Association for Computing Machinery

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) is an international learned society for computing. It was founded in 1947, and is the world's largest scientific and educational computing society.[1] The ACM is a non-profit professional membership group,[2] with nearly 100,000 members as of 2019.[3] Its headquarters are in New York City.[4]

The ACM is an umbrella organization for academic and scholarly interests in computer science. Its motto is "Advancing Computing as a Science & Profession".

Association for Computing Machinery
"acm" in blue circle with gray rim, surrounded by blue diamond
Type501(c)(3) not-for-profit membership corporation
Headquarters2 Pennsylvania Plaza
New York City
Cherri M. Pancake


The ACM was founded in 1947 under the name Eastern Association for Computing Machinery, which was changed the following year to the Association for Computing Machinery.[5]


Two Penn Plaza site of the ACM headquarters in New York City

ACM is organized into over 171 local chapters and 37 Special Interest Groups (SIGs), through which it conducts most of its activities. Additionally, there are over 500 college and university chapters. The first student chapter was founded in 1961 at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Many of the SIGs, such as SIGGRAPH, SIGPLAN, SIGCSE and SIGCOMM, sponsor regular conferences, which have become famous as the dominant venue for presenting innovations in certain fields. The groups also publish a large number of specialized journals, magazines, and newsletters.

ACM also sponsors other computer science related events such as the worldwide ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC), and has sponsored some other events such as the chess match between Garry Kasparov and the IBM Deep Blue computer.



ACM publishes over 50 journals[6] including the prestigious[7] Journal of the ACM, and two general magazines for computer professionals, Communications of the ACM (also known as Communications or CACM) and Queue. Other publications of the ACM include:

Although Communications no longer publishes primary research, and is not considered a prestigious venue, many of the great debates and results in computing history have been published in its pages.

ACM has made almost all of its publications available to paid subscribers online at its Digital Library and also has a Guide to Computing Literature. Individual members additionally have access to Safari Books Online and Books24x7. ACM also offers insurance, online courses, and other services to its members.

In 1997, ACM Press published Wizards and Their Wonders: Portraits in Computing (ISBN 0897919602), written by Christopher Morgan, with new photographs by Louis Fabian Bachrach. The book is a collection of historic and current portrait photographs of figures from the computer industry.

Portal and Digital Library

The ACM Portal is an online service of the ACM.[10] Its core are two main sections: ACM Digital Library and the ACM Guide to Computing Literature.[11]

The ACM Digital Library is the full-text collection of all articles published by the ACM in its articles, magazines and conference proceedings. The Guide is a bibliography in computing with over one million entries.[10] The ACM Digital Library contains a comprehensive archive starting in the 1950s of the organization's journals, magazines, newsletters and conference proceedings. Online services include a forum called Ubiquity and Tech News digest. There is an extensive underlying bibliographic database containing key works of all genres from all major publishers of computing literature. This secondary database is a rich discovery service known as The ACM Guide to Computing Literature.

ACM adopted a hybrid Open Access (OA) publishing model in 2013. Authors who do not choose to pay the OA fee must grant ACM publishing rights by either a copyright transfer agreement or a publishing license agreement.[12]

ACM was a "green" publisher before the term was invented. Authors may post documents on their own websites and in their institutional repositories with a link back to the ACM Digital Library's permanently maintained Version of Record.

All metadata in the Digital Library is open to the world, including abstracts, linked references and citing works, citation and usage statistics, as well as all functionality and services. Other than the free articles, the full-texts are accessed by subscription.

There is also a mounting challenge to the ACM's publication practices coming from the open access movement. Some authors see a centralized peer–review process as less relevant and publish on their home pages or on unreviewed sites like arXiv. Other organizations have sprung up which do their peer review entirely free and online, such as Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research (JAIR), Journal of Machine Learning Research (JMLR) and the Journal of Research and Practice in Information Technology.

Membership grades

In addition to student and regular members, ACM has several advanced membership grades to recognize those with multiple years of membership and "demonstrated performance that sets them apart from their peers".[13]

The number of Fellows, Distinguished Members, and Senior Members cannot exceed 1%, 10%, and 25% of the total number of professional members, respectively.[14]


The ACM Fellows Program was established by Council of the Association for Computing Machinery 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." There are 1163 Fellows as of 2019[15] out of about 100,000 members.

Distinguished Members

In 2006, ACM began recognizing two additional membership grades, one which was called Distinguished Members. Distinguished Members (Distinguished Engineers, Distinguished Scientists, and Distinguished Educators) have at least 15 years of professional experience and 5 years of continuous ACM membership and "have made a significant impact on the computing field". Note that in 2006 when the Distinguished Members first came out, one of the three levels was called "Distinguished Member" and was changed about two years later to "Distinguished Educator". Those who already had the Distinguished Member title had their titles changed to one of the other three titles.

Senior Members

Also in 2006, ACM began recognizing Senior Members. Senior Members have ten or more years of professional experience and 5 years of continuous ACM membership.

Distinguished Speakers

While not technically a membership grade, the ACM recognizes distinguished speakers on topics in computer science. A distinguished speaker is appointed for a three-year period. There are usually about 125 current distinguished speakers. The ACM website describes these people as 'Renowned International Thought Leaders'.[16] The distinguished speaker program is overseen by a committee [17]

Norman E. Gibbs served as the president of the ACM.


ACM has three kinds of chapters: Special Interest Groups,[18] Professional Chapters, and Student Chapters.[19]

As of 2011, ACM has professional & SIG Chapters in 56 countries.[20]

As of 2014, there exist ACM student chapters in 41 different countries.[21]

Special Interest Groups

  • SIGACCESS: Accessible Computing
  • SIGACT: Algorithms and Computation Theory
  • SIGAda: Ada Programming Language
  • SIGAI: Artificial Intelligence
  • SIGAPP: Applied Computing
  • SIGARCH: Computer Architecture
  • SIGBED: Embedded Systems
  • SIGBio: Bioinformatics
  • SIGCAS: Computers and Society
  • SIGCHI: Computer–Human Interaction
  • SIGCOMM: Data Communication
  • SIGCSE: Computer Science Education
  • SIGDA: Design Automation
  • SIGDOC: Design of Communication
  • SIGecom: Electronic Commerce
  • SIGEVO: Genetic and Evolutionary Computation
  • SIGGRAPH: Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques
  • SIGHPC: High Performance Computing
  • SIGIR: Information Retrieval
  • SIGITE: Information Technology Education
  • SIGKDD: Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining
  • SIGLOG: Logic and Computation[22]
  • SIGMETRICS: Measurement and Evaluation
  • SIGMICRO: Microarchitecture
  • SIGMIS: Management Information Systems
  • SIGMM: Multimedia
  • SIGMOBILE: Mobility of Systems, Users, Data and Computing
  • SIGMOD: Management of Data
  • SIGOPS: Operating Systems
  • SIGPLAN: Programming Languages
  • SIGSAC: Security, Audit, and Control
  • SIGSAM: Symbolic and Algebraic Manipulation
  • SIGSIM: Simulation and Modeling
  • SIGSOFT: Software Engineering
  • SIGSPATIAL: Spatial Information
  • SIGUCCS: University and College Computing Services
  • SIGWEB: Hypertext, Hypermedia, and Web


ACM and its Special Interest Groups (SIGs) sponsors numerous conferences with 170 hosted worldwide in 2017. ACM Conferences page has an up-to-date complete list while a partial list is shown below. Most of the SIGs also have an annual conference. ACM conferences are often very popular publishing venues and are therefore very competitive. For example, the 2007 SIGGRAPH conference attracted about 30000 visitors, and CIKM only accepted 15% of the long papers that were submitted in 2005.

  • MobiHoc: International Symposium on Mobile Ad Hoc Networking and Computing

The ACM is a co–presenter and founding partner of the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC) with the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology.[28]

Some conferences are hosted by ACM student branches; this includes Reflections Projections, which is hosted by UIUC ACM..[29] In addition, ACM sponsors regional conferences. Regional conferences facilitate increased opportunities for collaboration between nearby institutions and they are well attended.

For additional non-ACM conferences, see this list of computer science conferences.


The ACM presents or co–presents a number of awards for outstanding technical and professional achievements and contributions in computer science and information technology.[30][31][32]

Over 30 of ACM's Special Interest Groups also award individuals for their contributions with a few listed below.[35]


The President of ACM for 2018–2020 is Cherri M. Pancake, Professor Emeritus at Oregon State University and Director of the Northwest Alliance for Computational Science and Engineering (NACSE). She is successor of Vicki L. Hanson (2016-2018), Distinguished Professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology and Visiting Professor at the University of Dundee; Alexander L. Wolf (2014–2016), Dean of the Jack Baskin School of Engineering at the University of California, Santa Cruz; Vint Cerf (2012–2014), an American computer scientist who is recognized as one of "the fathers of the Internet"; Alain Chesnais (2010–2012), a French citizen living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where he runs his company named Visual Transitions; and Dame Wendy Hall of the University of Southampton, UK (2008–2010).[36]

ACM is led by a Council consisting of the President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Past President, SIG Governing Board Chair, Publications Board Chair, three representatives of the SIG Governing Board, and seven Members–At–Large. This institution is often referred to simply as "Council" in Communications of the ACM.


ACM has five "Boards" that make up various committees and subgroups, to help Headquarters staff maintain quality services and products. These boards are as follows:

  1. Publications Board
  2. SIG Governing Board
  3. Education Board
  4. Membership Services Board
  5. Practitioners Board

ACM Council on Women in Computing

ACM-W,[37] the ACM council on women in computing, supports, celebrates, and advocates internationally for the full engagement of women in computing. ACM–W's main programs are regional celebrations of women in computing, ACM-W chapters, and scholarships for women CS students to attend research conferences. In India and Europe these activities are overseen by ACM-W India and ACM-W Europe respectively. ACM-W collaborates with organizations such as the Anita Borg Institute, the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), and Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W).

Athena Lectures

The ACM-W gives an annual Athena Lecturer Award to honor outstanding women researchers who have made fundamental contributions to computer science.[38] This program began in 2006. Speakers are nominated by SIG officers.[39]


ACM's primary partner has been the IEEE Computer Society (IEEE-CS), which is the largest subgroup of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The IEEE focuses more on hardware and standardization issues than theoretical computer science, but there is considerable overlap with ACM's agenda. They have many joint activities including conferences, publications and awards.[41] ACM and its SIGs co-sponsor about 20 conferences each year with IEEE-CS and other parts of IEEE.[42] Eckert-Mauchly Award and Ken Kennedy Award, both major awards in computer science, are given jointly by ACM and the IEEE-CS.[43] They occasionally cooperate on projects like developing computing curricula.[44]

ACM has also jointly sponsored on events with other professional organizations like the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM).[45]

See also


  1. ^ "Indiana University Media Relations". Retrieved October 10, 2012.
  2. ^ "ACM 501(c)3 Status as a group". Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "Contact Information".
  5. ^ "ACM History". Retrieved 2018-02-06.
  6. ^ "Journals & Magazines".
  7. ^ Lowry, Paul Benjamin; Romans, Denton; Curtis, Aaron (2004). "Global Journal Prestige and Supporting Disciplines: A Scientometric Study of Information Systems Journals". Journal of the Association for Information Systems. 5 (2): 29–80. doi:10.17705/1jais.00045. SSRN 666145.
  8. ^ Wakkary, R.; Stolterman, E. (2011). "WELCOME: Our first interactions". Interactions. 18: 5. doi:10.1145/1897239.1897240.
  9. ^ "Home page". Association for Computing Machinery. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
  10. ^ a b "ACM Digital Library".
  11. ^ The University of Georgia Guide to Online Resources
  12. ^ "ACM Author Rights".
  13. ^ "ACM Senior Members–An Overview". Archived from the original on January 18, 2012. Retrieved November 24, 2010.
  14. ^ [2]
  15. ^ "List of ACM Fellows". Retrieved March 3, 2015.
  16. ^ "Homepage". ACM Distinguished Speakers. Association for Computing Machinery.
  17. ^ "ACM Speakers Committee". ACM Distinguished Speakers. Association for Computing Machinery.
  18. ^ "ACM Special Interest Groups". Archived from the original on July 27, 2010. Retrieved August 7, 2010.
  19. ^ "ACM Chapters". Retrieved August 7, 2010.
  20. ^ "Worldwide Professional Chapters". Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). Retrieved 2012-12-27.
  21. ^ "Chapters Listing by Geographic Region — Association for Computing Machinery". Retrieved 2013-10-02.
  22. ^ "ACM Special Interest Group on Logic and Computation". Retrieved 2015-01-28.
  23. ^ "Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM)".
  24. ^ "Distributed Event-Based Systems".
  25. ^ "GECCOs". ACM.
  26. ^ "Hypertext 2009".
  27. ^ "Joint Conference on Digital Library (JCDL)–Home". JCDL.
  28. ^ "Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, Largest Gathering of Women in Computing, Attracts Researchers, Industry". Retrieved June 27, 2011.
  29. ^ "ACM@UIUC". 2017. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
  30. ^ "ACM's awards recognize excellence in computer science and information technology". Retrieved 2017-04-06.
  31. ^ "List of ACM Awards". Retrieved 2017-04-06.
  32. ^ "ACM Awards". Archived from the original on May 11, 2012. Retrieved April 26, 2012.
  33. ^ "Shun Receives ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award". School of Computer Science. Carnegie Mellon University. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  34. ^ Anon (2016). "ACM Inducts Fellows". Communications of the ACM. Association for Computing Machinery. 59 (2): 24. doi:10.1145/2856228.
  35. ^ "Special Interest Group (SIG) Awards". Retrieved 2017-04-06.
  36. ^ "ACM Past Presidents". Retrieved 2014-10-12.
  37. ^ "Home".
  38. ^ "About ACM Athena Lecturer Award". Retrieved 2017-04-06.
  39. ^ "ACM-W Athena Lecturers Award Winners". ACM. Retrieved 2013-12-01.
  40. ^ "Berkeley Lab's Yelick Named "Athena Lecturer" for Contributions to Parallel Programming Languages that Improve Programmer Productivity" (PDF) (Press release). ACM. March 21, 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 3, 2013. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
  41. ^ "ACM / IEEE-CS Cooperation — Association for Computing Machinery". Archived from the original on January 1, 2017. Retrieved February 22, 2017.
  42. ^ "ACM / IEEE-CS Jointly Sponsored Conferences —Association for Computing Machinery". Archived from the original on January 1, 2017. Retrieved February 22, 2017.
  43. ^ "ACM / IEEE-CS Joint Awards — Association for Computing Machinery". Archived from the original on April 6, 2016. Retrieved February 22, 2017.
  44. ^ Joint Task Force on Computing Curricula; Association for Computing Machinery (ACM); IEEE Computer Society. "Computer Science Curricula 2013: Curriculum Guidelines for Undergraduate Degree Programs in Computer Science".
  45. ^ "SIAM: ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms (SODA17)".

External links

ACM Computers in Entertainment

ACM Computers in Entertainment was an online academic journal and magazine that featured both peer-reviewed articles as well as news content covering entertainment technology, products, services, and notable people. The editor-in-chief was Newton Lee and the journal was published from 2003 to 2018 by the Association for Computing Machinery. From 2009 to 2011, Adrian David Cheok and Masa Inakage were co-editors-in-chief together with Lee.

ACM Computing Classification System

The ACM Computing Classification System (CCS) is a subject classification system for computing devised by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). The system is comparable to the Mathematics Subject Classification (MSC) in scope, aims, and structure, being used by the various ACM journals to organise subjects by area.

ACM Computing Surveys

ACM Computing Surveys (CSUR) is a peer reviewed scientific journal published by the Association for Computing Machinery. The journal publishes survey articles and tutorials related to computer science and computing. It was founded in 1969; the first editor-in-chief was William S. Dorn.In ISI Journal Citation Reports, ACM Computing Surveys has the highest impact factor among all computer science journals. In a 2008 ranking of computer science journals, ACM Computing Surveys received the highest rank “A*”.

ACM Fellow

ACM Fellowship is an award and fellowship that recognises outstanding members of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). The title of ACM Fellow indicates excellence, as evidenced by technical, professional and leadership contributions that:

advance computing

promote the free exchange of ideas

advance the objectives of ACMAt most 1% of the ACM membership may be elected as Fellows.

ACM Queue

ACM Queue is a bimonthly computer magazine founded and published by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). The magazine was established in 2003. Steve Bourne helped found the magazine when he was president of the ACM and is chair of the editorial board. The magazine is produced by computing professionals and is intended for computing professionals. It is available only in electronic form and is available on the Internet on subscription basis. Some of the articles published in Queue are also included in ACM's monthly magazine, Communications of the ACM, in the Practitioner section.

ACM Software System Award

The ACM Software System Award is an annual award that honors people or an organization "for developing a software system that has had a lasting influence, reflected in contributions to concepts, in commercial acceptance, or both". It is awarded by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) since 1983, with a cash prize sponsored by IBM of currently $35,000.

ACM Student Research Competition

ACM Student Research Competition (abbreviated as ACM SRC or SRC) is an annual multi-tiered research presentation competition conducted by Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and Microsoft. The competition spans more than 20 major ACM conferences, hosting special poster sessions to showcase research at the undergraduate and graduate level. Selected semi-finalists add a slide presentation and compete for prizes in both undergraduate and graduate categories based on their knowledge, contribution, and quality of presentation. Those taking first place at the second-level competitions are invited to compete in the annual Grand Finals. Three top students in each category are selected as winners each year, representing approximately the top 1-2% of competing students.First-round conferences include International Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques (SIGRAPH), International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE), Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, ACM SIGPLAN Conference on Programming Language Design and Implementation, and many others.

CHI Academy

The CHI Academy is a group of researchers honored by SIGCHI, the Special Interest Group in Computer–Human Interaction of the Association for Computing Machinery. Each year, 5–8 new members are elected for having made a significant, cumulative contributions to the development of the

field of human–computer interaction and have influenced the research of others.

Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM is the monthly journal of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). It was established in 1958, with Saul Rosen as its first managing editor. It is sent to all ACM members.

Articles are intended for readers with backgrounds in all areas of computer science and information systems. The focus is on the practical implications of advances in information technology and associated management issues; ACM also publishes a variety of more theoretical journals.

The magazine straddles the boundary of a science magazine, trade magazine, and a scientific journal. While the content is subject to peer review, the articles published are often summaries of research that may also be published elsewhere. Material published must be accessible and relevant to a broad readership.From 1960 onward, CACM also published algorithms, expressed in ALGOL. The collection of algorithms later became known as the Collected Algorithms of the ACM.

Grace Murray Hopper Award

The Grace Murray Hopper Awards (named for computer pioneer RADM Grace Hopper) has been awarded by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) since 1971. The award goes to a computer professional who makes a single, significant technical or service contribution at or before age 35.

International Symposium on Memory Management

The International Symposium on Memory Management (ISMM) is an ACM SIGPLAN symposium on memory management. Before becoming a conference it was known as the International Workshop on Memory Management (IWMM).

International Symposium on Physical Design

The International Symposium on Physical Design, or ISPD is a yearly conference on the topic of electronic design automation, concentrating on algorithms for the physical design of integrated circuits. It is typically held in April of each year, in a city in the western United States. It is sponsored by the SIGDA of the Association for Computing Machinery and the IEEE Council on Electronic Design Automation (CEDA).

ISPD is purely a technical conference with no associated trade show.

Joint Conference on Digital Libraries

The Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL) is an annual international forum focusing on digital libraries and associated technical, practical, and social issues. It is jointly sponsored by the Association for Computing Machinery and the IEEE Computer Society. It was formed in 2000 by combining the ACM Digital Libraries Conference (DL) and the IEEE CS Advances in Digital Libraries (ADL) Conference. The Conferences awards the Vannevar Bush prize for best paper.

Journal of the ACM

The Journal of the ACM is a peer-reviewed scientific journal covering computer science in general, especially theoretical aspects. It is an official journal of the Association for Computing Machinery. Its current editor-in-chief is Éva Tardos (Cornell University).

The journal was established in 1954 and "computer scientists universally hold the Journal of the ACM (JACM) in high esteem".

Michael Garey

Michael Randolph Garey is a computer science researcher, and co-author (with David S. Johnson) of Computers and Intractability: A Guide to the Theory of NP-completeness. He and Johnson received the 1979 Lanchester Prize from the Operations Research Society of America for the book. Garey earned his PhD in computer science in 1970 from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He was employed by AT&T Bell Laboratories in the Mathematical Sciences Research Center from 1970 until his retirement in 1999. For his last 11 years with the organization, he served as its director. His technical specialties included discrete algorithms and computational complexity, approximation algorithms, scheduling theory, and graph theory. From 1978 until 1981 he served as Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of the Association for Computing Machinery. In 1995, Garey was inducted as a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery.

Symposium on Principles and Practice of Parallel Programming

PPoPP, the ACM SIGPLAN Symposium on Principles and Practice of Parallel Programming, is an academic conference in the field of parallel programming. PPoPP is sponsored by the Association for Computing Machinery special interest group SIGPLAN.

Symposium on Principles of Database Systems

The ACM Symposium on Principles of Database Systems (PODS) is an international research conference on database theory, and has been held yearly since 1982. It is sponsored by three Association for Computing Machinery SIGs, SIGART, SIGACT, and SIGMOD. Since 1991, PODS has been held jointly with the ACM SIGMOD Conference, a research conference on systems aspects of data management.

Urs Hölzle

Urs Hölzle (German pronunciation: [ˈʊrs ˈhœltslɛ]) is a Swiss software engineer and technology executive. He is the senior vice president of technical infrastructure and Google Fellow at Google. As Google's eighth employee and its first VP of Engineering, he has shaped much of Google's development processes and infrastructure.

Association for Computing Machinery
Special Interest Groups
Educational programs

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