have been held in 36 different cities in 22 different states and the
District of Columbia. Atlanta and St. Louis are first on the list of
most symposia hosted, tied at four. Missouri is by far the most
popular state, with seven symposia being held there.
6. 2. EXHIBITS
The exhibits have been a key part of the Symposium from early in its history. One can track the rise and fall of the components of the corporate world that support university-level
computer science education by studying the list of exhibitors.
The 1980’s and 1990’s show strong reliance on textbooks, with
as many as 24 book publishers having booths on the exhibit
floor. Gradually the industry has consolidated, and the book
exhibitors have decreased in number to about eight. At the
same time there has been an increase in the number of groups
selling software systems as IDEs, or to grade programs, or to
coach and tutor students. Also, the large computing corporations are present as exhibitors to display their systems that
support the hot areas of computing—virtual reality, artificial
intelligence, machine learning, internet of things.
6. 3. THE RECEPTION
The SIGCSE community has often been described as an extended family. At SIGCSE symposia, technical sessions are
valuable and provide many professional insights, but networking among attendees also is quite important. Often relatively
new symposium attendees focus upon formal sessions, as they
start to make contacts and get to know some members of the
community. Veteran symposium attendees may participate in
most/all plenary sessions and some technical sessions, but conversations and collaborations in the hallways and meeting areas
often are equally important.
With such an emphasis on community, meeting people, and
networking, SIGCSE symposia have included an evening reception dating back to the 1990s or before. For example, when
a SIGCSE symposium was one of several events during ACM
Computing Week in the early and mid-1990s, the ACM and
SIGCSE typically co-sponsored a reception—often near the
start of the symposium.
When the SIGCSE symposium became independent in
6. SYMPOSIUM COMPONENTS
before the deadline; 0 represents the deadline itself, - 1 des-
ignates the day before deadline, etc. The vertical axis shows
the total number of submissions received. Overall, this graph
shows that the largest number of papers for each of these
conferences arrived on the last day! [ 10, 11]
Over the years, SIGCSE Technical Symposia have evolved in
numerous ways. Each year marks experimentation with some
new ideas, refinement of past practices, adjustments due to local circumstances, responses to [unforeseen] challenges, etc.
With so many details and program elements in this ever-evolv-ing event, a complete record of every activity and practice
would fill volumes, and thus is well beyond the scope of this
“Brief History.” Instead, this section outlines selected themes
and activities that may provide insights and highlight trends
that reflect the ongoing development of this annual event.
6. 1. SYMPOSIUM FIRSTS
The following are some of the “firsts” for the Symposium, most
gleaned from the formal reports that are submitted to the SIGCSE
Board and the ACM by the Symposium chair or co-chairs.
• 1983: Severe snow complications, not in Orlando (the host
city), but along the East Coast, so previous hotel guests
could not leave
• 1984: Birds of Feather sessions
• 1989: Saturday workshops
• 1990: Symposium luncheon, email system available to
• 1991: Faculty poster session
• 1994: Demonstrations, Friday evening workshops
• 1998: Doctoral Consortium
The SIGCSE Board has committed to moving the Symposium
location around the country, giving more cities the chance to cel-
ebrate the first time that it has come to town. The fifty symposia
Figure 5: Number of Papers Submitted versus Days Before the
Over the years, SIGCSE Technical
Symposia have evolved in
numerous ways. Each year marks
experimentation with some
new ideas, refinement of past
practices, adjustments due to
local circumstances, responses to
[unforeseen] challenges, etc.