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Highlights of the 2019 CRA Computing Leadership Summit

On February 25, 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).

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

  • Bart Selman gave an overview of the upcoming report, “Towards a 20 Year Artificial Intelligence Research Roadmap for the United States.”The roadmap will address big AI challenges, and a draft is expected soon.
  • Burçin Tamer presented about CRA’s Center for Evaluating the Research Pipeline (CERP). CERP collects large amounts of data that provides a robust comparison group, which allows CRA to evaluate programs and academic departments can use CERP’s data to compare their students to other groups.
  • Kathryn McKinley gave a presentation on initiatives related to the handling of sexual harassment. She shared some actions that institutions can take including creating organizational bylaws specifically defining and banning harassment. Robert Cosgrove from the NSF’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion explained NSF policies on sexual harassment.

During the society roundtable session, representatives of each organization discussed their current projects, future directions, and ongoing activities. Several societies discussed how they are handling the rapid growth of interest in AI and machine learning. Many societies are also increasing their diversity and inclusion efforts, and ACM’s revised code of ethics for computing professionals has received tremendous uptake.

Two summit sessions were held jointly with the CRA board meeting:

  • CRA Director of Government Affairs Peter Harsha discussed the current environment in D.C. for science policy, including FY19 appropriations, mid-term election impacts, and the policy landscape for AI research and development. Harsha mentioned that CRA will also host its Leadership in Science Policy Workshop in November 2019.
  • Jim Kurose, assistant director of the CISE Directorate at NSF, gave an update on current and new initiatives.


Highlights of the 2019 CRA Computing Leadership Summit