People of ACM - Bulletin Archive

"People of ACM" highlights the unique scientific accomplishments and compelling personal attributes of ACM members who are making a difference in advancing computing as a science and a profession. These bulletins feature ACM members whose personal and professional stories are a source of inspiration for the larger computing community.


Meet Torsten Hoefler

Torsten Hoefler is a Professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, where he serves as Director of the Scalable Parallel Computing Laboratory. He is also the Chief Architect for Machine Learning at the Swiss National Computing Center and a long-term consultant to Microsoft in areas including large-scale AI and networking. In his interview, he discusses ETH Zurich's Scalable Parallel Computing Laboratory, the exascale computer Frontier, MPI and high performance computing, and more.

Meet Xing Xie

Xing Xie is a Partner Research Manager at Microsoft Research Asia. His research interests include data mining, social computing, and responsible AI. He is a Fellow of the China Computing Federation and was recently named an ACM Fellow for contributions to spatial data mining and recommendation systems. In his interview, he discusses Microsoft Research's Societal AI initiative, how AI is transforming recommendation systems, and more.

Meet Nesime Tatbul

Nesime Tatbul is a Senior Research Scientist at Intel’s Parallel Computing Lab (PCL) and MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL). Her research interests are broadly in large-scale data management systems and modern data-intensive applications, with a recent focus on learned data systems, time series analytics, and observability data management. In her interview, she discusses large-scale data management systems, stream processing, working in both industry and academia, and more.

Meet Zvi Galil

Zvi Galil is the Frederick G. Storey Chair and Executive Advisor to Online Programs at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). His earlier positions have included Dean of Georgia Tech’s College of Computing, President of Tel Aviv University, Chair of Columbia University’s Computer Science Department, and Dean of Columbia University’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. In his interview, he discusses his key accomplishments as the Dean of the Columbia School of Engineering, his innovative Online Master of Science Degree in Computer Science program, and more.

Meet Lauren Wilcox

Lauren Wilcox is a Senior Director and Distinguished Applied Scientist at eBay, where she leads eBay’s Office of Responsible AI. Wilcox has held research and organizational leadership roles in both industry and academia. At Google Research, she was a senior staff research scientist and group manager of the Technology, AI, Society & Culture (TASC) team. In her interview, she discusses her present role at eBay, an area at the intersection of AI and society that requires attention, and more.

Meet Gérard Medioni

Gérard G. Medioni is a Vice President and Distinguished Scientist at Amazon. He is also an Emeritus Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southern California, where he served as Chairman of the Computer Science Department from 2001 to 2007. Medioni joined Amazon in 2014 to help create Just Walk Out technology. He was named an ACM Fellow for contributions to computer vision and its consumer-facing applications. In his interview, he discusses early computer vision work, the most transformative innovations in the field, and more

Meet Elaine Shi

Elaine Runting Shi is an Associate Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, where she is part of CyLab, CMU’s Security and Privacy Institute. Her research interests include cryptography, game theory, algorithms, and the foundations of blockchains. She is part of a small group of people whose work spans systems and theory. Shi was named an ACM Fellow for contributions to the scientific foundation of oblivious computation and decentralized blockchains. In her interview, she discusses cybersecurity at the intersection of theory and practice, her unique textbook on blockchain tech, and more.

Meet Deirdre K. Mulligan

Deirdre K. Mulligan serves as Principal Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer in the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). OSTP works to maximize the benefits of science and technology to advance health, prosperity, security, environmental quality, and equity for all Americans. OSTP advises the President and White House senior staff on key issues related to science and technology, and coordinates Federal Government technology policy and priorities. In her interview, she discusses her role as Deputy US Technology Officer, emerging challenges in information technology law, and more

Meet Kurt Mehlhorn

Kurt Mehlhorn was a director of the Max Planck Institute for Informatics for thirty years from 1990 - 2020. He was the recipient of the 2010 ACM Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award for contributions to algorithm engineering by creating the LEDA Library for algorithmic problem solving, and was named an ACM Fellow for important contributions in complexity theory and in the design, analysis, and practice of combinatorial and geometric algorithms. In his interview, he discusses computational complexity, algorithm engineering, the allocation of funds for research, and more.

Meet Adrien Bousseau

Adrien Bousseau is a Senior Researcher at the French National Institute for Research in Digital Science and Technology (Inria). He focuses on helping designers communicate with computers. Bousseau’s work has been applied in areas including architecture, fashion, and industrial design. His honors include a Eurographics 2011 PhD award for his research on expressive image manipulations and a Young Researcher Award from the French National Research Agency (ANR). In his interview, he discusses creating imaging tools, diffusion curves, the challenges of reconstructing drawings as 3D models, and more.

Meet Robert Metcalfe

Robert Metcalfe is the recipient of the 2022 ACM A.M. Turing Award for the invention, standardization, and commercialization of Ethernet. He is an Emeritus Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at The University of Texas at Austin and a Research Affiliate in Computational Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). In his interview, Metcalfe discusses the early development of Ethernet, why Ethernet became the preeminent connective technology, some advice for young inventors, and more.

Meet Christina Harrington

Christina Harrington is an Assistant Professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s HCI Institute, where she is Director of the Equity and Health Innovations Design Research Lab. She also has a courtesy appointment in CMU’s School of Design.Among her volunteer activities with ACM, she was a General Co-Chair of the 2023 ACM Conference on Fairness, Accountability and Transparency (FAccT). This year, Harrington was recognized with the Computing Research Association’s (CRA) Skip Ellis Early Career Award. In her interview, she discusses “Black-centered design,” broadening the participation of underrepresented groups in computing, and more.

Meet Alfons Kemper

Alfons Kemper is a Professor of Database Systems and Head of the Department of Computer Science at the Technical University of Munich, as well as Principal Technical Advisor at Tableau/Salesforce. His research interests focus on advanced, scalable database and data exploration systems. Together with his colleague Thomas Neumann, Kemper led the development of the innovative New-SQL database system HyPer—a main memory database system that was acquired by Tableau Software. In his interview, he discusses how the focus of his lab is unique within the field, a key innovation in the development of HyPer, and more.

Meet Janet Haven

Janet Haven is the Executive Director of Data & Society, a non-profit organization with a mission to advance public understanding of the social implications of data-centric technologies, automation, and AI. She is also a member of the (US) National Artificial Intelligence Advisory Committee. For ACM, she serves as a member of the ACM US Technology Policy Committee (ACM USTPC). In her interview, she discusses her research and advocacy at the intersection of public policy and technology, AI regulation, her work with Data & Society, and more.

Janet Haven

Meet Wenwu Zhu

Wenwu Zhu is a Professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. His research interests include multimedia intelligence and graph machine learning. Zhu has been a leading volunteer with ACM conferences including the ACM Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM), where he served as General Co-Chair in 2019, and ACM Multimedia, where he served as General Co-Chair in 2018 and Technical Program Chair in 2014. He received the ACM SIGMM Technical Achievement Award in 2023. In his interview, he discusses advances in multimedia research, challenges to mining information from networks, and more.

Wenwu Zhu

Meet Julie Williamson

Julie Williamson is a Senior Lecturer in Human-Computer Interaction at the University of Glasgow, where she leads the Future Immersive Interaction Group. Her current research focuses on social signal processing in social immersive experiences, as well as exploring interpersonal social signals between individuals and across realities. In her interview, she discusses “design fiction,” being part of the annual ACM CHI Conference organizing committee, studying the willingness of users to perform gestures using their mobile devices in public spaces, and more.

Julie Williamson