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.
Computing Research News
The Education Committee of the Computing Research Association (CRA-E) is proud to announce three winners of the CRA-E Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentoring Award. Congratulations to the 2017 award recipients: Margaret Burnett from Oregon State University, Nayda Santiago from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus, and Margo Seltzer from Harvard University.
CRA’s Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W) will host early and mid career mentoring workshops on November 19-20 in Washington, D.C. The goal of these workshops is to provide an environment for mentoring, practical information, advice, and support among researchers and educators in computing. The application is free, there is a $250 registration fee for the workshop (for those accepted), and CRA-W will reimburse participants for expenses (hotel and airfare) after the workshop. In order to receive reimbursement applicants must be affiliated with a U.S. institution or be employed in the U.S. These workshops are open to individuals in their early career in education, research and labs, and mid career in education, research, and labs. Learn more about the CRA-W Career Mentoring Workshops here.
While almost all computing graduate students have advisors, recent CERP data indicate many of those students do not have a mentor. Specifically, 17% of a sample of graduate students enrolled in computing programs (sample N = 2,617) indicated they did not “have a mentor with whom [they] have an ongoing relationship, and who provides [them] advice and assistance in advancing in [their] career.” The graphic above presents evidence toward a potential implication of not having a trusted mentor as a graduate student: relatively low self-efficacy. Self-efficacy refers to beliefs about one’s ability to plan for and execute steps necessary for future success. Indeed, the current analysis indicates students without a mentor report lower self-efficacy in their computing career track than students with a mentor, p ≤ .001.
The Education Committee of the Computing Research Association (CRA-E) is proud to announce three winners of the inaugural CRA-E Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentoring Award. Congratulations to the 2016 award recipients: Pieter Abbeel, from the University of California, Berkeley; Marie desJardins, from the University of Maryland Baltimore County; and Judy Goldsmith from the University of Kentucky. These outstanding individuals are recognized for providing exceptional mentorship, undergraduate research experiences, and, in parallel, guidance on admission and matriculation of these students to research-focused graduate programs in computing. The 2016 selection committee included Nancy Amato (Texas A&M University, committee chair); Eric Aaron (Vassar College); Pat Morreale (Kean University); and Barbara Ryder (Virginia Tech). This year’s awards will be presented at the 2016 CRA Conference at Snowbird.