Cross named distinguished member of Association for Computing Machinery

Published: Jan 18, 2018 4:00:00 PM
Media Contact: Chris Anthony,, 334.844.3447

James Cross, professor of computer science and software engineering, has been named a distinguished member of the Association for Computing Machinery for his educational contributions to the computing discipline. 

James Cross
James Cross

Cross was one of 43 people from around the globe inducted as a distinguished member of ACM in 2017. He was recognized for his contributions to program visualizations in computing education, particularly his role in creating the jGRASP integrated development environment used in many computer science curricula. 

Cross and his former doctoral student, Larry Barowski, developed jGRASP to provide better visual representations of software, including data structures used in computer science and software engineering education. Dean Hendrix and David Umphress, both faculty in computer science and software engineering, are also members of the jGRASP team. 

“Throughout his career, James has made many important contributions to the field of computer science,” said Hari Narayanan, chair of Auburn University’s Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering. “His work with jGRASP, in particular, has enhanced computer science education for countless students across the United States and throughout the world. James is undoubtedly among ACM’s most distinguished members, and we are proud to see him recognized at this level.” 

More than 400 institutions around the world, including K-12 schools, community colleges and universities, use the jGRASP platform.  

ACM’s distinguished member program recognizes up to 10 percent of its worldwide membership based on professional experience, as well as significant achievements in the computing field. 

“Computing technology is becoming an increasingly dominant force in our daily lives and is transforming society at every level,” ACM President Vicki L. Hanson said. “In naming a new roster of distinguished members each year, ACM underscores that the innovations which improve our lives do not come about by accident, but rather are the result of the hard work, inspiration and creativity of leading professionals in the field. We honor the 2017 class of ACM distinguished members for the essential role their accomplishments play in how we live and work.”