August ’13 Newsletter

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As we approach the end of the summer, the DC chapter of the ACM is embarking on a new set of initiatives for the local community. As called for by the ACM’s purpose and mission, we are enthusiastically planning professional development opportunities. To welcome and include all, our August newsletter describes initiatives that you can participate in.

Conversations: Privacy & Trust

Many ACM members have dedicated their careers towards building the Internet, with the aspiration of creating a global communication network that benefits all. The recent discussions around privacy and trust have raised questions about the direction that Internet development is going. The DC ACM would like to start local conversations around this topic and offer a forum to share opinions on the matter. If you are interested in participating, please email NB: The DC ACM is in talks with the Internet Society and our ACM President to create a larger forum for discussion.

Professional Development: Turing Award Winner Talk

Bob Kahn, Turing award winner and co-inventor of TCP/IP, has graciously offered to speak to local ACM members. We are excited to host him, as we did for Vint Cerf earlier this year, and are busy planning the event logistics for an engaging technical talk. More details on the October event will be made available in a subsequent email. If you want to be a part of the planning committee, please email

Volunteer Opportunities:

·      NSF Stem Career Fair for Kids
·      Privacy & Trust Conversations
·      Web Programmer for our RWD project
·      Student Professional Development

Please view our projects page for more information on these volunteer opportunities.

Local Updates

The DC area, with thousands of computer scientists and IT professionals, has a tremendous amount of community. I believe this is most evidenced by the activity occuring on groups. In addition to the DC ACM’s meetup group,, there are many other groups creating events for individuals with specific interests. There are groups for Google Glass, Data Analytics, Makerspaces, and even languages such as Ruby or Python. We encourage you to explore to and discover the exciting things happening in the DC area.

For those interested in 3D printing, please consider visiting our exhibit at the upcoming NSF STEM Career Fair. With curiosity, many have asked about the connection 3D printing has to computer science. To me, the academic interest in the ability to manufacture items from computer controlled printers, using materials like plastic, metal, or even substances like chocolate, is the best example of how relevant 3D printing is to computer science. The research is reflective of what is up and coming in the technology world. While the ACM SIGGRAPH group shows the most activity around 3D printing, I can envision the technology becoming its own special interest group (SIG) one day. For hobbyists: it’s enjoyable to witness a 3D printer in action, and to tinker with the various pieces of software that make a 3D printer work. Kids love them. Contact Varetta Huggins, our project manager, for more details on our exhibit or to get involved.

For fans of the arts, there are some unique upcoming events that blend technology. The Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler Gallery is hosting an evening event on Saturday, August 17, 2013 featuring martial arts and 3D-Printing, titled “Asia After Dark.” It will feature 3D printing and scanning technology from Smithsonian experts. Check out the Smithsonian website for more information:

Thanks for reading. How do you feel about this post? Please write with your thoughts.

Amar Zumkhawala
Chair, DC ACM