Published: January 2011,  Issue: Vol. 23/No.1, Download as PDF

Archive of articles published in the January 2011, Vol. 23/No.1 issue.

Pursuing Your Visions for the Future

In the three years since the inception of the Computing Community Consortium – an experiment by the National Science Foundation and the Computing Research Association to create an entity that mobilizes the community to debate long-range research challenges and builds consensus around specific research visions – researchers in many different areas of our field have stepped to the forefront to lead activities that have defined key questions shaping our intellectual future. Yet undoubtedly there are many areas and ideas still unexplored and, as we begin a new year, we encourage you and your colleagues to pursue your boldest, most innovative concepts with us – today!

Mentoring Across the Pipeline: CRA-W Programs at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing

The Computing Research Association Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W) continued its central role in the Grace Hopper Celebration of Computing this year. CRA-W provided mentoring across the pipeline in a series of workshops targeted at undergraduates, graduate students, and early career researchers. In conjunction with AT&T, CRA-W sponsored a luncheon for researchers in industrial and government laboratories.

Tapia Conference 2011: Reshaped by Feedback

To bring a fresh perspective, the founders of the Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity Conference chose a General Chair for the 10-year anniversary who had never attended the conference. When Richard Tapia himself called, it was such an interesting opportunity that I couldn’t decline. After highlighting the program – to be held April 3-5 in San Francisco – I’ll explain the process that led to it.

Mid-Term Elections Throw Federal Science Funding in Doubt

With a change in the balance of power in Congress after the November congressional elections, including a shift in the leadership of the House of Representatives, prospects for any significant increase in funding for federal science programs have dimmed considerably, though perhaps not yet completely extinguished. As this goes to press in early December, funding increases for key science agencies approved by congressional appropriators for the 2011 fiscal year appear in jeopardy as Democrats in the lame-duck Congress weigh whether to attempt to push through an omnibus spending bill before the end of the session or punt the uncompleted spending measures to the new Congress in January.

Promoting a National Initiative for Technology-Mediated Social Participation

Social media such as Facebook, Twitter, blogs, wikis, Flickr, and YouTube have garnered a billion users and their popularity is spreading rapidly, particularly on mobile devices. Technology-mediated social participation (TMSP) is a useful term for describing how these social media tools, user-generated content sites, discussion groups, problem reporting, and volunteer systems can be applied to national priorities. Provocative examples suggest transformative applications for healthcare/wellness, disaster response, energy sustainability, cost-effective education, and economic health. Additional new missions for these sociotechnical infrastructures include cultural heritage, political participation, environment/climate protection, public safety, international development, and local civic involvement.

PCAST Finds IT R&D Critical to U.S. Competitiveness, Calls for Renewed Federal Investment

Backed by strong support from the White House, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) released a biennial report about the status and direction of the nation’s 14-agency, $4.3 billion Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) program last month. The report emphasized the critical role of advances in networking and information technology (NIT) to U.S. economic competitiveness, and called on the nation to “continue to innovate more rapidly and creatively than other countries in important areas of NIT” in order to sustain and improve overall quality of life.