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Making a Difference in Computing and Information Technology

May 2015 President’s Letter

05/15/2015 12:43 PM | B. Eugene Jones (Administrator)

AAoC President’s Newsletter – May 2015

Dear Arkansas Academy of Computing Members, 

On behalf of the Executive Committee, I am pleased to provide our membership an update on the following:

* Governor’s Task Force on Computer Science / Input Needed
* Save the Date!  October 9th & 10th is our annual meeting in Little Rock
* Call for Membership Nominees – Due June 15
* UALR signs MOU with the Academy
* Changes at U of A CSCE Department
* The Academy Launches New Chapter for The University of Arkansas

Governor’s Task Force on Computer Science / Input Needed

In February, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed into law an act requiring all public High Schools in the state to offer a Computer Science class.  Along with this new law, the Governor formed a public/private Task Force to help execute on near-term priorities, as well as create a five year vision for how the state can leverage the Computer Science Initiative to have the greatest impact.

Academy member James Hendren is the Task Force Chair and members include Gary Dowdy and Carl Frank.  Here’s proof the mission of the Academy as a statewide resource to make a difference in computing is working!

Very important:  As your representative on the Task Force, I would greatly appreciate any input to maximize our contribution on this important initiative.

Read more about the Law and Task Force:

Act 1183 (Computer Science Law)

Task Force Members Press Release

Save the Date! 
The Academy’s Annual Banquet and Business Meeting is set for October 9 and 10 in Little Rock

Our annual banquet and business meeting has moved to the fall.  Please make note of our new meeting date and location.  On Friday, October 9 at 6:00 PM, we will have the Annual Banquet and New Member Induction at the Pleasant Valley Country Club in Little Rock.  On Saturday morning, October 10, we will have our Annual Business Meeting in the EIT College Building on the UALR campus.  A formal invitation and agenda will be mailed this summer.  Please save the date now.


Call for Membership Nominees

The nomination process for new membership into the Academy is now open. The nomination form is located on our website at http://araoc.org/members/nominate

Please take some time to consider potential members in all corners of our state and help us to be more inclusive.

Membership requirements are for persons who are:

* born in or educated in Arkansas who have made a sustained and substantial contribution to computing, or

* not born in or educated in Arkansas but who have made a sustained and substantial contribution to computing in Arkansas.

The nomination process closes on June 15, 2015.  By the end of July, the Executive Committee will review nominees, rank and vote for the 2015 membership class.  Membership is normally limited to ten new members in a given year.  Membership decisions will be communicated via the sponsoring member.

Rex Eads is our Membership Chair and can be reached at rex.eads@comcast.net.


UALR signs MOU with the Academy

On February 20, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) and the Academy signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish and define a long-term relationship and division of responsibilities between UALR’s EIT Department and the Academy.  The intent of the MOU is for UALR to provide administrative and related support to the Academy, particularly around our annual event in Little Rock. 

With the UALR EIT agreement and our strong relationship with the CSCE Department at the U of A, the Academy should have the support required to be a statewide resource.

Please thank Don Hatfield and Collins Andrews for leading this effort.


Changes at U of A CSCE Department

In June, Dr. Susan Gauch steps down as Head of the Computer Science and Computer Engineering (CSCE) Department.  Susan joined the department in 2007.  Under her leadership, enrollment of CSCE students, undergraduate and graduate, has increased from 262 to 492 while maintaining about the same number of faculty.  That’s pretty impressive given the department’s budget constraints!

Susan and her husband, John, are taking a yearlong sabbatical to teach in Barcelona, Spain.  In 2017, Susan will return to the U of A as a tenured professor in the CSCE Department. 

In recognition of her support of the Academy, we presented Susan with a plaque.  You can see a picture Susan and her plaque at our website at www.araoc.org.  Thank you Susan and safe travels!

Starting July 1, Dr. Xiaoqing “Frank” Liu will be the new Department Head of CSCE and will hold the Rodger S. Kline Leadership Chair.  Dr. Liu comes from the Missouri University of Science and Technology where he served as professor of computer science and associate chair for graduate studies and external affairs in the computer science department.   We look forward to working with Dr. Liu and hope you all will be able to meet him at our annual meeting.


The Academy Launches New Chapter for The University of Arkansas

On April 25, we officially launched The University of Arkansas Chapter of the Arkansas Academy of Computing.  The new chapter will focus on the past history, current activities, and future goals of the University of Arkansas’s CSCE department (Fayetteville only).  The chapter’s members will be drawn from our broader Academy membership – e.g. the chapter will be a subset of the Academy, not a separate entity.  In addition, the membership will consist mostly of CSCE graduates from the Fayetteville campus.

The University of Arkansas Chapter of the Arkansas Academy of Computing inaugural class includes the following members:

* Tracy Black
* Charles Blackstock
* Steve Brothers
* Gary Dowdy
* Kim Clower, Treasurer
* Rex Eads, President
* Lang Zimmerman
* Dr. Robert Crisp (Academic Member)
* Dr. Craig Thompson (Academic Member)
* Rodger Kline (Honorary Member)
* Charles Morgan (Honorary Member)

The Chapter will meet annually during the Engineering Weekend at The U of A campus each spring.

Thanks for making a difference in computing!



Gary Dowdy
Arkansas Academy of Computing

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