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CRA-Industry Committee Announces Virtual Round Table Series

By CRA-Industry Steering Committee

CRA-Industry, a standing committee of the CRA, was created in the Fall of 2020 with the goal of reaching out to industry partners involved in computing research and giving them new opportunities to convene and connect on topics of mutual interest.  As a part of the CRA, CRA-Industry also facilitates the interaction between industry partners and other organizations deeply involved in computing research including academic institutions and government agencies.  You can learn more about CRA-Industry by visiting our web page and/or signing up for our mailing list.

The CRA-Industry committee recognizes the diversity of companies that participate in the computing research ecosystem and seeks to enable those companies, big and small, tech and non-tech, to get the greatest benefit from sharing their experiences with each other.  Furthermore, CRA-Industry recognizes that many companies not traditionally contributing or benefitting from computing research are now actively engaging with academic, government, and industry members of the computing research community.  We seek to help such companies engage, contribute, and participate in the computing research community for the benefit of all.

Since CRA-Industry is a relatively new committee, we envision starting with community-building activities that include hosting virtual round tables, in-person workshops, seeding industry partnerships in collaborations across academia and government, and authoring white papers on topics of interest to our partners.  We will also coordinate closely with other CRA committees, such as CRA-WP and the CCC, which have a long history of engaging with industry partners on matters of shared interest.

Specifically, the CRA-Industry Committee is planning to start a series of bimonthly 75-minute virtual Round Table meetings in June 2021 focused on issues of interest to our computing research industry partners. We will use these meetings to seed additional CRA-Industry activities, publicize the CRA-Industry committee, and attract potential companies to participate.  The topics for the first three Round Table meetings are below. Sign up here for more information. CRA-Industry events do not require CRA membership for participation. Please share this opportunity with others you think may be interested.

Roundtable on Equity and Computing Research
(tentatively scheduled for mid-June 2021)

Today, more companies are deliberately extending their social responsibility initiatives at the behest of investors, customers, and employees. How should industry be viewing and factoring societal equity into its research agendas? This roundtable will explore the concept, principles, and best practices of socially responsible computing research. Ideally participants will gain a sense of considerations that might apply to their strategic research planning by developing a broad framework for the concept of research equity that goes beyond recent examples in machine learning.

Roundtable on Best Practices on using the Cloud for Computing Research

The purpose of this roundtable is to discuss best practices on using the cloud as computing research infrastructure, and the resulting synergistic opportunities across academia, industry, and government.  Historically, CS researchers have provisioned their own infrastructure for research, with their research lab staff incurring significant overhead to maintain and update lab equipment.  This impacts the quality of results due to the use of platforms that are underutilized and out-of-date.  Recently, a few CS researchers have turned to the use of cloud computing for research, but they often encounter key limitations including: 1) Need for periodic short-term access to large-scale resources, 2) Lack of an ability to “look under the hood”, 3) Demystifying and capping costs beyond initial gift allocations.  This roundtable seeks to elicit new opportunities and directions for making the cloud more accessible as a research resource.

Roundtable on Research and Decision Horizons in the Semiconductor Technology Ecosystem

The purpose of this roundtable is to identify principles and opportunities for cross-stack research collaboration in computing, with particular attention to synergies between process technology, design, systems, and applications. Analogous to the national academies “tire track” diagram, which shows the interplay between academic research, industry, and government with several “long distance” paths between disciplines, we hope to come to a better understanding of how to identify and foster opportunities for “long distance” leaps between layers of the computing stack. The roundtable will review the history of NVRAM as a motivating example, and consider industry decision timeframes as a key issue in identifying and realizing research collaboration opportunities.

CRA-Industry Steering Committee:
Vivek Sarkar (Georgia Tech) Co-Chair
Ben Zorn (Microsoft) Co-Chair
Lorrie Cranor (Carnegie Mellon University)
Fatma Özcan (Google)
Chris Ramming (VMware)
Divesh Srivastava (AT&T)
Gil Vandentop (Intel)
YY Zhou (UCSD)