John R. White, Past ACM CEO, Past ACM President
On Fifty Years of
SIGCSE: The Beginning
SIGCSEis one of the oldest, largest, and strongest SIGs within the ACM, and epitomizes
what ACM looks for and hopes for in a Special Interest
Group. ACM gives SIGs significant autonomy to build and
serve technical communities. With that autonomy comes a
tremendous responsibility to not just declare the existence
of a technical community, but to create and oversee the
evolution of successful, high-quality technical activities for
that community. SIGs are the heart and soul of ACM.
From its founding in 1968, SIGCSE has focused on computer
science education, one of the pillars of ACM’s mission. In 1968
there were very few departments of computer science, but the
field was emerging. The first ACM curriculum in computer science, Curriculum ‘ 68 [ 1], had just been published, and SIGCSE
almost immediately began to focus on helping educators understand and implement the recommendations in Curriculum
‘ 68. Over the intervening fifty years, SIGCSE has continued to
contribute to ACM curriculum efforts, help shape ACM’s accreditation activities, and, more importantly, define and grow
what has become the world’s most significant venue for exploring all aspects of computer science education—the SIGCSE
Technical Symposium. Along the way, SIGCSE has expanded
its mission and vision to include issues related to K- 12 computing education and full inclusion and full access for all groups.
To the founders of SIGCSE who are still with us, to the volunteers who shaped the early days of SIGCSE and defined its
focus, and to the decades of SIGCSE leaders and volunteers
who followed and shaped what SIGCSE is today—“Thank You.”
Thank you for making SIGCSE such a significant part of ACM.
Thank you for shaping and improving computer science education at all levels. And thank you for contributing significantly to
making ACM the premiere society in computing.
1. ACM Curriculum Committee on Computer Science. 1968. Curriculum 68:
Recommendations for Academic Programs in Computer Science. Comm. ACM 11, 3
(Mar. 1968), 151–197.
John R. White
Past ACM CEO,
Past ACM President
DOI: 10.1145/3233228 ©2018 ACM 2153-2184/18/12
SIGs are the heart
and soul of ACM.