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ACM China Council

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Yunhao Liu and Vincent Shen
Yunhao Liu (left) is Vice Chair for Operations of ACM China Council. Vincent Shen (right) is Vice Chair for Publications and Conferences of ACM China Council.

The ACM China Council was launched in June 2010 as a key component of ACM’s China initiative. The goal of ACM China Council is threefold: to increase the number of high-quality ACM activities in China, to raise ACM’s visibility throughout China, and to contribute to advancing computing as a science and profession in China. In the process, we work to increase ACM membership in China.

We can report significant progress in these areas since our 2010 launch. Indeed, before the existence of the ACM China Council, most, if not all, Chinese professionals thought ACM was an American organization. In addition, Chinese membership in ACM was low—less than 1,500 total.

The first two major tasks for ACM China were educating the computing community about ACM—what it is and what it offers—and recruiting more members in China. Early on, ACM China initiated conversations with the China Computer Federation (CCF). With more than 15,000 members, CCF has a dominant position among computer professionals and students in China and is very much like ACM in terms of its mission and focus on publications, conferences, and chapters. The discussions between ACM China and Zide Du, the General Secretary of CCF, and other officials in CCF were quite productive, partly because many of the members-at-large of ACM China are also senior members of CCF.

During CCF’s 2010 China National Computer Conference (CNCC) at Hang Zhou, Zhejiang, China, ACM President Alain Chesnais delivered a keynote speech to 1,500 attendees, introducing ACM, its activities worldwide, and the nature of volunteer work within the Association. His talk was well received. ACM CEO John White and CCF’s Zide Du then signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two organizations. This MOU established a special 12-month joint membership in ACM for CCF members. In addition, CCF’s monthly flagship publication, Communications of the CCF, gave ACM two pages per issue to publicize the Association’s activities and initiatives. The MOU also called for ACM and CCF to explore joint efforts in publications, conferences, chapters, and awards.

One joint activity has focused on CCF’s Young Computer Scientists & Engineers Forum (YOCSEF)—an annual series of academic activities hosted by more than 20 cities. Since early 2011, ACM China has worked with CCF to organize several YOCSEF events where Yunhao Liu (vice chair of ACM China Council) and other ACM China Council members delivered talks to help YOCSEF members learn more about ACM and the ways they can get involved in the Association’s activities. As a result of these efforts, five YOCSEF chapters (in Shanghai, Beijing, Jinan, Chengdu, and Hangzhou) will become CCF-ACM chapters this year.

ACM China also invited senior computer scientists to join the CCF@U program, which is similar to ACM’s Distinguished Speakers Program. The ACM China contribution to the CCF@U program involves talks to university students to help them develop in their professional careers. This activity also provides another opportunity for students to find out more about ACM. Speakers from this program visited more than 90 universities last year.

ACM co-sponsored CNCC 2011, held at Shenzhen, Guangdong Province last November. ACM Turing Award winner, Joseph Sifakis, and ACM’s past president, Dame Wendy Hall, delivered keynote talks; Yunhao Liu addressed the opening ceremony. More than 2,000 computing academics, students, and professionals attended this event. At that conference, the CCF Executive Committee voted to continue the joint-membership arrangement with ACM by increasing the cost of CCF membership to include ACM membership. In late February of this year, more than 10,000 CCF members formally joined ACM.

We believe ACM China has reached the original goals set during its first meeting in 2010. In the next two years, we expect to have 10–20 chapters in China and 15,000 members. We plan to organize more activities, especially to improve communications and outreach in both academic institutions and industry. We also plan to sponsor some joint awards with CCF and to begin translating selected articles from Communications of the ACM into Chinese for distribution to members in China.

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