This article is published in the September 2011 issue.

CCC: We Want You Involved – And Here’s How

The Computing Community Consortium (CCC), which will enter its fifth year later this fall, remains focused on catalyzing and empowering the computing research community to pursue more audacious research, all the while attracting bright young talent and fostering development of the next generation of leaders .

To achieve its goals, the CCC relies heavily on the participation of the broader research community. Here are five things you can do today to become involved in this effort (listed in order from least to most time-intensive):

  • Submit a “highlight” describing your most recent exciting research result. Each week, the CCC features a “Computing Research Highlight of the Week,” showcasing an interesting research finding. These highlights are culled from submissions from members of the research community. If you have a research result that you would like to disseminate, submit your Highlight here: Press releases by your lab, department, or university press office are welcome!
  • Help us get the word out about fundamental computing research challenges in areas of national priority. The CCC has developed a set of brochures-based on white papers prepared by the research community1-that are intended to appeal to a broad audience, to include students, faculty, colleagues in other fields, policy makers, and the public at large: . The goal of these brochures is two-fold: to inspire and excite computer scientists to pursue challenges at the intersection of computing and healthcare, sustainability, education, and other areas, and to communicate widely the value of computing research in our everyday lives. Please help us circulate these brochures throughout your labs, classrooms, departments, and beyond.
  • Put together a short video describing exciting computing research that encourages undergraduates to pursue computer science. Many undergraduates lack a clear understanding of computing research; often they believe it involves writing really large, complicated, even cumbersome, programs. The CCC is assimilating a collection of short videos that provide undergraduates with concrete, compelling examples of current research in computer science-described in ways that inspire and engage them. A video can be as short as one minute or as long as five minutes. The CCC will fund up to $1,000 to cover expenses (e.g., time for one or more graduate students to make a video). For the full solicitation, visit: And be sure to check out the first video, called Exploring Photobios, which was recently aired by a local TV news station: .
  • Run a special track exploring out-of-the-box research ideas at an upcoming conference or meeting you are organizing. The CCC is sponsoring an initiative to bring “Challenges and Visions” tracks to computer science research conferences. The goal of this initiative is to help conferences extend beyond the usual research papers that describe completed work and to seek out papers that present ideas and visions that may stimulate the research community to pursue entirely new directions. The CCC is providing prize money to the top three papers in each track (first prize $1,000, second prize $750, and third prize $500, to be awarded as travel grants). For more information, including a list of past Challenges and Visions tracks, visit:
  • Propose a community-visioning activity that brings together members of your research community to coalesce around specific research visions. The CCC has a standing RFP – – for activities with the potential to excite the computing research community, grow funding, and encourage broader segments of society to participate in computing research and education. Over a dozen such community- (PI-) led “visioning activities” have been supported in the past four years, and some of these are now resulting in Federally funded programs. For example, an effort to envision robotics R&D2 resulted in a definitive report, A Roadmap for U.S. Robotics-From Internet to Robotics,3 developed by more than 100 robotics experts from industry and academia. As the National Science Foundation’s Assistant Director for Computer and Information Science and Engineering, Farnam Jahanian describes in a separate article elsewhere in this issue of CRN, this report was the basis for the Administration’s recent announcement of a brand new, multi-agency, $70 million National Robotics Initiative.4

These are just a few of the many activities the CCC is pursuing today. For more details about any of these, or to learn more about our various other efforts, please visit our website: And please take a quick moment to subscribe to the CCC Blog (, a constant source of news and information for and about the computing research community. We hope to see you involved soon!

Dr. Erwin Gianchandani is the Director of the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) and the Computing Innovation Fellows Project within CRA [E-mail:; Phone: (202) 266-2936; Fax: (202) 667-1066].



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CCC:  We Want You Involved – And Here’s How