This article is published in the August 2021 issue.

Upcoming CRA-Industry Roundtable Events

CRA-Industry, a standing committee of the CRA, was created recently with the goal of reaching out to industry partners involved in computing research and giving them new opportunities to convene and connect on topics of mutual interest with academic and government partners.  The CRA-Industry committee recognizes the diversity of companies that participate in the computing research ecosystem and seeks to enable all those companies, big and small, tech and non-tech, to get the greatest benefit from partnerships with academia and government agencies.  You can learn more about CRA-Industry by visiting our web page and/or signing up for our mailing list.

The initial focus of CRA-Industry has been on community-building activities that include hosting virtual round tables and in-person workshops, creation of white papers, and seeding of new collaborations across industry, academia and government.  We are also coordinating closely with other CRA committees, such as CRA-WP and the CCC, which have a long history of engaging with industry partners on matters of shared interest.  Recently, the CRA-Industry Committee kicked off a series of bimonthly 75-minute virtual Roundtable meetings, with the first one on Corporate Responsibility and Computing Research held in July 2021.  These Roundtable meetings are planned to be held on a bimonthly cadence, and the next two are listed below. Please share this opportunity with others who may be interested.  Participation in CRA-Industry events does not require membership in CRA, though all CRA members are especially welcome.

Roundtable on Best Practices on using the Cloud for Computing Research (planned for September 2021)
The purpose of this roundtable is to discuss best practices on using the cloud as computing research infrastructure, and the resulting synergistic opportunities across academia, industry, and government.  Historically, CS researchers have provisioned their own infrastructure for research, with their research lab staff incurring significant overhead to maintain and update lab equipment.  This impacts the quality of results due to the use of platforms that are underutilized and out-of-date.  Recently, a few CS researchers have turned to the use of cloud computing for research, but they often encounter key limitations including: 1) Need for periodic short-term access to large-scale resources, 2) Lack of an ability to “look under the hood”, 3) Demystifying and capping costs beyond initial gift allocations.  This roundtable seeks to elicit new opportunities and directions for making the cloud more accessible as a research resource.

Roundtable on Research and Decision Horizons in the Semiconductor Technology Ecosystem (planned for November 2021)
The purpose of this roundtable is to identify principles and opportunities for cross-stack research collaboration in computing, with particular attention to synergies between process technology, design, systems, and applications. Analogous to the national academies “tire track” diagram, which shows the interplay between academic research, industry, and government with several “long distance” paths between disciplines, we hope to come to a better understanding of how to identify and foster opportunities for “long distance” leaps between layers of the computing stack. The roundtable will review the history of NVRAM as a motivating example, and consider industry decision timeframes as a key issue in identifying and realizing research collaboration opportunities.

CRA-Industry Steering Committee:
Vivek Sarkar (Georgia Tech) Co-Chair
Ben Zorn (Microsoft) Co-Chair
Lorrie Cranor (Carnegie Mellon University)
Fatma Özcan (Google)
Chris Ramming (VMware)
Divesh Srivastava (AT&T)
Gil Vandentop (Intel)
YY Zhou (UCSD)