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I posted a draft program to the workshop website a while back – it’s now time to put a little more flesh on that.

Session 1: We’ll open in the first morning session with a keynote from Stephen Emmott of Microsoft Research. Unfortunately, as a knock-on effect of the volcanic dust, Stephen can no longer be there in person, but he’ll be giving his keynote remotely. Ironically, this gives us an opportunity to test out some of Ian’s thoughts about cutting down business travel.

Session 2: After the coffee break, everyone will get a chance to introduce themselves and their work briefly (a few minutes each). We’ll then hear longer presentations from three attendees (15 minutes each):

  1. Rami Bahsoon – talking about the work on green clouds and optimization power requirements;
  2. Rogardt Heldal – talking about the experiences in bringing together climatologists and software engineers to make a computational model more widely useable;
  3. Herna Viktor – talking about the challenges in creating a repository of climate change research findings;

Then, we’ll decide on topics for the afternoon brainstorming session. We can pick several topics and have breakout groups, or stick with one topic and discuss en mass. There are several topics that came out of the papers and reviewing that I’ll throw in to the mix as a starting point; I’m sure more possible topics will come up at the workshop itself. So far, I think we have:

  • What technology would we need to dramatically reduce long-distance travel over the next decade? (inspired by Ian Sommerville’s paper);
  • What kind of research should we be doing: big visionary long-term stuff, or more immediate incremental practical stuff – e.g. how would we allocate our effect / research dollars? (inspired by Jon Pipitone et al’s paper, but also by comments on many papers about whether different research proposals would or wouldn’t actually make a difference);
  • The role of architecture in energy management / energy efficiency (inspired by Hasan Sozer et al’s paper, and subsequent discussions);
  • How much scope is there to make software engineering itself greener? (inspired by Matthias Galster’s paper on life-cycle assessments for SE, and Jonas Helming et al’s paper on requirements modeling for environmental concerns);
  • How do we make climate change knowledge more accessible and encourage a wider participation in climate related decision-making? (inspired by several papers, including Justyna Zander’s paper on Computation of Things, Lin Liu and colleagues on carbon footprint calculators and climate knowledge);
  • What are the software problems in building a smart energy grid and managing power demand? (inspired by lots of the submitted papers!)

The afternoon sessions will be mainly discussion/brainstorming sessions, using the agenda set in the morning. We’d also like to bring in remote participants for the final session, and will test out the audio conferencing technology on the weekend to check feasibility.

As always, comments welcome…

We had sixteen papers submitted to the Second International Workshop on Software Research and Climate Change, which is great news. You can see them all here: http://www.cs.toronto.edu/wsrcc/Papers.html

As an experiment we’re trying out an open review process for the workshop. Bear in mind that this is an experiment – I’ve no idea whether this will work, and please let me know if you encounter problems, either technical or philosophical.

Our first attempt to do this used scribd, but we quickly discovered that scribd couldn’t support the reviewing process (in particular because the ‘scribbles’ field only allows for very short comments). So instead, we’ll try this as a blog. This also gives us the opportunity to keep the blog going as a way of continuing the conversation.

I suggest we use the comment thread for this post as a meta-level discussion about organisational issues.

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