End of 2018 Recap From SIGCHI

End of 2018 Recap From SIGCHI

The following email was sent out to all SIGCHI members on December 31, 2018.

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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.

It was a big year for changes. You elected a new Executive Committee in June. Immediately after, and for the first time ever, I asked the membership for challenges and opportunities for the new EC to tackle in the coming three years and these fed into our Strategic Initiatives as well as appointing an Adjunct Chair for Inclusion. We also had open calls to fill appointed EC positions and thus we welcomed two new EC members. In the new year we will continue to define and grow the SIGCHI leadership and committees. We will also be rolling out new opportunities for ideas and feedback as we innovate on our organization, conferences, and publications.

The SIGCHI EC has also rolled out three new initiatives this year to support our growing and diverse membership. The first is the ACM SIGCHI Early Career Mentorship for Developing Communities fund – a fund to support early-career scholars in HCI/UX from UNESCO’s list of developing countries to participate in a meeting for mentorship. The second was the introduction of reduced membership rates for those from developing countries. And the third is the retooling of our SIGCHI Development Fund – a general program for SIGCHI members to request funds to host summer/winter schools, diversity and inclusion events, or any other innovative programs/activities that align with the SIGCHI EC’s Strategic Initiatives.

This year, our 24 conferences have continued to grow and innovate. Our flagship conference, CHI 2018 in Montreal, had 666 papers and over 3300 attendees – by far one of the most on both accounts. But our growing family of 23 specialized conferences is not to be outdone with over 1300 papers presented and over 9000 attendees in 2018. These publication numbers indicate the growing need for reviewers and this is a pain point we are going to focus on in the new year. These numbers also reflect some record highs in attendance at our conferences in 2018, such as at RecSys and IUI. To offset some of the impact of travel and encourage cross-interaction, in 2019 C&C and DIS will co-locate, a trend we are encouraging.

Publication innovations have also taken hold in 2018. Three of our conferences published in the new Proceedings of the ACM: CSCW, EICS, and Ubicomp. This year, the CHI 2019 Program Committee was entirely virtual in order to be more inclusive in who can participate as an associate chair. And it was a record year for submissions and reviews: across the 2960 papers submitted, a total of 2799 external reviewers completed 5433 external reviews. As always, we thank you all for your service to the community and to science.

We have continued to support our membership and conferences with new systems such as the new SIGCHI mobile app for conference programs and the new calendar with all calls for papers. And we are busy in supporting our PCS vendor to build and refine PCS 2.0 – an infrastructure necessity in order to handle the scale of papers and reviewers. Next on the agenda is to build a streamlined process from PCS to the ACM DL – a project we hope to roll out this coming year.

As we move forward into the new year, the SIGCHI Executive Committee will continue to grow and evolve to address the needs of our membership. The challenges we face – reviewer fatigue, equity and inclusion barriers, and the new ACM publication templates – will be tackled by our organization’s amazing set of volunteers. If you are interested in being a part of the changes being made, I encourage you to check out some of our open calls listed below for leadership and committee opportunities and consider applying yourself or nominating a colleague. And in the coming year, we will have even more opportunities to get involved, be heard, and propel SIGCHI and HCI forward.

Open Calls:
Interim VP for Membership and Communications: https://bit.ly/2rWOD0d
Publications Committee: https://bit.ly/2VfKeTq
SIGCHI representative to the ACM Education Council: https://goo.gl/forms/yE0srJ5kWtWZzqdO2
Join the Research Ethics community and participate in the election for the next chair: https://sigchi.org/communities/
Volunteering resource and signup: https://sigchi.org/get-involved/volunteer/
Contact the AC for Inclusion to get involved: allisond@druin.org

Resources:
SIGCHI Development Fund https://sigchi.org/resources/sigchi-development-fund/
ACM SIGCHI Early Career Mentorship for Developing Communities fund https://sigchi.org/resources/acm-sigchi-early-career-mentorship-for-developing-communities/
SIGCHI Student Travel Grants: https://sigchi.org/conferences/student-travel-grants/
SIGCHI Conference Program Mobile app: https://sigchi.org/mobile/
SIGCHI Conferences Calendar: https://sigchi.org/conferences/calendar/

Popular SIGCHI Blog Posts of 2018:
https://sigchi.org/2018/10/the-possibilities-of-inclusion-for-sigchi/
https://sigchi.org/2018/09/new-sigchi-ec-vps-and-acs-announced/
https://sigchi.org/2018/09/outcome-of-the-first-call-for-sigchi-grand-challenges/
https://sigchi.org/2018/09/sigchi-ec-values-and-strategic-initiatives/

Happy New Year!
Helena Mentis, SIGCHI President