The biennial CRA Conference at Snowbird is the flagship invitation-only conference for the leadership of the North American computing research community.

Online Registration and Hotel Information

Invitees: Computer science, computer engineering, and information technology department chairs; assistant, associate, and prospective chairs; directors of graduate or undergraduate education; directors of industry or government research labs/centers; and professional society or government leaders in computing.

The conference site: The Snowbird Resort is located in the Wasatch Mountains about 30 miles from Salt Lake City. A top-rated ski resort in the winter, off-season at Snowbird offers hiking amidst beautiful scenery.

This year at Snowbird: There will be four featured plenary talks on topics ranging from issues in government surveillance using the Internet to creating a diverse Computer Science research community. In addition to the plenary sessions, there will be a workshop for new department chairs on July 20 co-chaired by Susan Davidson (University of Pennsylvania) and Eric Grimson (MIT), a panel on research futures led by Greg Hager (The Johns Hopkins University), and three workshops on policy, research, and education. There will be several hours of free time for networking, mingling, hiking, or just hanging out enjoying the gorgeous environment.

Below is a preliminary program that will continue to be updated on the CRA website as additional information becomes available. Online registration will open on the CRA website in April 2014.


Click on the Speakers name to download their slides (in blue if available).

Sunday, July 20

Workshop for New Department Chairs

3:00PM - 5:45PM

This workshop will give new CS Department Chairs some of the skills to lead their organizations and work with Deans, Provosts, and Advisory Boards - the stuff they never told you in graduate school.

— Panel 1: Nuts and Bolts of Managing a Department
    Anne Condon, Greg Hager, Dan Lopresti
— Panel 2: Dealing with Stakeholders
    Ellen Zegura, Henry Kautz, Julia Hirschberg
— Panel 3: Strategic Planning and Thinking
    Kevin Bowyer, Hank Levy, Frank Pfenning

Whether you've been department chair for one week or one year, there is more to the job than you think. Come join your fellow new chairs in this workshop!

Co-Chairs: Susan Davidson (University of Pennsylvania), Eric Grimson (MIT)
Speakers: Anne Condon (University of British Columbia), Greg Hager (Johns Hopkins University), Dan Lopresti (Lehigh University), Ellen Zegura (Georgia Tech), Henry Kautz (University of Rochester), Julia Hirschberg (Columbia University), Kevin Bowyer (University of Notre Dame), Hank Levy (University of Washington), Frank Pfenning (Carnegie Mellon University)


Computing and the Human Experience
Speaker: Grady Booch (IBM Research)
Chairs: Brent Hailpern (IBM), Greg Morrisett (Harvard University)

The story of computing is the story of humanity. It is a story of ambition, invention, creativity, vision, avarice, and serendipity, powered by a refusal to accept the limits of our bodies and our minds. As an insider to this world, I see that there is a hidden life to computing, as wonderful and beautiful and elegant as the motion of the galaxies and the pulsing of life in a cell. The software we compose forms the invisible writing that whispers the stories of possibility to our hardware. At the same time, computing has woven itself into the interstitial spaces of society and we are each slowly surrendering our lives to it. Humans have created computing, but computing is re-creating us. This yields a curious dichotomy that impacts every aspect of the human experience, and indeed leads us to consider the very question of what it means to be human. In this keynote, I will examine this story of computing as it has unfolded across time, ending with an exploration of where it might lead us and how we might ourselves be more intentional in directing it. We are among those who are making computing manifest, and so I will also focus on the question of our responsibility: there are some things we would like to do that we do not yet know how to do (this is the domain of computing research); there are some things we can do that perhaps we should not (this is the domain of the human experience).

After Dinner

Monday, July 21

A Policy Wonk's Plea for More and Better Policy Research and Engagement from Computer Scientists
Speaker: Peter Swire (Georgia Tech)
Chair: Greg Morrisett (Harvard University)
8:30 - 10:00AM

Quantum Computing: Transforming the Digital Age
Speaker: Krysta Svore (Microsoft)
Chair: Eric Horvitz (Microsoft Research)

In 1981, Richard Feynman proposed a device called a “quantum computer” to take advantage of the laws of quantum physics to achieve computational speed-ups over classical methods. Quantum computing promises to revolutionize how we compute. Over the course of three decades, quantum algorithms have been developed that offer fast solutions to problems in a variety of fields including number theory, optimization, chemistry, physics, and materials science. Quantum devices have also significantly advanced such that components of a scalable quantum computer have been demonstrated in a variety of quantum systems. In this talk, I will attempt to reveal some of the mysteries of this disruptive computational paradigm. I will showcase recent advances in quantum algorithms for real-world applications and in scalable, fault-tolerant devices.

10:30AM - 12:00PM
Luncheon NOON -1:30PM

Conference Co-Chairs Announcements

Parallel Tracks

Toward New Recommended Practices for Hiring, Promotion, and Tenure

Chairs: Batya Friedman (University of Washington), Fred B. Schneider (Cornell University)


The Future of Scholarly Publication: Key Issues Facing Computing Research

The Computing Research community is at a crossroads in scholarly publication. As a field, we see an enormous growth in submissions to (and papers published at) peer-reviewed conferences. Many are questioning the current conference publication model as a source of archival content, and many are experimenting with alternatives from multi-cycle review to journal-first publication. More fundamentally, as new paradigms of knowledge sharing come into the fore, scholars are questioning the historic model of rigorous pre-publication blind peer review, proposing alternatives ranging from open, signed reviews to fully open publications supported by post-publication endorsements, ratings, and bibliometric guides. At the same time the traditional free-to-publish, pay-to-subscribe business model for journals is being questioned; authors, institutions, and governments argue for various forms of open access, and publishers are being pressed to justify, streamline, and find effective support for editorial processes and archiving.

This panel will present a cross-section of scholars and publishers to explore these issues, explore experiments and directions underway, and discuss the implications of these changes for scholarship in computing.

Chairs: Jack Davidson (University of Virginia), Joe Konstan (University of Minnesota)


CS Education in K-12 at the National Scale

The demand for great CS courses—rigorous and engaging courses—in our high schools is skyrocketing. It has been fueled by NSF’s CS 10K Project,’s very successful awareness campaign (especially its Hour of Code), and by the efforts of many other partners, including the College Board, ACM, the Computer Science Teacher’s Association, NCWIT, Project Lead the Way, Teach for America, and CSNYC. It is important now to capitalize on this momentum and to set the stage for sustainability.

Getting great CS courses into all high schools is critical. It’s needed to maintain a robust, innovative research community, to field a globally competitive 21st Century workforce, and to break the stereotypes and misconceptions that have thus far limited the engagement of women, underrepresented minorities and persons with disabilities in IT.

This panel discusses the role that U.S. research departments must play in sustaining CS in K-12. The panelists will address issues of educational reform, while highlighting the role that academia has played in other disciplines; illustrate the breadth of existing efforts from the perspective of a university-led project; and consider how departments could contribute to building the needed research base for CS education.

Chair: Jan Cuny (NSF)
Speaker: Jeanne Century (CEMSE, University of Chicago), Dan Garcia (University of California at Berkeley), Susanne Hambrusch (Purdue University)


1:30PM - 3:00PM


Networking (Hiking) 3:30PM - 5:00PM
Computing Research Futures
Chair: Greg Hager (Johns Hopkins University)
After Dinner

Tuesday, July 22

Broadening the Computing Research Community
Speaker: Maria Klawe (Harvey Mudd College)
Chair: Susan Davidson (University of Pennsylvania)

Computing is one of the least diverse disciplines in science and engineering in terms of participation by women, African-Americans and Hispanics, and the only discipline where participation by women has significantly decreased over the last three decades. While our discipline does well in encouraging members of underrepresented groups to go on to graduate programs, we have been less successful in attracting members of these groups into undergraduate programs. This talk discusses successful strategies for significantly increasing the number of women and students of color majoring in computer science.

8:30AM - 10:00AM

Parallel Tracks

Refining the Computer Science Postdoc Experience

The number of postdoc appointments in computer science has risen dramatically in the last ten years. There are concerns that postdocs be properly supported and mentored as they start their research careers. This panel will present results from the CCC CIFellows postdoc program and outline efforts underway to refine and measure best practices for hosting postdocs and for supporting their career development.

Chair: Bob Sproull
Speakers: Partha Dasgupta (Arizona State University), Gaetano Borriello (University of Washington), Julia Hirschberg (Columbia University), Brent Hailpern (IBM), Jane Stout (Computing Research Association)


Big Data Research: Academia and Industry (part 1)

Chair: Laura Haas (IBM Research)


MOOCs and Online Education: The Evolving Big Picture

The maturation of cloud computing infrastructure led to an explosion of interest in online learning in 2013. Now that the hype has cooled, we are left with big questions: What is the future of online learning? Can online classes offer the quality of education that students get face to face? What can we learn from the hundred-plus year history of distance learning? Will these approaches transform on-campus practice? Is this a fad or the beginning of substantial change at the university? In this panel, we'll review what we can learn from the past and the surprising present, and address these over-arching questions.

Chair: Amy Bruckman (Georgia Institute of Technology)
Speakers: Nelson Baker, Dean of Professional Education (Georgia Institute of Technology), John C. Mitchell (Stanford University), Marian Petre (The Open University)


10:30AM - Noon
Luncheon NOON - 1:30PM

Parallel Tracks

Recruiting Domestic Students to Ph.D. Programs: From Data to Recommendations

Increasing the number of US students in graduate programs is a goal as well as a challenge for many US Ph.D. granting institutions. This session provides an overview of CRA-E’s on-going study of the baccalaureate origins of domestic students who have applied to, enrolled, and graduated with a Ph.D. in computer science. In addition to analyzing Ph.D. graduation data, we have analyzed over 7,000 graduate application records from fourteen participating departments. Based on these data, we can observe a number of interesting patterns and trends that are likely to be useful to departments seeking to enhance recruitment of domestic students. We will present our findings and make recommendations targeted at students, faculty, and admission committees.

Co-Chairs: Ran Libeskind-Hadas (Harvey Mudd College), Susanne Hambrusch (Purdue University)


Big Data Research: Academia and Industry (part 2)

Chair: Laura Haas (IBM Research)


CS Research on MOOCs and Online Education

How do you teach a large, online class effectively? The future of online learning involves much more than video textbooks and multiple-choice questions. How to realize the medium's potential is an open question bringing together HCI, artificial intelligence, and education research. On this panel, we'll hear results from cutting-edge work on MOOCs as CS research, and review what the key research challenges are going forwards.

Chair: Amy Bruckman (Georgia Institute of Technology)
Speakers: Marti Hearst (School of Information), (UC Berkeley), Scott Klemmer (UC San Diego), Rob Miller (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)


1:30PM - 3:00PM
DC Update
Speaker: Peter Harsha (CRA)
Chair: Andrew Bernat (CRA)
3:30PM - 5:00PM
Managing Up - Working With Your Dean
Chair: Bobby Schnabel, Indiana University
5:30PM - 6:30PM
Dinner 6:30PM - 7:30PM


Conference Sponsors

snowbird 2014 sponsors:Microsoft Research, Facebook, Google, IBM, the NSA, Yahoo! labs, MERL, Dell Labs

Organizing Committee

Co-Chairs: Greg Morrisett (Harvard) Academic; Brent Hailpern (IBM Research) Labs/Centers

Members: Sarita Adve (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), David Bader (Georgia Institute of Technology), Chitta Baral (Arizona State University), Susan Davidson (University of Pennsylvania), Janet Davis (Grinnell College), Julia Hirschberg (Columbia University), Eric Horvitz (Microsoft Research), HV Jagadish (University of Michigan), Chris Johnson (University of Utah), and Bill Weihl (Facebook).

P: 202-234-2111 | F: 202-667-1066 | E: INFO @ CRA . ORG

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