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Posts categorized under: CERP

The CRA Center for Evaluating the Research Pipeline (CERP) is an evaluation and research center designed to help increase diversity in the field of computing research.


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Envisioning the Future of CERP


CRA’s Center for Evaluating the Research Pipeline (CERP) recently underwent staffing changes when former Director Jane Stout left the CRA. Burçin Tamer, Ph.D., is now the Director of CERP and Heather Wright is the Associate Director. Under their leadership, CERP will extend its reach as a resource for the computing community through its Data Buddies Project, evaluation services, and other activities. Heather and Burçin are both excited to make contributions to the computing community and drive the broader mission of CRA to facilitate the development of strong, diverse talent in the field.

Jane Stout HeadshotJane Stout Headshot

CRA and CERP Bid Farewell to Jane Stout


After serving for more than five years as CERP director, Jane Stout has left CRA to pursue a senior project director position for YOUGOV. During Jane’s tenure at CRA, she oversaw the Data Buddies Project; led CERP in evaluation work for the CRA-W, CCC, and CRA-E; and obtained an NSF grant to conduct computing education research focusing on diversity. Jane also gave numerous talks and interviews on the importance of diversity in computing and shared CERP’s research findings with the computing community.

While she will be missed by her colleagues at CRA, CERP, and the CRA-W community, we wish all the best for her as she embarks on this next stage of her career.

Thank You, Data Buddies!


CRA wishes to thank the computing departments who distributed CERP’s Data Buddies survey during the fall of 2017. These departments’ collective effort provided vital data for CERP’s research and evaluation assessing students’ varied experiences in computing degree programs.

CERP TeamCERP Team

The Social Science Side of CERP


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.

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CERP Offers New Resource


Since May 2013, the CERP team has published a graphic in each issue of Computing Research News (CRN) that analyzes the experiences of underrepresented students and professionals in computing. Each month, this newsletter will share the infographic published in CRN and news about CERP. If you are interested in receiving this newsletter, subscribe here.

February InfographicFebruary Infographic

Nearly 10 Years Later, CRA-W Career Mentoring Workshop Participants are More Advanced in their Careers Than Non-Participants


CERP recently extracted Web data to observe the career progression of women who had participated in the CRA-W’s 2008 or 2009 Career Mentoring Workshops (CMWs) compared to a sample of women who had never participated in CMWs. We obtained the comparison sample from a population of women who earned their Ph.D.s in computer science during the same time period as the participants. We collected current career information including job titles (e.g., associate professor) and job setting (e.g., academia vs. industry/labs) for both groups. We then categorized job titles as entry level (e.g., assistant professor, software engineer), mid level (e.g., associate professor, senior engineer), and senior level (e.g., professor, principal program manager), collapsed across job setting. To test for a systematic difference in job rankings between workshop participants and the comparison group, we ran a 2 (Group) x 3 (Job Title Rank) Chi-squared test and found a statistically significant difference in rankings across the two groups, χ2 (2, N = 181) = 8.46, p < 0.05. Specifically, CMW participants were less likely than non-participants to be in an entry level position, p < .05, and more likely to be in a senior level position than non-participants, p < .05.

Thank You Data Buddies!


CRA wishes to thank the computing departments who distributed CERP’s Data Buddies survey during the fall of 2016! The collective effort of these departments provides data for CERP’s research on students’ experiences and successes in computing degree programs.

Staying in computingStaying in computing

Why Students Consider Leaving Computing and What Encourages Them to Stay


In CERP’s 2015 Data Buddies survey, computing majors were asked whether they had thought about changing to a non-computing major during the past year. Thirteen percent of students who responded to this question said that they had. The word clouds here were created using students’ comments about the reasons they considered leaving computing and factors that helped them stay. Some of the most frequently encountered words in students’ reasons for considering leaving computing were “classes”, “hard”, “difficult”, “work”, and “time”. On the other hand, students’ responses regarding the factors that helped them stay in computing contained words such as “job”, “degree”, and “friends”.

Data Buddies 2016 is underway!


On Monday, November 14, CRA’s Center for Evaluating the Research Pipeline (CERP) distributed its annual Data Buddies surveys to more than 110 participating “buddy” computing departments.

Buddy departments send the survey to students affiliated with computing (e.g., majors; minors; students enrolled in CS courses; graduate students), and in return they receive a customized report on their students’ responses. The survey measures students’ experiences in computing (e.g., sense of belonging), aspirations for the future (e.g., intentions to pursue a Ph.D.), and participation in computing activities (e.g., formal research experiences).

CERP uses data buddies data to conduct evaluation as well as social science research on diversity issues in computing.

Is your department a buddy? If not, help the computing community by volunteering your department to become a Data Buddy today! Visit CERP’s website to learn more, view our list of buddies, and sign up: http:/cra.org/cerp/data-buddies/.

CRA Best Practice Memo: Response to Surge in Postdocs


By Shar Steed, CRA Communications Specialist Similar to how we are currently facing a boom in undergraduate computer science enrollments, several years ago, the field encountered an exponential increase in postdoctoral appointments. In a Communications of the ACM Viewpoint article from February 2013, The Explosive Growth of Postdocs in Computer Science, Anita Jones wrote, “The […]

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Thank You Data Buddies!


CRA wishes to thank the computing departments who distributed the Center for Evaluating the Research Pipeline (CERP)’s Data Buddies survey during the fall of 2015! The collective effort of these departments provides data for CERP’s research on students’ experiences and successes in computing degree programs.

Mentoring the Whole STEM Person: Advancing LGBTQ+ students and professionals


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.

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Call for applications – Become a BRAID affiliate school


BRAID is now accepting applications for up to five new BRAID affiliate schools. Affiliates are schools that are working toward implementing BRAID commitments to increase diversity in their computing departments but are not receiving funding through the initiative. Affiliates will be eligible to receive consultation from Harvey Mudd College and NCWIT. In addition, affiliates will have the opportunity to be a part of a network of other BRAID schools and to share and learn best practices from one another in increasing diversity in computing departments. It is required that this work be led by the Department Chair who will be the main liaison on the BRAID project. Department Chairs from affiliates will be expected to attend the annual BRAID Summit, which will occur July 15-17, 2016 in Snowbird, Utah.

BRAID/CRA Collaboration to Study and Evaluate Diversity Initiatives in Computing


CRA’s Center for Evaluating the Research Pipeline (CERP) will be working with Linda Sax, Professor of Education at UCLA, and a team of graduate students, on the research component of the Building Recruiting and Inclusion for Diversity (BRAID) initiative. The BRAID initiative was established in 2014 by Harvey Mudd College and the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, and currently involves 15 computing departments across the U.S. that are committed to recruiting and retaining women as well as underrepresented men in computing majors. To that end, BRAID departments implement changes to their introductory computer science courses, and pathways into the major, as well as improve departmental climate, and promote outreach efforts for students.