Policy Highlights from Communications of the ACM – April 2011 (Vol. 54, No. 4)

By David Bruggeman
July 7, 2011

Below is a list of items with policy relevance from the April issue of Communications of the ACM. As always, much of the material in CACM is premium content, and free content one month may slip behind a pay wall the next. You need to be a member of ACM or a subscriber to CACM to access premium content online.

Educating Computing’s Next Generation by Robert B. Schnabel
The chair of ACM’s Education Policy Committee describes the charge and activities of the Committee.

News: Society
Social Games, Virtual Goods by Samuel Greengard
A brief update on how online games and the currency used in those games can have physical world impacts.

News: Academia
British Computer Scientists Reboot by Sarah Underwood
How one computer science department in a U.K. university is struggling with budget cuts and poor research rankings.

Asymmetries and Shortages of the Network Neutrality Principle by José Luis Gómez-Barroso and Claudio Feijóo
Discussion of the narrow scope of the net neutrality debates.

Contributed Articles
Reflecting on the DARPA Red Balloon Challenge by John C. Tang, Manuel Cebrian, Nicklaus A. Giacobe, Hyun-Woo Kim, Taemie Kim, and Douglas “Beaker” Wickert
Overview of the 2009 DARPA Red Balloon Challenge, where the Internet and social networking helped facilitate locating 10 balloons scattered across the U.S.

Review Articles
Crowdsourcing Systems on the World-Wide Web by Anhai Doan, Raghu Ramakrishnan, and Alon Y. Halevy
A review of current crowdsourcing systems, how they can be supported online, and challenges facing their expansion.

Research Highlights
Liability Issues in Software Engineering: The Use of Formal Methods to Reduce Legal Uncertainties by Daniel Le Métayer, Manuel Maarek, Eduardo Mazza, Marie-Laure Potet, Stéphane Frénot, Valérie Viet Triem Tong, Nicolas Craipeau, and Ronan Hardouin
The article summarizes the results of a project to define and establish software liability.