This is the first time a Brazilian researcher is elected for this role.
Claudia Bauzer Medeiros, from the Center for Computational Engineering & Sciences (CCES), at the University of Campinas (Unicamp), has been elected for the board of the American Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). The board, made up by 16 scientists, decides on the entity’s paths, which is composed by over 100 thousand members around the globe. These decisions are related to how an annual budget of tens of millions of dollars will be spent, such as in sponsoring conferences around the world, publishing several journals – each influencing a specific field in computational research -, promoting professional development courses, offering scholarships and fostering collaborative networks among their associates.
ACM is also in charge of providing online content for students, from High School (courses and learning materials) to post-graduation (scientific articles), and of annually selecting the recipient of the Turing Award, the Nobel Prize of computing. In addition, the Association contributes to technological and scientific computing policies in the US and in other countries, taking part of and being heard at parliamentary committees on the matter.
“My election for the board went like this: there were two positions to be occupied and four people were nominated; a world-wide electoral college voted over the Internet with ballots cryptographically identified, and the process lasted for around a month”, clarifies Medeiros. “Officially, my role at ACM is voting on actions to be taken towards researching, teaching and promoting scientific and technological policies. It’s possible to vote in person – two meetings per year – and virtually. Ever since I was elected, in June, I’ve already voted from afar four times”, says the researcher.
Medeiros also intends on boosting the interaction between ACM and Latin-American computing associations, specially the Brazilian Computing Society (Sociedade Brasileira de Computação – SBC), to which Medeiros was chairperson between 2003 and 2007. “SBC is a very important society, certainly the largest in Latin America and one the most active in the world”, explains. Something Medeiros also wants to tackle are multidisciplinary actions between computing and other areas of knowledge, promoting eScience, accordingly to CCES researches.
“The upside of working with researchers from others fields is sharing different world views that allow me to advance in my research while I contribute to the development of researches in other areas. In fact, this is the primary definition of eScience: joint work between computing and other areas of knowledge, enabling scientists from other fields to conduct their researches more efficiently or distinctly, while research in computing is also improved, accelerated and modified”, defines the board member.
Medeiros’ speech goes along with her academic background, which started in the Electric Engineering graduation course, at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio), in 1976. Her emphasis nowadays, as full professor at the Institute of Computing (IC – Unicamp), is to work with scientific data management and analysis to develop multidisciplinary projects. The outcomes of these researches are practical applications related to wide-ranging areas of knowledge, such as chemistry, biology, urban planning, agronomics and social sciences. Other than to ACM, the researcher is also a board member of the Research Data Alliance, an international entity with nearly 7 thousand members in 136 countries, that aims to creating policies and mechanisms for data management in Open Science. Medeiros is an honorary doctor as well, by both the Antenor Orrego University, in Peru, and the Paris-Dauphine University, in France, and commendator at the National Order of Scientific Merit, in Brazil.