Published: March 2017, Issue: Vol. 29/No.3, Download as PDF

Trump Issues New Travel Ban; CRA Reiterates Concerns

CRA issued a statement opposing the President’s first order, and while CRA has the same concerns about the new order, certain exceptions could alleviate the immediate impacts on current researchers and students. In addition to exempting travelers who already have visas permanent residency status, the order adds exceptions to be considered under a case-by-case waiver system. There are nine such exceptions, but the first four seem most relevant to the computing research community.

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2017 Board Election Results

CRA members have elected two new members to its board of directors: Carla Brodley and Kim Hazelwood. Current board members Nancy Amato, Susan Davidson, Dan Grossman, Brent Hailpern, Susanne Hambrusch, Barbara Ryder and Ellen Zegura were re-elected to the CRA board. Also beginning July 1, Brian Noble will be the USENIX representative to the CRA board replacing Margo Seltzer. Retiring from the board as of June 30, 2017 are David Culler, Mary Czerwinski and Seltzer. CRA thanks them all for contributions during their service on the board.

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CRA Board Officers Re-Elected

At the CRA board meeting on February 28, the CRA board of directors voted to re-elect its current board officers to serve new two-year terms beginning July 1, 2017. The board officers include: Susan Davidson (chair), Susanne Hambrusch (vice chair), Ron Brachman (treasurer), and Greg Morrisett (secretary).

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CRA Releases Report on Surge in Computer Science Enrollments

To investigate the current situation, CRA produced an enrollment survey to measure, assess, and better understand enrollment trends and their impact on computer science units, diversity, and more. Part of this effort included a survey of doctoral- and non-doctoral granting academic units in fall 2015. Generation CS: CS Enrollments Surge Since 2006 reports the survey results with respect to majors, nonmajors, diversity, impact on academic units, and units’ actions in response to the surge and is now available on the CRA website.

2017 CRA Computing Leadership Summit

On Monday, February 27, in Washington, D.C., the Computing Research Association hosted its annual Computing Leadership Summit for the senior leadership of CRA member societies (Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, Association for Computing Machinery, CS-Can/Info-Can, IEEE Computer Society, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, and USENIX Association) and the CSTB. Several engaging sessions provided valuable information on current issues important to the organizations.


Research Highlight: CRA Board Member Susanne Hambrusch

The main focus of my recent research has been computer science education and the role computer science can play in defining and advancing its own education research. Learning computational principles and learning to code is hard, and teaching these subjects is even harder. For most computer science topics, we know very little about how different learners’ best learn; how to effectively teach the material to audiences with different abilities, backgrounds, and goals; and how to reliably assess learning.

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Participation Rate in Computing-Related Contests Highest Among Men, and Among Asian Students

During the fall 2016 academic semester, CERP collected data from 5,208 undergraduate students currently or previously enrolled in computing courses at a sample of U.S. colleges and universities. Students were asked whether they had participated in any computing-related contests (e.g., hackathons or robotics competitions) during the past year. Some believe this type of activity can help resumes stand out and makes applicants competitive on the job market (e.g., Harnett, 2016; Mone, 2016). We found men were more likely than women, and Asian students were more likely than their peers, to report having participated in computing-related contests. To help promote a level applicant playing field, contest organizers should consider modifying recruitment strategies to target groups who are less likely to participate, such as women.


Expanding the Pipeline: Interview with Sandhya Dwarkadas

Sandhya Dwarkadas is the Albert Arendt Hopeman Professor of Engineering and and Chair of the Computer Science Department at the University of Rochester, with a secondary appointment in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Dwarkadas has made contributions to hardware- and software-based shared memory implementations and system reconfigurability, and has 12 U.S. patents. She is a CRA-W board member, and is currently on the editorial board of CACM Research Highlights and IEEE Micro.

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Collaborative Research Experience for Undergraduates

CRA-W will be accepting applications for the 2017-2018 Collaborative Research Experience for Undergraduates (CREU) program starting April 15. Application Deadline: May 18, 2017. CREU is an undergraduate research program that provides research stipends to teams of students working on research projects under the guidance of a mentor at their home institutions.


CCC @ AAAS 2017- Health in Your Pocket: Diagnosing and Treating Disease with Smartphones

The AAAS annual meeting is an opportunity for scientists across the spectrum to come together and communicate the importance and excitement of science to the general public. This year’s meeting, which took place in Boston on February 16-20, 2017, had the theme of Serving Science Through Science Policy, a natural fit for the Computing Community Consortium (CCC). CCC Council Members Beth Mynatt, Shwetak Patel, and Gregory Hager provided a press briefing on diagnosing and treating disease with smartphones. This blog post is the first in a series discussing the panels and presentations highlighting the contributions of computing to science and society.


CCC White Paper- Safety, Security, and Privacy Threats Posed by Accelerating Trends in the Internet of Things

The Computing Community Consortium (CCC) Computing in the Physical World Task Force recently published a white paper on Safety, Security, and Privacy Threats Posted by Accelerating Trends in the Internet of Things. In the report, the authors highlight some of the new challenges created by smart devices and collections of devices and they argue that issues related to security, physical safety, privacy, and usability are tightly interconnected. Research is needed in helping manage complexity and that connects usability concerns with safety, security, and privacy. More comprehensive safety and security standards for individual devices based on existing technology are needed. Likewise, research that determines the best way for individuals, small businesses, and small organizations to confidently manage collections of devices must guide the future deployments of such systems.


Nanotechnology-Inspired Information Processing Systems Workshop Report

The organizing committee for the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) sponsored Nanotechnology-Inspired Information Processing Systems has released their workshop report. The workshop, held in September 2016, brought together over 40 leading researchers from the areas of computing, neuroscience, systems, architecture, integrated circuits, and nanoscience, to come up with new ideas for the future of information processing platforms on beyond-CMOS nanoscale technologies that can approach the energy efficiency and the decision‐making capacity of the human brain.

CCC White Paper- Advances in Artificial Intelligence Require Progress Across all of Computer Science

Many recent symposia and workshops have highlighted both the progress and opportunities for AI and its potential to contribute to new products, services, and experiences. However, we should not lose sight of the fact that fielding real-world systems that realize these innovations will also drive significant advances in virtually all areas of computing, including areas that are not traditionally recognized as being important to AI research and development. To highlight these synergies, the CCC AI and Robotics Task Force released a white paper for the community.