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End of 2019 Recap from SIGCHI

The following email was sent out to all SIGCHI members on December 31, 2019.


Greetings SIGCHI members,

As the new year is upon us, I wanted to send my best wishes to our SIGCHI members and recap the great year we have had.

We are about halfway through this EC’s tenure and I want to use this as a reminder to ensure you renew your SIGCHI membership. In order to run for a SIGCHI EC position or vote in next year’s election, you must be a SIGCHI (not just ACM) member. Please also pass this tidbit of information on to your colleagues and graduate students.

As per usual there are comings and goings in the EC and associated committees. I’d like to first thank Gilbert Cockton and Simone Barbosa for their three years of dedication to the interactions magazine as Editors-in-Chief and Anne Spaa as their assistant. They have done a wonderful job in curating exciting and stimulating content while herding us perpetually late contributors [blushes]. I also want to extend a thank you and welcome to our new EICs: Alex Taylor, Daniela Rosner, and Mikael Wiberg! I’m excited to see the changes and vision they have in store for our professional organization’s magazine.

I’d also like to take a moment to heartily thank Philippe Palanque and Aaron Quigley for their extraordinary service to SIGCHI conferences. It may not have been visible to our membership, but the past four years have seen a seismic shift in the management and operations of SIGCHI conferences and especially with the CHI conference series. Aaron Quigley, first acting as Adjunct Chair (AC) for Specialized Conferences and then VP for Conferences, created a Council of Steering Committee Chairs of all SIGCHI’s sponsored conferences and a Conferences Board that directly supports and assists SIGCHI’s VP for conferences. He then proceeded to develop a trove of conference chair guidelines and conferences policies that had not previously existed. Then, in 2016, the EC undertook a significant reorganization that led to the creation of a new CHI Steering Committee to be chaired by a new AC for CHI. Being an entirely new steering committee that needed to devise processes, standard operating procedures, and generally determine how to sustainably run this massive flagship conference, the SIGCHI President at the time, Loren Terveen, reached out to Philippe Palanque (former AC for Specialized Conferences and CHI2014 General Chair) to take on this position. These two volunteers dedicated countless hours to ensure this transition went smoothly all the while ensuring our flagship CHI conference was a success every year. I cannot stress enough how extraordinary their service has been. And now that we have a stable structure and a fantastic CHI steering committee in place I am pleased to welcome our new interim VP for Conferences, Andrew Kun, and AC for CHI, Regan Mandryk. Now is the time for us to stretch our wings and see how high and far we can fly—it is a very exciting time for our conferences.

Along those lines, we have been working hard to continue to provide multiple levels of support to our conferences. We recently hired an Accessibility Consultant who will be providing hands-on guidance to all 24 of our conferences from site selection to event accommodation as well as assisting SIGCHI in developing standard procedures, repository of lessons learned, and training materials for conference chairs. In response to the ACM’s new Policy Against Harassment at ACM Activities, we have also recently stood up SIGCHI CARES—Committee to Aid REporting on discrimination and haraSsment policy violations. This committee, led by VP-at-Large Shaowen Bardzell, will help people who experience discrimination or harassment through our activities by providing advice on the steps necessary to have the matter further investigated by the ACM. We will be posting more on this soon. Finally, our VP for Operations, David Ayman Shamma, debuted our new progressive web app for conference schedules at CSCW 2019. This is the final piece in a data pipeline from PCS to our new QOALA conference scheduler to a responsive web app equally viewable on mobile and desktop devices. The number of volunteer hours this now saves is in the hundreds…per conference!

Talking about conference publications, I would also like to point everyone to the new ACM DL Next – it is going live in January with an all new user interface that finally fulfills the vision of a fully HTML publication repository. CHI2019 is the first CHI proceedings published in HTML with accessibility features in this new mobile responsive format. DLNext even provides a page for individual authors – you can see mine here. So enjoy the hours you will now while away exploring this new repository. If you have feedback, please do not write me; you can communicate directly with the ACM by clicking on the Feedback tab on the lower left.

For the third straight year we have expanded our global outreach activities. The SIGCHI Asian Development Committee has expanded to include 13 members and is now chaired by Yoshifumi Kitamura. This committee has been holding a number of events this past year as a ramp up to CHI 2021 in Japan such as the ‘Best of CHI’ held in Mumbai in July, Summer Schools on ‘Write a Paper for CHI 2021’ held in Mumbai, Dhaka, and Singapore this past summer and autumn; and the Asian HCI Symposium held at CHI2019 that was attended by over 80 people. In addition, our VP of Conferences has instantiated the Global Community Development for Conferences (GCDC) program – in essence, these policies were created to encourage our 24 conferences to include researchers and practitioners from Economically Developing Countries (EDC) through discounted registration rates or travel grants and to provide financial encouragement to host a conference in an economically developing country. And our Local Chapters have also grown significantly under the efforts of our VP for Chapters, Eunice Sari – 16 new chapters in 2019, mostly from Asia, East Europe, Latin America, and Arab countries – that is a 25% growth. To facilitate the work of these chapters in growing locally strong, global HCI communities, we have instantiated a Chapters Grant program for any chapter to apply for funding from SIGCHI.

As our new VP at-large, Neha Kumar, takes on the responsibility of overseeing our SIGCHI Development Fund, we are keen to ensure that, as we move forward, our global community (particularly under-represented groups within it) can rely on this fund for driving engagement in local and global efforts across research and practice. In the last year, we have supported approximately $240K worth of initiatives to support global participation in educational, social, and outreach events such as summer/winter schools in Asia and Europe, a doctoral consortium/women’s breakfast at SIGCHI conferences, and more. However, in the coming year we can (and hope to) do more! Please read our post on this and see if you would like to apply.

Finally, this year, under interim VP for Communications and Membership, Pejman Mirza-babaei, we have continued to evolve our communication strategy. For instance, we recognized that the SIGCHI blog had limited readership and have additionally created a Medium Publication ( A Publication is a collection of authors (not a single account) where any SIGCHI member can publish content. We have begun to use it actively, and encourage you all to follow us there, since we will be calling for community entries soon. We also upped our social media game with a new SIGCHI Communications Committee – check out our Twitter and Facebook pages.

Happy New Year!

Helena Mentis, SIGCHI President

Congrats to the 2019 ACM Fellows and Distinguished Members from the SIGCHI Community!

ACM Fellows

Elizabeth Churchill

Wendy Mackay

Distinguished Members

Andrew B. Begel

Susanne Boll

Oliver Brdiczka

Gavin Doherty

Kyratso Karahalios

Mark Webster Newman

Manuel A. Perez-Quinones

Popular SIGCHI Blog/Medium Posts of 2019

PWA ß 4 CSCW 2019:

Notes on SIGCHI Budget FY20:

SIGCHI’s New Accessible Proceedings:

The Transition to a More Open and Mobile ACM Digital Library:

Global HCI & Economically Developing Countries:


SIGCHI Executive Committee:

Official SIGCHI Committees:

SIGCHI Development Fund:

ACM SIGCHI Early Career Mentorship for Developing Communities fund:

SIGCHI Student Travel Grants:

SIGCHI Gary Marsden Student Development Fund:

SIGCHI Local Chapters:

SIGCHI Conference Program Responsive Web app:

SIGCHI Conferences Calendar: