This coming March will mark a year since the computer architecture research community has been under some level of social distancing due to COVID-19. It has been a year of working at home from the kitchen table, the couch, or even from bed. Of wearing comfy sweatpants, and drinking lots of coffee. Oh wait, maybe not all has been different after all!
What has been lacking, though, has been the ability to get our community together. While fully virtual conferences have been innovative and successful in their own way, they will never be a substitute for in-person interaction and networking. Research can be difficult in the best of times but now we cannot even meet with fellow students, advisors, and collaborators for a quick chat, support, or just a hug.
We cannot forego safety and advocate meeting up physically, but we at CASA would like to do our part in helping the student community connect while we are still apart. CASA, or the Computer Architecture Student Association, is an independent student-run organization with the express purpose of developing and fostering a positive and inviting student community within computer architecture. To aid in this mission, the CASA steering committee and the organizers of PLTea are proud to introduce ArchChat Social Hour, an informal social event series for 2021.
The ArchChat Social Hour is a fully-virtual monthly social event organized jointly by CASA and PLTea. PLTea is a similar initiative within the PL (programming languages) community, successfully connecting PL researchers around the globe on a regularly scheduled basis for informal chitchat. PLTea has graciously offered to help establish our own series within computer architecture.
We plan to meet monthly, virtually via Zoom where attendees will randomly break into small social rooms (3-4 people apiece) so we can chat about school, work, or whatever comes to mind. While this event is inherently informal and is a chance to chat with fellow computer architecture researchers (adjacent systems researchers are welcome too!), do know it is still a professional event and everyone is expected to abide with CARES policies. While the ArchChat Social Hour is geared towards students, all are welcome to join!
The first ArchChat Social Hour will occur on January 14th, 2021 at 3 PM ET. Register via this Zoom registration link. If you are signed up to the CASA mailing list and/or participate in our Slack workspace, we will share up-to-date information there. If you are not, be sure to sign up to stay in touch. Chat with you soon!
About the Author: Elba Garza is a PhD student in computer architecture at Texas A&M University, working under Daniel Jiménez.
Disclaimer: These posts are written by individual contributors to share their thoughts on the Computer Architecture Today blog for the benefit of the community. Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal, belong solely to the blog author and do not represent those of ACM SIGARCH or its parent organization, ACM.