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Communications of the ACM

Table of Contents


It Is a Pivotal Time For K-12 Computer Science

Many colleges and universities now have ongoing outreach and mentoring programs because they understand that waiting for students to come to them is a recipe for disaster. Interest …
DEPARTMENT: Letters to the editor

In CS Education, Educate the Educators First

As long as CS educators cannot agree about the fundamental importance of mathematics is an essential aspect of a proper CS education, practice will remain below the professional …

CS Woes: Deadline-Driven Research, Academic Inequality

In excerpts from the BLOG@CACM expert blog, Jeannette M. Wing writes about the negative effects of deadline-driven research, and Mark Guzdial discusses the role of computer science faculty in fostering inequality.
DEPARTMENT: In the virtual extension

In the Virtual Extension

Communications' Virtual Extension brings more quality articles to ACM members. These articles are now available in the ACM Digital Library.

Crowdsourcing and the Question of Expertise

There is an in inherent weakness to crowdsourcing that should bother computer scientists and computer users alike. It's the fact there is no clear difference between "the wisdom …

Blueprints For Self-Assembly

Researchers are using tools from information theory and computer science to facilitate the automatic creation of nanoscale structures.

Ready For a Web OS?

The hegemony of the traditional desktop operating system is starting to fracture with the emergence of a new generation of Web browsers that may finally herald the long-awaited convergence of Web and OS.

Making Automation Work

Today's automated systems provide enormous safety and convenience. However, when glitches, problems, or breakdowns occur, the results can be catastrophic.

Problem Solvers

This year's Grace Hopper Celebration focused on using technology for social good.
COLUMN: Viewpoints

Opening Remarks

Highlighting efforts and providing the rationale to increase the participation and success of underrepresented groups in computing.

Israel's Technology Industry as an Economic Growth Engine

How government-industry collaboration can have far-reaching economic influences.

Computing's Paradigm

Trying to categorize computing as engineering, science, or math is fruitless; we have our own paradigm.

Broken Builds

Frequent broken builds could be symptomatic of deeper problems within a development project.

A 'Smart' Cyberinfrastructure For Research

A view of semantic computing and its role in research.
SECTION: Practice

A Threat Analysis of RFID Passports

An RFID-passport attack is more plausible than skimming RFID information. Do RFID passports make us vulnerable to identity theft?

What DNS Is Not

DNS is many things to many people — perhaps too many things to too many people.

Maximizing Power Efficiency with Asymmetric Multicore Systems

How do we develop software to make the most of the promise that asymmetric multicore systems use a lot less energy?
SECTION: Contributed articles

The Bulk Multicore Architecture For Improved Programmability

Easing the programmer's burden does not compromise system performance or increase the complexity of hardware implementation.

Computer Science in the Conceptual Age

University CS departments are incorporating game design and development to prepare their students for the game industry's expectations.
SECTION: Review articles

Computer Games and Traditional CS Courses

Integrating computer games into existing CS courses may help attract students to the field, but there are guidelines to be considered.
SECTION: Research highlights

Technical Perspective: Design Tools For the Rest of Us

There are many who believe we are on the verge of the biggest change in the way products are made since the Industrial Revolution. This is a revolution where individuals will …

Designing Plush Toys With a Computer

We introduce Plushie, an interactive system that allows nonprofessional users to design their own original plush toys. We successfully demonstrated that nonprofessional users could design plush toys or balloon easily using Plushie …

Technical Perspective: A Graphical Sense of Touch

One of the major innovations in computing was the invention of the graphical user interface at MIT, SRI, and Xerox PARC. The combination of computer graphics hardware with a …

ThinSight: A Thin Form-Factor Interactive Surface Technology

ThinSight is a thin form-factor interactive surface technology based on optical sensors embedded inside a regular LCD. These augment the display with the ability to sense a variety of objects near the surface, including fingertips …
COLUMN: Last byte

Puzzled: Solutions and Sources

Last month (November 2009, p. 112) we posted a trio of brain teasers, including one as yet unsolved, concerning the covering of a plane.

Future Tense: Mightier Than the Pen

The computer reconfigures me.
SECTION: Virtual extension

Power and Trust in Global Virtual Teams

Though the current understanding of virtual teams has advanced in significant areas over the last few years, it has not taken sufficient account of power dynamics within virtual teams nor sought to explore the nature of power …

Online Privacy, Government Surveillance and National ID Cards

Are Internet users' concerns for personal information privacy, principally manifested as online privacy, related to their attitudes on government surveillance and national ID cards (often perceived as a surveillance tool)? 

Security in Dynamic Web Content Management Systems Applications

The processes behind corporate efforts to create, manage, publish, and archive Web information has also evolved using Web Content Management Systems (WCMS). WCMS allow teams to maintain Web content in a dynamic fashion through …

Assessing Open Source Software as a Scholarly Contribution

Academic computer science has an odd relationship with software: Publishing papers about software is considered a distinctly stronger contribution than publishing the software. The historical reasons for this paradox no longer …

Why Did Your Project Fail?

We have been developing software since the 1960s but still have not learned enough to ensure that our software development projects are successful. Boehm suggested that realistic schedule and budgets together with a continuing …

Visual Passwords: Cure-All or Snake-Oil?

Users of computer systems are accustomed to being asked for passwords — it is as universal as it is frustrating. In the past there was little tolerance for the problems experienced …

Positive Externality, Increasing Returns, and the Rise in Cybercrimes

The meteoric rise in cybercrime has been an issue of pressing concern to our society. Internet-related frauds accounted for 46% of consumer complaints made to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 2005. Total losses of Internet …

Are Employees Putting Your Company At Risk By Not Following Information Security Policies?

Careless employees, who do not follow information security policies, constitute a serious threat to their organization. We conducted a field survey in order to understand which factors help towards employees' compliance with …