Bertino and Hambrusch author four of CRA’s Quadrennial Papers addressing national priorities - Department of Computer Science - Purdue University Skip to main content

Bertino and Hambrusch author four of CRA’s Quadrennial Papers addressing national priorities


Professors Elisa Bertino and Susanne HambruschEvery four years the Computing Research Association (CRA), through its subcommittees, publishes a series of white papers that explore critical and emerging computing research areas and issues relevant to the health of the research community.  The Quadrennial Papers address research areas of national priorities as well as fundamental research questions and provide insight into challenges and impact of future advances. 
Purdue Computer Science is well represented among the authors of newly released 2020 Quadrennial Papers. Professor Susanne Hambrusch led one of the papers and Professor Elisa Bertino led two papers and was involved in a third one. 
The white papers attempt to portray a comprehensive picture of the computing research field detailing potential research directions, challenges, and recommendations for policymakers and the computing research community. The 2020 Quadrennial Papers cover five thematic areas: 
  •     Core Computer Science
  •     Broad Computing
  •     Socio-Technical Computing
  •     Diversity & Education
  •     Artificial Intelligence 

Hambrusch is the lead author of the paper Addressing the National Need for Increasing the Domestic PhD Yield in Computer Science. She is a Co-Chair of CRA-E, CRA’s Education Committee, whose mission is to address society’s need for a continuous supply of talented and well-educated computing researchers.  
The  percentage of domestic students receiving a PhD in computer science has decreased from 69% in 1985 to 37% in 2018. The continuing demand for PhDs in computer science, combined with an instability of international students in graduate programs, requires bold action to increase the number of domestic students. 
“Today, 37% of the CS PhDs are awarded to domestic students.” Hambrusch adds, “Visa instabilities and increased opportunities in other countries have led to a reexamining of the domestic PhD pipeline.”
Additionally, the report explores ways to motivate undergraduates to pursue research, how new pathways into PhD programs can be created, and proposes new programs industry and funding agencies should support. 
Hambrusch adds, “The CRA Education committee has a long history of supporting and highlighting undergraduate research and studying the drivers of domestic PhD enrollment. “
Looking forward, the report presents a range of  ideas on how government, industry, and academia can take action to engage domestic students to enter PhD programs and retain them through graduation. It includes increasing opportunities and funding for undergraduate research, creating new pathways into PhD programs, engaging students from admissions through PhD, and strengthening industry’s role in increasing the number of PhDs in CS.
Bertino, a CRA Computing Community Consortium (CCC) Council Member, was the lead author on Computing Research Challenges in Next Generation Wireless Networking. Wireless networking has seen explosive growth over the past decade and continues to evolve rapidly: from 4G, to 5G, and the envisioned 6G. Trends toward deep network programmability open up enormous opportunities to manage the complexity and harness the power of the new network infrastructure. On the other hand, security and reliability are increasingly crucial requirements. This paper outlines a research agenda to address key challenges in next generation wireless networks.
“Today we have many exciting technologies, 5G and 6G being notable examples, that will be critical to accelerate progress against the world’s critical challenges.” Bertino adds, “The white papers by CCC focus on those technologies and present the view of our community about relevant research directions for these technologies and their applications.”

Bertino was also the lead author on Artificial Intelligence at the Edge
This paper focuses on whether AI could better support societal needs if it were deployed at the edge of the network, close to application endpoints, as opposed to in a centralized cloud. This white paper examines those potential uses and identifies requirements and areas of research that need to be explored before implementation of AI systems at the edge can be realized.
Bertino was also involved in Artificial Intelligence and Cooperation
This paper argues for further research in AI and human cooperation in order to understand the ways in which systems of AIs and people, working together, can engender cooperative behavior. Through a set of illustrative examples, a broad research agenda for this goal is laid out incorporating aspects of AI architectures, collaborative human-AI systems, economic viewpoints, and human preferences and control.
Collectively, the 2020 CRA Quadrennial Papers provide a broad view of education and research directions in the computing community. Purdue Computer Science is well positioned to address many of the challenges highlighted in the papers. Research in areas such as cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, theory, and distributed systems is actively ongoing and will provide significant solutions to the outlined challenges.

Last Updated: Dec 7, 2020 8:43 AM

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