December 2009 Conference Call
History Committee Conference Call, December 2, 2009, 3:30-4:20PM 3:00-4:00PM Eastern Time
Participants: Martin Campbell-Kelly, Brent Hailpern, Mary Hall, Carol Hutchins, Tom Misa, Len Shustek, Rick Snodgrass, and David S. Wise
- Turing Centennial.
Martin reported that the Advisory Committee for this centennial has been formed,
with 30-40 people on it. They've started a Facebook page, but there has been little
activity. The website is http://www.cs.swan.ac.uk/turing2012/
The British Computer Society has a Computer Conservation Society
which is the equivalent of ACM's History Committee. They are expected
to have an announcement this December.
The Society publishes a quarterly bulletin Resurrection which you will
find on the website. However, the CCS is not primarily interested in
the BCS's history, but is more generally interested in British
computer history, and particularly restoring old computers. The CCS
has close links with the London Science Museum and the recently formed
National Museum of Computing, where the restored computers are
Martin felt that January 2012 would be a good time frame to announce the
reenergized Turing Award website.
Martin will keep the HC apprised on the activities of the advisory committee
and on the CCS activities.
He also encouraged the HC to check out the Nobel website http://nobelprize.org/
before the face-to-face meeting, as a great example.
- Top Secret Rosies video financing
The HC has been approached by Jacquelyn Martino to help fund an documentary on
the original (human) computers, for $10K. (IEEE has already contributed $10K.
Note that there's also a CHM video, Someone at ACM rejected this proposal,
but it is not known who.)
We felt that this was somewhat peripheral to the HC, but that as we are the
one body that is concerned with history at ACM, we should consider it.
Here is the info on this project:
POLICY: The HC will evaluate proposals for computer history projects
if brought to the HC, but only for possible endorsement and
referral to a relevant part of ACM for funding. The HC will not
seek out such proposals.
- Bob Ashenhurst collection and future archiving policy
Bob was CACM editor from April 1983 to January 1993; his
paper holdings probably have a wealth of historical material on that
This topic is of central interest to the HC, as it concerns ACM's
history. We'll convey the sentiment that some of this material could
be of great interest to ACM. The hope is that the U Chicago archive
will highlight the ACM connection.
POLICY: If materials of possible relevance to the history of ACM become known
to the HC, it will attempt to ascertain the best recipient and will
encourage the appropriate archiving of that material, so that it is
made available to the historical scholarly community.
We discussed Tom's proposal, specifically, how to best make available to
historians the deliverable of the 10-15 page paper.
We will continue to discuss this and to work on specific topics for such a fellowship,
at the next meeting. [Tom sent out a second draft right after the meeting.]
The next conference call, which will be January 6, 2010 at 3pm EST.