Ronald Boisvert

Outstanding Contribution to ACM Award

USA - 1999


For his leadership and innovation as Editor-in-Chief of the Transactions on Mathematical Software and his exceptional contributions to the ACM Digital Library project.

As Editor-in-Chief of TOMS, Ron has streamlined the handling of manuscripts by making the entire process electronic. He created a web page for the journal which was used as a model as other ACM journals came online, and he has patiently dealt with the difficulties encountered as TOMS has become one of the first journals published under ACM's new in-house publishing system. In addition to his EIC role, Ron has served on the ACM Publications Board (1995-present), not only representing TOMS, but also serving as the Board's Information Director. Prior to becoming EIC of TOMS, he held the post of Associate Editor (1987-1992).

While his service on TOMS has been outstanding, it is the depth of Ron's contribution to the ACM Digital Library (DL) project that uniquely distinguishes his service to ACM. In building the prototype for the ACM-DL, Ron programmed the first instantiation of the front-end Digital Library Tables-of-Contents and designed the initial structure for its presentation. He also designed the underlying directory structures that support and generate the Web pages. Ron developed a set of conventions for algorithmically naming all DL articles and for including ancillary materials (such as data sets, lengthy proofs, or appendices), citing non- print, electronic-only documents in the DL, and posting future articles after they are accepted but before they are officially published in an issue.

This key infrastructure work enabled ACM to jump-start its Digital Library, mounting it in an amazingly short span of time. In many respects, Ron was the unseen hand behind the ACM Digital Library, and, as some have said, its 'father'. Ron Boisvert is truly a model for the ideal volunteer: diligent, respectful, patient, and enthusiastic. He is richly deserving of the 1999 Outstanding Contribution to ACM Award.