Too far for most, too late for all . . .

What Ever Happened to a Timely Calendar of Events?

©Conrad Weisert, Information Disciplines, Inc.,
7 October 2017

Computing professionals have become accustomed to reviewing the calendar of events in the monthly Communications of the ACM. The Calendar in the recent September issue (page 39) was interesting in two ways:

  1. Every listed event was in Europe or India; not a single one that an American could attend without crossing an ocean.

  2. The events were all to take place in early September. However, the magazine appeared in my mailbox on October 5!

As much as I enjoy visiting Vienna or Barcelona, my schedule is full now. So I wouldn't have crossed the ocean for any of them even if I had known a month or two sooner. Still, we wonder what purpose ACM's "Calendar of Events" is intended to serve, informing readers of coming events that have already taken place.

It's also susprising that ACM, an organization founded and headquartered in the United States, couldn't find a single September or October event in its home continent that was worth listing.

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Last modified October 7, 2017

Addendum October 13

We went back and checked earlier editions of Communications, and were surprised and puzzled.

  1. The August issue's Calendar listed five events, all of which were in August.

  2. The July Issue's Calendar listed seven events, all of which had taken place in March!

A celendar of coming events is helpful to readers planning their schedules. But most of us plan our participation, especially when it requires international travel, a month or so in advance. A calendar that doesn't list events for the next six weeks is not useful.