Anne Cirkel is the General Chair for the 52nd DAC and a Senior Director for Technology Marketing at Mentor Graphics. Prior to joining Mentor Anne held marketing management positions at Analogy, Viewlogic, and Berner & Mattner. Anne holds a Master's degree in Business Administration with an … More »
Seeds of a great conference: Keynote superstars and stellar refereed content at DAC 52
March 19th, 2015 by Anne Cirkel
Nose around the design automation industry a bit and you’re sure to find mention of the goal to “shift left.” Basically the idea is to try to solve problems and add value earlier in the design cycle. Engineers usually first stitch together basic functional blocks of whatever they are building before moving on to higher level system integration and software tasks. Turns out this isn’t a bad metaphor for conference planning. Like chips and ICs, conferences work best when the essential elements (in this case, marquee presenters and core technical content) are in place early. I can safely report this is more or less true now for DAC 52—which is slated to be simply amazing when it’s finally “launched” this summer.
One reason I have such confidence in this claim is that we have a stellar lineup of keynoters, all of whom have previously made news for their technical exploits:
The keynotes might get a lot of the attention, but we’ve been hard at work on other aspects of the DAC program, too. Most notably, the 167-member technical program committee finished the yeoman’s task of reviewing submitted technical papers, which make up the traditional core of the conference. In short, it’s these committee members, volunteers laboring behind the scenes, who make DAC an unmatched IEEE/ACM refereed research conference in the world.
Any systems designer will tell you the task is not done until you can boot and run the software on the device. If DAC’s hardware is the stellar content from the main stage on down, then its software, the way that you as a user will interface with and experience this content, is the schedule matrix that drives the program and that attendees use as a guide to their time at Moscone. Chuck Alpert, DAC vice chair and Keanu Reeves lookalike, described his efforts to streamline and simplify the matrix in a guest post to my DAC blog a few weeks back. “We’re trying to whip this into shape in under a year, and without the benefit of any red pills,” Alpert wrote.
Even without Neo’s help, DAC is in great shape, despite occasionally misguided information by some industry naysayers. Aside from attracting headline generating keynoters, we’ve also been inundated with a record number of submissions across the board in nearly all content areas. All this is common sense and empirical evidence that DAC’s importance and energy are as vibrant as ever, and indeed on the rise.
We’ve left-shifted the task of building a great conference, freeing us up to work on finishing touches that will make this one of the best DACs ever. This is important work, and at least some of it will be done by volunteers. So if you want to lend a hand, especially those of you in the Bay Area who might want to help out on the local area committee, drop me a note or comment below. For now, the main task left is to spread the news about the upcoming show and for you to shift items off your calendar so you can be there in June.
Regular registration opens later this month, though early registration for free “I Love DAC” passes is open now. Visit DAC.com for more details.
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