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Research Visions Banner Hext


Call for Visionary
Conference Tracks

The Computing Community Consortium (CCC) is sponsoring an initiative to bring special "Challenges and Visions" tracks to leading computer science research conferences. The goal of this initiative is to help conferences reach out beyond the usual research papers that present completed work and to seek out papers that present ideas and visions that can stimulate the research community to pursue new directions.

Conferences may request CCC sponsorship of such tracks along with a CCC grant that provides for prize money for the top 3 papers (first prize $1000, second prize $750, and third prize $500, to be awarded as travel grants). (See below for details about selecting and awarding these prizes.)

Papers in a "Challenges and Visions" track should be open-ended, possibly "outrageous" or "wacky", and present new problems, new application domains, or new methodologies that are likely to stimulate significant new research. The CCC is seeking papers (roughly 4 pages in length) so that the ideas can be referenced after the conference is over.

After the conference, the CCC will post links to the track papers here (see right side) to help disseminate the ideas broadly in the computer science research community.

Requests for CCC sponsorship should include information on the conference and a proposed list of program committee members for the track. We provide below a prototype call for papers and suggestions regarding the review process. Proposals should be sent to Erwin Gianchandani, the CCC Director, at

Prior Vision Tracks

  • Outrageous Ideas and Visions (OIV) session, at the 6th Biennial Conference on Innovative Data Systems (CIDR), January 2013, Asilomar, CA
    - CCC Blog Post
    - Call for papers
  • 9th IEEE International Symposium on Safety, Security, and Rescue Robotics - "Outrageous Visions for Computing in Rescue Robotics", November, 1-6, 2011, Kyoto, Japan.
    - CCC Blog Post
    - Call for papers
  • First International Workshop on Managing Interoperability and compleXity in Health (MIXHS11), October 2011, Glasgow, Scotland, U.K.
    - CCC Blog Post
    - Call for papers (see "Challenges and Visions Track")
  • Outrageous Ideas Track, 10th International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC2011), October 2011, Bonn, Germany
    - Call for papers
  • Challenges & Visions Track, 37th International Conference on Very Large Data Bases (VLDB 2011), August-September 2011, Seattle, WA
    - CCC Blog Post
    - Call for papers
  • Challenges and Visions Track, at the 12th International Symposium on Spatial and Temporal Databases (SSTD 2011), August 2011, Minneapolis, MN.
    - CCC Blog Post
    - Accepted Vision and Challenge Track Papers
  • Outrageous Ideas and Visions (OIV) session, at the 5th Biennial Conference on Innovative Data Systems (CIDR), January 2011, Asilomar, CA
    - CCC Blog Post
    - Session Information Page
  • Research Vision session, at the 9th Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation (OSDI), October 2011, Vancouver, BC, Canada
    - CCC Blog Post
    - Session Information Page
  • Fun Ideas and Thoughts (FIT) session, at the 2010 ACM SIGPLAN Conference on Programming Language Design and Implementation (PLDI), June 2010, Toronto, ON, Canada
    - CCC Blog Post
    - Session Information Page


Program Committee Guidelines:

Note that these are guidelines and the host conference should make a final decision in a way that is compatible with the goals and culture of the conference.

  • Papers for the Challenges and Visions Track should be reviewed by a PC separate from the main conference PC.
  • The PC should consist of 5 or 6 senior researchers with a broad perspective of the field.
  • Since this track usually gets fewer submissions than the regular conference tracks and since the papers are short, it is recommended that the entire PC read every submission and hold a teleconference to discuss to top-rated papers.
  • The nature of papers for this track makes asynchronous commenting less productive than a spirited discussion.

Prototype Call for Papers:

<name of conference> Challenges and Visions Track

In cooperation with the Computing Community Consortium (CCC), invites submissions to a special "Challenges and Visions" track . The emphasis of this track will be on visionary ideas, long term challenges, and opportunities in research that are outside of the current mainstream topics of the field.

Submissions will be judged on the extent to which they expand the possibilities and horizons of the field or challenge existing assumptions prevalent in the field.

Submissions to this track should follow the same formatting guidelines as submissions to the research track , but are limited to at most FOUR pages in length for both submission and final publication. Accepted papers will be published in the conference proceedings and on the web.

To encourage researchers to present truly visionary concepts, the CCC is offering prizes for up to 3 top papers in this special track: first prize $1000, second prize $750, and third prize $500, to be awarded as travel grants.


Winner Selection Guidelines:

Selections of winners can be done as part of the review process or done at the conference. Deferring selection to the conference creates a strong incentive for authors to prepare a compelling presentation. Selection at the conference can by done by the committee or by audience ranking. This choice is left to the discretion of the program committee and may be guided by such factors as the degree of conflicts-of-interest on the committee and the practicality of audience balloting.

Award Guidelines:

CCC awards are subject to the current reimbursement rules of the Computing Research Association. The committee should provide the names and email addresses of the winners to the CCC Director who will then inform the winners of the reimbursement rules. Division of the prize money among co-authors is to be determined among the co-authors themselves.

Upon selection of a Research Visions and Challenges Track, the program committee will be asked to coordinate with a member of the CCC Council, who will be selected to serve as a liaison to the conference. The CCC liaison will serve as either a member or ex-officio member of the program committee (as specified by the CCC on a case-by-case basis) and will review award selection plans, provide input should any questions arise, and assist in preparation of a post-session report, etc.

Publication of the Papers is Required for CCC Co-Sponsorship

There needs to be a permanent, readable record of the ideas, not just a talk or a set of slides.


Special CCC-Sponsored Conference Tracks on Computational Sustainability:

The CCC is sponsoring a set of computational sustainability challenges & visions tracks at relevant conferences (AAAI, BuildSys, CHI, ICML, and Pervasive). The goal is to promote work at the intersection of computing and sustainability, on principles and applications that address environmental, economic, and societal needs in support of a sustainable future. In these sessions, the CCC provides $1,000, $750, and $500, in the form of travel reimbursement, to the first-, second-, and third-place papers.

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