by Justin Solomon, Managing Editor
Welcome to the latest issue of ACM Crossroads. We have pre-
pared another exciting set of articles revealing the depth and
breadth of research led by computer science students and
professionals over a wide span of applications and interests.
Before giving you a quick preview of this issue’s contents, I first
would like to extend a warm welcome to the latest group of associate
editors to join the ACM Crossroads staff as of our next issue:
• Malay Bhattacharyya, Indian Statistical Institute
• Aris Gkoulalas-Divanis, University of Thessaly
• Ryan K.L. Ko, Nanyang Technological University
• Sumit Narayan, University of Connecticut
• Anna Ritchie, University of Cambridge
We continue to welcome applications for volunteer staff members to contribute to Crossroads as associate editors, copy editors, and web editors.
More importantly, however, we encourage you to continue submitting content for future issues. All of the articles that you see in this and
other issues of Crossroads come from our readers. If you have completed
research in computer science, have an opinion that you want to express
through an editorial, or can teach a computer-related skill through a
tutorial or other column, Crossroads can be a great opportunity to share
your ideas with a community of students, professors, hobbyists, and
professionals. Check our website, at http://www.acm.org/crossroads, for
details on how to apply for staff positions or submit articles.
Returning to the contents of this issue, we are excited to present
three new articles that certainly reveal the breadth of interests shared
by our readership. First, in his article entitled “HCI and Theology:
Chalk and Cheese?,” Steve Clough discusses the links he finds
between the fields of human-computer interaction and theology.
Clough’s observations from his study of religion provide valuable
insight into how we can design more effective user interfaces for
computer applications. This article reveals the huge range of new
ideas that can be discovered from truly interdisciplinary research
combining computer science with not just mathematics or other sciences but also the humanities and other far-reaching disciplines.
Next, Crossroads associate editor Daniel Goldberg presents his research in an article entitled “State Considerations in Distributed Systems.” Goldberg’s paper explores the advantages and disadvantages of the
soft state and leasing state management protocols for use in distributed
computing. The choice of which protocol to use can make a large difference in the overall behavior and performance of a distributed system.
Finally, Amit Sawant of NetApp and Christopher Healey, Dongfeng
Chen, and Rada Chirkova of North Carolina State University explain
how they designed a system for visualizing purchase data from
Amazon.com in their article “AmazonViz: Visualizing Amazon.com
Purchase Orders.” Their visualizations, several samples of which are
provided in the article, allow viewers quickly to make fairly sophisticated conclusions about the data without having to process tables of
numbers. As computers become
more efficient, techniques for visualizing increasingly complex
information will become only
more valuable; the approach
taken by Sawant and his colleagues easily could be applied to visualizing data from other sources within and outside of e-commerce.
We also continue to bring you some content from the ACM
Crossroads archives. In particular, Caio Camargo’s article entitled
“Modding: Changing the Game, Changing the Industry” reveals how
efforts by gamers to modify the games they play actually can have an
effect on the gaming industry. Camargo’s perspective holds true now
more than ever as internet technologies enable the gaming community to become even more connected.
As usual, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have
any questions about submitting content to future issues of
Crossroads or have ideas for how we can better improve the magazine. With several new staff members and continued contributions
from our readership, we are excited to bring more relevant and interesting content in this issue and issues to come.
Justin Solomon is an undergraduate at Stanford University double
majoring in Computer Science and Mathematics. Along with his work
as the managing editor for ACM Crossroads, he participates in computer graphics research in collaboration with the Stanford Department of Computer Science and Pixar Animation Studios, competes in
programming contests, and plays cello and piano.
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