Tag Archive: CCC Blog

Items from the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) Blog.


CIFellow Spotlight: Alexis Block – Mobile Social- Physical Human-Robot Interaction and Embodiment

An epidemic of loneliness existed before COVID-19, especially among teens and older adults, due to social isolation and the resulting lack of social touch and interactions. This isolation led to depression, suicide, and self-harm. The COVID-19 pandemic compounded this issue with more people isolating than ever before (immunocompromised individuals, older adults, and other risk categories). It will take time before these groups can re-enter society safely. At the same time, friends, family, and medical staff struggle to balance their health with patients’ need for clinical and affective touch. I am motivated to find a way to help bridge the gap between staying safe and providing people with the beneficial affective touch we need to feel socially connected.


CRA Board and CCC Council Member Katie Siek Releases Paper Discussing why Submitting “junk data” to Period Tracking Apps will not Aid in Protecting Reproductive Privacy

In July, CCC council member Katie Siek, along with two PhD student collaborators, Zaidat Ibrahim and Alexander Hayes from Indiana University, released an article in the journal The Conversation about public concern regarding the use of period tracking apps. 

Recently, many, including researchers and experts, have voiced apprehension over using period tracking applications since the overturn of Roe v. Wade, fearing that state and local governments may attempt to subpoena user’s period data from the owners of these apps. Some have even gone so far as to input false data into these period tracking apps, in the hopes that this “junk data” will confuse the applications’ algorithms, and cause the apps to generate inaccurate ovulation and fertility based predictions.

However, this effort, while perhaps well intentioned, is misguided.

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Snowbird CCC “Reboot!” Session

Last month at CRA’s Conference at Snowbird the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) led an after-dinner brainstorming session, “Reboot!” to help members of the community engage in a visioning discussion. Led by Sujata Banerjee, Nadya Bliss, Liz Bradley, Bill Gropp, Dan Lopresti and Ann Schwartz, the session featured a series of discussions and idea sharing among the community pertaining to two topics chosen to inspire a lively discussion and to get people thinking outside of their areas – Neural Programming and Artificial Intelligence (AI) Customized to Human Norms.

CIFellows Research Poster Session

On May 25, 2022, the CIFellows were given the opportunity to present their research to the community during a poster session at the NITRD 30th Anniversary Symposium. The poster session was a great way to celebrate early career researchers and demonstrate the impact of federal investments in computing research.

CSTB Releases Report Fostering Responsible Computing Research: Foundations and Practices

The National Academies’ Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB) released a new report, Fostering Responsible Computing Research: Foundations and Practices. The report outlines recommendations for the computing research community to ensure ethical and societal impacts are thought through and a part of the conversation from the start.

The National Academics’ CSTB was created to advise the nation on technical and public policy issues pertaining to computing. This includes social and economic implications, sustaining leadership in computing innovation, and using computing in desirable and beneficial ways. The board is comprised of leading experts in the field, one of which is CCC Council Member David Danks.

On May 2nd, the project’s Committee Chair, Barbara Grosz, discussed the key findings and recommendations from the report. You can see the webinar recording here. In Grosz’s talk, she stressed that the report and its recommendations carry no expectation that computer scientists and engineers become experts in areas of scholarship such as ethics, psychology, sociology etc.


CRA Opportunity Board

Last year the Computing Research Association (CRA) launched an Opportunity Board to enable recent new PhD graduates and members of the community that are looking for postdocs to connect. This is a continuation of the Opportunity Board used to match potential postdocs and mentors during the CIFellows 2021 process. The board allows for the posting of postdoc opportunities by potential mentors and posts by those looking for a postdoc opportunity. We encourage members of the community to use this as a resource.

You are able to search for potential postdocs and available postdoc positions by research area. This board is monitored by CRA, but we will not endorse any posts or make any recommendations. Posts will remain for six months before being removed. If you find a match, please remove your profile from the Opportunity Board. You can view the board here.

Mechanism Design for Improving Hardware Security Orientation Recap

On January 13th, the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) held an orientation webinar as an introduction for a CCC visioning workshop on Mechanism Design for Improving Hardware Security to be held in the summer of 2022 (exact date and location TBD). Hosted by workshop organizers Simha Sethumadhavan (Columbia University) and Tim Sherwood (University of California Santa Barbara), the orientation consisted of pre-recorded presentations and a Q&A with the speakers. The slide deck, pre-recorded presentation video, recording of the Q&A session and a transcript of the Q&A are linked and posted on the workshop webpage.
For participation in this workshop, we request white papers of no more than two pages. Please fill out this wufoo submission form to submit a white paper, by April 10th.

Mechanism Design for Improving Hardware Security Orientation Recap

On January 13th, the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) held an orientation webinar as an introduction for a CCC visioning workshop on Mechanism Design for Improving Hardware Security to be held in the summer of 2022 (exact date and location TBD). The orientation outlined the goals of the workshop and expanded on what the organizers are looking for in the white papers. We are seeking short white papers to help create the agenda for the workshop and select attendees.

At this workshop, participants will investigate ways to improve the design and uptake of hardware security mechanisms. In addition to looking at traditional technical solutions, the workshop will also consider new mechanisms to incentivize designers, system integrators, and users to create and maintain security of their systems. The workshop will bring together hardware and software security experts and economists and experts in devising and implementing governmental policies.

CCC White Paper on Research Opportunities in Evidence-Based Elections is Now Available

The Computing Community Consortium (CCC) recently released the Research Opportunities in Evidence-Based Elections white paper, written by Josh Benaloh (Microsoft Research), Philip B. Stark (University of California, Berkeley), Vanessa Teague (Australian National University), Melanie Volkamer (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology), and Dan Wallach (Rice University). 

This white paper highlights the need for evidence-based elections, which can convince people that the results of elections are accurate, and suggests several technologies that could play a role in this, mostly focused on risk-limiting audits and end-to-end verifiability.