ACM Student Chapter, Hyderabad
  • TCE IT ACM Student Chapter, Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Madurai
  • Tula's Institute ACM Student Chapter, Dehradun
  • Vellore Institute of Technology University, Chennai Campus ACM Student Chapter
Professional Chapters:
  • Ahmedabad ACM Chapter, School of Computer Studies Ahmedabad University, Ahmedabad
  • Gandhinagar ACM Chapter, Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology, Gandhinagar
  • IIITA ACM-W Chapter, Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad
  • iSIGCSE ACM Chapter, Persistent Systems Ltd., Pune
ACM Student Chapters in India
ACM Professional Chapters in India