The Association for Computing Machinery, founded in 1947, is the first society in computing. It is the premier professional society for programmers.
The Poughkeepsie Chapter of the ACM was chartered in 1961. It meets seven times a year at Marist College. The audience consists of programmers and others with an interest in computers.
Topics chosen by speakers usually fall into one of two main groups: (1) technology, and (2) high-tech business start-ups. The former typically draws a somewhat larger audience than the latter (but for a program chair the latter are easier to schedule).
Attendance is usually between 10 and 20 people. Compensating for the somewhat sparse attendance is the fact that meeting notices go to over 500 email addresses in the valley. A talk to the chapter can help an individual or organization make contact with those in the local technical community.
Speakers from high-tech start-ups should emphasize the technology that they are developing, but should also address the challenges of being small and trying to grow, the effects on society of their product, the differences between laboratory theory and the reality of the business world, plans for the future, etc The chapter does not pay an honorarium, but it does take the speaker out to dinner before the talk at 6 pm at the Palace Diner, close by the Marist campus.
The meeting starts at 7:30 pm. Typically, the speaker talks for 45-60 minutes, and then the questions and discussion can go for another 45-60 minutes. Afterwards there are soda and cookies and people socialize for maybe another hour. The speaker can depart after only an hour if needed.
For the meeting notice this information is needed from the speaker:
We usually meet in the Ulrich Room in Dyson Hall. The room is well equipped with audio-visual aids. All of them are available without advance planning, except for the high speed network connection.