Professional Chapters Annual Report, June 2002

Submitted: June 30, 2002 by Thierry Frey ACM SIGGRAPH Director for Chapters


After a difficult 2001-2002 year, the chapters are back on the right tracks. Our successful presence at the conference in Los Angeles was followed by a very active year: almost 150 events were organized by the chapters around the world. A few initiatives were launched to further develop the network of chapters. We expect 2002-2003 will see many new chapters, especially student chapters.

Professional and Student Chapters Committee (PSCC)

The Professional Chapters Committee has changed its name to reflect our initiative to increase the number of student chapters. The composition of the committee is: Jenny Dana (Electronic Services), Etta di Leo (Publications), Mary Higgins (Webmaster), Adele Newton (Outreach), Fran Zandonella (Grants & Loans), Genny Yee (Events), Scott Lang (Student Chapters & Start-Ups), Fran McAfee (Inreach and Traveling Events) and Juan Lopez Michelone (Internationalization). The committee is chaired by the ACM SIGGRAPH Director for Chapters.

The PSCC met on March 1-3 in Toronto to define the activities of the chapters at SIGGRAPH 2002 and to refine the course of action for the coming year. With the help of our guest, Alain Chesnais, the committee decided to focus its effort on three topics.

1) chapter public relations

There is a constant need for the chapters to publicize their activities. While some chapters are very successful, other struggle to gain exposure in their community. The PSCC has undertaken to create a dedicated ACM SIGGRAPH Chapters Press & Public Relations Kit with the help of ACM.

2) chapter management

Running a chapter entails a lot of day-to-day administration. To help the officers focus on creative activities, we are developing a software, Chapter Administration Web Application (CAWA). This application will ease the burden of officers by eventually managing all aspects of running a chapter: membership, events, web site, mailing lists, annual reports.

3) student participation

We hope to encourage more students to join both professional and student chapters and create new student chapters.

Chapter Life Cycle

We chartered three new chapters this year: Cascade ACM SIGGRAPH Professional Chapter (Oregon/Washington), Montreal ACM SIGGRAPH Professional Chapter (Canada), University of Bristol ACM SIGGRAPH Student Chapter (United Kingdom).

We have received requests from individuals who would like to start a chapter in the following areas: Canterbury (New Zealand), Cincinnati, Cleveland, Honolulu and Milwaukee. We are also very pleased that some chapters walk the path of revival, thanks to the work of many volunteers in Atlanta, Chicago and the Rio Grande corridor.

Forty-two professional chapters are active or being created in seventeen countries around the world. Fifteen student chapters are active or being created, mainly in the USA.

Conference Activities

The conference is a very big event for the chapters, as is it the only occasion for them to get together. The biggest day is always the Chapters Workshop, on the Saturday before the conference. We met on Saturday 11 August 2001 for the sixth Professional Chapters Development Workshop. The chapter representatives were able to meet and discuss with members of the ACM SIGGRAPH Executive Committee, Advisory Group and Conference Committee. A series of presentations and talks allowed everyone to exchange their experience in running a chapter efficiently.

Even though the traditional Chapters Party was not organized, the rest of the week was very busy. The Chapters Booth in the Organization Village attracts more and more conference attendees in search of information. The Professional Chapters Business meeting and Start-Up meeting, as well as the Student Chapters Start-Up meeting broke all records of attendance. Lastly, the student chapter officers and members that came to the conference organized a Birds of a Feather to discuss among themselves.

The Rest of the Year

As previously written, the professional and student chapters organized almost 150 events during the past year, alone or in cooperation with other local groups. The range of activities is very wide: conferences, round tables, video screenings, art shows (the Traveling Art Show was hosted by three chapters), site visits, promotion of the annual conference and many more. Attendance to these events vary from a few persons to a crowd of over seven hundreds.

In March, the Director for Chapters was part of the ACM SIGGRAPH delegation to Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. The three chapters in Melbourne, Sydney and Singapore were very supportive of this initiative and had a big hand in the success of the trip. Three cities in New Zealand -Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch/Canterbury- have expressed interest in starting a professional chapter, the latter about to petition for a charter.