The Design Automation Committee of the Design Engineering Division of ASME has now sponsored five Design Automation Conferences. This edition of the Journal of Mechanical Design contains 23 papers submitted by the design automation committee; most of which were presented at our last major meeting held in September 1979 in St. Louis. It seems timely and appropriate to comment on the relationship of these papers one to another, to papers given at previous Design Automation Conferences and to the goals of the committee, in terms of the several recognized functional areas of design automation: •Machine Design Applications •Design Optimization and Numerical Methods •Computer Graphics and Drafting •Hardware-Software System Evaluation •Man-Machine Interaction •Finite Element Analysis •CAD/CAM Systems •Intelligent Machines and Robotics We conclude by the number, quality and subject matter of papers in recent meetings that significant work in the areas of interest is occurring, but that care must be taken to ensure presentation of work in all areas of interest.

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