Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM is the monthly journal of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). It was established in 1958,[1] with Saul Rosen as its first managing editor. It is sent to all ACM members.[2][3] 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.[4]

From 1960 onward, CACM also published algorithms, expressed in ALGOL. The collection of algorithms later became known as the Collected Algorithms of the ACM.[5]

Communications of the ACM
Edited byAndrew A. Chien
Publication details
Publication history
Standard abbreviations
Commun. ACM

See also


  1. ^ Gotlieb, Calvin C. (1 January 2008). "A time to retrospect and prospect". Communications of the ACM. 51 (1): 26–29. Bibcode:1985CACM...28...22S. doi:10.1145/1327452.1327469. ISSN 0001-0782.
  2. ^ Alain Chesnais (2013). "ACM's Annual Report for FY12". Communications of the ACM. 56 (1): 11–15. doi:10.1145/2398356.2398362.
  3. ^ Rosen's vita at
  4. ^ "Publications". Association for Computing Machinery. Retrieved 2011-12-05.
  5. ^ Boisvert, Ronald F. (2000). "Mathematical software: past, present, and future". Mathematics and Computers in Simulation. 54 (4): 227–241. arXiv:cs/0004004. doi:10.1016/s0378-4754(00)00185-3.

External links

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.

Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility

Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR) was a global organization promoting the responsible use of computer technology. CPSR was incorporated in 1983 following discussions and organizing that began in 1981. It educated policymakers and the public on a wide range of issues. CPSR incubated numerous projects such as Privaterra, the Public Sphere Project, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, the 21st Century Project, the Civil Society Project, and the Computers, Freedom and Privacy Conference. Founded by U.S. computer scientists at Stanford University and Xerox PARC, CPSR had members in over 30 countries on six continents. CPSR was a non-profit 501.c.3 organization registered in California.

When CPSR was established, it was concerned solely about the use of computers in warfare. It was focused on the Strategic Computing Initiative, a US Defense project to use artificial intelligence in military systems, but added opposition to the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) shortly after the program was announced. The Boston chapter helped organize a debate related to the software reliability of SDI systems which drew national attention ("Software Seen as Obstacle in Developing 'Star Wars', Philip M. Boffey, (The New York Times, September 16, 1986) to these issues. Later, workplace issues, privacy, and community networks were added to CPSR's agenda.

CPSR began as a chapter-based organization and had chapters in Palo Alto, Boston, Seattle, Austin, Washington DC, Portland (Oregon) and other US locations as well as a variety of international chapters including Peru and Spain. The chapters often developed innovative projects including a slide show about the dangers of launch on warning (Boston chapter) and the Seattle Community Network (Seattle chapter).

CPSR sponsored two conferences: the Participatory Design Conferences which was held biennially and the Directions and Implications of Advanced Computing (DIAC) symposium series which was launched in 1987 in Seattle. The DIAC symposia have been convened roughly every other year since that time in conjunction with the Community Information Research Network (CIRN) annual conference. Four books (Directions and Implications of Advanced Computing; Reinventing Technology, Rediscovering Community; Community Practice in the Network Society; Shaping the Network Society; "Liberating Voices: A Pattern Language for Communication Revolution") and two special sections in the Communications of the ACM ("Social Responsibility" and "Social Computing") resulted from the DIAC symposia.

CPSR awarded the Norbert Wiener Award for Social and Professional Responsibility. Some notable recipients include David Parnas, Joseph Weizenbaum, Kristen Nygaard, Barbara Simons, Antonia Stone, Peter G. Neumann, Marc Rotenberg, Mitch Kapor, and Douglas Engelbart. The final award in 2013 went posthumously to the organisation's first executive director, Gary Chapman.The organisation was dissolved in May 2013.

Computer science

Computer science is the study of processes that interact with data and that can be represented as data in the form of programs. It enables the use of algorithms to manipulate, store, and communicate digital information. A computer scientist studies the theory of computation and the practice of designing software systems.Its fields can be divided into theoretical and practical disciplines. Computational complexity theory is highly abstract, while computer graphics emphasizes real-world applications. Programming language theory considers approaches to the description of computational processes, while computer programming itself involves the use of programming languages and complex systems. Human–computer interaction considers the challenges in making computers useful, usable, and accessible.

Considered harmful

Considered harmful is a part of a phrasal template used in the titles of at least 65 critical essays in computer science and related disciplines.

Its use in this context originated in 1968 with Edsger Dijkstra's letter "Go To Statement Considered Harmful".

Declan McCullagh

Declan McCullagh is an American entrepreneur, journalist, and software engineer.

He is the CEO and co-founder, with computer scientist Celine Bursztein, of Recent Media Inc., a startup in Silicon Valley that has built a recommendation engine and iOS and Android news app. Recent, which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning for its recommendation engine, was released to early users in June 2015.

He previously worked for Wired, CNET, CBS Interactive, and Time Inc.. His articles about technology have been published in Reason, Playboy, the Wall Street Journal, Communications of the ACM (co-authored with computer scientist Peter G. Neumann), and the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy.Previously as a journalist he specialized in computer security and privacy. He is notable, among other things, for his early involvement with the media interpretation of U.S. presidential candidate Al Gore's statement that he "took the initiative in creating the Internet".

In addition to technology, McCullagh has written approvingly of free markets and individual liberty. He began writing weekly columns for CBS News entitled Other People's Money upon CBS Corporation's acquisition of CNET Networks. In August 2009, McCullagh renamed his column to Taking Liberties, which focuses on "individual rights and liberties, including both civil and economic liberties."

Gordon Bell Prize

The Gordon Bell Prize is an award presented by the Association for Computing Machinery each year in conjunction with the SC Conference series (formerly known as the Supercomputing Conference). The prize recognizes outstanding achievement in high-performance computing applications. The main purpose is to track the progress over time of parallel computing, by acknowledging and rewarding innovation in applying high-performance computing to applications in science, engineering, and large-scale data analytics. The prize was established in 1987. A cash award of $10,000 (since 2011) accompanies the recognition, funded by Gordon Bell, a pioneer in high-performance and parallel computing.

The Prizes were preceded by a nominal prize ($100) established by Alan Karp, a numerical analyst (then of IBM) who challenged claims of MIMD performance improvements proposed in the Letters to the Editor section of the Communications of the ACM. Karp went on to be one of the first Gordon Bell Prize judges.

Individuals or teams may apply for the award by submitting a technical paper describing their work through the SC conference submissions process. Finalists present their work at that year's conference, and their submissions are included in the conference proceedings.

Jim Gray (computer scientist)

James Nicholas Gray (born 1944; disappeared 2007) was an American computer scientist who received the Turing Award in 1998 "for seminal contributions to database and transaction processing research and technical leadership in system implementation".

Keystroke-level model

In human–computer interaction, the keystroke-level model (KLM) predicts how long it will take an expert user to accomplish a routine task without errors using an interactive computer system. It was proposed by Stuart K. Card, Thomas P. Moran and Allen Newell in 1980 in the Communications of the ACM and published in their book The Psychology of Human-Computer Interaction in 1983, which is considered as a classic in the HCI field. The foundations were laid in 1974, when Card and Moran joined the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) and created a group named Applied Information-Processing Psychology Project (AIP) with Newell as a consultant aiming to create an applied psychology of human-computer interaction. The keystroke-level model is still relevant today, which is shown by the recent research about mobile phones and touchscreens (see Adaptions).

Klaus Samelson

Klaus Samelson (December 21, 1918 – May 25, 1980) was a German mathematician, physicist, and computer pioneer in the area of programming language translation and push-pop stack algorithms for sequential formula translation on computers.

List of important publications in computer science

This is a list of important publications in computer science, organized by field.

Some reasons why a particular publication might be regarded as important:

Topic creator – A publication that created a new topic

Breakthrough – A publication that changed scientific knowledge significantly

Influence – A publication which has significantly influenced the world or has had a massive impact on the teaching of computer science.

Ninety-ninety rule

In computer programming and software engineering, the ninety-ninety rule is a humorous aphorism that states:

The first 90 percent of the code accounts for the first 90 percent of the development time. The remaining 10 percent of the code accounts for the other 90 percent of the development time.

This adds up to 180%, in a wry allusion to the notoriety of software development projects significantly over-running their schedules (see software development effort estimation). It expresses both the rough allocation of time to easy and hard portions of a programming project and the cause of the lateness of many projects as failure to anticipate the hard parts. In other words, it takes both more time and more coding than expected to complete a project.

The rule is attributed to Tom Cargill of Bell Labs and was made popular by Jon Bentley's September 1985 "Programming Pearls" column in Communications of the ACM, in which it was titled the "Rule of Credibility".In some agile software projects, this rule also surfaces when a task is portrayed as "relatively done". This indicates a common scenario where planned work is completed but cannot be signed off, pending a single final activity which may not occur for a substantial amount of time.

Peter J. Denning

Peter James Denning (born January 6, 1942) is an American computer scientist and writer. He is best known for pioneering work in virtual memory, especially for inventing the working-set model for program behavior, which addressed thrashing in operating systems and became the reference standard for all memory management policies. He is also known for his works on principles of operating systems, operational analysis of queueing network systems, design and implementation of CSNET, the ACM digital library, codifying the great principles of computing, and most recently for the book The Innovator's Way, on innovation as a set of learnable practices.

Poul-Henning Kamp

Poul-Henning Kamp (born 1966) is a Danish computer software developer known for work on various projects. He currently resides in Slagelse, Denmark.

RISKS Digest

The RISKS Digest or Forum On Risks to the Public in Computers and Related Systems is an online periodical published since 1985 by the Committee on Computers and Public Policy of the Association for Computing Machinery. The editor is Peter G. Neumann.

It is a moderated forum concerned with the security and safety of computers, software, and technological systems. Security, and risk, here are taken broadly; RISKS is concerned not merely with so-called security holes in software, but with unintended consequences and hazards stemming from the design (or lack thereof) of automated systems. Other recurring subjects include cryptography and the effects of technically ill-considered public policies. RISKS also publishes announcements and Calls for Papers from various technical conferences, and technical book reviews (usually by Rob Slade, though occasionally by others).

Although RISKS is a forum of a computer science association, most contributions are readable and informative to anyone with an interest in the subject. It is heavily read by system administrators, and computer security managers, as well as computer scientists and engineers.

The RISKS Digest is published on a frequent but irregular schedule through the moderated Usenet newsgroup comp.risks, which exists solely to carry the Digest.

Summaries of the forum appear as columns edited by Neumann in the ACM SIGSOFT Software Engineering Notes (SEN) and the Communications of the ACM (CACM).

Saul Rosen

Saul Rosen (February 8, 1922 – June 9, 1991) was an American computer science pioneer.

He is known for designing the software of the first transistor-based computer Philco Transac S-2000, and for his work on programming language design which influenced the ALGOL language.In 1947, he was involved in establishing the Association for Computing Machinery; in particular he was the first editor of its journal Communications of the ACM.

In 1979 he co-founded the journal Annals of the History of Computing, then published by AFIPS.

Software crisis

Software crisis is a term used in the early days of computing science for the difficulty of writing useful and efficient computer programs in the required time. The software crisis was due to the rapid increases in computer power and the complexity of the problems that could not be tackled. With the increase in the complexity of the software, many software problems arose because existing methods were insufficient.

The term "software crisis" was coined by some attendees at the first NATO Software Engineering Conference in 1968 at Garmisch, Germany. Edsger Dijkstra's 1972 ACM Turing Award Lecture makes reference to this same problem:

The major cause of the software crisis is that the machines have become several orders of magnitude more powerful! To put it quite bluntly: as long as there were no machines, programming was no problem at all; when we had a few weak computers, programming became a mild problem, and now we have gigantic computers, programming has become an equally gigantic problem.

The causes of the software crisis were linked to the overall complexity of hardware and the software development process. The crisis manifested itself in several ways:

Projects running over-budget

Projects running over-time

Software was very inefficient

Software was of low quality

Software often did not meet requirements

Projects were unmanageable and code difficult to maintain

Software was never deliveredThe main cause is that improvements in computing power had outpaced the ability of programmers to effectively utilize those capabilities. Various processes and methodologies have been developed over the last few decades to improve software quality management such as procedural programming and object-oriented programming. However software projects that are large, complicated, poorly specified, and involve unfamiliar aspects, are still vulnerable to large, unanticipated problems.

The Complexity of Songs

"The Complexity of Songs" is a journal article published by computer scientist Donald Knuth in 1977, as an in-joke about computational complexity theory. The article capitalizes on the tendency of popular songs to devolve from long and content-rich ballads to highly repetitive texts with little or no meaningful content. The article notes that a song of length N words may be produced remembering, e.g., only O(log N) words ("space complexity" of the song).

Turing Award

The ACM A.M. Turing Award is an annual prize given by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) to an individual selected for contributions "of lasting and major technical importance to the computer field". The Turing Award is generally recognized as the highest distinction in computer science and the "Nobel Prize of computing".The award is named after Alan Turing, a British mathematician and reader in mathematics at the University of Manchester. Turing is often credited as being the key founder of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence. From 2007 to 2013, the award was accompanied by an additional prize of US $250,000, with financial support provided by Intel and Google. Since 2014, the award has been accompanied by a prize of US $1 million, with financial support provided by Google.The first recipient, in 1966, was Alan Perlis, of Carnegie Mellon University. The first female recipient was Frances E. Allen of IBM in 2006.


WikiTrust is a software product, available as a Firefox Plugin, which aimed to assist editors in detecting vandalism and dubious edits, by highlighting the "untrustworthy" text with a yellow or orange background. As of September 2017, the server is offline, but the code is still available for download, and parts of the code are being updated.

When the UCSC server was active, WikiTrust assessed the credibility of content and author reputation of wiki articles using an automated algorithm. WikiTrust provides a plug-in for servers using the MediaWiki platform, such as Wikipedia. When installed on a MediaWiki website it was designed to enable users of that website to obtain information about the author, origin, and reliability of that website's wiki text. Content that is stable, based on an analysis of article history, should be displayed in normal black-on-white type, and content that is not stable is highlighted in varying shades of yellow or orange. It was formerly available for several language versions of Wikipedia.

WikiTrust on Wikipedia was a project undertaken by the Online Collaboration Lab at the University of California, Santa Cruz, in response to a Wikipedia:Meta quality initiative sponsored by the Wikimedia Foundation. The project, discussed at Wikimania 2009, was one of a number of quality/rating tools for Wikipedia content that the Wikimedia Foundation was considering. Communications of the ACM (August 2011) had an article on it. WikiTrust is designed for English and German use via the Wiki-Watch pagedetails for Wikipedia articles, in several languages via a Firefox plugin or it can be installed in any MediaWiki configuration. By 2012, WikiTrust appeared to be an inactive project.A variant of the WikiTrust code was also used for selection of vandalism-free Revision IDs for the Wikipedia Version 0.8 offline selection. As of September 2017, this part of the code is reported to be under development again, for use in Version 0.9 and 1.0 offline collections.

Major English-language science and technology magazines
United Kingdom
United States
See also
Special Interest Groups
Educational programs

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.