Interest was strong — more than 125 department chairs and lab directors attended the 90-minute session, more than 3X as many as have stuck around for any previous final session at Snowbird. Ed Lazowska, Susan Graham, Richard Ladner, Randy Bryant, and Chip Elliott presented. All presentation materials are on the web here. A 20-minute Q&A session followed the presentations.
Several highlights for me:
- CCC’s “Data-Intensive Scalable Computing” initiative, led by Randy Bryant and Thomas Kwan, has really taken off: two new NSF programs, multiple workshops and conferences, significant educational penetration. There is a ton of opportunity here for our field — great computing research challenges, and great chances to partner with other fields that are transitioning from data-poor to data-rich. (There is a “new computational science” here whose breadth and impact will totally dwarf the breadth and impact of first-generation simulation-oriented computational science.)
- The theory community really has its act together — I’m excited at the prospect of the “nuggets” that will emerge from the recent workshop led by Richard Ladner and others.
- GENI is alive and well, although its shape has changed. GENI is no longer envisioned as necessarily being a single huge uber-instrument. Rather, a collection of research instrumentation needs are likely to emerge from this summer’s formulation of a broad Network Science and Engineering research agenda — needs that might, perhaps, be met by several focused instruments.The GENI Project Office is about to announce a number of awards to explore technologies for constructing such instruments; there have been major support commitments by the private sector, complementing those of NSF.
That’s the scoop. It’s a great time to be engaged in computing research!
– Ed Lazowska