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Anne Cirkel
Anne Cirkel
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 »

Turning thoughts to DAC during summer’s dog days

August 18th, 2014 by Anne Cirkel

Here in Portland summer is in full swing. Outdoor tables are full at the restaurants in my neighborhood and there are more people on the trails in Forest Park where I walk my two Miniature Schnauzers most mornings. And this time of year it’s more than feet that wander. Even as I hurry to keep up with the dogs, my mind is often rambling elsewhere, often to matters related to DAC. Some of these musings are making it into my efforts to blog my way to next year’s conference, weekly on the DAC site and monthly here on EDA Café.

Anne Cirkel's two Miniature Schnauzers, Diesel and Kismet.

My two Mini Schnauzers, Diesel and Kismet, who usually set the pace during my morning walks in Portland’s Forest Park.

I know at this point most people are thinking, DAC? That’s a lifetime away. But as general chair for DAC 52, I’m often brought up short during my morning strolls by realizations like this: We have just 10 months to plan this conference! Suffice it to say there is lots to do and, summer and eating and trekking aside, those of us on the executive committee haven’t been idle.

Last week, a few of us met in Louisville, Colorado to audit the 2014 conference and begin budget planning for DAC 52. Yes, it’s a somewhat tedious process to go through expense reports, vendor bills and registration data. However, we take this work seriously, understanding that we’re merely stewards of a conference that has been going on since the days of time-sharing on mainframes. Indeed, just as time-sharing has morphed into cloud computing and the Internet of Things, now among the hottest topics in technology, DAC has proven remarkably adept at staying relevant and even reinventing itself through the years. All of us on the executive committee want this to continue on our watch.

DAC’s owners, arguably among the most respected nonprofit associations in computing, are one reason the conference has had such staying power. I wrote about these organizations — ACM, IEEE/CEDA and EDAC —  and tried to explain the basics of DAC ownership in my week 8 post. One example of the stewardship ethic: these sponsoring organizations receive an even share of any surplus that exists after all the books are closed, one reason we took such care in our arithmetic last week in Colorado. For the record, each sponsor will get a payout.

Among the conclusions from sifting through conference data is that the DAC designer track is thriving. At DAC 51, more than 700 designers attended 57 presentations spread across 12 sessions. And more than 100 posters were split across two poster sessions. Designer track submissions were received from 49 companies in 15 countries. More about the designer track and our efforts to extend DAC beyond its EDA roots is in my week 9 post, which also features a nod to those (like me) who occasionally find their minds wandering from the task at hand. Here’s hoping this daydreaming habit helps when it comes to reimagining DAC!

Of course, IC-related research papers remain the backbone of DAC. Given the rigorous peer review process and rather competitive acceptance rate (approximately 20%), getting a paper accepted remains a big deal and a nice highlight on any c.v., even those already featuring long lists of publications. The call for papers will be announced on DAC’s site in about a month, but given the work that goes into a submission, I thought I’d jump start the process with a quick summary in my week 7 post of what goes into a successful DAC research paper.

I know that for now, at least for most of you enjoying the waning days of summer here in the Northern Hemisphere, you’re most likely to ponder DAC only in passing, maybe when you’re out for a walk of your own. Here’s my request: If you’re on the trail and find yourself struck by the thought, You know, DAC would be so much better if it just… I hope you’ll take the time to share it with me. Better yet, if you’ll be in the Portland area, let me know and we’ll discuss it in person over a meal and a walk — provided, that is, that I can get a table, and you can keep up with my dogs too.

Until next month!

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