SIGSOFT Executive Committee 2021–2024

ACM SIGSOFT Blog
5 min readJun 3, 2022

By Tom Zimmermann, Marsha Chechik, Cristian Cadar, David Lo, Martin Robillard and Lin Tan

SIGSOFT is the ACM Special Interest Group on Software Engineering, in charge of organizing and sponsoring many of the top conferences and events in software engineering, recognizing software engineers via its award program, and providing a forum for academics and practitioners interested in software engineering.

SIGSOFT is run by an Executive Committee (SIGSOFT EC), elected every three years by the SIGSOFT membership. We take the opportunity to introduce the current SIGSOFT EC (for the term of 1st July 2021– 30th June 2024) through this short blog post.

Tom Zimmermann (SIGSOFT Chair): I am a Sr. Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, where I work on developer productivity and developer communities as well as investigations into the role that AI plays in the future of software. I’ve been the Chair of SIGSOFT since 2018 and I also serve as one of the SGB Representatives on the ACM Council. My top priority for SIGSOFT is to create an inclusive, diverse, and supportive environment that helps EVERYONE involved in the software engineering (SE) community to achieve their goals and that allows us as a community to advance the role of science in society. We can further promote diversity in software engineering, for example, through mentorship programs and dedicated support for affinity groups. Another priority is to rethink the future of conferences beyond the pandemic. By modernizing conferences, we have a unique opportunity to broaden participation and increase the impact of SE research, however, we need to do this in a way that is sustainable for our community. Traveling to conferences is expensive and bad for climate change. And a final priority is to advance science and support the professional needs of SIGSOFT members. Meaningful work and openness are key values of the upcoming generation of computer scientists. While SE conferences have made great advances, we still can do more, for example, accelerate open access for papers and experiment with registered reports and open reviews.

Marsha Chechik (Vice Chair): I am a Professor and Chair (until June 30, 2022) in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto where I have been on the faculty since 1996. My research is in modeling and analysis of software, with the recent focus on software assurance, especially in the medical and automotive domains. I am a Distinguished Member of the ACM and was Program Co-Chair of all of the “big three” SE conferences: ASE (2014), ICSE (2018), ESEC/FSE (2021). I am interested in coordinating and rationalizing software engineering publication venues (conferences versus journals, journal firsts, etc.), mentorship of junior members of the community, and increasing diversity and recognition of software engineering researchers. In 2022, I chaired senior SIGSOFT awards (Outstanding Research Award, Distinguished Service Award, Influential Educator Award).

Cristian Cadar (Member-at-Large): I am a Professor of Software Reliability at Imperial College London, where I work at the intersection of software engineering with programming languages, systems, security and verification. I appreciate SIGSOFT’s role in our community and as a Member-at-Large I am keen to help address the challenges that need our attention, such as the right balance between in-person and online conference participation, preferred publication models, and benefits of membership. My main initiative as part of the EC, as mentioned in my election statement, has been the launch of this SIGSOFT Blog. Big thanks to my colleagues in the EC for their support in making this happen. Please consider contributing a blog post! I have also been involved in the many discussions about the SIGSOFT Awards program and have helped implement several of the discussed changes as Chair of the SIGSOFT Impact Paper Award committee. I am looking forward to helping implement further improvements to our programs, and to increasing the overall benefits provided by SIGSOFT to its members.

David Lo (Member-at-Large): I am a Professor of Computer Science at Singapore Management University. I work at the intersection of software engineering, AI, and cybersecurity, encompassing socio-technical aspects and analysis of different kinds of software artifacts to improve software quality and security and developer productivity through automation. Within the EC, I serve as Award Chair of SIGSOFT and am committed to supporting and enhancing the award process. We had successfully completed the award selection process for 2022. A big thanks to Marsha Chechik, Cristian Cadar, and Christian Bird, who served as Chairs of the various award selection committees, and all award committee members. My current priority as Award Chair is to learn from the 2022 experience to document and improve the award process, adjust existing awards, possibly introduce new awards, and plan and rollout the 2023 award process to recognize the many excellent contributions made in the SIGSOFT community. In addition, as mentioned in my nomination statement, I am very interested in expanding SIGSOFT activities to reach geographic locations where software engineering research is minimal and needs more support, and in helping SIGSOFT events thrive and adapt during and post the pandemic.

Martin Robillard (Member-at-Large): I am a Professor at McGill University. My research interests are in the human-centric aspects of software development. I currently serve as the Chair of the SIGSOFT Research Highlights initiative, which seeks to promote SE research to the broader Computer Science community. As a member of the SIGSOFT executive, I am also working on a new program to increase the profile of software tools and artifacts as first-class research contributions. The goal of this program is to help ensure the efforts we invest in artifacts can be effectively recognized by granting agencies, hiring and promotion committees, and others.

Lin Tan (Member-at-Large): I am a Mary J. Elmore New Frontiers Associate Professor at Purdue University. My research interests include software dependability, software-AI synergy, and software text analytics. I will serve as Program Co-chair of ESEC/FSE 2024. My first goal, as stated in the election statement, is to increase our community size through stronger software engineering research mentorship, particularly amongst undergraduate, high-school, and early-year Ph.D. students. Toward this goal, as a Member-at-Large of SIGSOFT, I have initiated and coordinated an ACM SIGSOFT special project fund to support the ICSE 2022 Student Mentoring Workshop. I would use what I have learned to support and improve future events, with guidance from other community members. I would also like to consider the review process as a means to improve our publication quality.

The current EC meets roughly every two weeks, discussing any issues that require our attention (upcoming events, proposals from members, new policies from ACM, etc.) as well as various aspects within the SIGSOFT remit which could be improved in the future (communication channels, award program, policies, etc.) Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries or suggestions. SIGSOFT is always looking for volunteers to drive new initiatives and programs. This is your opportunity to shape the software engineering community.

Disclaimer: The posts in the SIGSOFT Blog are written by individual contributors and any views or opinions represented in their posts are personal, belong solely to the blog authors and do not necessarily represent those of ACM SIGSOFT or ACM.

Call for Contributions: Please consider contributing to the SIGSOFT Blog.

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ACM SIGSOFT Blog

SIGSOFT is the ACM Special Interest Group on Software Engineering