Future Directions for Selected Topics in Computer Science

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On May 14-15 2011, CSAIL hosted a workshop at the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in Cambridge, MA, sponsored by the Office of  The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (formerly DDR&E).  The goal of the workshop, organized by Ed Lazowska (U Washington) and Victor Zue (MIT CSAIL), was to provide perspectives on barriers to advancement and potential breakthroughs in the growing and rapidly evolving field of computer science.

Twenty-three academic and industrial professionals from twelve institutions, covering diverse research areas in artificial intelligence, systems, and theory, attended the workshop, as did six government participants serving as observers.

During the morning of day one, participants identified a number of game-changing advances in the field of computer science over the past decade. The participants spent the remainder of the workshop formulating a set of research thrusts and scenarios that will achieve major impact for the DoD, and at the same time can serve to coalesce further advances of the underlying technologies.  Some challenge problems that can demonstrate progress are also identified and discussed.

The following report summarizes the outcome of this workshop's deliberations.