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Communications of the ACM

Table of Contents

Globalization and Offshoring of Software Revisited

ACM Council commissioned in 2004 a Task Force to "look at the facts behind the rapid globalization of IT and the migration of jobs resulting from outsourcing and offshoring."  Do the insights produced by the resulting report …
DEPARTMENT: Letters to the editor

Roots of Publication Delay

Moshe Y. Vardi wrote in his Editor's Letter "Revisiting the Publication Culture in Computing Research" (Mar. 2010) about computer science being a field in which conferences …

In the Virtual Extension

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

NSF Funding Advice; 21st Century Innovation

Jeannette M. Wing shares useful suggestions for department heads. Daniel Reed discusses the importance of synergy among computing specialists and generalists.

Looking For Control

Computer scientists are wrestling to tame the glut of online data, which is overwhelming both individuals and companies. For some users the answer starts with restrictions …

Modeling the Astronomical

Advances in computer technology have changed the way astronomers see and study the universe.

Happy Birthday, RDBMS!

The relational model of data management, which dates to 1970, still dominates today and influences new paradigms as the field evolves.

Cloud Computing and Developing Nations

For a growing number of organizations worldwide, cloud computing offers a quick and affordable way to tap into IT infrastructure as an Internet service. But obstacles and challenges remain.

Thacker Wins Turing Award

Microsoft's Charles P. Thacker named 56th recipient of ACM's A.M. Turing Award.
DEPARTMENT: ACM election ballot

ACM's 2010 General Election

Meet the candidates who introduce their plans—and stands—for the Association.
COLUMN: Economic and business dimensions

Cloud Computing and Electricity: Beyond the Utility Model

Assessing the strengths, weaknesses, and general applicability of the computing-as-utility business model.
COLUMN: Education

How to Make Progress in Computing Education

Improving the research base for computing education requires securing competitive funding commitments.
COLUMN: Viewpoint

Can IT Lean Against the Wind?

Lessons from the global financial crisis.

Is Mobile Email Addiction Overlooked?

Studying the prevalence of mobile email addiction and the associated possible implications for organizations.
COLUMN: Computer museum series

Great Computing Museums of the World, Part Two

The second of a two-part series highlighting several of the world's museums dedicated to preserving, exhibiting, and elucidating computing history.
SECTION: Practice

Enhanced Debugging With Traces

An essential technique used in emulator development is a useful addition to any programmer's toolbox.

Principles of Robust Timing Over the Internet

The key to synchronizing clocks over networks is taming delay variability.

Why Cloud Computing Will Never Be Free

The competition among cloud providers may drive prices downward, but at what cost?
SECTION: Contributed articles

Beyond Total Capture: A Constructive Critique of Lifelogging

Rather than try to capture everything, system design should focus on the psychological basis of human memory.

Student and Faculty Attitudes and Beliefs About Computer Science

The curriculum should inspire students to view CS as both accomplishment and intellectual discipline.
SECTION: Review articles

Energy-Efficient Algorithms

Algorithmic solutions can help reduce energy consumption in computing environs.
SECTION: Research highlights

Technical Perspective: Learning to Act in Uncertain Environments

The problem of decision making in an uncertain environment arises in many diverse contexts. The key issue in effectively solving problems like this is known as the exploration/exploitation trade-off.

Censored Exploration and the Dark Pool Problem

The success and proliferation of dark pool stock exchanges have created challenging and interesting problems in algorithmic trading—in particular, the problem of optimizing the allocation of a large trade over multiple competing …

Technical Perspective: Automated Patching Techniques: The Fix Is In

Finding bugs is technically demanding and yet economically vital. How much more difficult yet valuable would it be to automatically fix bugs?

Automatic Program Repair With Evolutionary Computation

There are many methods for detecting and mitigating software errors but few generic methods for automatically repairing errors once they are discovered. Recent work combining program analysis methods with evolutionary computation …
COLUMN: Last byte

Puzzled: Variations on the Ham Sandwich Theorum

Welcome to three new puzzles. Solutions to the first two will be published next month; the third is (as yet) unsolved. In each, the issue is how your intuition matches up with the mathematics.
SECTION: Virtual extension

Understanding the Dynamics of Information Management Costs

IT executives  have a pressing need to understand the dynamics of information management costs and their ability to control these costs through carefully chosen policies governing data collection and retention.

Roles of the External IT Project Manager

Companies in many cases turn to suppliers of IT services to deliver their tough projects. What roles beyond those of traditional project management must external project managers fulfil? And how can they prepare themselves for …

Number of People Required For Usability Evaluation: The 10±2 Rule

Usability evaluation is essential to make sure that software products newly released are easy to use, efficient, and effective to reach goals, and satisfactory to users.

Is Web-Based Supply Chain Integration Right For Your Company?

Companies are increasingly realizing that the progression from departmental to enterprise information systems has a logical next step: inter-organizational or supply chain solutions.

Monitoring Ambient Air Quality With Carbon Monoxide Sensor-Based Wireless Network

Recent advances in wireless sensor networks make them an attractive solution for monitoring air quality. Successful deployment of these systems demonstrates that they can be useful for some environmental monitoring scenarios.

IT Innovation Persistence: An Oxymoron?

While a company's investment in new IT that replicates another company's innovation may be easy, it is much more difficult to replicate a competitor's ability to innovate with IT over the longer term. 

The Rise of a Health-IT Academic Focus

The proportion of hospital revenue invested in IT has doubled in recent years, raising demand for trained workers. Less recognized is the rising demand within health care for trained IT professionals, especially those who combine …

The Role of IT in Business Ecosystems

A business ecosystem is defined as an economic community involving many companies working together to gain comparative advantages as a result of their symbiotic relationships. It is crucial that businesses collaborate among themselves …