This article is published in the January 2014 issue.

CRA Conference at Snowbird, July 2014 Preliminary Program



About the Snowbird Conference: The biennial CRA Conference at Snowbird is the flagship invitation-only conference for the leadership of the North American computing research community.

Invitees: Computer science, computer engineering, and information technology department chairs; assistant, associate, and prospective chairs; directors of graduate or undergraduate education; directors of industry or government research labs/centers; and professional society or government leaders in computing.

The conference site: The Snowbird Resort is located in the Wasatch Mountains about 30 miles from Salt Lake City. A top-rated ski resort in the winter, off-season at Snowbird offers hiking amidst beautiful scenery.

This year at Snowbird: There will be four featured plenary talks on topics ranging from issues in government surveillance using the Internet to creating a diverse Computer Science research community. In addition to the plenary sessions, there will be a workshop for new department chairs on July 20 co-chaired by Susan Davidson (University of Pennsylvania) and Eric Grimson (MIT), a panel on research futures led by Greg Hager (The Johns Hopkins University), and three workshops on policy, research, and education. There will be several hours of free time for networking, mingling, hiking, or just hanging out enjoying the gorgeous environment.

Below is a preliminary program that will continue to be updated on the CRA website ( as additional information becomes available. Online registration will open on the CRA website in April.

Plenary Sessions:

  1. Computing and the Human Experience – Grady Booch (IBM Research)
  2. Surveillance and the Internet – Peter Swire (Georgia Tech)
  3. Broadening the Computing Research Community – Maria Klawe (Harvey Mudd College)
  4. Politics 2014 and What it Might Mean for Computing – Peter Harsha (CRA)

After Dinner Talks: Computing Research Futures – Greg Hager (Johns Hopkins University) Chair

Parallel Sessions

This year there will be three parallel tracks: institutional policy, research, and education.

Institutional Policy

The institutional policy sessions will focus on various issues that computing researchers face at each step in the pipeline: from recruitment of domestic PhD students, to postdocs, to hiring and promotion.

  • Best Practices on Hiring, Promotion and Scholarship – Fred Schneider (Cornell University)
  • Care and Feeding of Postdocs – Robert Sproull (Formerly Sun and Oracle Labs)
  • Recruiting Domestic Students to PhD Programs: From Data to Recommendations – Ran Libeskind-Hadas (Harvey Mudd College) and Susanne Hambrusch (Purdue University)

Research Sessions

The research sessions at Snowbird will focus on the challenges of big data to academia, industry, and government. Acquiring data, dealing with privacy and intellectual property, sharing between institutions, publishing results in a way that analysis can be confirmed or refuted – all these can confound our current assumptions on how we do research and create impact on society. We will hear from leaders of academia, government, and industry on how they “do” big data research and what are the big data trends from cutting edge institutions and industries.

The workshop will also discuss the challenges of open access and the other coming publication models, which have the potential to change our metrics for research success and the business models of our professional societies.

  • The Coming Publishing Models – Jack Davidson (University of Virginia) and Joe Konstan (University of Minnesota)
  • Big Data Research: Academia and Industry – Laura Haas (IBM Research)

Education Sessions

The education sessions will address two critical topics: the challenges and opportunities of Computer Science in K-12, and the creation of a culture of research around MOOCs and Online Education. The latter will consist of talks by pioneers of the MOOC movement, experts in understanding what can be learned from the data collected by instrumented online education, and representatives of the government agencies who will be funding the next generation of research that bridges the current divide between CS research and research into education.

  • K-12 Education/ in the Core – Jan Cuny (NSF)
  • CS Research on MOOCs & Online Education

Additional Activities at Snowbird

CRA Board of Directors Meeting – July 19-20
Workshop for New Department Chairs – July 20
CRA Deans meeting – July 22-23

For program details and registration information, please see the CRA website: ; email: snowbird @; or call +1-202-234-2111

Organizing Committee

Co-Chairs: Greg Morrisett (Harvard) Academic; Brent Hailpern, (IBM Research) Labs/Centers

Members: Sarita Adve (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), David Bader (Georgia Institute of Technology), Chitta Baral (Arizona State University), Janet Davis (Grinnell College), Julia Hirschberg (Columbia University), Eric Horvitz (Microsoft Research), HV Jagadish (University of Michigan), Chris Johnson (University of Utah), and Bill Weihl (Facebook).

CRA Conference at Snowbird, July 2014 Preliminary Program