IN NOVEMBER 2017, we launched Communications’ Regional Special Sections with goals to 1) bring all ACM members a deep, insightful window into the most exciting
trends and changes in regions around
the world, and 2) include diverse,
leading computing professionals as
contributors to the magazine.a A year
and half later, I’m happy to report
we’re halfway around the world and
Our vision is to represent the best of
computing leadership and distinctive
development for each region, and bring
a sharp focus on:
˲ Leading technical and research advances and activities;
˲ Leading and emerging industry and
˲ Innovation and shape of computing
in the region; and,
˲ Unique challenges and opportunities.
The special sections have emerged
as polychromatic windows into each
region with widely varied topics and
contributors. The China Region special section in the November 2018 issue included 13 articles, mixed short
and long, covering topics ranging
from tech role models to data markets, from quantum communication
to extreme cloud bursting, and fintech
and killer-apps for autonomous vehicles. Contributors were split across
companies and universities, with 30
of the 40 total authors never previously contributing to Communications.
The April 2019 Europe Region special
section included 14 articles covering
topics ranging from data privacy law
to Europe’s plans for ICT leadership
as well as insightful, distinctive views
a A.A. Chien. Here Comes Everybody … to
Communications. Commun. ACM (Mar. 2018).
on the central importance of infor-
matics and what constitutes responsible computing in the modern world.
Of the 28 authors, 23 had never previously contributed to Communications,
and the authors reflected a diverse
mix of corporate, government policy,
and university affiliations. The nascent India Region special section for
November 2019 is projected at 15–17
articles with nearly all of the contributors likely to have never previously
contributed to Communications.
While each workshop to kick off regional section teams has been a dynamic, diverse, and creative gathering,
the Bengaluru Workshop for the India
Region was particularly dramatic as it
included participants from Sri Lanka,
Pakistan, and India, and was held on
February 23, 2019—right in the midst
of international conflict between Pakistan and India over a terrorist attack,
aerial bombardment response, and
more! Nothing could better underscore the importance of international
scientific collaboration, computing
professionalism, and human relationships founded on mutual respect.
The Regional special sections will
circle the globe—so plans for future sec-
tions are exploring how to best cover
East Asia, Oceania, North Africa and Ara-
bia, as well as the Americas before cir-
cling back around. At current cadence,
our period will be three years (a little
slower than Verne’s Phileas Fogg!b)
These sections are thriving because
of the extraordinary creativity and enthusiasm of the Regional co-leaders and
article contributors. But we now have a
strong international team of co-chairs on
Communications’ Editorial Board: Sriram
Rajamani (Microsoft), Jakob Rehof
(Dortmund and Fraunhofer), and Haibo
Chen (SJTU and Huawei) are driving the
effort. Thanks also to David Padua, Kenjiro Taura, and Tao Xie who contribute as
members of the editorial board. If you
have a passion to join this effort, we can
always use more talent and energy! Finally, the special sections are thriving because the extraordinary efforts of Lihan
Chen, my deputy, and the stellar
Communications’ publication team, led by Diane
Crawford. Thanks to all!
The international computing profession’s importance has never been greater than in this time of growing distrust
and international tension;c there is
much to be done!
Andrew A. Chien, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Andrew A. Chien is the William Eckhardt Distinguished
Service Professor in the Department of Computer Science at
the University of Chicago, Director of the CERES Center for
Unstoppable Computing, and a Senior Scientist at Argonne
b J. Verne. Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours
(Around the World in Eighty Days), 1873.
c A.A. Chien. Open Collaboration in an Age of Distrust. Commun. ACM (Jan. 2019).
Halfway Round! Growing
the Regional Special Sections
DOI: 10.1145/3338465 Andrew A. Chien
Bengaluru Workshop participants, February 2019.