SIGCHI and its innovative family of conferences
In August 2016, the President of SIGCHI (Loren Terveen, Minneapolis, USA) and the newly appointed Vice President for Conferences (Aaron Quigley, Scotland, UK) authored an article entitled SIGCHI's family of conferences (Interactions 23:5, 70-71). In this article they describe the extent of the role which the ACM, SIGCHI, conference series steering committees and others have in supporting SIGCHI sponsored or co-sponsored conferences to help them be a success.
This blog post (written in September 2016) aims to supplement that article, with other details which SIGCHI members might be interested and surprised to learn.
Firstly, all the conferences SIGCHI are involved with rely on, and are driven by, volunteer effort. Those not involved in organising such conferences often assume there is a large professional effort behind the scenes but this is typically not the case. From the student volunteers at the conference to the general chairs, or from paper reviewers to paper chairs, our conferences are all volunteer led efforts. Their success depends heavily, and often exclusively, on volunteers giving freely of the time for the betterment of their community.
In 2016, there are over sixty SIGCHI sponsored, co-sponsored or in-cooperation conferences. These events will be held in over 25 countries around the world, and across 6 of the 7 continents, including Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America.
Since we wrote this Interactions article, SIGCHI has been joined by Auto-UI, our 24th sponsored conference. As a SIGCHI member you may feel that our family of conferences are a largely fixed body of events but this isn't the case. Conferences are regularly innovating in the regularity of their events, publication models, sponsorship by SIGCHI or mergers.
In the past few years, some of our conferences have moved from being biannual to annual conferences. For example DIS, has been an annual conference since 2016 while Creativity and Cognition will be an annual event from 2017. Some conferences have merged, for example, Pervasive which wasn't ACM sponsored and UbiComp merged in 2013 to form the ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing. Other conferences have only become SIGCHI sponsored in the past few years, including MobileHCI since 2012, CHIPlay since 2014, IDC since 2015, UMAP since 2016 and Auto-UI from 2017. In the past few years, all papers accepted to TOCHI have the opportunity to present their work at the CHI, CSCW, UIST and MobileHCI conferences. At the moment, a number of conference steering committees are exploring when and how they accept papers.
Many people are surprised to learn that SIGCHI sponsors or co-sponsors 24 conferences along with providing in-cooperation support for over 40 other conferences. To create a more visible presence for our specialized conferences at the annual CHI conference, we asked five student volunteers (who had volunteered for CHI 2016) to design and produce banners displayed at CHI 2016, and as shown on the right here. These volunteers were Anne-Marie Mann from the University of St. Andrews, Yi-Chieh Lee, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Niloofar Zarei, Texas A&M University, Manon Campait, Université Laval and Yue Liu, Columbia University. These volunteers, just like hundreds of others each year, gave their time in working closely with all the conference steering committees to realise these designs.
SIGCHI is increasing the ways it supports student members to attend conferences with the SIGCHI Student Travel Grant and the Gary Marsden Student Development Fund. In addition, since July 2015 SIGCHI has provided 12 grants as part of its SIGCHI Specialized Conferences Development Fund. This has supported activities from Broadening Participation to Video Recording and Tutorials to Telepresence devices.
SIGCHI is a worldwide organization that provides a forum for the exchange of ideas among all people interested in the roles computing technology plays in human activity. Following special interest group meetings at CHI 2016, MobileHCI 2016 and RecSys 2016 the SIGCHI executive committee, along with conference chairs are organising sessions on becoming a Volunteer at ACM SIGCHI at UIST 2016, (signup here if attending UIST) VRST 2016 and CSCW 2017. These events are an opportunity to learn about SIGCHI, what work it undertakes, what roles its volunteers take on and how you might be able to get involved. If you would like to see one of these events at a conference you attend, please get in touch with your general chair or if you are organizing the conference, ask your steering committee chair.
We will continue to update this post with addition items over the course of 2016.
Last updated: Sept 26th, 2016.