Picture of William Gropp
Support William Gropp for IEEE Computer Society President-Elect for 2021!

Why you should vote in the Computer Society Elections

The elections select the leadership of your society. This includes the Board of Governors as well as the leadership (two vice presidents and a president).

The IEEE-CS Board of Governors represents the membership of the IEEE Computer Society. It is important that this board represent all of the membership of the Computer Society and that it be not just knowlegable about the technical issues in computing but about the strategic issues facing professional societies today in their publications, support for conferences, and other services to members. The role of the Board of Governors is described in Article III of the Computer Society Bylaws.

The role of the executive committee membership (including the president, president-elect, and vice presidents) is described in Article V of the Computer Society Bylaws. The president has a 3 year term—1 year each as president-elect, president, and past-president.

How to Vote

You should have received email from with voting instructions from noreply@votenet.com. If not (e.g., because it went to your Spam folder), you can vote at https://eballot4.votenet.com/IEEE. Polls close at 21:00 UTC (5PM EDT) on Monday, September 21, 2020. If you have any questions about the voting process, you can email ieee-computervote@ieee.org .

Note that the IEEE Computer Society is part of IEEE, and that IEEE elections for president are also taking place. Make sure you are voting for me in the IEEE Computer Society election.

Why you should vote for me

The Computer Society is a great organization with tremendous potential, but it is also struggling with the challenges of a rapidly changing field, especially in terms of how we network and share with each other. The pandemic has added new challenges, making it more difficult to interact face-to-face, while also giving us a crash course in working remotely and using the technologies that our field has developed to stay in touch with each other. In my service with the Computer Society, both as general chair of the largest conference, as a member of the board of governors, and for the last year as the Vice President for Technical and Conference Activities, I have seen both the potential and the missed opportunities. Using those strengths to address the challenges is the plan that I have set out in my position statement. If you believe with me that building on the “society” in our name, along with the innovative, adaptable, and nimble people that make up our profession is the right way to move forward, then please entrust me with your vote.

Some Ideas for Improving the IEEE Computer Society

I think that the best ideas will come from the membership, in collaboration with the IEEE-CS leadership (including the Board of Governors) and the IEEE-CS staff. However, to show that there are both opportunities and a few challenges, here are some ideas that I will explore. And should I not be elected, I will offer these in my role as a member of the board of governors.

One point that I'd like to make first. There are many things that we'd like to do for our profession. For some, the Computer Society has a clear leadership role, for example, in conferences and publications. In others, the Computer Society can support and encourage, helping our membership mobilize to address issues and solve problems. And some things may be out of scope for various reasons, including available resources, the non-profit status of the IEEE and the Computer Society, the need to represent all members of our profession, etc. As you think about what you'd like to see the Computer Society accomplish, keep in mind the unique strengths and resources of the Computer Society, and in what areas the Computer Society can make a big impact.

Click on each topic to see more text.

The Membership in the Computer Society has been slowly but steadily declining in number. The Computer Society has been looking at ways to attract more members, and I support those efforts. Important areas to address include international membership and membership from industry.
Diversity and Inclusion

More about me

Two Books You Should Read

I've recently read several books that I found illuminating and that I believe everyone should read. One is Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men; this is a very data-rich indictment of how women are ignored in ways large and small, to the determint of all of us.

We've seen tremendous advances in the application of computing and data, but we've also seen some of the negative consequences of even unintentional misuse of data. I think every computer scientist should read Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy. Not only does the author make a compelling case, she offers principles that, if widely adopted, would help Big Data benefit, rather than threaten, society. I'd like to see every student in Computer Science read and discuss this book.

Are there books that you think I should read? Let me know!

Some recent work on behalf of the community

IEEE CS Activities

Major Accomplishments
  • I have contributed to the technical and financial success of the largest conference sponsored by IEEE-CS, the SC conference (supercomputing.org), particularly as technical papers and program chair, and as finance chair in 2011 and general chair in 2013.
  • I was the chair of the IEEE-CS Ad Hoc to improve SC conference relations. As such, I was involved with establishing the Technical Council on HPC inside the CS.
  • I organized IEEE Cluster 2002 in Chicago, including the bid, local arrangements, and served as technical program chair.
IEEE Conference Leadership
  • IEEE/ACM SC06 Technical papers co-chair
  • IEEE/ACM SC09 Technical program chair
  • IEEE/ACM SC11 Finance chair
  • IEEE/ACM SC13 General chair
  • IEEE/ACM SC17 Vice chair
  • IEEE/ACM SC19 Plenary production (Keynote) chair
  • IEEE/ACM SC Steering committee (2011-2015; chair-2014)
  • IEEE Cluster conference 2002 Technical program chair
  • IEEE Cluster conference 2006 Technical program chair
  • IEEE/ACM CCGrid 2012 Technical program Area chair
Technical program committee member for IEEE Conferences
  • IEEE/ACM SC 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2020
  • IEEE/ACM CCGrid 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
  • IEEE Cluster 2003, 2004, 2014, 2015, 2016
  • IEEE IPDPS 2004, 2008, 2014, 2015
  • IEEE IWIA 2003, 2007
  • IEEE/ACM PACT 2015, 2016
  • IEEE BDSE 2014
Other IEEE Activities
  • IEEE-CS Board of Governors since 2017
  • IEEE-CS VP for Technical and Conference Activities 2019-2020
  • Chair, 2016 Ad Hoc to improve IEEE-CS / SC conference relations
  • IEEE-CS Seymour Cray Award committee (2004,2009)
  • IEEE-CS Sidney Fernbach Award Committee (2009)
  • ACM/IEEE-CS Ken Kennedy Award Committee (2017-2019), chair in 2019

Not only work

  • I am lucky to have a great family. My wife, Patty, has been an unflagging source of support and love. My son, Chris, is a graduate student in Computer Science at The University of Tennessee-Knoxville, where he is working on AI. In 2017, he ran on over 1,100,000 cores currently on AWS as part of some work on topic modeling at Clemson University.
  • I'm a fan of science fiction. Among movies and videos, Serenity is a favorite; I saw it before seeing Firefly. Babylon 5 is another favorite; it was one of the first TV series with a multi-year arc. Though I don't normally read or watch horror, Annihilation, both the book by Jeff Vanderkamp, and the movie (best described as inspired by the novel), are both evocative and horrifying because of the setting and events, not because of any gruesome images.
    For books, some recent favorites include the Laundry stories of Charles Stross and the Craft sequence of Max Gladstone; both are takes on modern bureaucracies meet the occult (though very different) and are good light reading. Another, darker entry in this genre is The Rook, by Daniel O'Malley. C.J. Cherryh is another favorite; both the early stories such as the Morgaine Stories and the on-going Foreigner novels.
  • I also read a lot of history ("those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it"). Two recent reads include The First Congress, about the first congress after the US constitution was ratified (and the statecraft and otherwise that defined the mechanisms for the US government that in many cases are still with us), and Neptune's Inferno, about the US Navy at Guadalcanal, with an interesting emphasis on missed opportunities for American dominance by failing to properly exploit the American's lead in Radar.
  • The intersection of the arts and technology interest me. 19th century painters celebrated the progress of technology; Monet painted bridges and railway stations, and Turner's The Last Voyage of the Fighting Temeraire reminds us that major changes in technology (and the relegation of the previous technology to the scrap heap) didn't start in the 20th century.
  • A Space Child's Mother Goose has the nursery rhymes updated to the 1950's. "The Theory that Jack Built" is a classic. I can still recite "Little Miss Muffet".


The opinions on this page are mine and are not necessarily those of the IEEE Computer Society or the IEEE.

Computer Science Department
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign