SIGSOFT Annual Report

July 2005 - June 2006

Submitted by: William G. Griswold, SIGSOFT Chair

SIGSOFT has had an excellent year. A new set of officers took their positions, with a large number of new faces coming on board. Due to the growing number of elected positions being held by Europeans, our European Liaison position was retired, and we instituted a South Asia Liaison, reassigning our Asia Liaison to focus on North Asia.

Due to the large growth in the number of conferences that we (co)sponsor and cooperate with, we also reassigned responsibility for in-cooperation conferences from our Vice Chair to the Secretary/Treasurer. We have also more clearly delineated the roles of our at-large members, namely awards, education, and digital library issues.

On the awards front, we continued to make our annual service and research awards. This year's ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished Service Award was presented to Prof. Carlo Ghezzi of Politecnico di Milano. We awarded the ACM SIGSOFT Outstanding Research Award to David Harel of The Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. The awards were announced at ICSE 2006 in Shanghai, with the presentation to Prof. Ghezzi taking place at the conference. Dr. Harel will receive his award at SIGSOFT 2006 in November 2006, and will give a keynote address. We made a number of ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished Paper awards across our sponsored conferences. We did not award the Most Influential Paper from ICSE N-10 this year, as the ICSE 2006 PC chose not to award a paper. We made several dozen awards to students for travel support to SIGSOFT-sponsored conferences, under our CAPS (Conference Attendance Program for Students). Finally, we are proud to have ACM's approval for the Frank Anger Memorial Award, a joint SIGSOFT-SIGBED student travel award in honor of the memory of Frank Anger, who served the community for many years through his work as a program director at NSF.

Our major conferences continue to be strong - in attendance, sound finances, and intellectual vibrancy. ESEC/FSE 2005 was held in Lisbon, Portugal, under the leadership team of Michel Wermelinger (general chair) and Harald Gall (program chair). ICSE 2006 was held in Shanghai, China, under the leadership team of Leon Osterweil (general chair), and Mary Lou Soffa and Dieter Rombach (program co-chairs). Holding ICSE - a multi-track event on the scale of a thousand participants - in a country with an emerging economy and high-tech industry was a major accomplishment. The event was critical to helping the global community appreciate the monumental changes that are taking place in China and throughout Asia.

SIGSOFT 2006 will be in Portland, Oregon, with Michal Young as general chair and Prem Devanbu as program chair. FSE 2007 will be joint with the European Software Engineering Conference (ESEC) in Dubrovnik, Croatia, in September 2007. Antonia Bertolino is the program chair, and Ivica Crnkovic is the general chair. SIGSOFT 2008 is planned to be held in Atlanta, Georgia in November of that year, with Mary Jean Harrold as General Chair and Gail Murphy as program Chair. ICSE 2007 will be in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with John Knight as general chair, and Wolfgang Emmerich and Gregg Rothermel as program co-chairs. ICSE 2008 will be in Leipzig, Germany, with Wilhelm Schäfer as general chair, and Matthew Dwyer and Volker Gruhn as program co-chairs. ICSE 2009 is planned for Vancouver BC, Canada, with Stephen Fickas as General Chair and Paola Inverardi and Joanne Atlee as program co-chairs.

We continue to experiment with the affordances of digital publishing. For the second year, ICSE has provided a paper proceedings only as an option. This year, the proceedings instead was made available on a USB memory stick, financed by a corporate donation to the conference. FSE 2006 will take a digital publication approach as well. Based on feedback from our membership at our "Town Meeting" at ICSE 2006, the FSE 2006's proceedings will be available in the ACM Digital Library prior to the conference. This will permit attendees to download and print papers in advance of the conference, providing both the cost benefits of digital publication and the affordances of paper. In a parallel effort, we are now using e-mail to encourage our authors to link their web sites to their articles in the ACM Digital Library.

Will Tracz has continued to make our newsletter, SEN, stronger and better as we move into the digital era. We have moved away from mailing out two proceedings per year. Rather than move totally online, SEN still prints and mails "tip of the iceberg" content such as conference abstracts and key articles and columns (such as RISKS). This has dramatically reduced costs, but provides the essential value that SEN has always provided - bringing key information to our membership's attention.

An important initiative that SIGSOFT has engaged in is the SIGSOFT Software Engineering Dissertation Catalog, whose goals are to create a record of the research activity of our youngest researchers and ease access to this content for computer scientists and historians, which is normally dispersed in obscure locales on the internet. Begun by our past Chair Alex Wolf, this year we undertook an aggressive e-mail solicitation with the help of Tao Xie's family tree of academic software engineering research. This has resulted in essentially doubling the content of our catalog, as well as heightening the community's awareness of its presence.

In the coming year we will be focusing on membership, the digital library as before, revising our bylaws, and awards. Our membership has been trending slowly lower, as in many SIGs, but we're going to be making the case to our broader community that membership brings value that is far in excess of the cost of membership. In particular, we'll be looking at international membership, student membership, and the membership of our conference attendees. Our bylaws are out of date, and although they are not doing us harm, they are not serving us well, either. We have asked David Notkin, a past SIGSOFT chair, to lead an effort to modernize our bylaws. Many of the remarkable accomplishments of our community are under-recognized. This coming year we will be putting the Anger Award in to implementation, while also looking to add a dissertation award and perhaps an educator's award.