SIGCSE: Now and Moving Forward
differences. A representational Board, with the entire Board up
for election every three years, is therefore crucial to the health
of the organization.
Effective communication among the Board, volunteers, and
other members is an important way to leverage the strengths
that each group brings to SIGCSE. Currently the SIGCSE
Board holds a business meeting at the Symposium, minutes
of each Board meeting are published on the SIGCSE web site,
and the SIGCSE chair writes a quarterly article that appears in
ACM Inroads. Volunteer leaders also meet with the SIGCSE
Board during its meeting at the Symposium. But each of these
communication methods is limited in significant ways. Finding
new ways to engage each group with each other is crucial to
ensuring that SIGCSE can adapt to the changes it faces in the
next half century.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
As mentioned previously, what SIGCSE offers is accomplished
primarily through its volunteers. To grow its services and meet
the needs of its diverse membership, SIGCSE must continue to
grow its volunteer-base not only in terms of numbers, but also
in geographic locale, education community, interests, etc. Be a
part of the next 50 years of growth. Volunteer! Get involved!
1. Computer Science Education Editorial Board; http://www.tandfonline.com/action/
journalInformation?show=editorialBoard&journalCode=ncse20. Accessed 2018 June 4.
2. History of Computing; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_computing.
Accessed 2018 June 4.
3. History of Programming Languages; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_
programming_languages. Accessed 2018 June 4.
4. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Assessing and
Responding to the Growth of Computer Science Undergraduate Enrollments. (The
National Academies Press, Washington, DC, 2017); https://doi.org/10.17226/24926.
5. Purdue University, Department of Computer Science. History of the Department;
https://www.cs.purdue.edu/history/. Accessed 2018 June 4.
6. SIGCSE Board; http://sigcse.org/sigcse/about/board. Accessed 2018 June 4.
7. SIGCSE local chapters; http://sigcse.org/sigcse/programs/local-chapters. Accessed
2018 June 4.
8. SIGCSE web site; http://sigcse.org/sigcse/. Accessed 2018 June 4.
9. Transactions on Computing Education Editorial Board; https://toce.acm.org/
editorial.cfm. Accessed 2018 June 4.
10. Walker, E., Settle, A., and Zilora, S. News from the SIGs, ACM Inroads, 8, 2 (2017), 6–8.
School of Computing
Chicago, IL USA
Renée A. McCauley
Department of Computer Science
College of Charleston
Charleston, SC USA
DOI: 10.1145/3230687 ©ACM 2153-2184/18/12
percent increase seen in overall bachelor degree production
during the same period [ 4]. Some institutions have seen even
more dramatic growth, for example, a 300% increase in computer science majors at PhD-granting institutions in the United
States and Canada [ 4].
Growth in opportunities for school-age children to learn
about computer science has occurred in recent years through
the efforts of many international organizations. Computer science is mandated for children in several countries around the
world, including the United Kingdom and Finland. The importance of computer science education for school-age children
has also been recognized by many countries, several of which
do not yet require it of all students, including the United States,
Australia, and New Zealand, among many others.
The growth of educational opportunities throughout all levels of education has resulted in increased demand for SIGCSE
conferences, both in terms of submissions and attendance. Two
of the three SIGCSE conferences have reached record attendance and submission levels in the past two years. The record
submissions have generally resulted in more competitive acceptance rates, which is productive for those wishing to use such
publications for promotion and evaluation purposes. However,
it restricts the number of people able to publish in such venues.
Finding new outlets for scholarship in computer science education is therefore crucial. As mentioned previously, it is a positive development that SIGCSE members make up the editorial
staff at the two leading computer science education journals,
ACM Transactions on Computing Education and the Computer Science Education journal [ 1, 9]. Yet, conferences remain crucial outlets for computer science education publications, and as
mentioned above the SIGCSE Board hopes that the development of a fourth conference will improve the situation.
As mentioned previously, SIGCSE is a volunteer-organization
and one of its strengths is the number and diversity of its volunteer base. Volunteers run conferences, review papers and grant
applications, and facilitate access to the information shared by
SIGCSE members across the globe. As a result, these volunteers have knowledge of what is working well within the organization’s services and what could be improved.
Changes suggested by volunteers are typically well integrated into the structure of SIGCSE events and programs. But
they can also impact a large organization in unforeseen ways,
which is why an elected SIGCSE Board remains important. The
volunteers serving on the SIGCSE Board have typically been
serving the organization for many years, often as conference
organizers or in other leadership roles in the SIG. As a part of
their service on the Board, they are privy to information necessary to understand the broader impact of each conference,
event, and program offered by the SIG, as well as how the SIG
fits with relation to other SIGs and ACM. For the Board to be
effective, board members need to understand the entirety of the
SIGCSE membership, including geographic and institutional