by Justin Solomon, Managing Editor
In this issue of ACM Crossroads, we are pleased to present material written by the newest members of our staff of associate editors. Our editors have a variety of backgrounds and interests in Computer Science, and their articles reflect the breadth of experience both of our
staff and of the larger Crossroads readership.
Tim Spalding, the founder of popular book cataloguing and bibliophile social networking site Library Thing, took the time to speak with
Crossroads editor Anna Ritchie, of the University of Cambridge. In his
interview, Spalding explains how he made the unlikely jump from completing a major in Classics to being the owner of an online business.
His commentary provides inspiration for amateur programmers, businessmen, and book-lovers alike, showing how computing technology
can help transform hobbies and interests into profitable endeavors.
Sumit Narayan, a PhD candidate at the University of Connecticut,
presents a short history of high-performance computing in his article
entitled “Supercomputers: Past, Present, and the Future.” Over a time
period of less than fifty years, the development of supercomputers
has captured the interest of professional programmers, researchers,
and hobbyists, reflecting the rapid development of computing technology for science, business, and other applications. Narayan’s article
reveals the incredible insight of past researchers in high-performance
computing and the unexplored avenues of research that may allow us
to develop computers that can compete with the human brain.
In “A Computer Scientist’s Introductory Guide to Business Process
Management (BPM),” Ryan K.L. Ko, of Nanyang Technological University, combines insights from computer science and business to
describe the development of systems to support purchasing requests,
outsourcing, management, and other common business-related tasks.
His article introduces all the terminology, basic examples, and concepts to allow readers to navigate the literature confidently.
On the more technical side, Malay Bhattacharyya, of the Indian
Statistical Institute, describes an important class of combinatorial
optimization problems known as “Courier Problems.” Initially inspired
by the requirements of railway scheduling systems, courier problems
are of interest from both practical and theoretical standpoints.
Bhattacharyya describes several such problems as well as some algorithmic approaches to their solution.
Finally, new Crossroads associate editor Aris Gkoulalas-Divanis,
t Vanderbilt University, and his colleague Vassilios Verykios, of the
University of Thessaly, describe methods for extracting and sharing
trends within potentially sensitive data in their article, “An Overview
of Privacy Preserving Data Mining.” The methods they present allow
for the development of computer systems that extract important
facts from data sets without inadvertently revealing individual iden-tities or other private information.
Although this special issue
may be brought to you by our
editing staff, all other issues of
ACM Crossroads are composed of material contributed by our readership. We invite you to submit your latest research, ideas, and opinions as soon you are ready to share your work with students,
researchers, and practitioners of computer science worldwide. Submission instructions, as well as back issues of Crossroads and other
special features, can be found on our Web site at http://www.acm.
org/crossroads. If you are ready to submit, you can e-mail your article to our editing staff at firstname.lastname@example.org. As you can see in this
issue, we publish not only research papers, but also interviews, tutorials, opinion columns, and other special features.
Remember to keep Crossroads posted as you continue to explore
omputer science! In the meantime, best wishes for continued success
programming, finishing off problem sets, and exploring internships.
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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