Published: September 2015,  Issue: Vol. 27/No.8, Download as PDF

Expanding the Pipeline: The State of African-Americans in Computer Science – The Need to Increase Representation

In the field of computer science, African-Americans are considered one of many groups who are underrepresented. Even though African-Americans comprise 13.2% of the U.S. population [8], their current representation in computer science is not proportional. This underrepresentation is especially visible in the industry and academic employment sectors of computer science.

This reality has caused many to question why diversity is scarce among employees at major technology companies in the United States [3]. Within the academy, the issue of underrepresentation, along with concerns regarding the recruitment, retention, and production of African-American computer scientists, has been brought to the forefront.

Where are they now?

Overwhelmingly, Grad Cohort women are employed in industry/government positions. In 2015, CERP followed up with women who had attended a CRA-W Grad Cohort Workshop between 2004 and 2012. Survey respondents (n = 371) provided the following current employment information: 70% were employed, 26% were graduate students, and 4% who were unemployed. Of those who responded that they were employed (n = 258), 64% indicated they were employed in an industry/government setting, 32% were in academia, and 4% in other settings.

Schedule for the 2015 CRA Taulbee Survey

The 2015 CRA Taulbee Survey will be starting soon. There are a couple of new features this year:

The survey will be split into two parts: salary and everything else. This allows us to set an earlier deadline for the salary section in order to produce a preliminary salary report in December, while giving departments more time to collect and enter the information in the rest of the survey.
The every-three-years Department Profiles section of the survey will be included this year. These questions cover teaching loads, floor space, graduate student recruitment, staff, and details on sources of research funding.

Nominations Open for 2016 CRA Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Researchers

The Computing Research Association is pleased to announce the annual CRA Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Researchers, which recognizes undergraduate students in North American colleges and universities who show outstanding research potential in an area of computing research. The award is a terrific way to recognize your best student researchers and your department.

Computer-Aided Personalized Education Workshop

The CCC Computer-Aided Personalized Education (CAPE) Workshop will be held in Washington, D.C. on November 12-13.

The demand for education in STEM fields is exploding, and universities and colleges are straining to satisfy this demand. In the case of computer science, for example, the number of U.S. students enrolled in introductory courses has grown threefold in the past decade. Recently, massive open online courses (MOOCs) have been promoted as a way to ease this strain, but scaling traditional models of teaching to MOOCs poses many of the same challenges observed in the overflowing classrooms; namely, the assessment of students’ knowledge and providing meaningful feedback to individual students.

Video Analysis for Body-worn Cameras in Law Enforcement

In May, The White House Office of Science Technology Policy, Department of Commerce, and the Arnold Foundation approached the Computing Community Consortium (CCC), as a community organization of computer science researchers, to lead a conversation for law enforcement to learn about the state of the art in video-analysis techniques and how they may be applicable to analyze and improve law enforcement practice. This was a timely opportunity to provide input to a burgeoning application space: police body-worn cameras.

CCC BRAIN Workshop Report

The organizing committee for the Research Interfaces between Brain Science and Computer Science (BRAIN) have released their workshop report.

This two-day workshop, sponsored by the Computing Community Consortium (CCC), brought together brain researchers and computer scientists for a scientific dialogue aimed at exposing new opportunities for joint research in the many exciting facets, established and new, of the interface between the two fields. Videos of the workshop presentations, as well as the presentation slides, are posted on the workshop website in the Agenda.

Serving the CISE Community and Beyond

In this issue of CRN, you’ll notice that the National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) has posted a job announcement search for the Division Director for the Division of Computer and Network Systems (CNS). I want to not only call your attention to this search, but also to point out the many opportunities to serve our discipline, and more broadly the Nation, in various ways through time-limited positions throughout the government.