DAC’s Front Line…Soha, Chuck And Me

Check out the new rotation. And go Germany!

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In Brazil the drama continues, though that may be understating what happened yesterday. I’m still rendered nearly speechless by the result from Belo Horizonte, where all sorts of history was made. Of course I’m thrilled that Germany has a chance to win its first World Cup since 1990, though like much of Fussball-fandom I’m stunned and even a bit unnerved at how easy they made it look in the semifinal. Surely the absence of Neymar and Silva didn’t help matters for Brazil. However I give Brazil head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari credit for acknowledging that having his star and captain “would have made no difference” given the mismatch on the pitch.

When it comes to DAC, each and every role on the team is important to organize a winning conference. Any day now Michelle Clancy, our terrific marketing and PR chair, is going to announce the executive committee for the 52nd DAC. In the next several weeks, I’d like to introduce you to these people, a few at a time. I want you to know the incredible volunteers responsible for next year’s conference, which I hope at least occasionally leaves you feeling like German fans felt watching their team score again and again and again and…

Let’s start with my two fellow strategic midfielders: past chair, Soha Hassoun; and vice chair, Chuck Alpert.

Soha did a superb job with the 51st DAC and was instrumental in shaping the new initiatives that you’ll continue to see play out for the next couple of years. While it’s easy to make a generic declaration about the need to broaden the DAC scope, it’s different to actually initiate the change, as Soha did by bringing in a new focus on security, IP and automotive electronics design. Soha is associate professor and chair of the computer science department at Tufts University. She moves from general chair to past chair and her main job is to be a well of good advice and to help me avoid pitfalls, even though she apparently doesn’t mind falling herself. When I asked her to share something that might surprise you, here’s what she wrote:

“I served on the Defense Science Study Group and had the opportunity to free fall 30 feet during a visit to the Airborne School in Fort Bragg Georgia, the training ground for the 82 Airborne Division.”

Chuck is simply amazing. His enthusiasm and his energy are unlimited. He did a great job as technical program co-chair for the last two years and I’m super excited that he accepted my invitation to be vice chair for the 52nd DAC. For those of you not familiar with the succession of roles on the DAC executive committee, Chuck’s vice chair title means he is going to be general chair for the 53rd DAC in Austin. And guess what… he is based in Austin! Chuck is sure to make more of this home field advantage than Brazil did yesterday. (Sorry, I can’t resist!) Chuck, who worked at IBM before he moved to Cadence, is something of a sports fan himself and even knows something about this blogging business.

“Before I left IBM, I was working on a fun project to use EDA techniques for sports analytics, in particular the NCAA basketball tournament,” he wrote. “Basically, using Boolean algebra and Monte Carlo simulations, I can determine how badly or well participants in a tournament pool are doing. I did a blog about the work this year.”

I wonder if there’s time to ask Chuck to run a simulation on the likely outcome of the game Sunday in Rio? Let’s see who the second semifinal sends to the Maracanã today. Together with our finance chair Patrick Groeneveld I hope that it is the Netherlands. We may just see a repeat of the 1974 World Cup final in Munich. Go Germany!

In the meantime, if you have a prediction as to what would make for a great conference next year in San Francisco, I want to hear from you. (And we’ve enabled comments now so if you prefer, feel free to post something for public discussion below.) Right now we are finalizing the marketing/sponsorship opportunities for our vendors. If you have any cool ideas don’t hesitate to contact me and we will add them to the pool.



  • Anne, Congratulations to Germany on their World Cup win!!