What does the Computing Community Consortium do, anyway?

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Yes, I know that headline looks like linkbait but I’m not re-writing it. I’m actually a fan of theirs (it’s a good thing I wouldn’t want to belong to a club that would actually have me as a member). Over the weekend Ed Lazowska, who chairs the CCC’s council, published a short form assessment of how the CCC is doing just past it’s third birthday (there are also links to richer discussions of this assessment).


During the transition period to the Obama administration, we had the opportunity to feed a number of “white papers” into the transition team’s planning process.  Thanks to the receptiveness of the incoming administration, these white papers had impact far beyond what we had dared to imagine.

…[Agenda-setting] A great example is a robotics effort led by Henrik Christensen (Georgia Tech), Vijay Kumar (Penn), Matt Mason (CMU), and others.  This broad community effort, carried out over a period of 18 months, yielded a coherent direction for fundamental research in robotics, a set of “research roadmaps” for the field, and a white paper that is likely to result in a significant federal research initiative during the next fiscal year.

…Computer science had never had a broad-based coordinated postdoc program, but the Computing Community Consortium, working closely with NSF, was able to establish the Computing Innovation Fellows Project in remarkably short order — from concept to awards in less than six months.  It was NSF’s confidence in CCC as a “proxy” for the computing research community that made this possible.

More in Ed’s post.