Hill Tech Happenings, Week of March 26

Update Markup on voting legislation is likely cancelled for Thursday.

March 26
Hearing:
The Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce and the District of Columbia of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on the implementation of the REAL ID Act.
2:30 p.m., 342 Dirksen Building

March 28
Markup:
The House Science and Technology Committee will hold a markup on pending legislation, including HR 362, a math and science scholarship act.
10 a.m., 2318 Rayburn Building

March 29
Markup:
The House Administration Committee will mark up HR 811, The Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2007.
10 a.m., 1310 Longworth Building Cancelled

Hearing:
The House Science and Technology Committee will hold a hearing on National Science Foundation reauthorization.
2 p.m., 2318 Rayburn Building

Flurry of Voting Activity

Readers of Hill Tech Happenings will have noticed the recent string of voting related hearings in Congress. It’s just one sign of the continued interest in voting reform expressed both in Congress and the Executive Branch. Once the flurry of hearings end (for the moment) tomorrow, we can give you a more in-depth analysis of the situation. But we thought it important to make a note of some things going on at the moment.

First, the third of a series of hearings the Committee on House Administration has been holding on election reform takes place Friday, March 23, at 9:30 a.m. in 1310 Longworth Office Building. Princeton Professor (and USACM-EC member) Ed Felten will be testifying at the hearing, along with several elections officials, voting reform advocates, two Members of Congress, and the Governor of Florida, among others. While the other two hearings (held on March 15 and 20) have focused on voting reform more generally, tomorrow’s hearing will focus more on Rep. Holt’s legislation, HR 811. Expect some discussion of the Sarasota voting trouble as well, with the Governor of Florida scheduled to testify. The previous hearings considered accessibility, source code review, and post-election audits. Berkeley Professor (and USACM member) David Wagner testified at the hearing on March 15. The Committee has been slow to post anything on these hearings, and the minority website has only a couple of press releases on the testimony.
Continue reading “Flurry of Voting Activity”

Hill Tech Happenings, Week of March 19

A full week of technology related events and hearings. We’ve heard that other relevant hearings may be added later this week, so please come back for updates.

Update: Electronic voting hearing added for Friday.

March 20
Hearing:
The Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing titled “Realizing a Competitive Education: Identifying Needs, Partnerships and Resources.”
10 a.m., 215 Dirksen Building

The Subcommittee on Research and Science Education of the House Science and Technology Committee will hold a hearing on the National Science Foundation reauthorization.
10:30 a.m., 2318 Rayburn Building

The Legislative Branch Subcommitee of the House Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing on the Library of Congress and the future of digital libraries.
1:30 p.m., H-144 Capitol Building

The Elections Subcommittee of the Committee on House Administration will hold a hearing on auditing federal elections.
2 p.m., 1310 Longworth Building

The Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights of the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the proposed XM-Sirius merger.
2:15 p.m., 226 Dirksen Building
Continue reading “Hill Tech Happenings, Week of March 19”

Results from ACM’s International Programing Contest are in; Global Competition Growing

ACM issued the following release after the conclusion of its 31st annual International Collegiate Programming Contest:

ACM PROGRAMMING CONTEST SHOWCASES TOP TECH TALENT FROM AROUND THE WORLD

ACM President Lauds Competitors, Cites Advantages of Preparing Students to Compete Globally

New York, NY – March 15, 2007 – The results of the 2007 ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ACM ICPC) indicate the continuing strength of global competition for the best computer programmers in the world. The top five winners were Warsaw University (Poland), Tsinghua University (China), St. Petersburg University of IT, Mechanics and Optics (Russia), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (U.S.), and Novosibirsk State University (Russia). This international competition, now in its 31st year, is hosted by ACM (the Association for Computing Machinery), a society of more than 83,000 computing educators, researchers, and professionals worldwide.

The international competition took place this week in Tokyo, Japan, with 88 teams competing in the final round. Earlier rounds of the competition featured more than 6,000 teams representing 1,765 universities from 82 countries.

The only U.S. university to finish in the top 10 was MIT, which placed 4th. Other top finishers from the U.S. were California Institute of Technology, at number 12, and the University of Texas at Dallas, which was tied for 14th place with 12 other schools. Full results are available at http://icpc.baylor.edu/icpc/

ACM President Stuart Feldman pointed to the superior problem-solving abilities demonstrated throughout the competition from teams across the globe. “The competition at the ACM ICPC World Finals is incredible. The contestants must attack a wide variety of problems, and the top 15 teams are all performing at a level that exceeds what it took to win the contest only 10 years ago,” he said.

“This contest is a concrete indicator of talent and future possibility. Students like these are tomorrow’s top prospects in the information technology and computing fields,” said Feldman, who is also vice president, Computer Science Research, at IBM’s T. J. Watson Research Center. “With the growing worldwide demand for technology skills, companies large and small – including IBM – will be tapping today’s winners as future employees.”

As the technology industry seeks to strengthen computing education and fill the talent pipeline for future workers, the winners in Tokyo provide valuable lessons. “A workforce well-trained in the fundamentals of computing represents an incredible advantage for any country that wants to compete globally in almost any industry.

Bringing the best and the brightest into computing and computer science is a great strategy for any country that hopes to succeed in the future. Almost every major challenge facing our world calls upon computing for a solution, from fighting disease to protecting the environment to improving education,” Feldman said.

In the U.S., ACM has recently launched efforts to help high school students, teachers, and parents better understand the kinds of careers enabled by studying computer science. For example, “Computing Degrees & Careers” is a concise brochure detailing expanding job opportunities for students with computing degrees. The brochure is accessible in PDF format from the ACM Web site at http://computingcareers.acm.org.

About ACM
ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery http://www.acm.org, is an educational and scientific society uniting the world’s computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges. ACM strengthens the profession’s collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.

Results from ACM's International Programing Contest are in; Global Competition Growing

ACM issued the following release after the conclusion of its 31st annual International Collegiate Programming Contest:

ACM PROGRAMMING CONTEST SHOWCASES TOP TECH TALENT FROM AROUND THE WORLD

ACM President Lauds Competitors, Cites Advantages of Preparing Students to Compete Globally

New York, NY – March 15, 2007 – The results of the 2007 ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ACM ICPC) indicate the continuing strength of global competition for the best computer programmers in the world. The top five winners were Warsaw University (Poland), Tsinghua University (China), St. Petersburg University of IT, Mechanics and Optics (Russia), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (U.S.), and Novosibirsk State University (Russia). This international competition, now in its 31st year, is hosted by ACM (the Association for Computing Machinery), a society of more than 83,000 computing educators, researchers, and professionals worldwide.

The international competition took place this week in Tokyo, Japan, with 88 teams competing in the final round. Earlier rounds of the competition featured more than 6,000 teams representing 1,765 universities from 82 countries.

The only U.S. university to finish in the top 10 was MIT, which placed 4th. Other top finishers from the U.S. were California Institute of Technology, at number 12, and the University of Texas at Dallas, which was tied for 14th place with 12 other schools. Full results are available at http://icpc.baylor.edu/icpc/

ACM President Stuart Feldman pointed to the superior problem-solving abilities demonstrated throughout the competition from teams across the globe. “The competition at the ACM ICPC World Finals is incredible. The contestants must attack a wide variety of problems, and the top 15 teams are all performing at a level that exceeds what it took to win the contest only 10 years ago,” he said.

“This contest is a concrete indicator of talent and future possibility. Students like these are tomorrow’s top prospects in the information technology and computing fields,” said Feldman, who is also vice president, Computer Science Research, at IBM’s T. J. Watson Research Center. “With the growing worldwide demand for technology skills, companies large and small – including IBM – will be tapping today’s winners as future employees.”

As the technology industry seeks to strengthen computing education and fill the talent pipeline for future workers, the winners in Tokyo provide valuable lessons. “A workforce well-trained in the fundamentals of computing represents an incredible advantage for any country that wants to compete globally in almost any industry.

Bringing the best and the brightest into computing and computer science is a great strategy for any country that hopes to succeed in the future. Almost every major challenge facing our world calls upon computing for a solution, from fighting disease to protecting the environment to improving education,” Feldman said.

In the U.S., ACM has recently launched efforts to help high school students, teachers, and parents better understand the kinds of careers enabled by studying computer science. For example, “Computing Degrees & Careers” is a concise brochure detailing expanding job opportunities for students with computing degrees. The brochure is accessible in PDF format from the ACM Web site at http://computingcareers.acm.org.

About ACM
ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery http://www.acm.org, is an educational and scientific society uniting the world’s computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges. ACM strengthens the profession’s collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.

A Deeper Look At E-voting Reform

For the past few Congresses Representative Rush Holt (D-NJ) has taken the lead on legislation to reform electronic voting. Each year his efforts have garnered deep support from the Democratic party, but each year the legislation stalled with no Congressional action. With the Democrats now controlling Congress, Representative Holt reintroduced his legislation — the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2007 (H.R 811) — last month with high hopes that he will be able to shepherd it into law. Over the next three posts, I’ll review the goals of his legislation and speculate about its prospects and potential obstacles. One thing is clear, if you are interested an e-voting issues, this legislation is the bill to watch.

Continue reading “A Deeper Look At E-voting Reform”

Hill Tech Happenings, Week of March 12

March 13
Hearing:
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the House Education and Labor Committee will hold a joint hearing on the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act.
9:30 a.m., 2175 Rayburn Building

News Conference:
Rep. Bart Gordon will hold a news conference to unveil the “Amercian Innovation Proclamation” urging movement on competitiveness legislation. (Link will open up the audio webcast of the press conference.)
12 p.m., 2325 Rayburn Building

Hearing:
The House Science and Technology Committee will hold a hearing on “Science and Technology Leadership in a 21st Century Global Economy.”
1 p.m., 2318 Rayburn Building

March 15
Hearing:
The Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection of the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on the SPY Act, which is intended to combat spyware.
11 a.m., 2322 Rayburn Building

Proposed REAL ID rules released

The Department of Homeland Security released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking about the REAL ID Act on March 1. The proposed REAL ID rules are available in the Federal Register, and subject to a 60 day comment period. The release about the notice is here:

http://www.dhs.gov/xprevprot/laws/gc_1172765386179.shtm

The actual notice (162 pages) can be found here:

http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/nprm_realid.pdf

The proposed rules come out only 14 months before a May 11, 2008 deadline for states to comply with the identification card requirements. While states can take up to five years to phase in the cards, they must be ready to issue new cards by the May 11 date (or request an 18 month extension by October of this year). Given the challenges states faced in changing voting systems following the implementation of the Help America Vote Act, it seems likely states will be hard pressed to meet these deadlines.

This rulemaking notice follows a recent resolution by the Maine legislature that they would refuse to comply with the REAL ID Act, an action several other states are considering as well. Legislation may also be introduced in Congress to repeal the drivers license portions of the act (as it was in the previous Congress).
Continue reading “Proposed REAL ID rules released”

ACM Washington Update, Vol. 11.2 (March 6, 2007)

CONTENTS

[1] Newsletter Highlights
[2] Official Sarasota Audit Complete; E-Voting Activity Continues
[3] Chronicle of Higher Education Prints USACM Letter In Response to E-Voting Article
[4] Frances Allen wins ACM’s Turing Award
[5] Offshoring Results in More Offshoring Reports
[6] Commerce Advisory Committee Reviews Innovation Metrics
[7] About USACM
Continue reading “ACM Washington Update, Vol. 11.2 (March 6, 2007)”

Hill Tech Happenings, Week of March 5

Update – voting hearing for March 7 added.

March 7
Hearing:
The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions will hold a hearing on “Strengthening American Competitiveness for the 21st Century.”
9:30 a.m., 216 Hart Building

The House Small Business Committee will hold a hearing on “Advancing the Innovation Agenda: The Perspective of the Technology and Telecommunications Industry.”
10 a.m., 2360 Rayburn Building

The Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government of the House Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing on Ensuring the Integrity of Elections
2 p.m., 2220 Rayburn Building

The Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet” of the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing, “The Digital Future of the United States: The Future of Radio.”
2:30 p.m., 2123 Rayburn Building

The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on “Protecting the Right to Vote: Election Deception and Irregularities in Recent Federal Election.”
3 p.m., 2141 Rayburn Building
Continue reading “Hill Tech Happenings, Week of March 5”