Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM
Communications of the ACM
Editor-in-Chief Moshe Y. Vardi
Categories Computer Science
Frequency monthly
First issue 1957
Company Association for Computing Machinery
Country USA
Language English
ISSN 0001-0782

Communications of the ACM (CACM) is the flagship monthly journal of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). First published in 1957, CACM is sent to all ACM members, currently numbering about 80,000. The articles are intended for readers with backgrounds in all areas of computer science and information systems. The focus is on the practical implications of advances in information technology and associated management issues; ACM also publishes a variety of more theoretical journals.

CACM straddles the boundary of a science magazine, professional journal, and a scientific journal. While the content is subject to peer review (and is counted as such in many university assessments of research output), the articles published are often summaries of research that may also be published elsewhere. Material published must be accessible and relevant to a broad readership. At the publisher's website, CACM is filed in the category "magazines".


Influential articles

Many of the great debates and results in computing history have been published in the pages of CACM. Examples include:

  • The issue of what to call the then-fledgling field of computer science was raised by the editors of DATA-LINK in a letter to the editor of CACM, appearing in 1958, the first year of CACM. They called for giving the field a name "which is brief, definite, distinctive".[1] The call was echoed by a wide range of suggestions, including comptology (Quentin Correll),[2] hypology (P.A. Zaphyr),[3] and datalogy (Peter Naur).[4]
  • C. A. R. Hoare's Quicksort.[5]
  • Martin Davis, George Logemann and Donald Loveland described in 1962 the DPLL algorithm, containing the essential algorithm on which most modern SAT solvers are based.[6]
  • The "Revised report on the algorithm language ALGOL 60": A landmark paper in programming language design describing the result of the international ALGOL committee.[7]
  • The issue of changing ACM's name, since the "machinery" in question is no longer the size of a house and is now measured in micrometres.[8][9][10]
  • Kristen Nygaard and Ole-Johan Dahl's original paper on Simula-67.[11]
  • Edsger W. Dijkstra's famous letter inveighing against the use of GOTO.[12] The letter was reprinted in Jan 2008 in the 60th anniversary edition of CACM.[13]
  • Dijkstra's original paper on the THE operating system. This paper's appendix, arguably even more influential than its main body, introduced semaphore-based synchronization.[14]
  • Ronald L. Rivest, Adi Shamir, and Leonard M. Adleman's first public-key cryptosystem (RSA).[15]

See also


  1. ^ Weiss, E. A.; Corley, Henry P. T. (1958). "Letters to the editor". Communications of the ACM 1 (4): 6. doi:10.1145/368796.368802. 
  2. ^ Communications of the ACM 1 (7): 2. 
  3. ^ Communications of the ACM 2 (1): 4. 
  4. ^ Communications of the ACM 9 (7): 485. 
  5. ^ C.A.R. Hoare (1961). "Partition: Algorithm 63, Quicksort: Algorithm 64, and Find: Algorithm 65". Communications of the ACM 4 (7): 321. 
  6. ^ M. Davis, G. Logemann, D. Loveland (1962). "A Machine Program for Theorem Proving". Communications of the ACM 5 (7): 394. doi:10.1145/368273.368557. 
  7. ^ Backus, J. W.; Wegstein, J. H.; Van Wijngaarden, A.; Woodger, M.; Nauer, P.; Bauer, F. L.; Green, J.; Katz, C. et al. (1963). "Revised report on the algorithm language ALGOL 60". Communications of the ACM 6 (1): 1. doi:10.1145/366193.366201. 
  8. ^ G.E. Forsythe (1965). "President's letter to the ACM membership: Why ACM?". Communications of the ACM 8 (7): 422. doi:10.1145/364995.364997. 
  9. ^ D.D. McCracken (1976). "A letter from the ACM Vice-President: The ACM name change". Communications of the ACM 19 (10): 539. doi:10.1145/360349.360351 . In this letter, McCracken suggests that the word machinery is dropped from the name. To highlight the seriousness of the situation, he writes: "If we don't act sometime, we'll still be called Association for Computing Machinery in the year 2000."
  10. ^ R.L. Ashenhurst (1986). "ACM forum". Communications of the ACM 29 (4): 260–265. doi:10.1145/5684.315614. . A letter by P.A.T. Wolfgang (“I thought that the name issue died in 1978”) and responses by R.L. Ashenhurst and R.F. Hespos.
  11. ^ K. Nygaard, O.-J. Dahl (1966). "Simula: An ALGOL-based simulation language". Communications of the ACM 9 (9): 671. doi:10.1145/365813.365819. 
  12. ^ E.W. Dijkstra (1968). "Go To statement considered harmful". Communications of the ACM 11 (3): 148. 
  13. ^ E.W. Dijkstra (2008 [1968]). "(A Look Back at) Go To Statement Considered Harmful". Association for Computing Machinery. Retrieved 2008-06-12. 
  14. ^ E.W. Dijkstra (1968). "Structure of the 'THE'-Multiprogramming System". Communications of the ACM 11 (5): 341. doi:10.1145/363095.363143. 
  15. ^ R.L. Rivest, A. Shamir, L.M. Adleman (1978). "A Method for Obtaining Digital Signatures and Public-Key Cryptosystems". Communications of the ACM 21 (2): 120. doi:10.1145/359340.359342. 

External links

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