2020 Highlights

2020 was a unique but rewarding year that required many adaptations to the way we normally do things. The Computing Community Consortium would like to thank everyone for their continued support this year and a special thanks to those that helped make our accomplishments this year possible. The CCC is proud of the ways we were able to support the Computing Research community in this time of uncertainty and look forward to 2021!

Please check out this year’s highlights below:

Episode 21: Ice Cores and Chaos Theory with Liz Bradley (Part 1)

Khari Douglas interviews Dr. Liz Bradley, the current Chair of the CCC Council. Bradley has been with the Department of Computer Science at the University of Colorado at Boulder since January of 1993, and her current research focuses on nonlinear dynamics and chaos, as well as scientific computation and AI. In this episode we discuss teaching computational thinking, participating in the olympics, and using math and computing to analyze ice cores. 

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Episode 27: Global Security and Graph Analytics with Nadya Bliss (Part 1)

In this episode, Khari Douglas interviews Dr. Nadya Bliss, the Executive Director of Arizona State’s Global Security Initiative and a CCC Council Member. Before joining ASU in 2012, Bliss spent 10 years at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory, most recently as a founding group leader of the Computing and Analytics Group. In this episode, she discusses her time at Lincoln Lab, what a federally funded research and development center does, and the history of graph analytics.

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Episode 29: Digital Learning with Peter Mirski

This episode of the podcast is taken from a video interview with Peter Mirski, the chair in Management and IT at the Management Center Innsbruck or MCI. This interview was recorded as part of traversing separation with the Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation, a non-profit which was established in 2013 to foster mathematics and computer science. The foundation organizes the annual Heidelberg Laureate Forum (HLF), a networking conference where 200 outstanding young researchers in mathematics and computer science interact with the recipients of the most renowned prizes in the fields. In this episode, Peter Mirski discusses digital learning — particularly with regards to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic — with CCC Senior Program Associate Khari Douglas. Listen to the podcast episode here, and the video version of the interview can be found on the Heidelberg Laureate Forum’s Youtube channel here.

Episode 30: Open-Source Exhibitions with Andreas Matt

This episode of the podcast is taken from a video interview with Andreas Matt, co-founder and CEO of IMAGINARY, a non-profit organization for the communication of modern mathematics. This interview was recorded as part of traversing separation with the Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation, a non-profit which was established in 2013 to foster mathematics and computer science. The foundation organizes the annual Heidelberg Laureate Forum (HLF), a networking conference where 200 outstanding young researchers in mathematics and computer science interact with the recipients of the most renowned prizes in the field. In this episode, Andreas Matt discusses IMAGINARY and managing open source exhibitions, as well as the impact of the pandemic with CCC Senior Program Associate Khari Douglas. Listen to the podcast episode here, and the video version of the interview can be found on the Heidelberg Laureate Forum’s Youtube channel here.

The Role of Robotics in Infectious Disease Crises

Authors: Gregory Hager (The Johns Hopkins University); Vijay Kumar (The University of Pennsylvania); Robin Murphy (Texas A&M University); Daniela Rus (Massachusetts Institute of Technology); Russell Taylor (The Johns Hopkins University); with support from Guru Madhavan (National Academy of Engineering) and Ann Schwartz Drobnis (Computing Community Consortium)

Publication Date: July 2020

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, a workshop was held in July 2020 to address ways in which robotics and technology could be leveraged to assist in combating infectious diseases. Published in October 2020, this report is the outcome of the workshop and outlines a strategy for increasing national preparedness to use robotic systems and technology in future infectious disease emergencies. It identifies key challenges faced by healthcare personnel and the general population and then identifies robotic/technological responses to these challenges. Then it identifies the key research/knowledge barriers that need to be addressed in developing effective, scalable solutions.

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Assured Autonomy: Path Toward Living With Autonomous Systems We Can Trust

Authors: Workshop Chair –Ufuk Topcu (The University of Texas at Austin)

Nadya Bliss (Arizona State University and CCC); Nancy Cooke (Arizona State University); Missy Cummings (Duke University); Ashley Llorens (Johns Hopkins University, Applied Physics Laboratory); Howard Shrobe (Massachusetts Institute of Technology); Lenore Zuck (University of Illinois at Chicago)

Publication Date: July 2020

A series of three workshops on Assured Autonomy. The first workshop, held in October 2019, focused on current and anticipated challenges and problems in assuring autonomous systems within and across applications and sectors. The second workshop held in February 2020, focused on existing capabilities, current research, and research trends that could address the challenges and problems identified in workshop 1. The third event was dedicated to a discussion of a draft of the major findings from the previous two workshops and the recommendations that can be found in the report.

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Wide-Area Data Analytics

Authors: Rachit Agarwal and Jennifer Rexford (workshop co-chairs) with contributions from numerous workshop attendees

Publication Date: June 2020

This report synthesizes findings and provides an overview of a workshop held in October 2019 relating to concerns with wide-area data analytics. The workshop brought together researchers from core areas of computer science (e.g., machine learning, programming languages, computer architecture, and theory) to identify a larger research agenda and uncover promising areas for collaboration. This report summarizes the challenges discussed and the conclusions generated at the workshop. 

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Computational Support for Substance Use Disorder Prevention, Detection, Treatment, and Recovery

Authors: Workshop Chair – Lana Yarosh (University of Minnesota)

Steering Committee Suzanne Bakken (Columbia University); Alan Borning (University of Washington); Munmun De Choudhury (Georgia Institute of Technology); Cliff Lampe (University of Michigan); Elizabeth Mynatt (Georgia Tech); Stephen Schueller (University of California Irvine); Tiffany Veinot (University of Michigan)

Publication Date: June 2020

This report outlines the findings from an interdisciplinary workshop exploring how computational support — digital systems, algorithms, and socio-technical approaches (which consider how technology and people interact as complex systems) — may enhance and enable innovative interventions for prevention, detection, treatment, and long-term recovery from SUDs. The workshop brought together experts from Human Computer Interaction, Ubiquitous computing, Informatics and Data Science and Behavioral and Mental Health.

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Quadrennial Papers

Publication Date: October – November 2020

Every four years the Computing Research Association, through its subcommittees, publishes a series of white papers called Quadrennial Papers that explore areas and issues around computing research with potential to address national priorities. The white papers attempt to portray a comprehensive picture of the computing research field detailing potential research directions, challenges, and recommendations. This year included four groups of papers relating to the themes Artificial Intelligence, Socio-Technical Computing, Board Computing and Core Computer Science. 

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Evolving Methods for Evaluating and Disseminating Computing Research

Publication Date: July 2020

Authors: Benjamin Zorn (Microsoft Research), Tom Conte (Georgia Institute of Technology), Keith Marzullo (University of Maryland), and Suresh Venkatasubramanian (University of Utah)

Abstract: Social and technical trends have significantly changed methods for evaluating and disseminating computing research. Traditional venues for reviewing and publishing, such as conferences and journals, worked effectively in the past. Recently, trends have created new opportunities but also put new pressures on the process of review and dissemination. For example, many conferences have seen large increases in the number of submissions. Likewise, dissemination of research ideas has become dramatically easier for individuals even in the absence of peer review through publication venues such as arXiv.org and social media networks. While these trends predate COVID-19, the pandemic could accelerate longer term changes. This paper seeks to present observed trends, discuss impacts on review process, suggest methods and recommendations to reduce negative impacts and identify challenges in the field.

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5G Security and Privacy – A Research Roadmap

Authors: Elisa Bertino (Purdue University), Syed Rafiul Hussain (Purdue University), and Omar Chowdhury (University of Iowa)

Publication Date: March 2020 

Abstract: Cellular networks represent a critical infrastructure and their security is thus crucial. 5G – the latest generation of cellular networks – combines different technologies to increase capacity, reduce latency, and save energy. Due to its complexity and scale, however, ensuring its security is extremely challenging. In this white paper, we outline recent approaches supporting systematic analyses of 4G LTE and 5G protocols and their related defenses and introduce an initial security and privacy roadmap, covering different research challenges, including formal and comprehensive analyses of cellular protocols as defined by the standardization groups, verification of the software implementing the protocols, the design of robust defenses, and application and device security. 

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Applying Mathematics and Computer Science to Everyday Life – Anecdotes from Donald Knuth and Robert Tarjan

Author: Khari Douglas 

Publication Date: September 25th, 2020

2020 Heidelberg Laureate’s Donald Knuth and Robert Tarjan, discuss their careers, background and how they apply mathematics and computer science to other aspects of everyday life such as sports and music.

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Robotics Roadmap for US Robotics: From Internet to Robotics, 2020 Edition

Author: Helen Wright

Publication Date: September 9th, 2020

This post highlights the publishing of the 2020 edition of CCC’s Robotics Roadmap for US RoboticsThis is an updated version of the Robotics Roadmaps released in March 2013 and November 2016.

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ACM SIGARCH BLOG: Genesis and Reflections on the Return of Industry Products to ISCA 2020

Author: David A. Patterson (UC Berkeley and Google)

Publication Date: July 16th, 2020

This post discusses the lack of industry product papers submitted for the International Symposium on Computer Architecture. It dives into why this is a problem, possible solutions and reflections and evaluations going forward.

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CCC Announces New Council Members

Author:  Helen Wright

Publication Date: May 7th, 2020

The CCC announces six new council members and their backgrounds.

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Automated Contact Tracing for Fighting the Coronavirus: A Short-Term Effort with Long-Term Repercussions

Author: Ran Canetti (Boston University)

Publication Date: April 22nd, 2020

In light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, Ran Canetti, a professor of Computer Science at Boston University, discusses the protocol design, challenges and privacy aspects of a contract tracing system.

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Computing Researchers Respond to COVID-19: Running a Virtual Conference

Author: Helen Wright

Publication Date: April 2nd, 2020

In light of the recent global pandemic, many conferences have been moved online. This blog lists tips and tricks to hosting a successful online conference.

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Physics & Engineering Issues in Adiabatic/Reversible Classical Computing

Organizers: Michael P. Frank (Sandia National Labs), Tom Conte (Georgia Tech), Erik DeBenedictis (Zettaflops, LLC), Jayson Lynch (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Karpur Shukla (Brown University), Robert Wille (Johannes Kepler University Linz), Mark Hill (University of Wisconsin, Madison), Sujata Banerjee (VMware)

Dates: October 5-9 , 2020

The Computing Community Consortium (CCC) held a virtual workshop the week of Oct. 5-9 to address the physics & engineering challenges in adiabatic/ reversible classical computing. This workshop gathered the research community in this field to lay a common foundation of existing state-of-the-art knowledge and work together to prepare a comprehensive workshop report that can make the case for a major new initiative effectively to federal-level decision-makers. Learn more about the motivation for the workshop on the workshop webpage and watch recorded plenary talks from the workshop here

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Assured Autonomy Workshops 2 and 3

Organizers: Nancy Cooke (Arizona State University), Missy Cummings (Duke University), Ashley Llorens (Johns Hopkins University, Applied Physics Laboratory), Howard Shrobe (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Ufuk Topcu (University of Texas at Austin) and Lenore Zuck (University of Illinois at Chicago)


  • Second Workshop February 20-21, 2020
  • Third Workshop July 29th, 2020 (virtual)

Autonomy is becoming mainstream. The anticipation is that cyber-physical-human systems and services enabled by autonomy will improve the future work conditions and the quality of life for humans and create new business models. To name a few examples, autonomous cars are test-driven on public streets by numerous companies, teams of robots that share the workspace with humans are showcased at airports and hospitals, new civilian and defense applications for drones surface by the day, and more and more human responsibilities in critical applications, including but not limited to infrastructure networks and medical diagnostics and hospital management, are shared with autonomous decision-makers. The CCC held a series of three workshop to address assured autonomy; the second workshop was held February 20-21, 2020 in Phoenix, AZ an the third workshop was held virtually on July 29th.. Learn more about the workshop series here

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NAE/CCC Workshop on the Role of Robotics in Infectious Disease Crises

Organizers: Gregory Hager (The Johns Hopkins University), Vijay Kumar (The University of Pennsylvania), Robin Murphy (Texas A&M University), Russell Taylor (The Johns Hopkins University), Daniela Rus (MIT), Guru Madhavan (NAE)

Dates: July 9-10th, 2020

This is a virtual workshop to study the role of robotic systems in infectious disease crises, to be held on July 9-10th, 2020 with joint sponsorship of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and the Computing Community Consortium (CCC). The recent coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the challenges faced by the healthcare, public safety, and economic systems when confronted with a surge in patients that require intensive treatment and a population that must be quarantined or shelter in place. The most obvious and pressing challenge is taking care of acutely ill patients while managing spread of infection within the care facility, but this is just the tip of the iceberg if we consider what could be done to prepare in advance for future pandemics. Beyond the obvious need for strengthening medical knowledge and preparedness, there is a complementary need to anticipate and address the engineering challenges associated with pandemic infectious disease emergencies. Learn more about the motivation for the workshop on the workshop webpage

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CCC / Code 8.7 Workshop on Applying AI in the Fight Against Modern Slavery

Organizers: Nadya Bliss (Arizona State University), Mark Briers (Turing Institute), James Cockayne (UNU), Alice Eckstein (UNU-CPR), James Goulding (University of Nottingham), Dan Lopresti (Lehigh University), Anjali Mazumder (Turing Institute), Keith Marzullo (University of Maryland), Amy Rahe (Survivor Alliance) and Gavin Smith (University of Nottingham)

Dates: March 3-4, 2020

This workshop was held on March 3-4, 2020. On any given day, tens of millions of people find themselves trapped in instances of modern slavery. This CCC visioning workshop, organized in collaboration with Code 8.7, brought together members of the computing research community along with anti-slavery practitioners and survivors to lay out a research roadmap aimed at applying AI to the fight against human trafficking. Building on the kickoff Code 8.7 conference held at the UN in February 2019, the focus for this event will be to link the ambitious goals outlined in the 20-Year Community Roadmap for AI Research to challenges vital in achieving the UN’s Target 8.7.

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Computing Innovation Fellows

In May, the Computing Research Association (CRA) and its Computing Community Consortium (CCC) launched the CIFellows 2020 program, with strong support from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The program aims to provide a career-enhancing bridge experience for recent and soon-to-be computing PhD graduates to combat hiring disruptions due to COVID. This effort was modeled after the CRA/CCC’s NSF-funded Computing Innovation Fellows Programs with cohorts starting 2009, 2010, and 2011, which funded 127 fellows following the 2008 recession. The 2020 CIFellows class is 59 researchers, 52% of whom are women, covering a wide variety of research areas. The program involved 59 different universities with Fellows coming from 46 unique institutions, and starting their fellowships at 43 different universities. You can find out more about each fellow here. CRA and CCC are working with the computing community to ensure that this program facilitates career and skill growth for the Fellows in supportive environments to foster the talent of the future computing research community. See more in the CIFellows website: https://cifellows2020.org/