Future of the Research Enterprise Task Force

Chair: TBD

Current Members

Suresh Venkatasubramanian

Suresh Venkatasubramanian
University of Utah


Suresh Venkatasubramanian Website

Suresh Venkatasubramanian is a professor at the University of Utah. His background is in algorithms and computational geometry, as well as data mining and machine learning. His current research interests lie in algorithmic fairness, and more generally the problem of understanding and explaining the results of black box decision procedures. Suresh received a CAREER award from the NSF for his work in the geometry of probability, as well as a test-of-time award at ICDE 2017 for his work in privacy. His research on algorithmic fairness has received press coverage across North America and Europe, including NPR’s Science Friday, NBC, and CNN, as well as in other media outlets. He is a member of the board of the ACLU in Utah, and is a member of New York City’s Failure to Appear Tool (FTA) Research Advisory Council.

Tom ConteTom Conte
Georgia Institute of Technology


Tom Conte Website

Tom Conte is a native of Delaware , but served his time in a corn field in the middle of Illinois, escaping only when he received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1992. From 1992-1995, he was an Assistant Professor at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC, where he met his wife (which was just about the only good thing that happened to him in South Carolina).
In 1995, Conte moved to NC State University (in Raleigh, NC), where he was an Assistant Professor (1995-1998), then an Associate Professor (1998-2002), and then an adjective-free Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering . Somewhere in there (2000-2001) he took a short detour to DSP startup BOPS, inc. to serve as a manager of their back and compiler group and “Chief Microarchitect” (because they already had a “Chief Architect”). After cursing Computer Science as a faux discipline for decades, he accidentally became a professor of Computer Science at Georgia Tech, where he suffers to this day.

Conte currently directs a bunch of Ph.D. students in topics ranging from compiler design to advanced microarchitectures. His research is or has been supported by DARPA, Compaq (formerly Digital), Hewlett-Packard (formerly Compaq), IBM, Intel, TI, Sun, NASA, and the National Science Foundation.

Keith MarzulloKeith Marzullo
University of Maryland


Keith Marzullo Website

Dr. Keith Marzullo is Dean of the College of Information Studies (also known as the iSchool) at the University of Maryland, College Park. He joined the iSchool from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where he directed the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Program. NITRD enables interagency coordination and cooperation among the over 20 member agencies which together spend over $4B a year in NIT R&D.

Dr. Marzullo has also worked at the National Science Foundation (NSF), where he served as the Division Director for the Computer and Network Systems (CNS) Division in the Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE) Directorate, at UC San Diego where he was the CSE Department chair, and Cornell University. Dr. Marzullo received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, where he developed the Xerox Research Internet Clock Synchronization protocol, one of the first practical fault-tolerant protocols for keeping widely-distributed clocks synchronized with each other. His research interests are in distributed computing, fault-tolerant computing, cybersecurity, and privacy.

Ben Zorn
Ben Zorn
Microsoft Research


Ben Zorn   Website

Ben Zorn is a Research Manager and Principal Researcher, co-managing the Research in Software Engineering (RiSE) group, a group of over 30 researchers and developers working on programming languages and software engineering in Microsoft Research, Redmond. After receiving a PhD in Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley in 1989, he served eight years in the Computer Science faculty at the University of Colorado in Boulder, receiving tenure and being promoted to Associate Professor in 1996. Dr. Zorn left the University of Colorado in 1998 to join Microsoft Research, where he currently works. His research interests include programming language design and implementation for reliability, security, and performance. Dr. Zorn has served as both Program and General Chair of the ACM SIGPLAN Programming Language Design and Implementation (PLDI) Conference, as an Associate Editor of the ACM journals Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems and Transactions on Architecture and Code Optimization. Dr. Zorn as also served seven years as a Member-at-Large of the SIGPLAN Executive Committee and currently serves on the ACM Software Systems Award Committee.

The Future of the Research Enterprise task force will lead activities to address the future of the research enterprise in an evolving computing research ecosystem. Topics to address will include the impact of academia-industry relations (learn more on the Industry working group page), the peer review process, and the future of open source project.

Future of the Research Enterprise (FRE) task force has released the Evolving Methods for Evaluating and Disseminating Computing Research white paper. Based on interviews with members of the computing research community, this white paper presents the trends the task force has observed, discusses the impacts of changing review and dissemination processes, and suggests methods to reduce the negative impacts of these trends.

Overall the task force found that “Trends impacting computing research are largely positive and have increased the participation, scope, accessibility, and speed of the research process,” however “Challenges remain in securing the integrity of the process, including addressing ways to scale the review process, avoiding attempts to misinform or confuse the dissemination of results, and ensuring fairness and broad participation in the process itself.” (p. 1).

In response to these trends and challenges, the task force recommends:

  • “Regularly polling members of the computing research community, including program and general conference chairs, journal editors, authors, reviewers, etc., to identify specific challenges they face to better understand these issues.
  • An influential body, such as the Computing Research Association (CRA), regularly issues a “State of the Computing Research Enterprise” report to update the community on trends, both positive and negative, impacting the computing research enterprise.
  • A deeper investigation, specifically to better understand the influence that social media and preprint archives have on computing research, is conducted.
  • Initiate an investigation of the impact of COVID-19 on the broader computing research enterprise, including the impact on evaluation and dissemination.” (pp. 1-2).

Read the full report here or on arXiv.

For citation use: Zorn B., Conte T., Marzullo K., & Venkatasubramanian S. (2020) Evolving Methods for Evaluating and Disseminating Computing Research https://cra.org/ccc/resources/ccc-led-whitepapers/ or arXiv identifier: arXiv:2007.01242 [cs.CY].