This article is published in the November 2020 issue.

CCC Quadrennial Papers: Broad Computer Science

As part of the rollout of the 2020 Computing Research Association’s (CRA) Quadrennial Papers, the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) is pleased to publish the second group of papers around “Broad Computer Science,” including papers on pandemic informatics, infrastructure for AI, High Performance Computing (HPC) and Quantum, robotics in the workforce and a new research ecosystem for secure computing. The Quadrennial Papers are intended to help inform the computing research community and those who craft science policy about opportunities in computing research to help address national priorities. As part of CCC’s contribution, in addition to the theme of Core Computer Science from last week, two more sets of Quadrennial Papers organized around the themes of Artificial Intelligence and Socio-Technical Computing will be released over the next several weeks.

The papers we release today touch on the potential for the broad application of computing to societal issues and on the conduct of science itself. From exploring effective strategies for using computation to impact pandemics, to understanding how robotics can augment the workforce, to capitalizing on the synergies between breakthrough computing technologies and infrastructures to catalyze progress in science, and creating a new research ecosystem that prioritizes security, these papers show the broad range of impact our field continues to have on discovery, society and our daily lives. Brief descriptions, author details, and links to the Quadrennial Papers released today are included below. 

Pandemic Informatics: Preparation, Robustness and Resilience
Authors: Elizabeth Bradley (University of Colorado Boulder), William Gropp (University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign), Daniel Lopresti (Lehigh University), Madhav Marathe (University of Virginia), and Melanie Moses (University of New Mexico) 

In light of the recent pandemic, this paper outlines an effective strategy to reduce the impact of global pandemics stressing early detection, predicting the public’s reaction and developing effective policies. These aims require research and technological advancements in a number of areas, particularly in how informatics infrastructure can be used to assist in global outbreaks and better prepare for the next health crisis. 

Infrastructure for AI/Quantum/HPC
Authors: Sujata Banerjee (VMware Research), Ian Foster (University of Chicago), and William Gropp (University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign)

This paper breaks down the barriers separating AI, Quantum, and High Performance Computing (HPC). It calls for combining resources to support these critical areas, and highlights synergies between them. The goal is to bridge current gaps between these three areas and use the infrastructure from one discipline to catalyze progress in another.

Robotics Enabling the Workforce
Authors: Henrik Christensen (University of California, San Diego), Maria Gini (University of Minnesota), Odest Chadwicke Jenkins (University of Michigan), and Holly Yanco (University of Massachusetts, Lowell)

This paper portrays how robotics can aid and leverage the workforce by increasing automation and providing new opportunities for workers. It outlines necessary investments in research, technology development, education, training and policy, but most critically, we need research to understand how future robot technologies can compliment our workforce to get the best of both human and automated labor. 

A Research Ecosystem for Secure Computing
Nadya Bliss (Arizona State University), Daniel Lopresti (Lehigh University), Fred Schneider (Cornell University), and Suresh Venkatasubramanian (University of Utah)

In today’s world tech developers are more focused on the capabilities of the technology rather than the security. This paper stresses the importance of prioritizing security in the design phase and identifies specific focus areas for research and funding that touch on transition and adoption, training/education, and incentive structures for better security.

For a complete list and brief descriptions of upcoming and past releases, check the CRA Quadrennial Papers page. All the CCC-contributed papers can also be found on the CCC-led White Papers page.

CCC Quadrennial Papers: Broad Computer Science