The Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN) held the 2017 Change Leader Forum in Westminster, Colorado from June 12 – 14, 2017. The Forum provided attendees an unparalleled opportunity to engage with diversity and inclusion advocates, and learn research based best-practices related to gender equity and inclusion in engineering. Nearly 200 attendees representing a variety of institutions and roles participated in the Forum, including university leaders, corporate partners, engineering faculty, K-12 teachers, and academic diversity officers. CERP Director Jane Stout was a panelist on the opening keynote panel presentation “A Research Agenda on Gender in Engineering and Computing.”
Computing Research News
Articles relevant to the CRA Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W).
Engaging undergraduates in research can be an effective way to increase their confidence, perception of science, and sense of belonging. But at many large research universities, it can be difficult for undergraduate students—especially early undergraduates—to find research opportunities. Furthermore, even when they find opportunities, they might not have the background, training, or support to be successful. These issues are particularly acute for women and other underrepresented groups in computer science as they tend to have less pre-college computer science experience. The program is working with CERP to understand the impact ERSP has on its participants.
The 2017 ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing is being held September 20-23 in Atlanta Georgia. This year’s theme, Diversity: Simply Smarter, evokes the basic yet irrefutable concept that diversity is simply the smarter choice. Research by social scientists has repeatedly shown that teams made up of diverse members have a great potential for innovation than homogeneous teams. Whether we seek innovation, intelligence, creativity, strength or beauty of ideas, the best outcomes come from a diverse set of perspectives, a diverse set of experiences, and a diverse set of people.
Lydia Tapia, an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of New Mexico, was recently named the recipient of the 2017 CRA-W Borg Early Career Award (BECA). The award honors Anita Borg, who was an early member of CRA-W, and is inspired by her commitment to increasing the participation of women in computing research.
Most broadening participation efforts have focused on women and underrepresented minorities. However, for more than 10 years, AccessComputing has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to increase the successful participation of students with disabilities in academic programs and careers. AccessComputing addresses underrepresentation by providing multiple activities for students with disabilities.
With graduate enrollment increasing for women in computer and information sciences, the entry point for the field’s educational pipeline is more robust than ever. Yet, it appears that the challenge remains to increase retention and completion of degrees. In order to expand the pipeline, our efforts must focus on both recruitment of potential talents and support throughout graduate studies that leads to desired career outcomes.
CRA-W’s Collaborative Research Experience for Undergraduates (CREU) program supports students while they gain valuable experience by working on research projects under the guidance of faculty mentors. This article, written by a team currently at Kennesaw State University, gives a firsthand perspective of the program’s benefits.
This infographic compares post-graduation plans of undergraduate students with different REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) experiences using CERP’s annual spring survey for graduating students. Specifically, CRA-W/CDC Alliance’s Collaborative Research Experiences for Undergraduates (CREU) participants, students who participated in other REUs, and students with no REU experience were compared in terms of whether they were attending graduate school (Master’s or Ph.D.) in the upcoming fall semester. The students included in this analysis are men from racial/ethnic groups who are underrepresented in computing and women because the CREU program is targeted specifically toward these students. Approximately the same number of women and men are in all three groups.
The CRA’s Center for Evaluating the Research Pipeline (CERP) turns four years old this month. During the past four years, CERP has been working steadily toward its goal of building diversity in computing through evaluation and social science research. CERP is staffed by Director Jane Stout, Research Scientist Burcin Tamer, and Research Associate Heather Wright. As seen on CERP’s About page, CERP staff are an eclectic mix of social scientists with expertise in quantitative and qualitative methods and a passion for diversity research.
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.