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The biennial CRA Conference at Snowbird is the flagship invitation-only conference for the leadership of the North American computing research community. Invitees include computer science, computer engineering, and information technology department chairs; assistant, associate, and prospective chairs; directors of graduate or undergraduate education; directors of industry or government research labs/centers; and professional society or government leaders in computing.


Click on the Speakers name to download their slides (in blue if available).

Sunday, July 22

CRA Board of Directors Meeting (begins 5pm on Saturday) 8:30AM - 2:00PM
Conference Registration NOON - 7:30PM
(C Level — Top of the Escalator)

Workshop for New Department Chairs

Download Workshop slides

3:00PM - 5:45PM
(C level — Superior)

This workshop will give new CS Department Chairs some of the skills to lead their organizations and work with Deans, Provosts, and Advisory Boards — the stuff they never told you in graduate school.

— Nuts & Bolts of Managing a Department
— Dealing with Different Stakeholders
— Strategic Thinking
Active, engaging, group-based, problem-solving exercises—putting theory into practice
Group reports and discussion

Whether you've been department chair for one week or one year, there is more to the job than you think. Come join your fellow new chairs in this workshop!

Co-Chairs: Mike Gennert (Worcester Polytechnic Institute), Darrell Whitley (Colorado State)
Speakers: Peter Bloniarz (University at Albany), John Paxton (Montana State University) and Martha Pollack (University of Michigan)

Welcome Reception 6:00PM - 7:00PM
Amphitheater Lobby Terrace Level
Dinner 7:00PM - 9:00PM
Welcome Snowbird Conference Co-Chairs
Eric Grimson (MIT) and Dick Waters (MERL)
Keynote The Coming Tsunami in Educational Technology
   Chair: Eric Grimson (CRA Board Chair)
   Speaker: John L. Hennessy (President, Stanford University)

Monday, July 23

Breakfast Buffet 7:00AM - 8:30AM
Aerie Restaurant, 10th floor
Registration 7:30AM - 6:00PM
(C level - Top of the Escalator)

Conference Co-Chairs Announcements


8:30AM - 10:00AM

Pillars of Societal Innovation: The Growing Imperative of Research and Education in Computing

Chair: Andrew Bernat (Executive Director, CRA)
Speaker: Farnam Jahanian (Assistant Director of NSF for CISE)

The computer and information science and engineering discipline is at the center of an ongoing societal transformation. The explosive growth of scientific and social data, wireless connectivity at broadband speeds for billions of mobile endpoints, and seamless access to resources in the “cloud” are transforming the way we work, learn, play, and communicate. Computing research and education form a pervasive intellectual fabric that connects a wide range of disciplines. Investment in ambitious long-term research and commitment to the development of a computing and information technology workforce are a national imperative. I will describe CISE priorities and strategic initiatives at NSF that promise to accelerate the pace of scientific discoveries and engineering innovations, lead to advances that are key drivers of economic competitiveness, and are crucial to achieving national priorities

Break 10:00AM -10:30AM
Ballroom Lobby


10:30AM - Noon

Reflections on Teaching Massive Online Open Courses

Chair: Alfred Spector (Google, Inc.)
Speakers: Salman Khan (Founder of the Khan Academy), Peter Norvig (Google)

We may (or may not) have seen the beginning of movement that will change the way universities educate, just as the Web has transformed newspapers and Wikipedia has transformed encyclopedias. Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) with 100,000+ students could change academia to rely more on remote experts to present material and the cloud to evaluate assignments and quizzes, leaving local faculty to work more closely with students in a "flipped" classroom. The two speakers have been pioneers in MOOCs, and will share their experiences and thoughts about the future. Sal Khan will (appropriately enough) first give an online talk followed by Q&A, and then Peter Norvig will give a live talk followed by Q&A.

Luncheon NOON -1:30PM
Conference Center Terrace

The Convergence of Social and Technological Networks

Chair: Eric Grimson (CRA Board Chair)
Speaker: Jon Kleinberg (Cornell University)

The growth of social media and on-line social networks has opened up a set of fascinating new challenges and directions for the field of computing. We will review some of the basic issues around these developments; these include the problem of designing information systems in the presence of complex social feedback effects, and the emergence of a growing research interface between computing and the social sciences, facilitated by the availability of large new datasets on human interaction.

Break 3:00PM - 3:30PM
Ballroom Lobby
Two mountain hikes (strenuous and not so strenuous) Activity Center on the Plaza Deck
Albion Basin Wildflower hike (vans will be waiting in front of Bell Desk Level B) Bell Desk Level B
The Alan Turing Drama-Documentary “Codebreaker” Magpie


6:30PM - 9:00PM

CRA Award Presentations:
Distinguished Service: Susan Graham (UC Berkeley)
A. Nico Habermann: Lucy Sanders (NCWIT), Bobby Schnabel (Indiana University), and Telle Whitney (Anita Borg Institute)
Service to CRA: Phil Bernstein (Micrsoft Research) and Carla Romero (McCune Charitable Foundation)

After-Dinner Session
On the Edge: The Future of Computing Research. Computing research has always had a great balance between “technology push” and “demand pull”: much of the best fundamental research in the field has been driven by the needs of those attempting to utilize computing to change the world. Increasingly, societal “grand challenges” in areas such as health, energy, transportation, and education are providing these drivers. In this session speakers will explore this trend – “research on the edge.”

Chair: Ed Lazowska, CCC Chair (University of Washington)

Speakers: Shwetak Patel (University of Washington): Your Noise is My Signal. The speaker will talk about a new generation of electricity and water sensing systems that are capable of providing consumption data down to the individual appliance or device from single sensing points. He will also describe how microphones found on mobile phones can enable new health sensing applications. Most of the work follows the theme of finding usable signals in unusual places in order to enable scale.

Daphne Koller (Stanford University): Data-Driven Medicine. Clinical markers and procedures for prognosis or diagnosis are generally carefully designed or selected by a human expert, based on prior knowledge on what might be of clinical relevance. But the growing availability of electronic health records opens the door to an unbiased, data-driven exploration of clinical data sets, using machine learning methods to identify novel patterns in the data that are of prognostic or diagnostic relevance. Koller will describe two such experiments using very different data modalities, one using physiological data in an ICU setting and the other using imaging in cancer pathology.

The Alan Turing Drama-Documentary “Codebreaker” Magpie

Tuesday, July 24

Breakfast Buffet 7:00AM - 8:30AM
Aerie Restaurant, 10th floor


8:30AM - 10:00AM

Evolution and Future Directions of Large-Scale Systems at Google

Chair: Alfred Spector (Google, Inc.)
Speaker: Jeffrey Dean (Google, Inc.)

Underlying the many products and services offered by Google is a collection of systems and tools that simplify the storage and processing of large-scale data sets. These systems are intended to work well in Google's computational environment of large numbers of commodity machines connected by commodity networking hardware. Our systems handle issues like storage reliability and availability in the face of machine failures, and our processing tools make it relatively easy to write robust computations that run reliably and efficiently on thousands of machines. In this talk I'll describe some of the recent trends in large-scale datacenter hardware, highlight some of the systems relied on by higher level products, and discuss some challenges and future directions for computing in the context of large-scale computational systems.

Break 10:00AM -10:30AM
Ballroom Lobby

Parallel Sessions I

10:30AM - Noon

Humanitarian Computing
Humanitarian computing refers to the use of computing to help solve society's most pressing problems. Students are eager to work on problems with real-world impact, and organizations on the ground are increasingly looking to technology to play a key role in solving long-standing problems. This session will highlight efforts in the area of humanitarian computing, as well as best practices for overcoming challenges.

Chair: Ellen Zegura (Georgia Institute of Technology)
Speakers: Michael Best (Georgia Institute of Technology), Gaetano Borriello (University of Washington), Colin Maclay (Berkman Institute, Harvard University), Ralph Morelli (Trinity College), Leysia Palen (University of Colorado)

Ballroom 1

Institutional Data: Revised Taulbee Groupings, New Data and Services, Data Buddies, and More
The CRA is changing the way in which the Taulbee survey data is presented, given that previous groupings were based on 15-year-old ranking data and that the most NRC graduate program assessment provided no basis for new groupings. CRA is also working to develop a “define-your-own-comparison-group” data comparison service. Concurrently, CRA-W and CDC have begun their "data buddies" projects, which seek to collect data from a diverse set of departments to measure whether the desired outcome of their interventions is being reached (increased participation of women and minorities in research); the collected data will be used to compare CRA-W/CDC program participants with nonparticipants. Separate from these activities, a group of non-PhD-granting schools began the TauRUs: ("a Taulbee survey for the rest of us") data collection project. This panel provides information on all of these innovations/changes and will facilitate a community-wide discussion of data we should be collecting, and how that data can be accessed and interpreted.

Co-Chairs: Jim Kurose (UMass) and Carla Brodley (Tufts)
Speakers: Tracy Camp (Colorado School of Mines),Michael Goldweber (Xavier University), Stu Zweben (Ohio State University)

Ballroom 2

A New Future for K-12 CS Education: Why You Should Care
For the first time, the computing community is united in its efforts to strengthen K12 computing education. In this session we will discuss: why K-12 CS education is important; why K-12 CS is fading from the national landscape; the community effort to reposition CS in STEM; building a national standard for CS in high schools; and why reforming K12 CS education is important to the computing departments of CRA.

Chair: Bobby Schnabel (Indiana University)
Speakers: Chris Stephenson (CSTA), Lucy Sanders (NCWIT), Jan Cuny (NSF), Cameron Wilson (ACM)


Publication Models in Computing Research: Is a Change Needed? Are We Ready for a Change?
Over the last few years, our community has started a collective conversation on several topics related to our publication culture: our emphasis on conference publishing; our large number of specialty conferences; concerns that we have created a culture of hypercritical reviewing, which stifle rather than encourage innovative research; concerns that tenure and promotion practice encourage incremental short-term research; the tension between the ideal of open access and the reality of reader-pay publishing; and the role of social media in scholarly publishing. While computing research has been phenomenally successful, there is a feeling that our publication models are quite often obstacles. Yet, there is no agreement on whether our publication models need to be radically changed or fine tuned, and there is no agreement on how such change may occur. This plenary is aimed at furthering the conversation on this topic, with the hope of moving us closer to an agreement.

Chair: Moshe Y. Vardi (Rice University)
Speakers: Carlo Ghezzi (Politecnico di Milano), Jonathan Grudin (Microsoft Research), M. Tamer Õzsu (University of Waterloo), Fred B. Schneider (Cornell University)

Ballroom 3
Luncheon NOON - 1:30PM
Conference Center Terrace

Parallel Sessions II

1:30PM - 3:00PM

The Breadth of Interdisciplinary Computing Research
The range of areas of collaboration for computing research is vast and increasing. This session will include panelists with experience in research that combines computing with the physical sciences, the arts, the humanities, the social sciences, and the professions. The discussion will reflect not only on the research opportunities and challenges in each of these spaces, but also on the special challenges of interdisciplinary research including blending disparate research and disciplinary cultures, finding appropriate presentation and publication venues, and appropriately judging and rewarding interdisciplinary research in academic review processes.

Chair: Jeff MacKie-Mason, School of Information, University of Michigan
Panelists: Kelly Dobson, Department of Digital + Media, Rhode Island School of Design; Chris Johnson, School of Computing, University of Utah; Chris Raphael, School of Informatics and Computing, Indiana University; and Paul Resnick, School of Information, University of Michigan

Ballroom 1

University-Industry Relations: Working Out the Kinks
There is no question that academia and industry have grown closer over the past two decades. Each side needs the other in multiple ways: industry needs talent trained at universities at all levels, and in many cases is dependent on academia, given its intellectual freedom, to lead the way to the future; universities need companies for jobs for its students, funding, data, and real-world problems on which to cut their scientific teeth. But each side brings a different set of principles and fundamental needs to the meeting table – and often these are only implicit and not understood well by the other party. Poorly understood needs and direct conflicts have put some kinks in what should be an ideal marriage. In this panel, we try to identify the most fundamental needs on each side of the industry-academia divide, and brainstorm some ideas for working out the relatively constant kinks in the relationship.

Chair: Ron Brachman (Yahoo!)
Speakers: Stu Feldman (Google); Brent Hailpern (IBM); Limor Fix (Intel); Ran Libeskind-Hadas (Harvey Mudd College); Randy Bryant (Carnegie Mellon University); Bruce Porter( University of Texas)

Ballroom 2

Computer Science Curriculum 2013 (CS2013): Getting Feedback on CS Curricular Guidelines for the Next Decade
With the publication of Curriculum 68 over 40 years ago, the major professional societies in computing — ACM and IEEE-Computer Society — have sponsored efforts to establish international curricular guidelines for undergraduate pro-grams in Computer Science on a roughly 10-year cycle. The first draft of the next volume in this series, Computer Science Curriculum 2013 (CS2013), has recently been released and is open for community comment. This special session starts with a (brief) overview, and then focuses on soliciting the CRA community's feedback on this draft scheduled for release in in 2013.

Chair: Mehran Sahami (Stanford University)
Speakers: Steve Roach (University of Texas, El Paso), Dan Grossman (University of Washington), Rich LeBlanc (Seattle University), Remzi Seker (University of Arkansas at Little Rock)


Continuing Innovation in Information Technology

Lead Presenter: Peter Lee, Microsoft Research and Chair, Committee on Depicting Innovation in Information Technology, National Research Council
Speakers: Laura Haas (IBM Almaden Research Center), Ed Lazowska (University of Washington), David Culler (UC Berkeley)

In 1995, the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB) produced the report "Evolving the High Performance Computing and Communications Initiative to Support the Nation’s Information Infrastructure." It contained a diagram that depicted how government investments in academic and industrial research are linked to the ultimate creation of new information technology (IT) industries with more than $1 billion in annual revenue. The graphical depiction of these links, referred to as the “tire tracks,” produced an extraordinary response. An update was prepared in 2003, and recently, with the support of the National Science Foundation, CSTB undertook a project to update the report once again. This session will discuss the development of the new tire tracks figure and provide an overview of the new figure and report. Panelists will tell stories about the impacts of research using the tire tracks as a guide. [Full abstract will appear in the Snowbird registration packet.]

Ballroom 3
Break 3:00PM - 3:30PM
Ballroom Lobby


3:30PM - 5:00PM

Computing Researchers and Science Policy

Chair: Fred Schneider (Cornell University)
Speaker: Peter Harsha (Director of Government Affairs, CRA)

Uncertainty with the political process is always a problem for those concerned about Federal investments in research, but 2012 promises to be even more uncertain than usual. A tightly-contested presidential election, heated congressional races, fallout from the failure of the debt reduction "supercommittee" to recommend a plan to get the deficit under control, mandatory discretionary spending cuts, economic uncertainty, and who-knows-what-else that will emerge in the months ahead will all likely impact the prospects for Federal spending on science. CRA's own Peter Harsha will attempt to make some sense of this seemingly chaotic political landscape and discuss how CRA and CRA's partners in the science advocacy community are navigating the terrain in support of the computing research community's interests.


Managing Up - Partnering with Your Dean

5:00PM - 6:30PM

Chair: Randy Bryant (Carnegie Mellon University)

Richard B. Brown (Dean, University of Utah)
Ronald L. Larsen (Dean, University of Pittsburgh)
 Jeffrey S. Vitter (Provost, The University of Kansas)
Robert B. Schnabel (Dean, Indiana University)
Zvi Galil (Dean, Georgia Tech)


CRA-Deans Meeting (will continue after dinner)
Chair: Peter Bloniarz (university at Albany)

5:00PM - 6:30PM


6:30PM - 7:30PM
Golden Cliff Room
The Alan Turing Drama-Documentary “Codebreaker” Superior

CRA-Deans Meeting (continues)
Chair: Peter Bloniarz (University at Albany)

7:30PM - 9:00PM

CRA Government Affairs Committee Meeting

7:30PM - 9:30PM
Wasatch A

Wednesday, July 25

CRA Education Committee Meeting

9:00AM - NOON

CRA-Deans Meeting
Chair: Peter Bloniarz (University at Albany)

8:30AM - NOON


Conference Sponsors

snowbird 2010 sponsors:ACM; CA Labs; Google; IBM; Microsoft Research; Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs; USENIX; IEEE; NSA; HP

Organizing Committee

Co-Chairs: Eric Grimson (MIT) Academic Co-Chair; Dick Waters (MERL) Labs/Centers Co-Chair

Members: Annie Antón (North Carolina State University); Ron Brachman (Yahoo!); Carla Brodley (Tufts University); Anne Condon (University of British Columbia); Jim Kurose (University of Massachusetts Amherst); Peter Lee (Microsoft Research); Ran Libeskind-Hadas (Harvey Mudd College); Takis Metaxas (Wellesley College); Dave Patterson (UC Berkeley); Guri Sohi (University of Wisconsin, Madison); Alfred Spector (Google); and Ellen Zegura (Georgia Institute of Technology).

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