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Communications of the ACM

Table of Contents

ACM's Challenges and Opportunities

ACM held a strategic planning retreat last November. The motivation was the realization that the ecosystem that supports scholarly and professional societies is undergoing rapid change, and this change is creating significant …

Unconventional Computing

The prospect of increasingly unconventional computing methods that may force us to rethink how we analyze problems for purposes of getting computers to solve them for us.
DEPARTMENT: Letters to the Editor

Responsible Programming Not a Technical Issue

Vinton G. Cerf's "Responsible Programming" (July 2014) raised the interesting question of whether it is responsible to produce software without using state-of-the-art defect-detection-and-validation tools. The answer is legal …
DEPARTMENT: [email protected]

Finding a Research Job, and Teaching CS in High School

John Langford considers how to stand out when seeking a research position, while Mark Guzdial suggests what teachers need to know to teach computer science at the high school level.

Still Seeking the Optical Transistor

Optical information handling is a critical staple for communications and the Internet, but using light for computer-scale computation remains a distant dream.

Gradual Evolution

Dynamically typed languages adopt features of static typing to cope with growth.

Museums Go High-Tech with Digital Forensics

Scientists are using cutting-edge scanning and visualization techniques to wow visitors and find new stories in ancient artifacts.
COLUMN: Technology strategy and management

The Bitcoin Ecosystem

Speculating on how the Bitcoin economy might evolve.
COLUMN: Inside risks

Risks and Myths of Cloud Computing and Cloud Storage

Considering existing and new types of risks inherent in cloud services.
COLUMN: Kode vicious

Outsourcing Responsibility

What do you do when your debugger fails you?
COLUMN: The business of software

Vendor: Vidi, Vici

Some hidden costs of outsourcing.
COLUMN: Viewpoint

Disrupting and Transforming the University

Higher education institutions must modify their business models in response to technology-driven influences.

A Turing Tale

Assessing the accuracy of popular descriptions of Alan Turing's influences and legacy.
SECTION: Practice

Certificate Transparency

Public, verifiable, append-only logs.

Security Collapse in the HTTPS Market

Assessing legal and technical solutions to secure HTTPS.

Why Is It Taking So Long to Secure Internet Routing?

Routing security incidents can still slip past deployed security defenses.
SECTION: Contributed articles

Reading News with Maps By Exploiting Spatial Synonyms

Use this map query interface to search the world, even when not sure what information you seek. (View a related original video at

Wikidata: A Free Collaborative Knowledgebase

This collaboratively edited knowledgebase provides a common source of data for Wikipedia, and everyone else.
SECTION: Review articles

Abstractions For Software-Defined Networks

New abstractions are critical for achieving SDN goals.
SECTION: Research highlights

Technical Perspective: Attacking a Problem from the Middle

"Dissection: A New Paradigm for Solving Bicomposite Search Problems," by Itai Dinur, Orr Dunkelman, Nathan Keller, and Adi Shamir, presents an elegant new algorithm for solving a broad class of combinatorial optimization problems …

Dissection: A New Paradigm For Solving Bicomposite Search Problems

In this paper, we introduce the new notion of bicomposite search problems, and show that they can be solved with improved combinations of time and space complexities by using a new algorithmic paradigm called dissection.
COLUMN: Last byte

Future Tense: Garden of Life

From the intersection of computational science and technological speculation, with boundaries limited only by our ability to imagine what could be. When machines are in the natural world, what in the world is still unnatural?