Welcome to CASA!

by Raghavendra Pradyumna Pothukuchi and Elba Garza on Oct 18, 2020

We are very excited to bring to you the first blog post of CASA! There has been a lot of work in setting up CASA, and several people have worked hard for it, and here we are, finally! CASA is founded so that we, students, become a strong, healthy, happy and productive community. Yes, those are many adjectives to strive for and that is why we have CASA.

As many of you might already know from experience, studentship – particularly graduate studentship can be quite a struggle. Be it coping with the stressful academic work, trying to make yourself known in the community, developing friends, dealing with personal difficulties, or being in the unknown about how to handle a situation, there are several times when we feel we are alone and are facing an uphill battle. Unfortunately, as students, we have not had a strong support system that could help us face these challenges. CASA is established to fill that void.

Through CASA, we plan to engage with our broader community in several ways. To look at the original proposal in which the setting up of CASA was outlined, you could look at our student wellbeing proposal. You could also view our SIGARCH blog post where we shared our plan of action. We already have a great start by launching a Meet-A-Senior-Student program at MICRO 2020, piggybacking the success of the Meet-A-Senior-Architect program. In the future, we plan to host programs on creating awareness among students and faculty in our community about wellbeing, socializing and networking events so that we can be a connected community.

This blog site is a prominent undertaking by CASA. We welcome students and senior members to contribute articles with their experiences, resources, best practices or their perspectives about studentship or student wellbeing. We have a slack channel and mailing list that you can join that we highly encourage you to join and meet fellow students.

We also welcome you to go through our brand-new website to know more about our history, what we do and the people who made this happen all along. However, remember that where CASA will be, depends on you. So, we earnestly request you to participate in making our community a better place, and we guarantee that it will be a fun and satisfying process! You can contribute to CASA’s efforts in many ways. Please let us know if you have an idea, a suggestion for an event, an experience to share, or a desire for change. Please get in touch with any of our members if you want to be a part of our steering committee. CASA is for all of us.

We thank the chairs of the TCs and SIGs in the architecture/microarchitecture communities who gave us platforms to share our ideas and helped us in setting up CASA. We also thank several senior members who gave us valuable advice on our original proposal and in establishing CASA. While this list is in no way complete, we express our gratitude to Timothy Pinkston, Josep Torrellas, Babak Falsafi, Sarita Adve, Joel Emer, Wen-mei Hwu, Dimitris Gizopoulos who listened to our ideas and provided helpful feedback. We also thank all our volunteers on the Steering Committee who worked on various organizational aspects of making CASA a reality. We thank you for taking your time to get to know us – we hope you will also be a part of us.