This article is published in the November 2008 issue.

CCC Update

The Computing Community Consortium ( was established by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to enable the computing research community to build research communities focused on exciting new visions for computing research.

One piece of this effort is the funding of area-specific workshops in which researchers and potential funders come together to discuss research visions, lay out research road maps, and increase momentum for the area. Here we provide a brief synopsis of the ongoing efforts.

Got a vision that you wish to develop? See for how CCC can support you!

Big-Data Computing Study Group
Randal E. Bryant, Carnegie Mellon University
Thomas T. Kwan, Yahoo! Research

Having the ability to quickly and conveniently perform computations over terabyte- and petabyte-scale data sets would enable significant breakthroughs in science, commerce, and other applications important to society. The Big-Data Computing Study Group will explore and enable opportunities for research and applications of high-performance, data-intensive computing systems, benefiting application areas ranging from astronomy to machine translation.

Initial workshops were held in March 2008.
See also the new NSF CISE initiative in Data-Intensive Computing.

Cyber-Physical Systems
Jack Stankovic, University of Virginia
Bruce Krogh, Carnegie Mellon University

Embedding networked computing adds new capabilities to physical systems. These cyber-physical systems range from miniscule (pacemakers) to large-scale (the national power grid). This is not about adding computing and communication equipment to conventional products where both sides maintain separate identities. This is about merging computing and networking with physical systems to create new revolutionary science, technical capabilities, and products.

An initial workshop was held in April 2008.
See also the new NSF CISE solicitation: Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) NSF 08-611

From Internet to Robotics: The Next Transformative Technology
Henrik Christensen, Georgia Tech

The fact that the Internet has in many ways transformed our daily lives is a given. Yet the Internet remains a medium for interconnecting passive devices with limited facilities for interaction with the physical world. Robots, on the other hand, are devices designed to interact intelligently with the environment. Over the next decade or two, our prediction is that robotics will impact our daily lives in ways that at least equal the impact of the Internet. Our study will generate a road map of applications for robotics across users, producers and researchers. The objective is to provide a comprehensive view of the use of robotics and the main obstacles to deployment, and to identify the key competencies to facilitate the transformation. Both market drivers and technology push will be considered mechanisms for designing new systems.

Initial workshops were held in June and August 2008.

Visions for Theoretical Computer Science
Richard Ladner, University of Washington-Seattle

Theoretical Computer Science aims to understand the intrinsic capabilities and limitations of efficient computation. The goals of the visioning workshop were to identify broad research themes within theoretical computer science that have potential for major impact in the future, and to distill these research directions into compelling “nuggets” that can quickly convey their importance to a layperson. The nuggets produced in the workshop will serve to highlight the importance of sustained support for long-term, fundamental computing research, and inspire the community in its future efforts.

The workshop was held in May 2008, with work continuing via wiki.

Network Science and Engineering
Ellen Zegura, Georgia Tech

Researchers with expertise in computing, engineering, networking, and the social, behavioral and economic sciences are coming together in the development of a research agenda in Network Science and Engineering (NetSE), with the ultimate goal of developing a comprehensive scientific understanding of the interconnected technical and social dimensions of complex digital communication networks. The NetSE research agenda will reveal the fascinating scientific landscape of network science and engineering, and will build support for increased and more effective investments in this multidisciplinary field.

Six workshops were held from June through September 2008.

Global Resources for Online Education (GROE)
(New Initiative – Monitor for details)

Beverly Woolf, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Computing research has the potential to transform learning at all levels. Breakthroughs in dynamic student learning assessment, personalized feedback for learners at far lower cost than current methods, and improved prospects for sustainable lifelong learning are but a few of the possible benefits. This project includes workshops of leading experts in: 1) enhancement of cognitive learning through improved understanding of human cognition and applications to education; 2) improved human-computer interaction to enhance individual productivity in learning; 3) creation of new learning communities using social networking systems, collaboration, and mobile/ubiquitous computing; 4) new approaches to delivering learning assistance and assessing outcomes; and
5) promising technologies for accelerating individual and group learning.

Workshops have not yet been scheduled for the GROE initiative.

For up-to-date information on CCC activities, visit the website at:

CCC Update