Published: May 2016, Issue: Vol. 28/No.5, Download as PDF

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2015 Taulbee Survey – Continued Booming Undergraduate CS Enrollment; Doctoral Degree Production Dips Slightly


This article and the accompanying figures and tables present the results from the 45th annual CRA Taulbee Survey. The survey, conducted annually by the Computing Research Association, documents trends in student enrollment, degree production, employment of graduates, and faculty salaries in academic units in the United States and Canada that grant the Ph.D. in computer science (CS), computer engineering (CE) or information (I)2. Most of these academic units are departments, but some are colleges or schools of information or computing. In this report, we will use the term “department” to refer to the unit offering the program. This year’s survey also includes the so-called “department profiles” data about space, research funding sources, and teaching loads; these data are only requested every three years.

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TECHNOLOchicas: Raising Awareness of Technological Opportunities for Latinas


In the U.S., both the Hispanic population and the number of computing and STEM-related jobs are exponentially on the rise. By 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor expects 1.1 million computing-related job openings, making it one of the fastest-growing sectors of the economy. The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics reports that currently one in five women in the U.S. are Hispanic, and by 2060, nearly one in three women will be Hispanic.

Yet, in 2015, only one percent of the jobs in the computing workforce were occupied by Latinas. Furthermore, in 2014, Hispanic women received 2 percent of doctoral degrees in computer and information sciences.

Our country’s global economic power and influence greatly depend on our innovation competitiveness, but we’re not taking advantage of our diverse population. Latinas represent a vastly untapped talent pool, and the current representation of Latina girls and women in tech is dismal, both in the workforce and in education. Developing Latinas as qualified, technical job candidates is vital in not only increasing the bottom line of the U.S. economy and creating diversity in the computing workforce, but also for improving the economic outlook of the Hispanic community.

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2016 Grad Cohort: Strengthening the Community of Females in Computing


CRA-W recently hosted its latest Graduate Cohort Workshop (Grad Cohort) on April 14-15, in San Diego, Calif. Thanks to support from various sponsors, more than 550 female graduate students in computer science attended the event, up from 365 in 2015. Despite its significant growth, the program remains selective; more than 1,000 students applied for this year’s workshop. At the gathering, 31 speakers from industry, academia, and government shared their advice and strategies for success in graduate school.

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Want to Encourage Gender Diversity? Choose Your Words WISEly


In recent decades, there have been many Women In Science and Engineering (WISE) initiatives aimed at increasing the participation of women in these fields. In computer science and engineering, the percentage of women pursuing degrees and careers has remained relatively low. According to CRA’s annual Taulbee Survey of Ph.D. granting institutions, less than 15 percent of undergraduate computer science degrees were awarded to women in the 2013-14 academic year [1]. Given the significant increases of women in other traditionally male dominated fields such as law and medicine in the past 50 years [2], computing’s persistent low representation of women is rather disappointing, to say the least. Women’s low participation is also alarming when we consider the increasing number of jobs in computing, as well as the positive impact of improving gender diversity on innovation in research settings [3] and on collective intelligence [4]. So the question becomes, how do we change things?

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Inclusive Access Workshop Report


The organizing committee for the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) sponsored Promoting Strategic Research on Inclusive Access to Rich Online Content and Services has released their workshop report. The workshop, held in September 2015, brought together almost 40 experts to address the challenges and future research opportunities about access to online content and services. They focused on six active research areas, automatic description of image and video content, online support for deaf people, access to textual content for people with language and learning disabilities, inclusive design of games and simulations, access to large quantitative datasets, maps and 3-D printing, and software architecture for configurability.

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Education Funding for First-Generation Versus Continuing-Generation Undergraduate Students


In CERP’s annual survey of undergraduate students in computing fields, students were asked to identify the resources they are using to fund their education. They could select multiple resources. This graphic shows the distribution of responses for first-generation versus continuing-generation college students. The percentages are the number of students who selected a particular funding source out of the number of students within each group (total first-generation students = 1,076; continuing-generation students = 7,157). While first-generation students’ most frequent source of education funding comes from federal loans, continuing-generation students rely most frequently on financial support from their parents. The data also show that first-generation and continuing-generation students take out private loans, make use of their personal savings, receive scholarships and/or grants, work part- or full-time, and are supported by their spouse or partner at similar rates.

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Quality Research Experiences Anchor the Future of CISE Undergraduate Education


The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) makes substantial investments in promoting undergraduate research opportunities. These investments reflect the value that CISE attaches to a well-designed undergraduate research experience; it can be an essential, unifying element of a quality CISE-centric undergraduate program. In this article, CISE describes its approach to undergraduate research experiences, and calls on faculty to further promote a culture of undergraduate research within academic departments to strengthen the impact of current and future CISE investments.

With undergraduate enrollment in computing majors growing, up 24.1% from last year as reported in this year’s Taulbee Survey, we as a community have a responsibility to ensure quality research experiences for our students. Quality undergraduate research experiences are essential for students in all STEM disciplines, particularly students pursuing degrees in computer, information, and computational science and engineering. The interdisciplinary nature of computing (and closely related) disciplines has produced a new generation of students seeking blended degree programs that weave together computing and other disciplines through courses and deeper experiential learning. The rapidly evolving nature of computing disciplines coupled with the pervasive nature of computing and the explosion of computational and data-enabled approaches to problem-solving demand unifying research experiences to prepare students for the fullest career opportunities and to address workforce needs that will sustain our field’s leadership well into the future.

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Annoucements


Eric Horvitz
Former CCC Council Member Eric Horvitz recently received the ACM-AAAI Allen Newell Award for groundbreaking artificial intelligence work. The award honors Horvitz’s substantial theoretical efforts and as well as his persistent focus on using those discoveries as the basis for practical applications that make our lives easier and more productive.


Annual Report: CRA had a very productive year in FY 2014-15, making great strides in our mission areas of policy, leadership and talent development. We are pleased to announce CRA’s annual report is now available for downloading as a PDF file. This report is a vignette of the diverse activities of CRA and its members. Please take a few moments view some of the highlights from the past year.

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Reading Group Breakouts at the Conference at Snowbird


We are excited to introduce a new discussion session at the 2016 CRA Conference at Snowbird that will facilitate dialogues about a number of thought-provoking topics in computing research. The group discussions will be based on the articles and books in this article. The session is scheduled for the morning of Tuesday, July 19, so begin the final day of the conference with some stimulating conversation. The conference agenda, now including session descriptions is available at: http://cra.org/events/snowbird-2016/#agenda.

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Join ACM and Shape the Future of Computing!


Join ACM and Shape the Future of Computing! For over 50 years, ACM has helped computing professionals to be their most creative, connect to peers, and see what’s next. Joining ACM means you dare to be the best computing professional you can be. Join ACM today and save 25% at http://www.acm.org/KeepInventing/CRA. ACM-W supports, celebrates, and advocates internationally for the full engagement of women in all aspects of the computing field.