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Communications of the ACM

Table of Contents


Viewpoint: Military direction of academic CS research

Most computer scientists know that the Department of Defense (DOD) supplies most of the funds for academic research, but few know how profoundly the funding situation has changed over the last decade. In 1976 most basic research …

ACM forum

The human aspects of computing: a note on this collection

What makes computer users happy? Can systems help humans to use them? Does programming sharpen other thinking skills? Is computer anxiety important? Will programmers use Ada packages? How do students learn programming concepts …

What makes users happy?

The results of a user questionnaire are used to determine the effects of 17 different independent variables on user satisfaction.

Pygmalion at the interface

Appropriate mnemonic feedback built into a natural-language interface can act as a teacher to help users acquire formal-language skills as they work, without a large initial investment of effort in a learning period.

Learning to program and learning to think: what's the connection?

Focusing on thinking skills that are cognitive components of programming—rather than on intellectual ability—can illuminate the relationship between learning a programming language and learning more about thinking processes.

Computer anxiety in management: myth or reality?

Although many informal surveys in the business press have contended that computer anxiety has a significant adverse impact on managers' willingness to use microcomputers, the problem is neither as extensive nor as severe as once …

Metrics for Ada packages: an initial study

Many novel features of Ada present programmers with a formidable learning task. The study of four first-time Ada programmers suggests that a background in the software engineering practices supported by Ada is necessary to learn …

Novice mistakes: are the folk wisdoms correct?

An evaluation of two folk wisdoms serves to elucidate the underlying or "deep-structure" reasons for novice errors.

A note on undetected typing errors

Although human proofreading is still necessary, small, topic-specific word lists in spelling programs will minimize the occurrence of undetected typing errors.

Operator work load: when is enough enough?

Three measures of operator mental work load were tested with a large, interactive computer system. Two—operator rating of time stress, and the ratio of the time required to time allowed for each subtask—proved to be significant …

Computer instruction set usage by programmers: an empirical investigation

The elimination of unused instruction sets would encourage more uniform programming practices and could allow the inclusion of more useful instructions.

Another look at automatic text-retrieval systems

Evidence from available studies comparing manual and automatic text-retrieval systems does not support the conclusion that intellectual content analysis produces better results than comparable automatic systems.

Software development of real-time systems

Concentrating on those aspects of software development peculiar to real-time systems, this collection of development methods and tools emphasizes incremental development; the testing of tusk interfaces during integration testing …

Planar point location using persistent search trees

A classical problem in computational geometry is the planar point location problem. This problem calls for preprocessing a polygonal subdivision of the plane defined by n line segments so that, given a sequence of points, the …

Technical Correspondence