The wealth of faculty searches in Computer Science during this hiring season for positions starting in 2017 again affords the opportunity to study areas of Computer Science where departments are choosing to invest in new faculty hires. While the number and areas for faculty searches does not necessarily translate into the same for faculty hires, we believe that they provide insight into current and future needs within the discipline.
Computing Research News
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As more than 30 leading researchers and innovators queued to enter the lab space for an intensive week of work, the excitement and uncertainty were apparent. Two questions were on the participants’ minds: What is a “smart and connected learning community”? And what will we be doing for an entire week together?
Technology is now enabling youth to engage in learning opportunities through their communities. In Seattle, young people are mapping the learning resources within their communities. In Chicago and several other cities, a social learning platform called iRemix connects youth with extended learning and mentorship opportunities. In New York, a major science museum is re-imagining itself as serving the needs of low-income youth by engaging with churches, community spaces, and neighborhood activists in coordinated city-scale literacy and STEM learning events.
“The hope is that, in not too many years, human brains and computing machines will be coupled together very tightly, and that the resulting partnership will think as no human brain has ever thought and process data in a way not approached by the information-handling machines we know today.”
J. C. R. Licklider, “Man-Computer Symbiosis,” 1960
Fifty-six years ago, J. C. R. Licklider outlined a prescient vision for computing machines coupled with human brains and, together, thinking thoughts previously unattainable by human beings thinking on their own. This vision influenced a generation of scientists and engineers and is largely the basis for our experience of computing today. Yet, I don’t feel a partnership with my current machines, and I often find myself bending my brain, and subjugating my will, to adapt to them. Shouldn’t it be vice versa? Did I miss the symbiosis?
January is National Mentoring Month, a great time to learn how mentoring can help support students and professionals in computing research, and in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) more generally. Mentoring is especially important for individuals in STEM from underrepresented groups in promoting persistence and success in education and professional settings. Effective mentoring programs help mentors and mentees consider various attributes of their identities and experience, like race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, and educational background, which may influence their persistence and success. Although effective programs aim to support the whole person, gender identity and expression and sexuality orientation are often overlooked.
The wealth of faculty searches in computer science during this hiring season for positions starting in the Fall of 2016 again affords the opportunity to study areas of computer science where departments are choosing to invest in new faculty hires. While the number and areas for faculty searches does not necessarily translate into the same for faculty hires, we believe that they provide insight into current and future needs within the discipline.
Last year Johns Hopkins University (JHU) started the Institute for Data Intensive Engineering and Science (IDIES, pronounced as “Ideas”), promoting the use of large data sets for scientific discovery across the whole university. IDIES spansAnchor the Schools of Arts and Sciences, Engineering, Public Health, and Medicine. Hopkins president Ron Daniels and several deans have dedicated 10 new faculty positions to IDIES, all encouraging interdisciplinary research related to Big Data in science. Currently, IDIES has more than 80 faculty associates.
The wealth of faculty searches in Computer Science during this hiring season for positions starting in the Fall of 2015 affords the opportunity to study areas of Computer Science where departments are choosing to invest in new faculty hires. While the number and areas for faculty searches does not necessarily translate into the same for faculty hires, we believe that they provide insight into current and future needs within the discipline.
On November 16, 2013, in Denver, CO, the Broader Engagement (BE) Program at the Supercomputing conference opened its doors the day before SC13 to begin this year’s growing event. Kicking off the workshop, three key inclusion activities provided a solid introduction for newcomers to the SC experience.
Startup non-profit Code.org is working to make inroads into one of the most gaping holes in education. Out of all students taking advanced math and science courses at the K-12 level, only two percent are studying computer science, despite the fact that over half of all STEM jobs are in computing. Code.org founders, tech entrepreneurs Ali and Hadi Partovi, saw something wrong with this picture. The organization’s first project, a short film on the importance of learning computer programming, went viral. Now, Code.org is advancing with long-term policy and education initiatives to bring computer science to all K-12 schools — and a campaign this December to get 10 million students to try it out.
In the US, increasing the number of students who matriculate, graduate, and enter the workforce in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields—in particular, computing—is a national imperative. My 15 years of experience with MentorNet (http://www.mentornet.org), an online program that matches undergraduate and graduate students in STEM disciplines with working professionals and guides them through a one-on-one mentoring relationship for eight months, demonstrates that individuals can help to diversify and develop the next generation of computer scientists. You too can become a mentor and grow professionally and personally—not to mention have fun—while doing good.