Saturday, July 4, 2009

What Does SIGMOD Need?

Each four years, the ACM SIGMOD membership elects a Chair, a Vice-Chair, and a Secretary/Treasurer. This past week, the results of the 2009 election were announced. I ran for Vice Chair and had the great fortune to be elected.

As part of the election process, the candidates write a statement. I have included my statement below. When I take office, I will start working with my fellow SIGMOD officers on transforming the statement into concrete action. They, too, have written statements and no doubt have their own views on the matters that I address.

I hope to be able to elaborate on my statement in future blog posts. If, having read the statement, you have any comments or suggestions, please share.

Vice Chair statement:

“SIGMOD is an outstanding organization and it is a privilege to be given the opportunity to run for Vice Chair. If elected, my main objectives will be to understand and meet the needs of the community as best as I am able. I am committed to continuing to innovate SIGMOD.

The SIGMOD Conference is of central importance to the SIGMOD community. Recent years have seen increased dissatisfaction with the review process, and many attempts have been made at reengineering the review process within the constraints of a conference setting. However, if the quality of the reviewing itself is not high, such reengineering is ineffective. Many have observed that there are few rewards for good reviewing. I propose that SIGMOD initiates an effort to find ways of rewarding quality reviewing, to be introduced gradually and evaluated in a systematic manner.

I will work to integrate social networking tools into the SIGMOD web site in a way consistent with the high quality of SIGMOD, to ensure that the site reflects the breadth of our community and becomes more dynamic.

In particular, I believe that the very advances brought about by members of our community in the area of web data offer opportunities for further improving the SIGMOD web site. As one example, we should aim for a much more dynamic site that members of the community will want to visit frequently. To achieve that, additional and relevant content, including member-generated content, should be enabled. We should also aim for new ways of establishing an increased SIGMOD presence on the web.

Next, SIGMOD can and should do more to involve and provide services to its members and to the database community across the globe. For example, regional columns may be introduced in SIGMOD Record and on the SIGOMD web site.

Throughout my twenty years as a database researcher, I have had substantial collaborations across Asia, Europe, and the US; and I have spent substantial time in each. As a result, I am aware of the many different perspectives within our profession, and I will work hard to represent and honor them all. I have built a sizable research group in my department and I have served in leadership roles for top conferences as well as on some 140 PCs. That is the kind of commitment I will bring to SIGMOD.”