SIGSOFT Annual Report

July 2007 - June 2008

Submitted by: William G. Griswold, SIGSOFT Chair

SIGSOFT had an excellent year, maintaining the success of its conferences while continuing to reach out to the community in many dimensions.

Our major conferences continue to be strong - in attendance, sound finances, and intellectual vibrancy. FSE 2007 was joint with the European Software Engineering Conference (ESEC) in Dubrovnik, Croatia last September, with Antonia Bertolino as the program chair and Ivica Crnkovic as the general chair. ICSE 2008 was held in Leipzig, Germany, with Wilhelm Schäfer as general chair, and Matthew Dwyer and Volker Gruhn as program co-chairs. Both events featured SIGSOFT's successful "Town Hall Meeting" format whereby we open the floor to an open discussion on the issues of the day, while those present relax with refreshments. At ICSE 2008, we experimented with a lunch format whereby SIGSOFT reserved a separate room. This boosted attendance, but it seems that many who attended were unaware of the special event.

SIGSOFT 2008 will be held in Atlanta, Georgia in November of that year, with Mary Jean Harrold as General Chair and Gail Murphy as Program Chair. FSE 2009 will be held jointly with ESEC 2009 (the European Software Engineering Conference) in Amsterdam Netherlands, held in late August. Hans van Vliet will be the General Chair and Valerie Issarny the Program Chair. ICSE 2009 will be held in Vancouver BC, Canada, with Stephen Fickas as General Chair and Paola Inverardi and Joanne Atlee as Program Chairs. ICSE 2010 will be held in Cape Town, South Africa. Jeff Kramer and Judith Bishop are the General Chairs, with Premukar Devanbu and Sebastian Uchitel are the Program Chairs.

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 John Knight of the University of Virginia. We awarded the ACM SIGSOFT Outstanding Research Award to Axel van Lamsweerde of the Universite Catholique de Louvain, Belgium. The awards were presented to the recipients at ICSE 2008 in Leipzig. Dr. Lamsweerde will also give a keynote address at the upcoming SIGSOFT 2008 in Atlanta. We made a number of ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished Paper awards across our many sponsored conferences. We made 49 awards to students for travel support to SIGSOFT-sponsored conferences, under our CAPS (Conference Attendance Program for Students), and our budget trended slightly upwards above $31,000. This coming year we will increase funding to $40,000, increasing the size of the awards to reflect increasing travel costs, as well as focusing on first-time attendees and those in need. The joint SIGSOFT-SIGBED Frank Anger student travel award saw its first two rounds of SIGSOFT honorees this year, the most recent being the Hasso Plattner Institute for Software Systems Engineering (HPI) at the University of Potsdam. Earlier we made awards to Stefan Henkler at the University of Paderborn, and Chungyang Ye, at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Finally, we are in the process of making selections for the 2008 SIGSOFT Impact Paper Award, which recognizes SIGSOFT conference papers of 10 years age or more for their exceptional impact on the community. ACM Fellow Carlo Ghezzi is heading up the 2008 committee, and ACM Fellow Richard Adrion is heading up the retrospective Impact Award committee, which is looking far beyond 10 years to the early days of SIGSOFT.

SIGSOFT has now moved solidly over to digital publishing. For the second year the ICSE proceedings were made available on a USB memory stick, financed by a corporate donation to the conference. ESEC/FSE 2007 took a digital publication approach as well. Based on feedback from our membership at our Town Meetings, FSE 2008'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. We continue to use e-mail to encourage our authors to link their web sites to their articles in the ACM Digital Library, and are educating our membership about the benefits of the Digital Library and the Portal.

Will Tracz has continued to make our newsletter, SEN, stronger and better as we move into the digital era. Because the SEN is produced in two versions, online and a print "tip of the iceberg" summary (including RISKS), production is complicated and time consuming. To this end, Will has been working with a group of undergraduates at the Rochester Institute of Technology to develop a content management system that can handle the unique work flow to produce these two documents.

A new activity for SIGSOFT is nominating top SIGSOFT-sponsored conference papers to the "new" CACM. CACM has just moved to a new format that seeks to emulate the highly respected Science magazine. The new CACM contains a Research Highlights section that is presenting the most compelling results from recent ACM conference papers to CACM's wide audience. CACM has invited SIGSOFT (and many other SIGs) to nominate such papers for consideration by the Research Highlights editorial board. SIGSOFT is now forming twice-yearly ad hoc committees to identify nominees.

In the coming year we will be focusing on membership, the digital library as before, revising our bylaws, and awards. One plan is to hold a membership drive by having existing members recruit colleagues. Our bylaws are going through a two-stage revision, with one part being pre-approved, and the remainder going to a member vote next year. Many of the remarkable accomplishments of our community are under-recognized, so we will be looking to add a dissertation award and an educator's award to our awards portfolio.

Finally, SIGSOFT is working to help our conferences more, especially as we see conference costs rising. In the coming year we will be showing more flexibility in budgeting for those sponsored conferences that minimize the risks of a financial loss, while at the same time striving to meet the goals of SIGSOFT, such as holding down student registration fees.