ACM Future of Computing Academy

A few months ago, I got an email from the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) notifying me about an opportunity to apply for the inaugural cohort of the ACM Future of Computing Academy (FCA). Since the company I work for (left.io) encourages getting involved in the community as much as possible, I jumped at the opportunity to get involved.

From what I understand, the ACM FCA is being formed to help shape the future direction of computer science, to bridge the gap between senior computer scientists and the next generation and to build networks. All of these ideas resonate with me greatly.

I applied because I think I have a unique set of skills and experience. I have spent much of my life in academia, obtaining a PhD, masters and bachelor in computer science. The last 8 years of which I spent working on wireless research.

All the way through I was involved in many interdisciplinary research projects, and industrial collaborations. I taught courses and founded an ACM chapter at my university. I founded a robotics company, and won Canada’s largest hackathon (at the time: CODE 2014–900+ participants). I currently work in an R&D role in a startup project within a profitable and stable company, so I have the freedom to perform R&D and the stability of a constant paycheck (which lets me get involved in these types of projects).

I’m really excited to join the FCA — with the goals of trying to build a network of excellent young researchers and computer scientists, to influence thought in the space and to meet some of the most famous computer scientists of our time to absorb as much wisdom from them as possible. Another thing I’d like to achieve is a plan on how I can continue to make contributions going forward to make a this initiative a continual process.

One of the things I’m most excited about is a small session of fewer than 20 people with Vint Cerf (one of the creators of TCP/IP — which as a networking person, is like meeting a rock star — and the Chief Evangelist at Google — which is a pretty sweet title). From what I’ve been following from him, it will be interesting to hear his perspectives on privacy, content distribution, and some of the wider impacts that the invention of the Internet has brought, and some of the ways in which it can be improved.

It will also be really awesome to attend the 50th Turing Awards, where Sir Tim Berners Lee (inventor of the world wide web) will be receiving the award this year. There are lots of interesting sessions planned to go along with it. For the FCA event itself, there is a wide range of interests from the inaugural cohort but there are already sent common themes emerging such as improving opportunities for the developing world, women, engaging youth and many technical topics.

I’ll post an update with some reflections from the next few days soon.