CRA-I Blog

The CRA-I Blog frequently shares news, timely information about the computing research industry community, and items of interest to the general community. Subscribe to blog emails here to stay connected.

Request for Information from Industry – Countering Bias in AI/ML Datasets

This post benefited from significant contributions by Petruce Jean-Charles, Communications Associate for the Computing Community Consortium (CCC).

The U.S. Air Force Chief Scientist’s inter-agency working group on unintended AI bias is exploring the topic of bias in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) algorithms, with particular focus on datasets. They recently released a request for information (RFI) on countering bias in AI and ML datasets. As the landscape of AI expands, diverse domains present unique challenges concerning unintended bias. In this case, they seek insights from commercial and non-profit organizations harnessing data for AI development, encompassing both “narrow AI” and generative AI.

They are soliciting information to better understand:

  • The datasets and domain areas with prominent AI bias, including in government datasets
  • Ongoing efforts to address unintended bias in AI and ML datasets
  • Current partnerships between industry and government or academic institutions to study, identify, and mitigate AI bias
  • Existing limitations and obstacles to mitigating such bias
  • Areas of need for further research

Responses should be submitted through the portal by May 15, 2024 and should be a maximum of 5 pages.­ More information, including the full RFI, can be found here.

Academics intrigued by contributing their insights on these challenges are encouraged to engage with the group through a complementary Request for Information tailored for academia. They welcome responses from academic institutions, with a special emphasis on minority serving institutions (MSIs) and historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

CRA-Industry Launches New CRA Practitioner-to-Professor Survey

This article originally appeared in the April edition of Computing Research News.

By Matt Hazenbush, Director of Communications 

CRA-Industry (CRA-I) is excited to announce the launch of a new National Science Foundation (NSF) supported project between academia and industry. The CRA Practitioner-to-Professor Survey – which will be known as the CRA P2P Survey – is the centerpiece of a long-term project with the goal of keeping computing curricula up to date and responsive to evolving trends.

Supported in part by a grant from the Division of Undergraduate Education at NSF and endorsed by ABET, ACM, CSAB, and IEEE CS, the survey is designed to solicit actionable feedback from industry professionals of all levels to provide computing departments with data and insights to continually improve.

“We’re excited to be leading this initiative for the community, especially because it’s a win-win for everyone,” said Rahul Simha, project lead and Professor of Computer Science at The George Washington University, representing an effort by several faculty across multiple universities through the NSF-funded DEAP project. “Universities get the data they need to keep their curricula current, which in turn leads to better prepared prospective employees for companies.”

Feedback loop for continual curricular improvement

The survey – which takes less than 15 minutes to complete – is designed to collect data from industry professionals on questions that can directly support decisions around course design, including which competencies are most important, which course experiences are most valuable and which are less needed, and what industry most values in graduates over the long term.



Survey respondents will receive a summary of the survey’s findings, and will have the option to opt-in to a drawing to win a $100 gift card.

“This project is a perfect example of how CRA-Industry serves the community by being a point of connection and collaboration between industry and academia,” said Helen Wright, Manager of CRA-I. “The credible industry feedback from this survey will go a long way to guide university leaders as they make decisions and investments for their programs’ futures.”

Expansion of a prior pilot survey

The CRA P2P Survey is an expansion of an earlier pilot survey developed by Simha in collaboration with the ACM/AAAI/IEEE Joint Task Force on Computing Curricula. The findings from that pilot survey will soon appear in the Communications of the ACM, one of the most widely distributed publications in computing academia. These results have already informed the design of the ACM’s new 2023 curricular guidelines.

“With the establishment of this survey, we’re seeking to build a culture of feedback from industry to academia for making key decisions around computer science curricula,” said Simha.

“A regularly administered and respected survey with wide participation and acceptance can bring to bear the data needed to effect meaningful updates and spur high-impact educational research that gets to the heart of exploring the gaps between curricular aims and real-world results.”

Help spread the word

The success of the survey hinges on reaching as diverse a respondent base as possible among industry professionals in computing. Responses are needed from across employee type and level (from newbie to experienced), companies (large/small, geographic, international), and computing subdisciplines.

“We’re calling on the entire community to support us in spreading the word about the survey,” said Wright. “Every little bit of effort to share this opportunity for industry professionals to provide their valuable insights will help make a difference.”

Here’s some ways you can support this work: 

  • Like and reshare CRA’s recent LinkedInFacebookInstagram, and Twitter/X posts with your networks. Consider tagging specific colleagues you know would be interested–this will further amplify the message.
  • If you’re from a university, consider sharing the survey in an upcoming alumni newsletter or online alumni group, or sending a one-off email about the survey.
  • Share the survey directly with individual industry professionals via email.
  • Post this printable flyer with a QR code in a place where industry professionals may see it.

NSF/TIP: Breaking Low Ideas Lab Preliminary Proposals due 4/18

The National Science Foundation (NSF)’s Directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships (TIP) recently announced an exciting funding opportunity to address critical architectural, technical and technological issues that must be resolved and to provide the necessary low-latency performance that is required for the success of key emerging vertical industries

For more information, please see the links listed below.

Since this is coming from NSF’s new TIP directorate, there is a strong emphasis on use-inspired research translation and industry partnership vs the traditional NSF emphasis on more basic research. The program will use an Ideas Lab workshop to refine the requirements and flesh out specific approaches to attain them. Please note that preliminary applications are limited to 2 pages (plus bio, etc.) and contact if you have any questions.

 Two paragraphs in the program description are:

The innovations sought are across the entire network, compute and application stack, considering the availability and use of computational resources in the cloud and/or edge, including but not limited to artificial intelligence (AI) techniques. The brainstorming facilitated by the Ideas Lab setting will stimulate fresh out-of-the-box thinking and innovative approaches that will provide a fertile ground for new and bold ideas on the design of architecture, components and protocols of next-generation advanced wireless networks and edge-cloud systems…

 The goal is for researchers, engineers, technology entrepreneurs and stakeholders (from wireless telecom, vertical application and cloud computing sectors) who are experts in their respective domains to come together and form collaborative teams during the Ideas Lab workshop. The teams will formulate innovative and transformative ideas that will eventually be submitted as full proposals to develop and demonstrate low-latency communications technologies that can potentially be standardized and commercialized….

 Two other paragraphs from the solicitation are:

 NSF encourages submission of preliminary proposals from both academia and industry (from wireless cellular and WLAN networks, low-latency vertical applications, cloud/distributed computing and edge-device platforms), including researchers, R&D leads, stakeholders from low-latency vertical industries, technology developers and tech entrepreneurs so that during the Ideas Lab workshop participants have a good chance to collaboratively develop comprehensive solutions that can be realized in practice.

Ultra-low latencies are also critical for some of the emerging vertical applications including, for example, extended reality (XR) applications such as holographic/immersive communications, intelligent/autonomous transportation systems, emergency services, telemedicine/remote healthcare, real-time haptics including wearable medical devices and remote surgery, tactile internet, electrical power transmission and distribution systems, the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), and cyber-physical/distributed automation (e.g. factory automation). For example, latencies on the order of a millisecond or less are seen as a requirement in industrial automation applications involving precision motion and machine control.

NSF’s TIP Directorate is inviting responses from all relevant parties, including to folks in industry, startups, etc. who may not normally monitor NSF solicitations. It will be especially important to include those with expertise in specific applications, who are knowledgeable with respect to the least stringent real world network requirements, i.e., the specs that may not be all that people dream of — but would be sufficient to jump-start new applications and/or features that cannot be fielded on current day networks/clouds.

Preliminary proposals are required. The due date is April 18, 2024. See the full solicitation here