SIGSOFT continued to have another active and successful year. The highlights include a new student scholarship program, a very active newsletter, an on-going award program, and a strong conference program.
This year we initiated a scholarship fund, Conference Attendance Program for Students (CAPS), that will provide travel funds to students to attend SIGSOFT sponsored conferences. It is hoped that CAPS will encourage students to attend and to submit papers to software engineering conferences. Under the direction of Mary Lou Soffa, guidelines for the program were drafted, approved, announced in our newsletter and posted on the web. An approval committee has been put in place and funds were budgeted for support. Now we are waiting for our first applications.
The Software Engineering Newsletter (SEN) has been undergoing a revitalization. Although always a very successful and lively newsletter, Will Tracz has infused his own personality and enthusiasm. After much debate, we approved a new cover design. We also have moved to desktop publishing, so that the format and style are more consistent. To support this effort, we purchased a 133Mhtz Pentium, 1200DPI printer, scanner, 28.8 modem as well as MicroSoft Office, Win 3.1.1, FrameMaker, and some Clip Art. We hope to purchase a camera in the near future so that we can more easily incorporate photos from our conferences and meetings. The number of submissions to SEN continues to grow as does the backlog. Thus, we instituted a new page limit of 6 pages for regular submissions and 10 pages for workshop and conference reports. Authors are encouraged to include URL's to longer version of their articles, if this page limit is too burdensome.
There are now three column editors for SEN: Peter Neumann continues as editor of the very popular Risks column, Barbara Ann Kitchenham has taken over for Shari Lawrence Pfleeger the Evaluating Software Methods column; and Mark Doernhoefer has taken over for Chuck Howell the column on Surfing the Net. In addition, we have columns on the International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE) and the Foundations of Software Engineering (FSE) that keep our members up-to-date on the two primary conferences in software engineering. There is also a book review column where members receive a free copy of newly published books in return for writing reviews. Finally, there are production assistants to help assemble each issue. In this capacity, Malcome Slovin is overseeing the Calendar of Events. Overall, Will has been very successful in improving the look of SEN and in recruiting a number of energetic and talented volunteers. There is more to be done, however, and we hope to attract additional volunteers.
We have continued to improve our web site. Tom Ostrand serves as our information director and Bob Munch has volunteered to be webmaster. There is currently information available on the web about SIGSOFT, our conferences, and past issues of SEN.
Our conference program continues to be strong. ICSE'96 in Berlin was very successful, with increased attendance. Plans are well underway for ICSE'97 in Boston and ICSE'98 in Japan. ICSE'97 is attempting to increase participation by widening the scope of the conference to include topics that inter-relate with software engineering, such as computer human interfaces and information retrieval, and by expanding the trade show. FSE'95 did not fare quite so well this past year, with a slight decline in attendance. There were problems with publicity that we believe we have addressed for this coming year. FSE'96 has a strong program planned for October in San Francisco. FSE'97 is going to be held jointly with the European Software Engineering Conference, September 97 in Zurich. Our other two regular conferences are the Software Reuse Symposium, which co-locates with ICSE every other year when ICSE is in the U.S., and the International Conference on Software Testing and Analysis (ISSTA). ISSTA has had a problem deciding on a regular schedule, but this last year the steering committee agreed on a schedule and guidelines for the conference. The next ISSTA will be March 1998 and then early summer every other year. The Formal Methods Workshop co-located with ISSTA this last year. The two areas have some common concerns and co-locating provided opportunities for some interesting interactions. Both communities are discussing co-locating in the future. Thus, this year we continued to move closer to our goal of providing a well-scheduled and coherent conference and workshop program.
ICSE is the forum where we present the SIGSOFT Award for Distinguished Service to the Software Engineering Community. This year the award was given to Rick Adrion, who held several positions at NSF, was past SIGSOFT chair, and founding editor-in-chief of TOSEM, to name just a few of his contributions. Tony Wasserman, who received the first distinguished service award, has agreed to chair the selection committee this next year. Requests for nominations will be published in SEN.
As usual we had general meetings at both FSE and ICSE. The meetings have been well attended. At ICSE there was a lively discussion, as reported in the July issue of SEN.
In term of our future plans, we would like to continue to improve our web pages, providing more information electronically. It would be particularly helpful if ACM would have a conference organizers page that we could point to that would take first time conference organizers through the process step by step. Even inveterate conference organizers would find this useful since the process continues to change. We would also like to see better advertising of SIGSOFT. Since most of our benefits are provided as part of our general membership package, instead of as add-ons, it would be appropriate to have these listed on the membership forms. We plan to choose a logo for SIGSOFT; we looked at several proposed designs this past year but have yet to find one that meets with any enthusiasm. Finally, we are in the process of forming a nominating committee to find candidates for the upcoming SIGSOFT elections. Dick Taylor has agreed to serve as chair of the nominating committee. As usual, requests for nominations will be published in SEN.