Computing Research News

October 2014     Vol. 26/No.9

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NSF and Intel Collaborate, Host Their First Joint Ideas Lab

By Julia Figliotti, Knowinnovation

Day One dawned warm and rainy as funders, participants, and mentors filed into the Waterview Conference Center in Arlington, VA. After filling out nametags and more than a few grumbles about “homework during breakfast,” the participants dove right in to answer the ice-breaking questions:

1. What big problem in CPS trustworthiness, security, and privacy are you hoping to solve?

2. What big problem in CPS trustworthiness, security, and privacy are you hoping someone else will solve?

ideas lab NSF IntelIn mid-August, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and CRA once again hosted the Knowinnovation (KI) team to run an Ideas Lab, aimed at gathering research and funding proposals in the field of Cyber-Physical Systems security and privacy. But this year was different: for the first time in Ideas Lab history, the NSF partnered with Intel to bring together some of the country’s brightest minds in the field. And after a rigorous application and selection process, the chosen participants gathered for their five-day intensive proposal workshop for the potential to be awarded a grant between $500,000 and $3 million.

Over the course of five days, the participants were challenged with individual, paired, and group activities aimed at getting their creative juices flowing. In the beginning, these guided activities served to loosen up the participants as well as introduce the mentors, participants, and funders to one another. But as the week progressed, participants began to buckle down and facilitators began to back off.

During an Ideas Lab, it is very common for participants to change groups a few times over. The KI team was happy to encourage this behavior – the point is to inspire a set of innovative and multi-disciplinary proposals, and that requires the participants to be passionate about their topic of choice. On Day One, participants have general ideas of the problems they hope to solve. By Day Two, they have thrown those ideas out the window and are often left feeling apprehensive – how will they ever come up with a legitimate proposal in the next three days? But Day Three usually wraps up with optimism and smiles from participants and mentors alike, and it’s all uphill from there.

“I was impressed how well the group of participants worked together,” said Keith Marzullo, the Deputy Director of CISE at the NSF and one of the funders of this Ideas Lab. “KI advised the panel that selected the white papers about applicants' tendencies towards collaboration, and we had a group that were eager to work together. ”

“The participants’ depth of specialized subject matter expertise was impressive,” added Ed Liebow, the Executive Director for the American Anthropological Association and one of several mentors at the event, “as was their willingness to sort themselves into productive teams and quickly hatch some promising kernels of novel and significant research projects.”

Jesse Walker, Network and Security Architect at Intel and a co-funder of the Ideas Lab, described the atmosphere that is so often constructed during an Ideas Lab. “The workshop process was quite invigorating and helped us to deal constructively with a large number of new personalities and points of view in short order,” he said. “The intense non-stop atmosphere was amazingly stimulating.”

One of the main attractions of an Ideas Lab is the diversity of the participants. The purpose of drawing from a multi-disciplinary group is to stimulate unusual approaches that can produce novel research proposals.

“Thinking about the social, economic, and legal implications of the technology is going to be an important dimension of the research,” said Walker, reflecting on the inclusion of a more diverse group of participants, “because if we do not, then the technology has the potential to create very large new classes of political dissidents and permanently economically disadvantaged.”

Walker is not alone on this front. Liebow said, “Any topic, but especially topics concerning appropriate technology development, requires substantive input from social and behavioral scientists.”

Unlike some previous Ideas Labs, this workshop did not end with a grant announcement. Instead, the workshop was a way for participants to create draft proposals, and to receive feedback from the funding team. The joint NSF/Intel solicitation closes on October 28th, and is open to anyone, whether or not they attended the Ideas Lab.

Overall, the event produced several interesting, and unusual, ideas that the funders would like to see developed into full proposals.

To learn more about Ideas Labs please read the PLOS paper on Assembling the Tree of Life, or explore some of the articles on the Knowinnovation website.

Center for Evaluating the Research Pipeline Infographic October 2014

By Jane Stout, CERP Director

 Race is associated with encouragement to pursue
computing among women, but not men.

 

We asked undergraduate students to indicate the degree to which receiving encouragement from family, friends and teachers led them to pursue a major in computing. Among women, race mattered, p < .05:  Hispanic women/Latinas were least likely to have reported their decision to major had been driven by encouragement from others;  Asian women were most likely to report their interest in majoring had been driven by encouragement from others, and Black and White women’s responses fell in the middle. Men’s level of encouragement did not differ by race, p > .05. Together, this finding highlights the differential experiences of students in computing as a function of gender as well as race.

Note: 366 women (40 Hispanic/Latina; 23 Black; 221 White; 82 Asian) and 1083 men (142 Hispanic/Latino; 54 Black; 716 White; 171 Asian) responded to the following: I selected computing as my major because… Family member(s) encouraged me to pursue computing; A friend(s) encouraged me to pursue computing; A former teacher encouraged me to pursue computing, using a scale of (1) Strongly disagree to (5) Strongly agree. Responses to the three types of encouragement questions were aggregated to form a single composite measure. Group means are presented in each bar; error bars indicate each group’s standard error value. Importantly, this analysis statistically controlled for whether or not students were first generation college students, as well as students’ age. Thus, the observed effects of gender and race on reported encouragement occurred above and beyond any effect of being a first generation college student, or one’s age on being encouraged to pursue computing.

This analysis brought to you by the CRA’s Center for Evaluating the Research Pipeline (CERP). Want CERP to do comparative evaluation for your program or intervention? Contact cerp@cra.org to learn more. Be sure to also visit our website at http://cra.org/cerp/.

UMass-Amherst Prof and CRA Board Member Kurose Selected to Run NSF CISE

By Peter Harsha, CRA Director of Government Affairs

National Science Foundation Director France Córdova recently announced the appointment of James F. Kurose, UMass Amherst Professor and member of CRA’s Board of Directors, to serve as Assistant Director for the agency’s Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE). CISE is the “home” for computing research at the agency, which supports over 80 percent of all university-based fundamental computer science research in the U.S. Kurose will take over the position in January 2015.

Kurose is currently Distinguished Professor at UMass Amherst’s School of Computer Science, a position he’s held since 2004. He’s been a member of Advisory Committee for CISE, a visiting scientist at a number of industrial research labs, and has served as a member of the CRA Board of Directors for the last seven years.

CRA’s Chair, J Strother Moore, shared his perspective on the appointment with NSF:

“Jim Kurose is a fantastic choice for NSF CISE Assistant Director,” said J. Strother Moore, chair of the Computing Research Association Board of Directors, Inman Professor of Computing in the Computer Science Department of the University of Texas at Austin and former co-chair of the CISE advisory committee. “He has served on the CRA Board for seven years. He is thus very familiar with many issues in computing research and with the potential and broad impact of that research. We at CRA will miss his perspective and wisdom on the Board, but are thrilled that NSF has made such a superlative choice for CISE and the computing research community.”

Kurose takes over the helm of CISE from Farnam Jahanian, who is now VP for Research at Carnegie Mellon University after a successful 3 year stint as CISE AD. Jahanian did an excellent job positioning CISE at the center of many NSF-wide and government-wide research initiatives during his tenure. Kurose joins an agency led by a new director in Córdova and faces the challenge of making CISE as relevant to national research priorities for her as it was to previous NSF Director Subra Suresh.

But my own sense is that Kurose is more than up to the task. He’s been a highly effective and respected member of the CRA Board during his tenure, demonstrating an ability to listen to others thoughtfully, process input objectively, and drive successful projects. Those skills will suit him well in Ballston (and Alexandria, after NSF moves) and on the Hill. We certainly will do what we can to help and wish him the best of luck in his new role!

Congress Won’t Finish Appropriations or COMPETES Authorization this Year

Computing Researchers Come to DC to Make Case for Computing

By Brian Mosley, CRA

Despite hopes at the beginning of the year of Congress returning to regular order with regard to appropriation bills, the body has slide back into its old form of passing stopgap Continuing Resolutions (CR) to fund governmental operations. The good news is both chambers learned their lesson from last year and will not play chicken with a shutdown of the government -- or at least, not before they stand before the voters in the November midterm elections.

The House passed the current CR on Wednesday September 17th and by the Senate the next day, followed quickly by the President’s signature on September 19th. It will fund the government at Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 levels through December 11th, with the expectation that Congress will return before then and pass an omnibus bill containing funding language for all twelve individual appropriation bills. From a good governance standpoint, both Appropriations committees want to take care of FY15 this calendar year because the expectation is that there will be no time next year to handle two fiscal year appropriations. However a more important element in the calculus is who wins control of the Senate in the midterm elections.

Should the Senate be won by the Republican Party in November, there is a very good chance that Congress will punt approval of the FY15 appropriations bills to early 2016, when the party will control both chambers of Congress. If the Democrats retain control of the Senate, the likelihood of FY15 being settled in December, when Congress returns for its lame duck session, is much more likely, as it will be the same power dynamic in 2015 calendar year as it is now.

From the perspective of the science research community broadly, and computing research specifically, we are being caught up in larger political issues once again. It’s unclear at this time how the science agencies, such as the National Science Foundation, would fare in an omnibus funding bill. While NSF did relatively well in the House (where appropriators approved a 3.3 percent increase), Senate appropriators would only fund the agency at the level of the President’s request (1.2 percent increase. So where an omnibus bill would fall is an open question at this time; it could split the difference, or it could go to the higher or lower number.

FIRST Act and COMPETES Act Reauthorization

As you will recall from our previous coverage, the House Science, Space and Technology Committee majority’s attempt to reauthorize the America COMPETES Act of 2010 – which provided increases in authorizations for NSF, the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, as well as bolstering a number of Federal STEM Education programs – met with disappointment from the science advocacy community. The bill suffered from lackluster funding authorizations, over-reaching open access provisions, and problematic language in the name of “enhancing NSF accountability.” As a result, the bill was stridently opposed by the committee Democrats and looked to be headed for a somewhat bitterly-partisan approval. Fortunately, a desire to work together prevailed on the committee, and non-contentious sections of the FIRST Act were stripped out to form stand-alone bills in the hope of getting something passed this Congress.

Computer science was one of the first beneficiaries of this new approach: H.R. 5031, the “STEM Education Act of 2014.” This bill is made of three parts (it is actually a very short bill). The first part, which is of most importance to the CS community, is the explicit inclusion of Computer Science in the definition of “STEM education.” The inclusion of CS in STEM is aimed at ensuring that CS won’t get left out of future STEM Ed initiatives at the Federal level (at least at NSF, NASA, NOAA, Energy, and NIST…the agencies under the jurisdiction of the Science Committee). The bill also authorizes STEM agencies to fund research that advances the field of informal STEM education and expands the NSF Noyce Scholarship Program to include awardees with bachelor’s degrees (currently only people with master degrees qualify) and provide funding authorization to support NSF Master Teacher Fellows for a year. All three of these provisions are largely bipartisan and funding neutral. HR 5031 was passed by the full House chamber in early July and is now awaiting action in Senate.

The other bills introduced are:

* HR 5035 — A bill to reauthorize the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and for other purposes.

* HR 5056 — A bill to improve the efficiency of Federal research and development, and for other purposes.

* HR 5029 — A bill to provide for the establishment of a body to identify and coordinate international science and technology cooperation that can strengthen the domestic science and technology enterprise and support United States foreign policy goals.

All are non-controversial. HR 5056 sounds ominous, given “NSF accountability” language in FIRST, but it’s just a bill calling on OSTP to put together a working group to study how to “harmonize, streamline, and eliminate duplicative Federal regulations and reporting requirements, and minimize the regulatory burden on US institutions of higher education performing federally funded research while maintaining accountability for Federal tax dollars.” All of the above bills were passed by the full House chamber and are awaiting action in the Senate.

On the Senate side, at the end of July the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee finally released the American COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2014 (S. 2757). This is the long awaited Senate Democrat response to the FIRST Act. The hope was that this bill would be a true reauthorization of the original America COMPETES Act of 2007 and be bipartisan in nature.

The language of the bill is excellent: three years of appropriations, with healthy funding increases, for NSF, NIST, and DOE SC (FIRST Act only had two years, one being FY14, the then present fiscal year); strong support for peer review research and the way the science agencies are choosing what research is funded; and strong support for STEM education. It can be said this bill was a clear sign of support for the science agencies and the scientific community.

Unfortunately, the bipartisan support did not materialize: we received word in early September that the Commerce Committee was shelving plans to bring the bill up for a vote because it would have passed on a party line vote, with no Republican support. To give some perspective, the original COMPETES Act, in 2007, and it’s first reauthorization in 2010, passed the Senate on voice votes with no opposition. This means that reauthorizing COMPETES in this Congress is dead, as there is no more time on the Congressional schedule for it to be considered.

It is likely COMPETES will return in the 114th Congress, though in what form is still an open question. However, the likelihood is that science will continue to be used as a political messaging weapon by both parties. In short, expect something more like the FIRST Acts and less like a COMPETES reauthorization in the next Congress.

The CRA Government Affairs Office will continue to monitor this situation for developments. Be sure to check the CRA Policy Blog for more updates: cra.org/govaffairs/blog

Computing Researchers Fly-in to DC to Make the Case for Computing

On September 17th, over two dozen computing researchers from across the country came to Washington to make the case before Congress for federally supported computing research. The 27 volunteers, coming from as near as Maryland and New Jersey, and as far away as Utah and Kansas, participated in 60 House and Senate meetings on Wednesday September 17th. Their message to Congress was very simple: federally supported computing research is vital to the nation’s future. Using their own research and individual stories as support, and armed with additional information from CRA, they made the “Federal case” for computing to Members of Congress and their staff. Just as important as the message they carried, they also made connections with those who represent them in DC. Those Members now know a little about the expertise and interesting (and important) work that goes on in their districts and states, and our participants have a sense of just who represents them in Congress — and they’ve hopefully created a lasting dialogue on both sides.

As a reminder, if you would like to participate in a future Congressional Visit Day, or if you are in Washington and would like to visit your representative’s office, contact Brian Mosley (bmosley@cra.org) in the CRA Government Affairs Office. CRA can provide expert training, messaging, and materials, and we would be happy to accompany you on your meetings as well.

 

2014 Congressional Visit Day Participants

Cybersecurity Awareness Month:  Highlighting NSF Cybersecurity Efforts

By Keith Marzullo and Gera Jochum, NSF

In recognition of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, we want to highlight some of NSF’s recent activities in this area. The Internet and cyber-enabled systems have become a part of our everyday lives. We surf the web for the day’s news; we use email and social applications like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to stay connected to our family, friends, and colleagues; we go online to access our bank accounts, make purchases, and transfer money; and we depend on cyber-connected physical systems to fly our planes, control the power grid, run medical devices, and so much more.

These dependencies leave us vulnerable to a wide range of threats that challenge the security, reliability, availability, and overall trustworthiness of information technology resources. Solutions require a holistic approach, grounded not only in technology but also extending to economics (e.g., understanding the economic incentives and models), social and behavioral sciences (e.g., what makes some people more vulnerable than others), and education (e.g., preparing both future cyber warriors and informed citizens).

Here are four recent cybersecurity efforts involving NSF:

Input Requested for the National Privacy Research Strategy

The President’s Council of Advisors for Science and Technology (PCAST) has called for increased federal investments for the science and technology underlying privacy. In response, and at the request of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), a National Privacy Research Strategy is being developed by the Cyber Security and Information Assurance Research and Development Senior Steering Group (CSIA R&D SSG), which is part of the interagency Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) program. The strategy will be used to guide federally-funded privacy research and provide a framework for coordinating research and development in privacy-enhancing technologies. Input is requested by October 17, 2014 on the key privacy objectives that should be considered in formulating the strategy. In order to fully consider stakeholder feedback, the group plans to draft the strategy within a year and hold a workshop for community discussion before presenting a final draft to OSTP.

Advancing Security and Privacy in Cyber-Physical Systems

NSF and Intel have formed a new partnership to advance the security and privacy of cyber-connected physical systems (e.g., embedded medical devices, autonomous vehicles, smart cities, and a myriad of other systems that are enabled by the emerging Internet of Things). This partnership combines CISE’s experience in developing and managing successful large, diverse research portfolios with Intel’s long history of building research communities in emerging technology areas through programs such as its Science and Technology Centers program. As part of this partnership, NSF and Intel sponsored an Ideas Lab on August 12-16, 2014, that brought together leading researchers from the cybersecurity, privacy, and cyber-physical systems communities in order to foster new multidisciplinary research collaborations. Much discussion focused on how the physical aspects of the systems could affect security and privacy. Later this month (October 28, 2014), full proposals to the program solicitation are due. Applicants need not have participated in the Ideas Lab to submit a full proposal.

Great Ideas from a NSF-funded Workshop to Enhance the Security of the Internet

A new workshop report, Interdisciplinary Pathways towards a More Secure Internet, suggests 16 ideas for enhancing the security of the Internet ecosystem. The recommendations are clustered by themes (technology, policy, and leadership) and range from accelerating new foundational research areas to creating new organizations, comparable to the National Transportation Safety Board, charged with responding to cyber attacks. These recommendations are the result of a NSF-sponsored Cybersecurity Ideas Lab held on February 10-12, 2014, with a multidisciplinary group of participants drawn from academia, government, and industry. The report focuses on the most robust of the ideas discussed at the workshop, rather than presenting a comprehensive strategy.

Changes to the Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) Solicitation

NSF’s flagship cybersecurity program is the Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) program. There are over 650 active awards through SaTC and its legacy programs, and, in this last fiscal year (FY 2014) alone, we invested nearly $75M to support more than 225 new projects.

The most recent SaTC program solicitation posted in August 2014 has a couple noteworthy changes. The partnership with the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) for Secure, Trustworthy, Assured and Resilient Semiconductors and Systems (STARSS) will continue as a perspective within the SaTC solicitation. Projects submitted to the STARSS perspective must focus on protecting hardware and may include industry collaboration through the Transition to Practice (TTP) option. During the FY 2014 STARSS competition, 9 projects in 10 universities were supported.

There has also been a change to the project size classes in the SaTC program. In order to balance our research portfolio, Large projects are being offered in lieu of Frontier projects. Large projects should be multi-disciplinary, multi-organizational, and/or multi-institutional and may request $1,200,001 to $3,000,000 for durations of up to five years.

In closing, these recent activities continue NSF’s legacy as the global leader in enabling security and privacy of the Internet and of cyber-enabled systems. Community engagement is a vital component of these efforts. We look forward to continuing to work with you to ensure our nation remains a world leader in innovating secure technologies and solutions.

 


Keith Marzullo is the Division Director, Division of Computer and Network Systems, National Science Foundation
Gera Jochum is a Communications Specialist at the Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering, National Science Foundation

CCC Aging in Place Workshop

Articulating a research vision for technologies that enhance the lives and independence of aging adults

By CCC Staff

From the CCC Blog

On September 10-11, the CCC co-hosted a visioning workshop focused on technologies that will allow older adults and people with disabilities to “age in place,” remain in their homes longer, reduce health care costs and enhance quality of life. CCC partnered with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to organize the “Trans-NIH/Interagency Workshop on the Use and Development of Assistive Technology for the Aging Population and People with Chronic Disabilities.” Held on the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD, the engaging workshop brought together a diverse set of experts – computer science researchers, medical practitioners, and government officials from numerous agencies (NIH,NSF, NIDRR, HUD, VA, FDA, CMS), to chart a course for the research agenda needed to advance technologies that will allow seniors to age in place.

The collaborative workshop was a combination of introductory remarks to set the context by representatives from NIH and the computing community, panel presentations, and open discussions around the current state of research and future research needs.

An overview of the panel discussions are listed below:

Insights and Realities of Designing for Older Adults and Their Caregivers

This panel discussed the challenge of designing technologies that are useful as older adults healthcare needs evolve and developing principles for “future proofing” technology. A key theme was planning for dynamic diversity when working in this space, as individuals’ needs are constantly changing.

Innovation Needed: Sensing, actuation and system integration technology

This session highlighted many of the possibilities of Aging in Place technologies, while acknowledging the many challenges: the “system” is very complex and ever changing, there is a lot of data, but working with that data can be difficult, and privacy concerns.

Health transition trajectories: data to action

This panel discussed technologies designed to support independence and physical health as people need help to do that which they are no longer able to do on their own. A key take-away from this conversation was the importance of care coordination for people.

How to integrate Aging in Place in a Learning Healthcare System

Leaders discussed effective integration of technology to support the aging population and their caregivers, showcasing models that work in varied settings and how we can take advantage of the Internet of Things.

Shaping the future of Aging in Place

The panelists discussed the current ecosystem and what would be needed in a research agenda to inform regulatory and funding agencies.

After the panels, an engaging summary session identified steps for moving forward. Participants discussed short and long term priorities. These priorities will be summarized in a published report, along with a research roadmap.

All of the presentations can be found with the workshop agenda here

CCC to hold a workshop on the Research Interfaces between Brain Science and Computer Science

By CCC Staff

The Computing Community Consortium (CCC) will hold a BRAIN Workshop to bring together brain researchers and computer scientists for a scientific dialogue aimed at exposing new opportunities for joint research.

Today, understanding the structure and function of the human brain is one of the greatest scientific challenges of our generation. Decades of study and continued progress in our knowledge of neural function and brain architecture have led to important advances in brain science, but a comprehensive understanding of the brain still lies well beyond the horizon. How might computer science and brain science benefit from one another? The workshop will be aimed at questions such as the following:

  • What are the current barriers to mapping the architecture of the brain, and how can they be overcome?
  • What scale of data suffices for the discovery of "neural motifs," and what might they look like?
  • What would be required to truly have a "neuron in-silico," and how far are we from that?
  • How can we connect models across the various scales (biophysics - neural function - cortical functional units - cognition)?
  • Which computational principles of brain function can be employed to solve computational problems? What sort of platforms would support such work?
  • What advances are needed in hardware and software to enable true brain-computer interfaces? What is the right "neural language" for communicating with the brain?
  • How would one be able to test equivalence between a computational model and the modeled brain subsystem?
  • Suppose we could map the network of billions nodes and trillions connections that is the brain, how would we infer structure?
  • Can we create open-science platforms enabling computational science on enormous amounts of heterogeneous brain data (as it has happened in genomics)?
  • Is there a productive algorithmic theory of the brain, which can inform our search for answers to such questions?

The workshop organizing committee includes Polina Golland, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Gregory Hager, Johns Hopkins University; Christof Koch, Allen Institute; Christos Papadimitriou (Chair), University of California at Berkeley; Hanspeter Pfister, Harvard University; Tal Rabin, IBM; Stefan Schaal, University of Southern California; Joshua Tenenbaum, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Kenneth Whang, National Science Foundation; Ross Whitaker, University of Utah; and Ann Drobnis, CCC Director.

The workshop will be held December 3-5 in Washington, DC. Additional information about the workshop can be found on the website.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Ann Drobnis at adrobnis@cra.org.

Nominations Open for CRA Service and Habermann Awards

By CRA Staff

The Computing Research Association invites nominations for the CRA Distinguished Service Award and the A. Nico Habermann Award for 2015.

Distinguished Service Award

CRA makes an award, usually annually, to a person who has made an outstanding service contribution to the computing research community. This award recognizes service in the areas of government affairs, professional societies, publications or conferences, and leadership that has a major impact on computing research. See "Guidelines for Nominators".

A. Nico Habermann Award

CRA makes an award, usually annually, to a person who has made outstanding contributions aimed at increasing the numbers and/or successes of underrepresented groups in the computing research community. This award recognizes work in areas of government affairs, educational programs, professional societies, public awareness, and leadership that has a major impact on advancing these groups in the computing research community. Recognized contributions can be focused directly at the research level or at its immediate precursors, namely students at the undergraduate or graduate levels. See "Guidelines for Nominators". Click here for a list of previous recipients of these two awards.

Nomination Process

Send a nomination letter (no longer than two pages) that describes the contributions on which the nomination is based to awards [at] cra.org. Refer to the appropriate "Guidelines for Nominators" for the award. Include the candidate's current curriculum vitae. Questions or comments may be addressed to awards [at] cra.org. Nominators are responsible for collating the nomination materials before e-mailing the complete package to: awards [at] cra.org. 

The deadline for receipt of nominations is December 12, 2014.

Current members of the CRA Board of Directors are not eligible for these awards.

New Board Member Nominations

By CRA Staff

The Computing Research Association seeks your help in suggesting nominations for its Board of Directors. We seek individuals who have time, energy, initiative, and resources to work on CRA issues on behalf of the entire CRA community. Ours is a working board, and all members are expected to do a fair share of the work.

The 32 member Board provides the membership for various standing committees, including the Communications, Government Affairs, Snowbird Conference, Taulbee Survey, Finance, and Elections committees. In addition, issues affecting computing research arise unexpectedly and Board members must take the initiative and lead CRA's responses. Many CRA committees and initiatives involve year-round attention, regular conference calls, communications with lab directors and department chairs, proposal writing, and sometimes travel at the expense of the individual Board members.

The Board as a whole meets twice a year, with travel and hotel costs paid by the individual members. Board members serve staggered three-year terms. At the discretion of the Elections committee and based upon a member's proactive service record during the expiring term, members wishing to stand for re-election may be included on the draft ballot. There is a three term limit. Candidates need not be affiliated with CRA member organizations. Anyone can nominate a candidate but candidates must agree to be nominated.

Recent board activities include:

  • Working with the computing research community to envision the future computing research.
  • Increasing the participation of women and minorities in computing research.
  • Thinking strategically about computing education and its impact on the research enterprise.
  • Testifying before Congress and meeting with policymakers to explain the role of computing and computing research
  • Developing workshops on critical policy issues
  • Planning the biennial CRA Conference at Snowbird
  • Conducting the annual CRA Taulbee Survey
  • Monitoring the CRA's budget and expenses

Important dates and events:

  • The deadline for receipt of nominations is December 5, 2014. The Elections Committee will carefully consider all nominations, with the aim of a final ballot containing about twice as many candidates as there are open slots. Important criteria considered by the committee will include distribution of candidates and current Board members among member institutions, distribution among types and sizes of institutions, evidence of leadership, and evidence of interest in and capacity for service beyond that expected of all faculty members and researchers.
  • On January 16, 2015, the Elections Committee will announce the draft ballot. Additional names may be added by the CRA community as described below.
  • On February 6, 2015, nominations by petition are due. Each such nomination must be signed by the heads of at least 10 Constituent Member Organizations that are current in dues payment. Current CRA members are listed at http://cra.org/about/members-list/.
  • On February 13, 2015, final ballots will be distributed to all CRA department chairs and lab directors. Each will have one vote for each open slot on the board.
  • On February 27, 2015, completed ballots must be returned to CRA.

Additional information on CRA and its activities is available at http://cra.org/about/nominees

Nomination forms and additional information are available at: http://cra.org/about/nominees.

Questions can be sent to elections [at]cra.org.

Nominations Open for 2015 CRA Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Researchers

By CRA

AWARD STRUCTURE HAS CHANGED FOR 2015

The Computing Research Association is pleased to announce the annual CRA Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Researchers, which recognizes undergraduate students in North American colleges and universities who show outstanding research potential in an area of computing research. The award is a terrific way to recognize your best student researchers and your department.

Eligible nominees are enrolled as undergraduates in a North American college or university throughout the academic year September 2014 to May 2015. They must be nominated by two faculty members and recommended by the chair of their home department. Departments that grant Ph.D.s in one of the computing fields may nominate up to two male and two female students per year. Departments that do not grant Ph.D.s in one of the computing fields may nominate up to one male and one female student per year.

There will be up to one female and one male winner from Ph.D. granting departments and up to one female and one male winner from non-Ph.D.-granting departments.

A small number of other outstanding candidates will be recognized as Runners-Up and Finalists. All nominees whose work is considered to be exemplary are recognized with Honorable Mentions.

Everything you need to nominate a candidate - instructions and the nomination form - is available at: http://www.cra.org/awards/undergrad/.

Microsoft Research (MSR) and Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs (MERL) sponsor the Outstanding Undergraduate Researchers Award Program in alternate years. The 2015 award is being sponsored by MSR.

Please share this information with your faculty who may have promising students to nominate.

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