Keynotes for the Capturing Hidden ACM Heritage seminar

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This page will provide the final information about the three keynote talks.


Friday morning keynote
75 years of ACM’s Heritage

Vicki Hanson, ACM CEO

Abstract: The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) was founded in 1947, so 2022 marks the 75th anniversary of this organization. Beginning as only 14 Special Interest Groups, there are now 38 active SIGs. In addition to the SIGs, organizational units such as Boards, Councils, and Committees have helped ACM develop into the organization it is today. This year of celebration has allowed ACM to focus on key milestones in computing and ACM’s contributions to computing’s history. This talk will highlight key points in the history of ACM, how these activities have intersected with changes in the computing profession, and ideas for how to further capture the hidden heritage of ACM.

Brief biography: Vicki Hanson has long history of service to ACM. Before becoming CEO in 2018, she served as ACM President (2016-2018), and previously as ACM Vice President, Secretary-Treasurer, SGB Governing Board Chair, Chair of SIGACCESS (SIG on Accessibility and Computing), and Editor-in-Chief for ACM’s Transactions on Accessible Computing. She has served in numerous conference capacities such as General Chair, Technical Program Chair, and PC member. Hanson’s research is in the area of human-centered computing and draws heavily on computer science, applied psycholinguistics, and cognitive psychology. Her long-term aim is creating information technology that is easily used and useful to all, regardless of perceptual, motor, or cognitive abilities. Hanson’s work contains a strong multi-disciplinary component and has been done in collaboration with researchers, practitioners, and industry leaders at institutions around the world. Hanson is an ACM Fellow, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, a Fellow of the British Computer Society, and was recently elected to membership in the National Academy of Engineering. She was elected to the CHI Academy in 2017 and has received the ACM SIGCHI Social Impact Award, the ACM SIGACCESS Award for Outstanding Contributions to Computing and Accessibility, the AnitaB.org Women of Vision ABIE Award for Social Impact, and the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award. In 2017, she received an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from the School of Computing at Newcastle University in England. Before becoming ACM’S CEO, Hanson was a Distinguished Professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology (2013-2018), a Professor at the University of Dundee in Scotland (2009 – 2017), and a Research Staff Member at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center (1986-2008), where she founded the Accessibility Research Group. A Psychology graduate of the University of Colorado, Hanson earned her Master of Arts and Ph.D. degrees in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Oregon.


Friday afternoon keynote
Why SIG history matters: new data on gender bias in ACM’s founding SIGs 1970–2000

Thomas Misa, University of Minnesota, Former Director of the Charles Babbage Institute

Abstract: In this talk, we motivate the need to collect internal SIG-specific records, documentation, and oral histories on women’s participation in CS research and publication. ACM SIGs varied from less than 10% women research authors to nearly 50%. Several graphs illustrate the findings, including one that benchmarks each of the dozen SIGs compared to a composite ACM. It is interesting to ponder how this work can extended, given the topic of this seminar. One extension could be to use this same mode of analysis to consider SIGs organized after 1970, such as SIGCAS, SIGMOD, and SIGMETRICS. A second extension could be to analyze these and other SIGs in years beyond 2000, although the immense numbers of research articles and research authors make this a daunting prospect. Finally, for deeper insight into the dynamics of gender bias, it could be productive to conduct complementary research into the ACM SIGs’ organizational records, conference proceedings, and oral histories of officers and members to better understanding how some SIGs were more effective at facilitating women as research authors and members of the computer science community.

Brief biography: Tom Misa is a historian specializing in the interactions of technology and modern culture. His undergraduate degree is from M.I.T. (1981) and his Ph.D. from University of Pennsylvania (1987). At the University of Minnesota (2006-18), he taught classes in History of Technology, History of Computing, Digital World, and several graduate seminars as well as served as Director of the Charles Babbage Institute. He is Past President of the Society for the History of Technology, and a former member of the ACM History Committee (2008-18, chair 2014-16).  His books include Gender Codes: Why Women Are Leaving Computing (John Wiley, 2010); Communities of Computing: Computer Science and Society in the ACM (ACM Books, 2016); and Leonardo to the Internet: Technology and Culture from the Renaissance to the Present (Johns Hopkins University, 2022, 3rd edition).


Saturday morning keynote
The Emerging Renaissance: Communiversity Science™ and HPC

Ruby Mendenhall, Associate Dean for Diversity and Democratization of Health Innovation at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Abstract: This talk will share information about the role of the Communiversity Science™ and HPC in creating a renaissance that creates new knowledge about the Black lived experience. This talk will discuss examples of  research that analyzes big data such as the Recovering Black Women’s Lost History Project. In this study, social scientists, humanities scholars and digital researchers collaborated with the goal of harnessing the power of high-performance computing to find and understand Black women’s experiences with oppression and resilience by searching two massive databases of written works with over 800,000 documents from 1740 to 2014. This project will also discuss a project that looks at millions of tweets about police killings to understand what Black Americans are currently saying about oppression and resilience. The last example to be discussed is a new study where Black and Latinx high school students and young adults serve as citizen scientists to capture current and historical information about neighborhoods using Instagram. This team is planning to develop a toolkit that can help other digital humanities projects. The team will also develop digital wellness tools to prevent and heal racial trauma.

Brief biography: Ruby Mendenhall is the Kathryn Lee Baynes Dallenbauch LAS Professor in Sociology and African American Studies. She is an Associate Dean for Diversity and Democratization of Health Innovation at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She also has appointments in Urban and Regional Planning, Gender and Women’s Studies, Women and Gender in Global Perspectives, and Social Work. She is affiliated with the Carle Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, the Cline Center for Advance Social Research, Epstein Health Law and Policy Program, Family Law and Policy Program,  and the Institute of Government and Public Affairs. She examines how living in racially segregated neighborhoods with high levels of violence affects Black mothers’ mental and physical health using surveys, interviews, crime statistics, police records, data from 911 calls, art, wearable sensors and genomic analysis. She also employs big data to recover Black women’s lost history using topic modeling and data visualization to examine over 800,000 documents from 1740 to 2014. She is the founder of the Designing Resiliency and Well-being (DRAW) Maker Lab Node at the college of medicine. She is the co-developer of Designing Spaces of Hope: Interiors and Exteriors [(DeSH(ie)], and the Community Healing and Resistance through Storytelling (C-HeARTS) frameworks. Her research examines Black mothers’ resiliency and spirituality, and how living in racially segregated neighborhoods with high levels of violence affects their mental and physical health. She is currently directing the STEM Illinois Nobel Project and co-directing the Centering Youth’s Wellness Project: Designing a Third Reconstruction and Chicago Renaissance (Youth Wellness Project).