memBeRs At LARGe
(7/1/12 – 6/30/16)
MARY LOU SOFFA
chair, department of computer Science
and the owen r. cheatham Professor
University of Virginia
charlottesville, Va, USa
P J NARAYANAN
Biography Mary Lou Soffa is the Chair of the Department of Computer Science
and the Owen R. Cheatham Professor of Sciences at the University of
Virginia. Prior to Virginia, she was a
Professor at the University of Pittsburgh and also served as the Graduate Dean in Arts and Sciences. Her
general research interests are in
programming languages/compil-ers and software engineering. Her
current focus is on resource management for multicores, program
analysis, virtual execution environments, testing, and debugging.
In 1999, Soffa was selected as
an ACM Fellow and received the
Presidential Award for Excellence
in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring. She received
the SIGPLAN Distinguished Service
Award in 2003 and SIGSOFT Distinguished Service Award in 2010.
She received the Nico Habermann
Award from the Computer Research
Association in 2006. In 2011, she
was selected for the Anita Borg
Technical Leadership Award.
Soffa has been active in ACM for
many years. She currently serves
on the Publications Board and is a
member-at-large in ACM Council.
She was the ACM SIG Board Council Representative from 2000–2002
and served as SIGPLAN Chair,
Vice-Chair and Treasurer. She also
served as member-at-large on the
SIGSOFT executive committee.
She served on the CRA Board for
10 years and currently serves on
CRA- W. She has worked to increase
the participation of women and
underrepresented minorities for
many years. She co-founded the
CRA- W Graduate Cohort Program
and the CRA- W Cohort for Associate
Professors. She has been a member
of a number of editorial boards and
has served as conference chair, program chair, and program committee member for numerous conferences in both software engineering
and programming languages.
Through the more than 20 years
that I have been involved with ACM,
it has continually evolved, always
striving to provide the services
needed by it s members as well as
welcoming new members, both in
the U. S. and internationally. I have
been, and continue to be, committed in helping ACM address both
new problems that are emerging as
well as ongoing challenges.
Interdisciplinary research and
development is a growing national
trend in science, and it very much
involves computing. With this
important direction comes challenges that I believe ACM can help
address. How do we properly educate
students? How do we evaluate it?
What type of journals and conferences are needed? These are some questions that we must start to address.
Another challenge that I would
like to help address is the troubling
lack of interest in computing shown
by students. We need to help ongoing projects that are focused on
demonstrating the excitement and
opportunities that computing offers
to them. Our science and profession
depends on a robust pipeline of students engaged in computing and we
must work toward that end.
An ongoing challenge is the lack of
gender and minority diversity in our
field in all levels. Although efforts have
been ongoing for a number of years,
there still remains much to be done.
We need to develop new strategies
and culture changes to attract diverse
students. I look forward to continuing
my work in this area with ACM.
Although there are many challenges
to address, we must also maintain and
enhance what is working right. Much
of success of ACM has come from the
SIGs, through their volunteers, high-quality journals and conferences and
the digital library. We have to continue to ensure that the SIGs have the
support and tools that they need to
continue their important work.
P J Narayanan is a Professor and Dean
(R&D) at the International Institute of
Information Technology, Hyderabad.
His research interests include Computer Vision, Computer Graphics,
and Parallel Computing. His Ph.D.
thesis dealt with parallel processing
for large computer vision problems.
At CMU, he developed Virtualized
Reality, the first system to capture
dynamic action in 3D using 50 cameras. He played a key role in establishing a vibrant research programme
at IIIT-H as the first Post-Graduate
Coordinator and Dean (R&D). Nvidia
recognized him as a CUDA Fellow
in 2008 for the pioneering efforts in
GPU computing. He has played a key
role in making the Indian Conference on Computer Vision, Graphics,
and Image Processing (ICVGIP) as a
high-quality conference series and
in bringing the Asian Conference on
Computer Vision to India. He has
been an Area Chair or Program Committee member of major conferences
in Computer Vision and Computer
Graphics as well as IJCAI in 2007.
Narayanan has been the Co-Chair of
ACM India Council from its inception
in 2009. He serves on several committees of DST, MCIT, and CSIR in India,
dealing with education and research.
B. Tech (1984) in CS from the IIT,
Kharagpur; MS (1989) and Ph.D.
(1992) in CS from the University of
Maryland, College Park.
˲ Associate Development Engineer,
Lipi group, CMC R&D (1984–1986)
˲ Teaching and Research Assistant in
University of Maryland (1986–1992)
˲ Research Faculty Member in Ro-
botics Institute of Carnegie Mellon
˲ Scientist D/E and Head of
Computer Vision and Virtual
Reality group of the Centre for AI &
Robotics (CAIR), DRDO, Bangalore
˲ Faculty member of IIIT, Hyderabad
Computing has touched every
aspect of human life in a short
period. Information is abundant
today, resulting in fundamental
changes in teaching, research,
and how we work. Corporations
have a truly global work force and
are critically dependent on the
Research too has become
increasingly global. Academia
will also be required to make its
teaching and research global.
Internationalization has already
taken ACM to small places in India
like Patiala and Anakapalle with its
chapters. I have been a part of this
as ACM India Co-Chair since its
inception. We have already set up an
award for the best dissertation from
India. I am satisfied with the progress so far in India. I am amazed at
the dedication and vision of the ACM
Council in expanding the role of
ACM everywhere. I think much more
can be accomplished with communities from South America, the Middle
East, and Africa, apart from India,
China, and Europe, if ACM makes
itself relevant and useful to them.
ACM can leverage its strengths
and expand its services to be more
attractive to its members. Broadcasting high-profile events like the
Turing A ward lectures, the Turing
100 celebrations, and events from
SIGGRAPH, MultiMedia, and Supercomputing, exclusively to its members will make ACM more attractive.
In the era of digital connectivity, ACM
can have Distinguished Lectures
that are delivered digitally. A periodic 2-hour slot with a Turing Award
winner or an accomplished person
exclusively for ACM chapters can
and will be very popular in countries
like India, but also to other places.
ACM’s DL is already attractive, but
can be made more so by expanding
its scope to its events and lectures.
I would like to explore such ideas
as a member of the council. I seek
your votes to make this possible.