• United States

A quest for ideas

Aug 05, 20033 mins

* Call for papers for Grand Research Challenges Conference

The Computing Research Association needs you to contribute nifty ideas for stimulating discussions at the upcoming CRA Conference on Grand Research Challenges in Information Security & Assurance.

The conference will take place Nov. 16-19 at Airlie House in Warrenton, Va., and is restricted to 50 participants chosen from those submitting proposals for thought-provoking discussions.

The call for papers states:

“Threats from criminals, anarchists and extremists, random hackers, and cyberterrorists (among others) continue to grow even as we put more reliance on our computing infrastructure. Yet most of the money, attention, and energy in information security and information assurance has been focused on incremental patches and updates to existing systems rather than on seeking fundamental advances…

“Grand Challenges meetings seek ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking to expose some of the exciting, deep challenges yet to be met in computing research. Because of the clear importance and pressing needs in information security and assurance, CRA’s second ‘Grand Research Challenges Conference’ will be devoted to defining technical and social challenges in information security and assurance.

“We are seeking scientists, educators, business people, futurists, and others who have some vision and understanding of the big challenges (and accompanying advances) that should shape the research agenda in this field over the next few decades. These meetings are not structured as traditional conferences with scheduled presentations, but rather as highly participatory meetings exposing important themes and ideas. As such, this is not a conference for security specialists alone: We seek to convene a diverse group from a variety of fields and at all career stages – we seek insight and vision wherever it may reside.”

The CFP continues:

“Attendance is limited to 50 people and is by invitation only. If you are interested in attending, please submit a two-page (or less) statement of two or three examples of a ‘grand research challenge’ problem in the IS/IA area… by September 17, 2003. The organizing committee will invite prospective attendees based on these submissions. Note that individuals invited must commit to attending for the entire three-day conference (beginning Sunday at 6 pm, ending after lunch on Wednesday).”

The coordinating committee includes luminaries in the field; for fear of offending any by failing to list everyone involved, I simply point you to the bottom of the Grand Research Challenges home page, where you will find a real who’s-who of contributors to our field.

This is a terrific opportunity for readers with bright ideas and a willingness to participate in no-holds-barred analysis and shared creativity to submit their ideas to the coordinating committee. Based on the quality of the e-mail I receive in response to these columns, I’d say there are many of you out there who ought to be turning to your keyboards right now and getting your ideas into a submission at once.