On September 14, 21 computing researchers from across the country visited Washington, D.C. to make the case before Congress for federally funded computing research. The volunteers, traveling from as near as Maryland and Pennsylvania, and as far away as Utah and California, participated in nearly 50 House and Senate meetings. Their message to Congress was very simple: Federally supported computing research is vital to the nation’s future. Using their own research and individual stories as support, and reinforced with additional information from CRA, they made the “Federal case” for computing to members of Congress and their staff. And they’ve hopefully started a lasting dialogue on both sides.
Computing Research News
Articles relevant to Government Affairs.
On Tuesday, July 5, the CRA Government Affairs Office welcomed the 2016 class of Eben Tisdale Public Policy Fellows to the CRA Washington, D.C. office. These fellows, who are undergraduate students, spent the summer at high-tech companies, firms, or trade associations in Washington, learning the intricacies of technology policy. Additionally, they took two classes worth six credits at George Mason University, and attended briefings at institutions such as the U.S. Capitol, U.S. Department of State, World Bank, and Federal Reserve. The fellows visited the office to attend a presentation by Brian Mosley, policy analyst in the CRA Office of Government Affairs, that covered the policy concerns and issues the association works on and attempts to influence at the federal level.
On April 26th, the Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF), an alliance of over 140 professional organizations, universities, and businesses, held their 22nd Annual Capitol Hill Exhibition. CNSF supports the goal of increasing the federal investment in the National Science Foundation’s research and education programs, and the exhibition itself is a great way to show members of Congress and their staff what research the American people have funded.
I am currently a rising senior at Boston University, double majoring in computer science and international relations with a focus in East Asian economics. I am very interested in high tech public policy, especially areas of cybersecurity, because it allows me to utilize both my areas of studies. My two very different majors are finally coming together during my last year as an undergraduate student through my acceptance into the senior honors program, which requires a year-long research project culminating with a thesis and defense. My thesis will examine data privacy laws in East Asia.
CERP asked undergraduate computing majors what would increase their interest in becoming a middle or high school computing teacher. This infographic shows that financial incentive in the form of a higher teaching salary, free tuition for teacher training, and forgiven student loans were the top factors increasing students’ interest in becoming a middle or high school computing teacher. These findings provide insights into how to generate more computing educators for the K-12 school system, which is becoming increasingly important, given recent efforts to promote widespread K-12 computing education.
By Brian Mosley, CRA Policy Analyst
A new coalition, the Computer Science Education Coalition, whose mission is to focus on securing federal funds to provide computer science education to all K-12 students, recently launched. The coalition is, “a non-profit organization that will encourage Congress to invest $250 million in funding for a crucially needed investment in K-12 computer science education.” At launch, the coalition is composed of 43 members, ranging from industry (Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and IBM, to name a few) to NGOs (CRA, ACM, NCWIT, etc); the membership is a venerable who’s-who of the CS community.
On February 9, President Obama released his final Budget Request to Congress, a $4.1 trillion request for fiscal year 2017 (FY17) that some in the science community have called “aspirational,” which might be a nice way of saying disappointingly unrealistic.
Before getting into details, it’s worth pointing out that the president has been a tremendous champion for federal investments in science throughout his two terms. His administration has launched a large number of new initiatives on brain science, big data, robotics, clean energy, advanced manufacturing, strategic computing, cybersecurity, smart communities, and more that have brought new funding and new energy to federally supported science.
GovAffairsCS in DC
CRA board member Margaret Martonosi is currently serving as a Jefferson Science Fellow (JSF) within the U.S. State Department while on sabbatical from Princeton University for the 2015-2016 academic year. Within the State Department, she works in the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs’ Office of International Communications and Information Policy (CIP). CIP is responsible for the formulation, coordination, and oversight of U.S. foreign policy related to information and communications technology (ICT).
On January 30, President Obama announced a new Computer Science Education initiative that would allow states to take the lead in increasing access to CS in K-12 classrooms. We highlighted the exciting initiative on the CRA Policy Blog and the CCC Blog.
GovAffairsCS in DC
Jim Kurose is an assistant director (AD) at the National Science Foundation (NSF), where he leads the Directorate of Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) in its mission to uphold the nation’s leadership in scientific discovery and engineering innovation through its support of fundamental research and transformative advances in cyberinfrastructure. He is on leave from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he is a distinguished professor in the College of Information and Computer Sciences.