CHANGE IS CONTINUAL. All liv- ing things are changing—con- tinual growth and renewal. A healthy bacteria colony regenerates hourly; Atlantic
cod mature in 2 to 8 years, regenerat-
ing their shoals every few years. Even
our bodies, seemingly static, create 225
billion new cells every day, replacing
our 35 trillion cells every six months.
Likewise, the Communications of the
ACM team is dynamic; a collection of
passionate leaders, making change
and creating the future CACM through
the actions, initiatives, and goals that
we—the community of contributors,
the editorial and production team, and
the ACM membership—are pursuing
today. In that vein, here are some of my
ambitions for the Future CACM.
Building on Success and Excellence.
CACM is excellent. Nearly every day, an
ACM member tells me “it’s the only publication I always read,” and CACM’s website and app provide easy access. Many
members contribute articles to CACM
as well. This is fantastic! But in 2017, the
leading computing professional society,
can and must do more.
First and foremost, we will maintain
and grow CACM’s excellence, continuing to highlight and disseminate compelling research, critical news, and incisive viewpoints. Central to this objective
is CACM’s position as a key leadership
voice of the computing community.
Leveraging computing’s rise, CACM
should become a broader and more in-
fluential voice. We will expand coverage
and, as appropriate, create new features
and venues that stimulate and lead the
discourse where computing’s progress
and impact is most dramatic (for ex-
ample, artificial intelligence, Internet
of Things (Io T), and online issues from
“radicalization,” “fake news,” “cyberse-
curity,” and more). But beyond its core,
CACM has several key dimensions of
challenge and opportunity.
˲ How should CACM exploit new media to increase reach, access, and engagement? The millennial computing professionals were raised on smartphones,
many where smartphones define Internet access. How can CACM reach and
engage information “snackers” on hand-helds? CACM must be engaging, and perhaps interactive, immersive, and more.
˲ Can CACM grow an energized, interactive community, creating a new venue
for the voice of ACM members? (
Showcasing and empowering their leadership, expertise, activities, and impact.)
Our greatest unique strength is ACM
members’ deep and broad technical expertise. If CACM can give the leadership
of individual members greater voice,
ACM’s impact and global relevance will
increase around the world.
Grow the Computing Professional
Community. ACM is the leading global
society of computing professionals. Can
CACM be relevant for all computing
professionals across the globe? CACM’s
core strength today is excellence and
breadth across research, practice, and
policy; topics that reach across technology companies and academe. As “
everyone codes” and information underpins
every aspect of society, the professional
community and its needs are growing
rapidly. ACM membership should be indispensable for computing professionals working at the state of the art from
academe to the tech industry worldwide. To reach this broad and expanding community, CACM must not only
build on our successes, but also think
and engage ambitiously!
ACM’s membership today is stron-
gest in North America and Europe,
but it’s clear that sustained global
leadership must recognize the demo-
graphics of growing communities in
Asia (China, India, and more), South
America, and even the Middle East and
Africa. How will we make CACM rele-
vant in these varied settings? How can
we give members in every geography a
sense of ownership and participation?
These significant challenges surely require creative engagement of leaders
from all of these regions.
We need YOU!
These are my ambitions for CACM,
but your ambitions can shape CACM
too! Can we do more? Certainly. Are
there other critical directions? Perhaps. How can they be achieved? ACM
is a volunteer organization, so progress
depends on your inspired and creative
efforts. We need your help!
We need new members of the editorial board to drive ambitious new
agendas, but also to sustain excellence.
We need new member volunteers in
diverse geographical, technical, and
institutional settings to bring their creative perspectives, passion, and energy.
They will create new CACM elements,
and enable CACM to reach the broad-est computing community. And we also
need volunteers with vision and ambition to create a CACM that is not only
a publication, but also gives members
new venues and voice for their leadership and impact. Join us in building
the future Communications of the ACM.
Email your ideas ( firstname.lastname@example.org)!
And, of course your offers to help!
Andrew A. Chien, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Andrew A. Chien is the William Eckhardt Distinguished
Service Professor in the Department of Computer Science
at the University of Chicago, Director of the CERES Center
for Unstoppable Computing, and a Senior Scientist at
Argonne National Laboratory.
Copyright held by author.
Building the Future
Communications of the ACM
DOI: 10.1145/3121002 Andrew A. Chien