This article is published in the March 2018 issue.

Highlights of the 2018 CRA Computing Leadership Summit


On Monday, February 26, in Arlington, Va., the CRA hosted its annual Computing Research Leadership Summit for the senior leadership of CRA member societies (Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, Association for Computing Machinery, CS-Can/Info-Can, IEEE Computer Society, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, and USENIX Association) and the CSTB.

Several engaging talks at the Leadership Summit provided useful information on current issues important to the organizations, such as:

  • Cameron Wilson from reported on the state of K-12 CS education in the United States. is a nonprofit dedicated to expanding access to computer science in K-12 schools and increasing participation by women and underrepresented minorities. They have had success with creating curricula and support for teachers without a CS background, breaking stereotypes about CS, and changing state and local education policies.
  • Moshe Vardi from Rice University detailed his thoughts on technology and the future of work. He has been heavily involved in discussions in this area, including organizing events that bring together major leaders to discuss the topic. In December 2016, Rice hosted the De Lange Conference on Humans, Machines, and the Future of Work. In December 2017, CRA hosted the Summit on Technology and Jobs. Both events were organized by Vardi.
  • Kate Larson from CS-Can/Info-Can gave an introduction about the newly formed organization. Its mission is to foster excellence in computer science research and higher education in Canada, drive innovation, and benefit society. Overall, CS-Can/Info-Can’s aim is “to grow computer science in Canada in an inclusive way that includes women, visible minorities, and members of first nations.”

During the society roundtable session, representatives of each organization discussed their current projects, future directions, and the activities they are undertaking. CRA Board Chair Susan Davidson shared updates on CRA’s increased focus on teaching track faculty, plans to strengthen diversity programs with initiatives such as the Underrepresented Minorities and Persons with Disabilities (URMD) Grad Cohort Workshop, and an upcoming white paper on institutional homes for computing.

The Leadership Summit participants were also invited to attend an informal reception with participants of CRA’s Career Mentoring Workshop and CRA board members.


After the reception, two sessions were held jointly with the CRA board meeting:

  • Jim Kurose, assistant director of the CISE Directorate at NSF, gave an update on current and new initiatives, including a new process to handle sexual harassment.
  • CRA Director of Government Affairs Peter Harsha discussed the current environment for science policy in D.C., including a recent congressional briefing on intelligent infrastructure and the President’s budget request for FY19, which includes some modest gains and big losses for federal science agencies.