Program Purpose

The Mission of the Distinguished Speakers Program

The DSP is an outreach program of ACM that brings distinguished speakers from academia, industry, and government to give presentations to ACM chapters, members, and the greater IT community in a variety of venues and formats.

The History of the Distinguished Speakers Program

The Distinguished Speakers Program has been in existence for over twenty years. Traditionally, the program was comprised of speakers from academe that traveled to individual ACM chapters and larger, regional "magnet events" to deliver lectures on their field(s) of expertise. A core group of lecturers would commit to serve for one year, with the option to stay on. Now, a speaker is given a 3 year term. ACM headquarters reimbursed lecturers for their travel expenses; chapters were responsible for local expenses. In this way it served as indirect financial support for chapters, especially those struggling with access to quality content and speakers.

In recent years, the program has been almost exclusively marketed to, and used by, student chapters, with positive feedback from both students and speakers. Recognizing the potential for the DSP to serve as a premier outreach program for all ACM chapters and members, the Membership Services Board created a committee in 2005 to review the current program and to set goals for expanding its size and scope.

The newly reconstituted committee updated the program's topic categories based on feedback from different constituencies, including ACM members, student and professional chapters, Special Interest Groups, and ACM Board Chairs. With an updated topic listing in place, recruitment began for new speakers, from academe, industry, and government.

The Distinguished Speakers Program has always operated in the spirit of service and outreach. Its goals are to provide some of the best content ACM has to offer through its network of high quality speakers and to facilitate professional networking. The committee is still accepting nominations for speakers. If you know someone who would like to participate, or you yourself would like to participate, please see our nomination form.

The DevOps Phenomenon

ACM Queue’s “Research for Practice” consistently serves up expert-curated guides to the best of computing research, and relates these breakthroughs to the challenges that software engineers face every day. This installment of RfP is by Anna Wiedemann, Nicole Forsgren, Manuel Wiesche, Heiko Gewald, and Helmut Krcmar. Titled “The DevOps Phenomenon,” this RfP gives an overview of stories from across the industry about software organizations overcoming the early hurdles of adopting DevOps practices, and coming out on the other side with tighter integration between their software and operations teams, faster delivery times for new software features, and achieving a higher level of stability.

Why I Belong to ACM

Hear from Bryan Cantrill, vice president of engineering at Joyent, Ben Fried chief information officer at Google, and Theo Schlossnagle, OmniTI founder on why they are members of ACM.