Thursday, March 7, 2013

MemberNet India

2013: ACM India Continues to Grow
from ACM India Council President P.J. Narayanan

Dear ACM Member,

ACM India continues to see growth in our programs, chapters, activities, and outreach. In this issue you will learn about new initiatives for women, education, and local and national events organized in part by our Council and Committees. You'll get to know a Distinguished Speaker, and read some lively panel discussions on women in computing and the state of CS education in India today. I hope that you will join me in being proud of our progress (see our first Doctoral Dissertation Award winners, below—they are our future!) while committing to making a positive difference in the Indian CS world in the coming year.

With best regards,

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

ACM India Council
ACM-W India Initiatives
ACM India Education Initiatives
2012 ACM India Doctoral Dissertation Award Winners
Member Recognition
Call for ACM Senior Member, Distinguished Member, and Fellows Nominations
Distinguished Speakers Program
Featured ACM Indian Distinguished Speaker: Rudrapatna Shyamasundar
Conferences and Events
 Recent Events:
3rd Annual Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing India, December 12 - 14, 2012
ACM India Annual Event, January 23 - 25, 2013
ACM-W India Event, January 24
ACM India Faculty Summit, February 4 - 5, 2013
 Upcoming Events:
ACM-W Pune's Regional Celebrations of Women in Computing (PuCWIC 2013), April 6, 2013
ICSE 2014, Hyderabad, June 1 - 7, 2014: Call for Participation
Chapters News
Outstanding ACM Chapter: Chitkara ACM Student Chapter

ACM India Council

ACM-W India Initiatives by Sheila Anand, ACM-W India Chair
ACM-W India aims to provide social and professional support for women in computing. Our planned activities for this year include:
  • First Regional Celebration of Women in Computing in India (PuCWIC 2013), Pune, April 6. The first-of-its-kind event planned in India, it will provide a unique opportunity for collective learning, interacting with experts and peers and showcasing work-in-progress research for research scholars. Read more about this event in the Upcoming Events section of this newsletter.
  • Technical talks. Technical talks by women experts in Chennai and Hyderabad. These talks would be organized along with the local ACM Chapters as part of the chapter activities.
  • Panel Discussion. Two panel discussions: 1. "Best practices for women employees in IT organizations" is planned with HR consultants in Pune in September or October. 2. "Career path for women" is to be organized in Hyderabad.
  • Seminar. A one-day seminar on "Entrepreneurship" for women in computing in Pune in November or December.
  • Workshop. A one-to-two-day technical workshop in Chennai in September or October.
It is our hope that these activities will help to take forward the empowerment of women in computing in India.

ACM India Education Initiatives by Mathai Joseph, Chair, ACM India Education Committee
Last year ACM India set up a new Education Committee to consider how ACM can contribute to the growth of high quality computing education in India. The EC has started with three initiatives:
  • Working with schoolteachers to show students how understanding the science of computing helps in problem solving, writing programs and learning how applications are created.
  • Conducting workshops for teachers in engineering colleges to help them teach core topics in computer science more effectively and providing support material for such courses.
  • Making online courses available for use in India and encouraging Indian faculty to develop online courses suitable for use here.
Activities based on these three themes have already begun in different locations in India.


2012 ACM India Doctoral Dissertation Award Winners
ACM India is pleased to announce the first ACM India Doctoral Dissertation Award winners. Created in 2011, the 2012 award is for PhD theses that were completed in the academic years 2010–11 and 2011–12. Tata Consultancy Services is a founding sponsor of the award. The awards were given on January 25 during the ACM India event in Chennai. ACM congratulates the winners! Well done indeed! We also thank the institutions for nominating their top dissertations and the eminent members of the jury who helped us select the awards. Please check the ACM India Doctoral Dissertation nominations page via the top menu tab of the ACM India home page soon for future nomination deadlines for 2013.
  • Awardee: Ruta Mehta, IIT, Bombay
    Thesis Title: "Nash Equilibrium Computation in Various Games"
  • Honourable Mention: Srikanth Srinivasan, IMSc, Chennai
    Thesis Title: "New Directions in Arithmetic and Boolean Circuit Complexity"

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 June 3, 2013. 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, 2013. 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, 2013. Please see the nomination guide for more information.

Distinguished Speakers Program

Featured ACM European Distinguished Speaker: Rudrapatna Shyamasundar
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 Rudrapatna Shyamasundar. Rudrapatna is currently a Senior Professor at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai and JC Bose National Fellow. He was the Founder Dean of the School of Technology and Computer Science. His principle areas of research are: specification, design and verification of reactive and real-time systems, programming languages, logics of programs, formal methods, and network and information security. He has published widely and has more than 250 publications in refereed journals, conference proceedings, monographs, and several edited books, and holds several patents in the US and India. He has given several invited talks at various conferences and has guided more than 35 PhD students who occupy leading positions in academia and industry. He is currently Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Computing published by the Computer Society of India. Rudrapatna holds a BE in Electrical Engineering from University of Mysore, and and ME in Electrical Engineering and PhD in Computer Science from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. He did his post-doctoral work with Edsger Dijkstra.

Among Rudrapatna Shyamasundar's many available lectures are Multicore Programming, Ensuring Computer and Information Security, Security and Privacy in SmartGrids, and Technology as an Enabler for Education for Innovation.

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

Conferences and Events

3rd Annual Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing India, Bangalore, December 12 - 14, 2012
GHC India 2012 was well attended with over 800 participants. Speaking at the inaugural session, ACM India Council President P.J. Narayanan and ACM-W India Chair Sheila Anand gave an overview of ACM and ACM-W and their activities in India. Other sessions included talks on Big Data, Wearable Computing, Mobile and Cloud Computing, Entrepreneurship, and more, plus opportunities for networking. The ACM exhibit booth, with information on benefits of being an ACM member, Mentornet, how to set up a student chapter, and sample copies of ACM publications such as Communications of the ACM, had many visitors, both students and professionals. The delegates were very happy to know about the one-year free ACM membership which was included with their GHCI delegate fee.
View photos and videos from the conference.

ACM India Annual Event, Chennai, January 23 - 25, 2013
Since 2010, ACM India has organized an annual flagship event in January to discuss trends in science and technology, and to celebrate ACM's spirit and India's accomplishments in computing. This event is attended by ACM Turing Award recipients, ACM office bearers, researchers and IT professionals. This year's event featured Google Vice President and ACM President Vint Cerf, who gave a keynote address on Computer Science in the 21st Century; an invited lecture by Manindra Agrawal of IIT Kanpur on Polynomials from a Computational Perspective; 2007 ACM Turing Award recipient Joseph Sifakis delivering a keynote lecture on A System-centric Vision for Computing; and Sriram Rajamani of Microsoft Research, Bangalore speaking on Automating Program Verification: The Search for Abstractions Using Counter-examples.

ACM-W India Event, January 24 by Sheila Anand, ACM-W India Chair
The ACM-W India event was held as part of the ACM India Annual Event with a focus on Women in Computing. The event provided an opportunity for young students and professionals to listen to, interact with, and be motivated by leading women professionals across the world. Stimulating lectures on technical topics from experts in the field were featured, followed by an engaging panel discussion on the success of women in IT in India. About 120 delegates had registered for the event in advance and with many spot registrations the attendees topped 150. ACM-W India Chair Sheila Anand opened the program, asking participants to spend the day pondering what women can bring to the IT sector and to envision a future where women would play a leadership role in the development of technology. Valerie Barr, Chair of the global ACM-W, could not be present but shared her her views and thoughts through a video talk on the international perspectives, strategies and programs designed to support ACM-W mission to celebrate and advocate for women in computing. ACM-W Europe Chair Reyyan Ayfer spoke about future plans and activities for women in computing in Europe.

Former ACM President Dame Wendy Hall delivered the inaugural address, about the aspirations and the challenges faced by women professionals in their workplace and the importance of mentoring. Sophie Vandebroek, Xerox's Chief Technology Officer and President of the Xerox Innovation Group, in her keynote address spoke of Xerox's heritage of innovation and how it continues to flourish through a mission focused on pioneering high-impact technologies and services. The technical talk, "Designing Optimal Classifier Ensembles" by Krithika Venkataramani, Professor, IIT Kanpur, focused on the design of multi-classifier ensemble to provide greater accuracy and improvement in classification.

The panel discussion, moderated by Akila Krishnakumar, President of Global Solution Centres and Head of SunGard India, highlighted the positives of career growth and the opportunities for women to assume leadership positions in the IT Industry and create a sustainable workplace for all women. Saundarya Rajesh, Founder-President of AVTAR, spoke about the option for women professionals to have a second career, where women have given up their careers midway in response to a work-life balancing need. Rashmi Mohan, Senior Engineering Manager at Yahoo! Labs in Bangalore, spoke about helping career women stay engaged in their workplaces via applied research-based solutions. Anupama Ambe, Director of Strategic Outsourcing Delivery, IBM India, cautioned women about not getting typecast into specific roles in the Industry. Gayathri Parsarathy, Senior Partner at Accenture, India agreed, saying that women should also be willing and groom themselves to take on key roles at all levels in management and technical cadres. Meenakshi D'Souza, Professor, IIIT, Bangalore, brought the discussion into an exploration of careers for women in the education Industry, adding that, in her experience, women of today's generation are willing to look at variety in their technology career choices and are volunteering to try out other opportunities and new arenas.

ACM India Faculty Summit, February 4 - 5, 2013 by Srinivas Padmanabhuni, Vice President, ACM India Council
"Scaling up Research and Innovation in Indian Institutions," the Faculty Summit held by ACM India in cooperation with Microsoft Research India, focused on six areas: scaling PhD numbers and research numbers; industry involvement in research; evangelization of the research message; societal applications with local context of the research; issues facing young CS researchers in India; and issues of higher education including quality and effect of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). ACM India Council President P. J. Narayanan and P. Anandan of Microsoft Research India began the event with Narayanan stressing the need for working toward an ambitious plan to scale the current CS PhD numbers by a factor of 10 without compromise on quality, while Anandan highlighted his personal experience in building a world class research lab (Microsoft Research) in India. Microsoft Research Vice President Tony Hey presented a powerful talk on diverse contemporary research topics, namely the need for research to address societal challenges; data science to address large data generated from genomics, sensors, etc.; effective ways of engaging and transacting in the new "digital" world; and challenges in education created by the success of MOOCs.

Shashi Tharoor, Minister of State for Human Resources and Development in Union Government of India, highlighted the urgent need to scale up PhD s in computer science in India and address shortage of faculty in CS, and how the government is addressing these issues. Another discussion, on key issues faced by young computer science faculty and researchers moderated by Pankaj Jalote, IIIT Delhi and Narendra Ahuja of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, (US) and ITRA (India), brought out several actionable items for enabling a better research environment for these groups. C. N. Krishnan highlighted the success of AU-KBC, an example of a public/private partnership model institution running at Anna University, Chennai, India.

Deep subject matter talks included computational photography, by Shree K. Nayar of Columbia University, New York, US, and uncapacitated facility costs, by Naveen Garg of IIT Delhi. A deep dive experiental talk by Sriram Rajamani of Microsoft Research India covered practical experiences with digital courseware.

A high point of the summit was a highly interactive panel on "Driving Quality in Higher Education." Participants included Rajeev Sangal, IIIT Hyderabad, Gautam Shroff, TCS Innovation Labs, Narendra Ahuja, and Pankaj Jalote, IIIT Delhi. The topics covered ranged from practical issues in MOOCs and digital courseware to the role of technology as a facilitator, problem-based learning, and ethics. Breakout discussion groups yielded tangible steps to take on scaling up PhD numbers in CS; the role of industry in enhancing the research ecosystem; expanding the research ecosystem; and societal applications.

Ultimately this event proved to be a worthwhile involvement for ACM India, acting as the voice of the Indian research community. A mission statement was discussed regarding creating an equivalent of a Computing Research Association (CRA) in India.

The Faculty Summit program committee included P. J. Narayanan and myself from ACM India, P. Anandan, M. Balakrishnan (IIT Delhi), and Pankaj Jalote (IIIT Delhi).

ACM-W Pune's Regional Celebrations of Women in Computing (PuCWIC 2013), April 6, 2013
ACM-W Pune's Regional Celebrations of Women in Computing (PuCWIC 2013) is the first regional event of its kind in India. This one-day celebration offers several intellectually enriching opportunities for women students and professionals in the field of computing, including collective learning, interacting with experts and peers and showcasing work-in-progress research for research scholars. Margaret Burnett, a professor at Oregon State University and an ACM Distinguished Speaker, will deliver the keynote address, and then Kalika Bali of Microsoft Research India will lead a plenary session. WIP research presentations, poster sessions, tutorials on Big Data and Cloud Computing, an award ceremony, and a panel discussion on "What Is keeping Indian Women Behind?" will be sure to engage participants. Registration is open to all men and women in the field of computing.

ICSE 2014, Hyderabad, June 1 - 7, 2014: Call for Participation
The International Conference on Software Engineering is the premier forum for researchers and practitioners to present and discuss the most recent innovations, trends, outcomes, experiences, and challenges in the field of software engineering. We encourage you to contribute to and help shape ICSE 2014 through submissions to one or more of our many vehicles for professional engagement: technical research papers, practice and experience papers, education papers, new ideas and emerging results papers, tutorials, workshops, the doctoral symposium, and posters and demonstrations. In addition there are Software Engineering in Practice (SEIP) and Technical Research tracks, and a Mentoring Program. For more information on these and other programs of ICSE, check the Call for Submissions and Downloads pages.

Chapters News

Outstanding ACM Chapter: Chitkara ACM Student Chapter
The Chitkara Student Chapter of the ACM was established on March 8, 2010. The goal of the chapter is to create interest among the students in computer science apart from what they learn during the coursework. The chapter organizes expert talks, industry-oriented hands-on courses, workshops, industrial visits, and quizzes and coding competitions based on C/C++. These events give students opportunities to learn about advanced research subjects. The chapter is organized and is operated exclusively for educational and scientific purposes to increase and improve the knowledge of upcoming research fields in science, design, development, languages, and management; and to promote interest in computing and its applications. Past activities included a talk on intellectual property rights; coding competitions; a hands-on course in Python; and "Innovaci'on," an event that tested students' presentation skills.
ACM Student Chapters in India
ACM Professional Chapters in India