Who Owns DAC?

The answer may surprise you.

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In June I was chatting with an editor unfamiliar with DAC and he was wondering who owns the conference. It’s a fair question and I recall thinking I’d blog about it as part of my effort to boost understanding of DAC. After all, my goal is to let you glimpse behind the curtain and that means touching on the prosaic though very important issue of ownership.

First, the basics. DAC is owned by three nonprofit organizations: ACM, IEEE/CEDA, and EDAC. Trade show management company MP Associates has the contract to execute the event under the guidance of the DAC executive committee, where I serve as general chair through DAC 52. Even though the buck stops with me and the rest of the executive committee, our sponsors are the pillars on which the conference stands.

It’s important to note that our three big sponsors carry the financial risk associated with DAC. Should we have to cancel the event – this has never happened and I certainly don’t want it to on my watch – they would cover any financial liability we would have with the convention center and the hotels where we hold the blocks of rooms to give DAC attendees a discounted rate. So thank you ACM, IEEE/CEDA and EDAC! Now is a good time to mention the perks that come with joining these organizations. IEEE and ACM members get a discount on conference registration and EDAC members get a significant discount for exhibit space. If you are an attendee or exhibitor and haven’t already joined the organization(s) most appropriate to you, I suggest you check out the DAC-related benefits.

As part of our stewardship of sponsor assets, every year in August we close the books on the event that happened in June and start with a fresh slate for the following year. The August meeting is just around the corner and a few members of the executive committee are preparing to convene in Colorado and do a financial audit of DAC 51. Any surplus funds are redistributed to the sponsors. While in Colorado we also will start on the DAC 52 budget, which eventually will be presented at the face-to-face executive committee and sponsor meetings in September. All three sponsors have volunteers (not on the sponsor payroll) that represent them on the DAC executive committee. Here are the three sponsor representatives for DAC 52:

Tiffany Sparks is the EDAC representative. She previously served as chair of the industry liaison committee. Tiffany is currently director of marketing campaigns and events at ARM. She has held a variety of corporate marketing and PR roles at Atrenta, GLOBALFOUNDRIES and Cadence. Tiffany did not take a traditional route to the semiconductor industry. She spent six years as a sports journalist covering everything from baseball, hockey and basketball to golf and surfing. As former colleagues can attest, she’s a pretty tough fantasy football competitor.

Shishpal Rawat, president-elect of IEEE/CEDA, is director of business enabling programs in the Design Technology Solutions group at Intel, where he has worked for 26 years. He oversees Intel investments in EDA startups and external design and CAD research programs. He also chairs the Accellera Systems Initiative, an EDA standards organization. He has also served as chair for the Design Science Technical Advisory Board (TAB) and on the Integrated Circuit and Systems Sciences TAB of the Semiconductor Research Corporation. Additionally, he has also been associate editor of ACM Transactions on Design Automation of Electronic Systems (TODAES) and guest editor of IEEE Design and Test.

Naehyuck Chang, the ACM representative, is professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. He is working on cross-layer low-power systems and CAD for energy systems. Naehyuck is the chair of the ACM Special Interest Group on Design Automation (SIGDA). He is editor in chief of ACM TODAES, an IEEE Fellow and an ACM Distinguished Scientist.

In addition to the sponsors being represented on the DAC executive committee, there is a sponsor committee with two representatives from each sponsor and three DAC executive committee members. Tiffany Sparks and Bob Gardner, EDAC executive director, represent EDAC; Shispal Rawat and David Atienza, CEDA VP for conferences, represent IEEE/CEDA; and Naehyuck Chang and Farrah Khan, ACM program coordinator for SIG conference operations, represent ACM/SIGDA.

This may be more than you wanted to know about the backbone operation of DAC. Then again, but for the work of these sponsors, the conference wouldn’t happen. Of course, the same could be said for you whether you are a longtime attendee or are considering coming to DAC for the first time next June. Either way, don’t be shy in sending in ideas, no matter how wild they are. Until next week!



  • Here are pictures of Tiffany Sparks, Shishpal Rawat, and Naehyuck Chang. If you see them at DAC, be sure to go over and say hi.

  • I’ve attended DAC for decades, but never knew the ownership details, thanks for sharing.

  • mbg

    don’t remind me………..it still hurts to remember my mighty Chicano Bear of the BBFL Fantasy Football League getting smacked by Tiffany’s PowerPuff’s…

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