Friday, July 23, 2010

CRA Snowbird Part II

Considerable discussion about funding at CRA Snowbird. Ken Gabriel, Deputy Director of DARPA, talked about how DARPA is restructuring its programs to become more university-friendly. They've made great progress though there are still some sticky issues of project-oriented proposals and security clearances. On a related note DARPA recently announced a new Crypto Program that may be of interest to the theory community.

Peter Harsha, the CRA director of public affairs, talked about NSF funding and how the renewal of the COMPETES act almost got derailed over pornography. NSF and CISE in particular did well in the administration's budget request but there is some uncertainty as we head into the fall elections.

The best part of the snowbird meeting is networking, talking to a number of CS leaders especially at the meals and breaks. The last session was small group meetings with current deans on how to deal with our own deans. Even though I'm not a chair I do find myself dealing with my dean and his staff quite often and we were able to get some good advice on quite a range of specific issues. Our group got lucky in matching up with  Dan Huttenlocher, Dean of Computing and Information Science at Cornell, and Martha Pollack, former Dean of the School of Information at Michigan. The best general advice: have a good working relationship with your dean and don't just ask or complain but really make the case on how the particular resource you need will benefit your school.

I'll be mostly on vacation and off the net for the next couple of weeks. Be nice to Bill while I'm gone.

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