SIGCSE Reads is a community-led project that allows a growing community of SIGCSE members connect to each other through science fiction. Becky Bates, Judy Goldsmith, Valerie Summet, and Nanette Veilleux organize a get together to discuss that year’s reading selections. The group often meets at a Birds of a Feather session at the Technical Symposium. The stories are selected via popular vote and email discussions in the SIGCSE listerv.
By popular vote, the novella The Lifecycle of Software Objects by Ted Chiang.
For our non-fiction option, a dive into what we can do individually to make our community more inclusive Sister Resisters: Mentoring Black Women on Campus https://www.hepg.org/hep-home/books/sister-resisters by Janie Ward and Tracy Robinson-Wood
And for a quicker read, the short story “Dolly” by Elizabeth Bear (available online https://apex-magazine.com/short-fiction/dolly/)
By popular vote at SIGCSE 2022 (Providence!), the community selected the following options. Please enjoy the selections and join us for conversations about them in Toronto in 2023!
- “A Psalm for the Wild-Built” by Becky Chambers (fiction)
- “System Error: Where Big Tech Went Wrong and How We Can Reboot” by Rob Reich, Mehran Sahami & Jeremy M. Weinstein (non-fiction option, a reflective dive into our current state of technology)
- “Asleep at the Wheel” by T. Coraghessan Boyle (short story, available online)
By popular vote during SIGCSE 2021, the community selected two excellent short stories that bring new voices into the mix, both are available online, a fiction novel and a non-fiction memoir.
- “Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience(TM)” by Rebecca Roanhorse (short story).
- “Poems and Distant Lands” by Gu Shi (translated by Ken Liu) (short story).
- “Parable of the Sower” by Octavia Butler (fiction)
- “Think Black” by Clyde W. Ford (non-fiction option, a look back at some of the history of computing with a memoir)
Rebecca Bates, Valerie Summet, Nanette Veilleux, and Judy Goldsmith. 2021. SIGCSE Reads 2021: Using the Stories in your Classroom. In Proceedings of the 52nd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE ‘21). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 465–466. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3408877.3432583
Rebecca Bates, Valerie Summet, Nanette Veilleux, Judy Goldsmith, and David D. Levine. 2020. SIGCSE Reads 2020: Author Discussion and Q & A. In Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE ‘20). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 325–326. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3328778.3366996
- “Damage” by David D. Levine (coauthor of the special session at the conference)
- Automating Inequality: How High-tech Tools Profile, Police and Punish the Poor by Virginia Eubanks
- Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth by Apostolos Doxiadis and Christos H. Papadimitriou
- “STET” by Sarah Gailey
Rebecca Bates, Valerie Summet, Nanette Veilleux, Judy Goldsmith, and Naomi Kritzer. 2019. SIGCSE Reads 2019: Discussion and Q & A. In Proc. 2019 ACM SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE ‘19). http://doi.org/10.1145/3287324.3287524
- Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism by Safiya Umoja Noble
- Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
- I Sing the Body Electric! by Ray Bradbury
- “Cat Pictures Please” by Naomi Kritzer.
- Author Naomi Kritzer (who lives in Saint Paul, MN) took part in a special session at the Technical Symposium.
- Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy by Cathy O’Neil
- The Difference Engine by William Gibson & Bruce Sterling
- Moxon’s Master by Ambrose Bierce
- The Gambler by Paolo Bacigalupi
Rebecca Bates, Valerie Summet, and Nanette Veilleux. 2017. SIGCSE Reads: Time for Book Discussion (Abstract Only). In Proc. 2017 ACM SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE ‘17). 721–721. https://dl.acm.org/doi/10.1145/3017680.3022354
- The Martian: A Novel by Andy Weir
- The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace & Babbage: The Mostly True Story of the First Computer by Sydney Padua
- “The Last Question” by Isaac Asimov
Rebecca Bates and Valerie Summet. 2016. SIGCSE Reads: Time for Book Discussion (BOF). In Proceedings of the 47th ACM Technical Symposium on Computing Science Education (SIGCSE ‘16). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 703. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/2839509.2850484
- The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson
- Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
- “A Logic Named Joe” by Murray Leinster
- “Seven Years from Home”” by Naomi Novik
Rebecca Bates, Judy Goldsmith, and Valerie Summet. 2015. SIGCSE Reads: Time for Book Discussion (BOF). In Proceedings of the 46th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE ‘15). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 702. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/2676723.2691861
- I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
- Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
- Bellwether by Connie Willis
Rebecca Bates, Judy Goldsmith, Valerie Summet, and Nanette Veilleux. 2014. Using science fiction in CS courses (BOF). In Proceedings of the 45th ACM technical symposium on Computer science education (SIGCSE ‘14). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 736–737. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/2538862.2544260
Rebecca Anne Bates, Judy Anne Goldsmith, Rosalyn Berne, Valerie Summet, Nanette Veilleux (2012) Science fiction in computer science education. In SIGCSE ‘12: Proceedings of the 43rd ACM technical symposium on Computer Science Education February 2012 Pages 161–162 https://doi.org/10.1145/2157136.2157184
(This page is maintained as a service to the SIGCSE community. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in the stories shared here are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SIGCSE Board.)