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Communications of the ACM

Table of Contents


President's letter


ACM Forum: Letters


Congress tackless computer abuse

Congress has been taking an active interest in protecting information stored in computers. Congressional investigations and media reports have highlighted the vulnerability of computer systems to abuse and mis-use. Recent accounts …

Programming Perls


Assessing software maintainability

How easy is it to maintain a program? To a large extent, that depends on how difficult the program is to understand. A technique to measure program difficulty yields encouraging results.

Why students reject engineering teaching careers

Many of the country's brightest engineering students have been passing up graduate school for the challenge and high salaries of industry. This is drying up the supply of new Ph.D.s interested in teaching at a time when U.S.  …

Self-assessment procedure XII: a self-assessment procedure dealing with computer architecture


Requirements analysis for Ada compilers

A Guide to the Selection and Specification of Ada Compilers was recently produced by the Portability Working Group of Ada-Europe. Most of the points addressed are applicable criteria for evaluation of any language compiler.

Software errors and complexity: an empirical investigation0

An analysis of the distributions and relationships derived from the change data collected during development of a medium-scale software project produces some surprising insights into the factors influencing software development …

Some negative results concerning prime number generators

Programs attributed to Wirth and Misra for generating the prime numbers up to a specified limit are investigated. It is shown that Wirth's program is incorrect according to three increasingly weak criteria, and a composite number …

Organizational power and the information services department

A theory of intraorganizational power is discussed and applied to the information services department. The results of a study of the power of five departments in 40 manufacturing plants is presented. Hypotheses about the levels …