Long-term planning and implementation of PODC is the responsibility of the PODC Steering Committee. The Steering Committee comprises the following individuals: an elected chair; the current Program-Committee chair; the two previous Program-Committee chairs; the current general chair; the current treasurer; and an elected member at-large. Terms expire at the end of PODC of the relevant year (e.g., currently the Program-Committee chairs for 2001, 2002, and 2003 are on the committee; after the end of PODC 2003, the Program-Committee chair for 2001 will leave the committee and be replaced by the Program-Committee chair for 2004).
The position of Steering-Committee member at-large was re-constituted by the PODC Steering Committee in 2000, when Keith Marzullo was elected to the position. When Keith became the Program Chair for PODC 2002 after PODC 2001, Yoram Moses was elected to fill out the remainder of the term, which will expire at PODC 2003.
The Steering-Committee member at-large has no specific responsibilities. The PODC community may choose, at its annual business meeting, to elect such a member based on what nominees for the position can offer to PODC. Because of this structure, elections for this position will always include a mechanism by which members can vote for "none of the above". If the "none of the above" vote prevails, the position may be filled in a future year. If the position is filled, then the winner of the election will serve for three years (with no more elections until the winner's term expires).
This year, there is one nominee for the position of Steering-Committee member at-large:
- Tushar Chandra
The position will be filled by the candidate receiving a majority of votes at the PODC 2003 business meeting (unless a majority votes for "none of the above"). If no candidate receives a majority during the first round of voting, the two leading candidates (one of which may be "none of the above") will enter a second round of voting.
The nominee for Steering Committee chair was invited to submit a position statement.
Distributed Computing has come of age in the past decade as the focus of computing shifted from PCs to networks and the internet. The PODC community is in a wonderful position to apply its abilities to several practical aspects of computing such as the world wide web, distributed storage, security, etc. I propose to explore ways of moving PODC into more practical areas, thereby increasing the level of impact from the PODC community members on computing.
There are three approaches that I would like to explore in more detail:
- Identify new areas of distributed computing before any other major conference does, and position PODC for leadership in those areas. This would require PODC to take a big risk in a new area, as it is very difficult to predict the future of technology with any accuracy. We could hedge this risk by picking several areas and hoping that one will gain traction. I propose to work closely with PODC community members to identify promising new directions for distributed computing, and then work with the program committee to explicitly attract researchers working in these areas.
- Identify old areas that have fallen out of favour, but that we think will come back. I propsoe to position PODC for leadership in those areas. Like the previous approach, this is risky.
- Assimilate emerging directions in distributed computing from large companies such as Microsoft (.NET) and IBM (OnDemand). This approach has the advantage that it places its bets along with industry, thereby increasing the probability of making a greater impact. Further, it is more likely to attract funding from corporate sponsors. The downside is that PODC is not really on the radar scope of large companies and runs the risk of getting ignored in favor of more visible conferences. I propose to work closely with PODC community members to identify industry trends that are aligned with our interests, and then work with the program committee to explicitly align with these efforts.
Each of these approaches would require us to make sacrifices and take risks. I am hopeful that if we make the right choices, we will be able to position PODC as a leading conference in computing. If I am elected as a steering committee member at large, I will work to move PODC towards making a greater impact on computing as outlined above.
Last modified: July 13, 2003