Request for Proposals: Visioning Workshops in Computer Architecture

Introduction

The ACM Special Interest Group in Computer Architecture (SIGARCH) invites proposals for visioning workshops that will catalyze and enable innovative research within computer architecture, and between computer architecture and other areas.

Successful activities will articulate new research visions, galvanize community interest in those visions, mobilize support for those visions from the computer architecture research community, government leaders, and funding agencies, and encourage broader segments of society to participate in computer architecture research and education.

SIGARCH encourages creative ideas from all segments of the computer architecture research community and beyond, on topics ranging from the formulation of new basic research areas and technologies to the use of new or existing research ideas and technologies to address important scientific or societal challenges.

Workshop organizers are expected to bring together a group of scientists and practitioners in the area of interest, and to formulate a program that encourages new ideas, innovative thinking, and broad discussion. Workshops will typically range from 20 to 100 participants. It is important that the participants cover a broad spectrum to ensure full coverage of the area, both in terms of content area representation and employment (academia, industry, research labs, and policy and funding organizations).

Workshops are expected to have a tangible output – for example, a whitepaper (or set thereof) or a workshop report. Workshop outcomes should be targeted to multiple audiences (the research community, science policy groups or funding agencies, the general public), and the deliverables should be tailored for easy dissemination. SIGARCH will help to support both workshop organization and the subsequent generation and communication of the output.

Note that we seek workshops that create visions for broad research agendas, not proposals whose primary purpose is to secure future funding for the participants.

Preparing a Proposal

Proposed activities can take many forms. A small group of people might have an idea and want to engage a larger, more established, community to create a vision for a new research program that broadens the scope of the topic and creates community interest in it. An interdisciplinary group may need to bring multiple communities together to create a new interdisciplinary research area. In all cases, the proposing group is expected to have the research expertise, visibility, and leadership skills necessary to make the proposed workshop a success. Please see the best practices guide listed below.

The project description should be commensurate with the scope of the proposed workshop, but not longer than two (2) pages.

A well-formulated proposal should do the following:

  • describe the visioning topic area and its current state of development within the field,
  • explain the proposed workshop in detail,
  • connect the workshop and the vision: how does the former support/foster the latter?
  • justify why this vision and this workshop are appropriate now,
  • specify the intended outcomes of the workshop, and
  • describe how those outcomes can be used to advance the visioning topic area.

A complete proposal must also

  • identify the organizing committee,
  • include brief biographical sketches of the organizers,
  • propose a representative set of potential workshop invitees (be sure to include representation from policy and funding organizations),
  • provide a budget with justification, and
  • articulate how the success of the workshop and its outcomes can be assessed.

The organization of a workshop is expected to last from one to two years. The budget provided for a single workshop will be up to $10,000, depending on its size and scope. The organizers are expected to lead the effort on behalf of the community, so SIGARCH will not cover salary support for them. Exceptions to these guidelines need to be very well justified. Budget questions should be sent to the email address below.

We also suggest following the best practices guide for CCC visioning activities referenced below.

Review Process and Review Criteria

Each proposal will be reviewed based on its potential to be a compelling vision and to engage a large segment of the computer architecture research community, policy, and funding agencies. The entire SIGARCH visioning workshop committee will review the proposal and provide comments in a timely manner (typically within 4-8 weeks).

Proposals may be submitted by email anytime to SIGARCH-Visioning@acm.org as an attachment in PDF, Postscript, or Word. For SIGARCH planning purposes, proposals for workshops co-located with a conference should be submitted 3 months before that conference’s tutorials and workshop proposals deadline.

Questions about this RFP should also be sent to SIGARCH-Visioning@acm.org.

Future Solicitations

SIGARCH expects to re-issue this solicitation periodically.

Acknowledgments

We thank the CRA CCC for giving permission to heavily base this call for proposals on theirs.

References

CCC call for proposals and best practices for creating visioning activities can be found here: