Archive for December 19th, 2008


Computing Research Initiatives for the 21st Century

December 19th, 2008

Today’s main message is: Check out Please! And tell your friends and colleagues! (Any reactions or suggestions can be posted here as comments on this article.)

Now, the full story:

The CCC’s mission is “to foster exciting new research visions in the computing community which attract support.” Looking back at what has transpired over the past year, community participation has been tremendous. Many dozens of people have stepped up to propose workshops, make presentations, write articles for this blog, and chip in with thoughtful feedback and ideas. It’s been productive and, well, fun.

Of course, the name of the game is to turn research visions into reality, and one of the core strategies for doing this is to “improve public and policymaker understanding of the importance of computing and computing research in our society”. This seems particularly important right now, as our nation makes a historic transition, hopefully ushering in a new era in the government’s approach to research support.

Without really knowing what kinds of results we would get, we put out a challenge to a small number of people to write very briefly (we asked for two pages) on “computing research initiatives for the 21st century.” What does the new government need to know about the value of computing research? What are some of the most promising and exciting research opportunities in the field? What computing capabilities are critical for the nation today and into the future?

Well, the response has been tremendous. A sample of what we received is now posted on the CCC web site at There are essays on the central role that computing research has in our economy, ideas for research/education infrastructure, “re-envisioning DARPA”, and proposals for research initiatives in personalized medicine, transportation, “big data” computing, computer architecture, networking, cyber-physical systems, and more. WIth this treasure trove of thoughtful inputs, we are now using available channels and the CRA and CCC’s resources to get these noticed by as many policymakers as possible.

We have been so heartened by the response that we are now talking about having a more organized process for soliciting and publishing these sorts of idea-pieces. Stay tuned here and on the CCC web site for more details, some time early in 2009. We’ll also be asking some of the authors of these writeups to post followup discussion pieces on this blog.

Again, thanks for all of your support and participation. 2009 is looking like a truly exciting year.

Peter Lee and Ed Lazowska