[Published originally in the September 2003 edition of Computing Research News, Vol. 15/No. 4, p. 5]
Past is Prologue: View from the Chair
By Jim Foley
What can you, our members, expect from CRA? Well, because past is indeed prologue, I encourage you to read our 2003 Annual Report, enclosed with this issue of CRN.
CRA's biennial Conference at Snowbird 2004 for department chairs and directors of labs and centers is already being planned by co-chairs Moshe Vardi and Dick Waters and an able committee. The dates are July 11-13, 2004. Plenary sessions will cover such topics as CSE education apres le crash; the vast and persuasive Impact of IT on the U.S. economy; and issues affecting women and minorities in CSE.
The ever-popular Academic Careers Workshop for new faculty and nearly finished Ph.D. students, organized by Lori Clark, is scheduled for February 23-24, 2004 in Washington, DC. Space fills up very quickly for this workshop, so advise potential attendees (graduate students and junior faculty choosing or beginning their careers) of the dates now. Information will be posted at http://www.cra.org. Encourage new faculty to use start-up funds to attend; scholarships will be available for grad students.
The second CRA Grand Research Challenges Conference, on Information Security and Assurance, will be held November 16-19, 2003. The organizing committee, chaired by Gene Spafford and co-chaired by Rich DeMillo, will issue invitations based on papers submitted by September 17, 2003 (see http://www.cra.org for details). This is your opportunity to help shape the field. We are also seeking ideas for a topic for Grand Research Challenges III, currently planned for 2005.
Growth in our academic membership slowed to just two net new members last year. Facing uncertain membership growth for this year and without the surplus generated by a Snowbird conference, the CRA board adopted a very conservative 2003-04 budget at our February meeting. After learning of our situation, two industry members recently stepped up to the plate and increased their membership levels-Microsoft became a Sustaining Member and Sun a Supporting Member. Other industrial members are planning increases as well. These acts of corporate good citizenship, along with tight cost controls at CRA, have allowed us to continue all of our programmatic efforts.
Funding for the National Science Foundation this year will probably increase by about 6 percent-nowhere near what is needed for the budget-doubling approved last year by Congress. Improving on this for the following fiscal year will be a challenge. This is particularly critical to continuing progress, given the decreasing base of industrial research. We will need all of our members to help carry this message to Washington.
How can you help CRA achieve our four goals of community building, human resources development, information dissemination, and influencing policy? Very simply: suggest additional ways that CRA can achieve our goals-and volunteer to make it happen! Become one of the 52 non-board members of CRA committees (see list) who help make CRA work. You can be one of them! Contact me at foley [at] cc.gatech.edu to volunteer.
The computing research community thanks the following non-board members who served on CRA committees from July 2002 through June 2003:
Jim Foley, CRA's board chair, is Professor and Stephen Fleming Chair in Telecommunications at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
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