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Communications of the ACM

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The news archive provides access to past news stories from Communications of the ACM and other sources by date.

April 2009


From ACM TechNews

Project to Support Minority Students in Science Is Working, Report Says

The number of minority scientists is increasing, concludes a report from the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate program. The National Science Foundation…


From ACM TechNews

Virus-Built Battery Could Power Cars, Electronic Devices

Virus-Built Battery Could Power Cars, Electronic Devices

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers led by professor Angela Belcher have developed batteries by genetically engineering viruses to build the positively and negatively charged ends of a lithium-ion battery.…


From ACM TechNews

Purdue, Rutgers Will Lead $30 Million ­U.S. Homeland Security Research Center

Purdue, Rutgers Will Lead $30 Million ­U.S. Homeland Security Research Center

Purdue University and Rutgers University will lead an international research and education group in a six-year, $30 million U.S. Department of Homeland Security project dedicated to creating methods and tools for the analysis…


From ACM TechNews

The Internet's Librarian

The Internet's Librarian

Technologist and entrepreneur Brewster Kahle (pictured) wants to produce a free, online corpus of human knowledge called the Internet Archive that is bigger than any other digital library. 


From ACM News

'parallel Revolution' Speech Offered Via Live Video Feed

'parallel Revolution' Speech Offered Via Live Video Feed

David A. Patterson, former ACM President and Director of University of California, Berkeley's Parallel Computing Laboratory and the UC Berkeley Reliable Adaptive Distributed Systems Laboratory, will give a lecture entitled "The…


From ACM TechNews

White House Says ­U.S. Needs H-1b Visas to Avoid 'competitive Disadvantage'

President Barack Obama has already reversed several actions and policies established by President George W. Bush, but has shown little interest in revising a rule that has come under attack from H-1B opponents. The Bush administration…


From ACM News

High-Performance System Available For Computationally-Demanding Problems

High-Performance System Available For Computationally-Demanding Problems

Scientist Dr. Russ Miller (pictured) is leading the rollout of "Magic," one of the most powerful computers in New York State, to qualified users worldwide for solving computationally-demanding problems. "The work done by Dr.…


From ACM News

MIT Student Develops Wearable Interface That Relies on Hand Gestures

MIT Student Develops Wearable Interface That Relies on Hand Gestures

Dr. Pattie Maes, Director of the Fluid Interfaces Group at the MIT Media Lab and Pranav Mistry (pictured), a graduate student within the same group, have developed 'Sixth Sense,' a wearable device that presents the user with…


From ACM TechNews

Pitt, CM­ Try to Buck Sliding Trend of Women Studying Computer Science

Pitt, CM­ Try to Buck Sliding Trend of Women Studying Computer Science

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) computer science education graduate student Leigh Ann Sudol says computer science suffers from the lack of female participation and increasing the number of female computer scientists is crucial…


From ACM News

Sun Dial Mobile App Alerts Muslims to Prayer

Sun Dial Mobile App Alerts Muslims to Prayer

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a mobile application known as Sun Dial, which alerts Muslim users when it's time to perform the five daily prayers known as salat. The device is being discussed…


From ACM TechNews

Behind the Scenes at Gmail Labs

Google's Gmail Labs is constantly developing new features and applications, and while many of the projects and releases may appear to be casual or random, the Lab's Todd Jackson says there is a method to the madness. "Labs is…


From ACM TechNews

Methodology Lowers Embedded Systems Development Costs

Research institutions in Europe have created a uniform methodology for developing embedded systems that lowers costs and improves quality. The methodology includes a modeling process that supports platform-based development and…


From ICT Results

Grid Gives Europe a Supercomputing Boost

What’s faster than the speediest supercomputer? How about a high-speed grid linking 12 world-class supercomputers? That’s what a European research consortium has built, catalysing European science with world-class supercomputing…


From ACM TechNews

Self-Directed Robot Scientist Makes Discovery

Self-Directed Robot Scientist Makes Discovery

A robot developed by researchers at the United Kingdom's Aberystwyth University has discovered 12 new functions for genes entirely on its own. "Our goal is to make science more efficient," says University of Wales professor…


From ACM TechNews

Georgia Tech Program Pairs Computing With Public Service

The Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) has spun off a course on using technology to solve real-world problems into a new program called Computing for Good (C4G). As part of C4G, faculty and students are developing…


From ACM TechNews

Tool Builds 3-D Map of Disaster Scene

Tool Builds 3-D Map of Disaster Scene

Texas A&M University lab's Robin Murphy (pictured) and colleagues have developed RubbleViewer, a tool for modeling a disaster scene that they say is more efficient than drawing by hand. The RubbleViewer program is designed to…


From ACM TechNews

Move Over, Newton: Scientifically Ignorant Computer Derives Natural Laws From Raw Data

Cornell University researchers have developed an algorithm that can identify regularities in the natural world that represent natural laws. The researchers tested the algorithm on simple mechanical systems and believe that it…


From ACM TechNews

Vibrating Touch Screen Puts Braille at the Fingertips

Jussi Rantala of Finland's University of Tampere is working on a project that would allow the visually impaired to use touch-screen devices such as iPhones. Rantala's research team is working with a Nokia 770 Internet Tablet…


From ACM TechNews

Connections Do Count

Connections Do Count

University of Pennsylvania computer scientist Michael Kearns is exploring the connections between social networks and human behavior. Such research could revolutionize how trends and opinions spread through society, says Yahoo…


From ACM TechNews

Recent Research Tackles the Complexity of Self-Awareness

Researchers at the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid's School of Computing are using modular neural networks to model cognitive functions related to awareness and time-delay neural networks to model self-awareness. The researchers…


From ACM TechNews

Honda Develops Brain Interface For Robot Control

Honda Develops Brain Interface For Robot Control

Honda Motor's Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR) and Shimadzu have co-developed a brain-machine interface system that enables people to control robots using only their thoughts. The system builds…


From ACM TechNews

The Future of Computer-Human Interaction: Conference to Explore the New World of Digital Life

ACM's annual conference on Computer-Human Interaction, CHI 2009, gets underway at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston on April 4. Sponsored by ACM's Special Interest Group on Computer Human Interaction (SIGCHI), the conference…


From ACM CareerNews

They're Hiring in Hong Kong

They're Hiring in Hong Kong

A sudden wave of hiring in East Asia, especially in Hong Kong, could lead to a brain drain of computer science talent away from America. Talented IT professionals and academics are finding that they can land high-paying tenure…


From ACM News

Cloud Computing Meets Star Production Demands

Cloud Computing Meets Star Production Demands

The advantages of cloud computing were dramatically illustrated last week by researchers working on the STAR nuclear physics experiment at Brookhaven National Laboratory's Relativistic Heavy-Ion Collider. New simulation results…


From ACM TechNews

University Creates Robot to Build Red Cabin on the Moon

University Creates Robot to Build Red Cabin on the Moon

Students at Sweden's Malardalen University will build a smart robot to construct a little red cabin on the moon. The team has been charged with taking the House on the Moon project from an idea to developing and programming…


From ICT Results

Handsets Avert Radio Spectrum Saturation, Opportunistically

Mobile users want better video calls, streaming television and faster downloads, placing more demands on the limited radio spectrum available to operators. Could handsets that intelligently sense their radio environment and opportunistically…


From ACM TechNews

Hp, Ibm Labs Straddle Present and Future Technologies

Hp, Ibm Labs Straddle Present and Future Technologies

Both IBM's Almaden Research Center and Hewlett-Packard Labs are focused on promoting their companies' core businesses and investigating emerging technologies. Thousands of IBM researchers work to address immediate customer problems…


From ACM TechNews

Researchers Seek to Assist the Elderly

Washington State University professors Maureen Schmitter-Edgecombe and Diane Cook have created a smart home laboratory to assess how technology can help senior citizens continue to live independently. The laboratory is an apartment…


From ACM News

Architects Compose Symphony of Computing Services

Architects Compose Symphony of Computing Services

Web services are finding homes in a growing number of applications, from e-learning to manufacturing. But the IT industry's rush to meet demand for services has been ad hoc and undisciplined, according to the EU-funded Sensoria…


From ACM News

Computer Science Field Needs a Few (more) Good Women

Computer Science Field Needs a Few (more) Good Women

When ACM (the Association for Computing Machinery) awarded Barbara Liskov the prestigious A.M. Turing Award earlier this month, its decision and timing were perfect — Liskov is a true pioneer in her field and March is National…