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Verisign: Colloquium on Collisions: Expert Panelists to Select Papers, Award $50K First Prize by Burt Kaliski

Verisign logoAccording to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the verb collide is derived from the Latin verb collidere, which means, literally, “to strike together”:  com- “together” + lædere “to strike, injure by striking.”

Combined instead with loquium, or “speaking,” the com- prefix produces the Latin-derived noun colloquy: “a speaking together.”

Researchers and practitioners know well the benefits of the colloquium, the technical conference, a gathering of those speaking together on a topic.

So consider WPNC 14 – the upcoming workshop – a colloquium on collisions:  speaking together to keep name spaces from striking together.

Allison Mankin, director of Verisign Labs, has assembled an outstanding technical program committee to select the papers to be presented at this March 8-10 event in London:

(Allison and I are also members.)

The program committee will make the careful decisions over the coming weeks about which papers to accept for presentation at the workshop.  From among the papers presented, the prize committee – a subset of the program committee – will then award $50,000 for the most valuable research contribution, the one that most advances the state of knowledge and/or most deeply analyzes and mitigates risk. A second prize of $25,000, and up to five third prizes of $10,000 each, also may be awarded.

Having a paper accepted at a selective workshop is itself a recognition of the strength of a research contribution.  This workshop aims to do even more:  to reward the strongest of the contributions with cash prizes that can both focus attention on this area of emerging importance, and encourage and support further work.

The panelists’ expert decision-making will be key to the success of the workshop as well as its ongoing impact.  My appreciation to them and their organizations for their commitment to this “colloquy” – and to helping us look both ways before crossing to avoid the “collidere.”

Paper submissions are due Feb. 10. For more information on the workshop, competition and rules, please visit

This article by Burt Kaliski from Verisign was originally published on the Verisign blog at