CRA Bulletin

The CRA Bulletin frequently shares news, timely information about CRA initiatives, and items of interest to the general community.
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Posts categorized under: CRA-WP

The Computing Research Association’s Committee on Widening Participation in Computing Research (CRA-WP) is committed to improving the working environment and increasing the success of all Computer Scientists and Engineers, without regard for gender, race, sexual orientation or socioeconomic background.


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Expanding the Pipeline: Key Learnings on Retaining Underrepresented Minorities and Students with Disabilities in Computer Science


Retention and graduation of underrepresented minorities and students with disabilities is critical to creating a strong pipeline of employees for both industry and academia. In early 2017, the Center for Minorities and People with Disabilities in IT (CMD-IT) announced the call for nominations for the first annual CMD-IT University Award for Retention of Minorities and Students with Disabilities in Computer Science. The University Award was created to recognize a U.S. academic institution that has demonstrated a commitment and shown results for the retention of students from underrepresented groups in undergraduate computer science programs over the last five years.

Expanding the Pipeline: Toward Gender Parity in CS @ ILLINOIS


The CS undergraduate program at the University of Illinois is among the largest in the nation. It has grown by 250 percent over the last decade to nearly 1,800 undergraduates—and it is still growing. In the last four years, the percentage of women in our CS programs rose from 10 percent to more than 25 percent. And our freshmen class in the College of Engineering rose from 11 percent women in 2012 to about 45 percent in 2016.

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Expanding the Pipeline – WEPAN’S 2017 Change Leader Forum: Creating the Mindset for Action


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.

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CRA Launches New URMD Grad Cohort Workshop – Apply Today!


The Computing Research Association is pleased to announce a new iteration of the Graduate Cohort Workshop designed specifically for underrepresented minorities in computing and persons with disabilities. Applications are now open for the inaugural CRA URM Graduate Cohort Workshop, which will be held March 16-17, 2018 in San Diego, CA.

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CRA Bids Farewell to Melissa Borts


After serving the CRA-W community as a Program Associate for two and a half years, Melissa Borts has left CRA to return to school. Melissa is returning to her alma mater, the University of Maryland, to pursue her MBA.

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Expanding the Pipeline: Beyond Graduate Admissions – Strategies for Diversifying the Computer Science Workforce


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.

Expanding the Pipeline: Broadening Participation in Computing Fields by Preparing More Professionals with Disabilities


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.

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CRA Welcomes Claire Brady


CRA has recently hired Claire Brady as a program manager. In her new role, she is responsible for planning CRA’s Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W) program events and providing support to initiatives that enrich the community’s awareness of CRA, its committees, mission, and services.

Profiles in Computing: Yerika Jimenez


As a little girl growing up in the Dominican Republic, Yerika Jimenez, currently a Ph.D. student in computing at the University of Florida, noticed she had a knack for fixing things – cell phones, TVs, radios. Everyone in her community would bring her broken items, and she would return them repaired. A few years later, when Jimenez was nine years old, her family settled in New Jersey, and her fascination with technology continued.

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Research Highlight: CRA Board Member Susanne Hambrusch


The main focus of my recent research has been computer science education and the role computer science can play in defining and advancing its own education research. Learning computational principles and learning to code is hard, and teaching these subjects is even harder. For most computer science topics, we know very little about how different learners’ best learn; how to effectively teach the material to audiences with different abilities, backgrounds, and goals; and how to reliably assess learning.

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2017 Board Election Results


CRA members have elected two new members to its board of directors: Carla Brodley and Kim Hazelwood. Current board members Nancy Amato, Susan Davidson, Dan Grossman, Brent Hailpern, Susanne Hambrusch, Barbara Ryder and Ellen Zegura were re-elected to the CRA board. Also beginning July 1, Brian Noble will be the USENIX representative to the CRA board replacing Margo Seltzer. Retiring from the board as of June 30, 2017 are David Culler, Mary Czerwinski and Seltzer. CRA thanks them all for contributions during their service on the board.

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Profiles in Computing: Chandra Krintz


Krintz believes it is important in computing research to push technology forward by including people with diverse perspectives and ideas. To do that, she supports increasing underrepresented minority participation in computing. “I think it benefits both society and technology in general. Personally, it’s just so inspiring to see young people have new ideas, get excited, and want to go out and change the world.”

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Profiles in Computing: Tanya Amert


Tanya Amert, a computer science Ph.D. student at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, found herself drawn to computer science because she enjoyed figuring out how things work. At 13 years old, she was a big fan of the Neopets website and online community. Amert noticed some users had customized homepages, and her interest grew even more. Despite not knowing any HTML at the time, she learned how to look at the source code and figured out how to change the color of the scroll bar within the CSS. “I discovered that specific lines of HTML made that happen. And I thought that was mind boggling and awesome.”

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Get Involved with CRA-Women Activities


The mission of the CRA Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W) is to increase the success and participation of women in computing research and education at all levels. There are several ways you can get involved by mentoring students, submitting proposals and sharing these opportunities with your colleagues and students.

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Ayanna Howard: 2016 A. Nico Habermann Award Winner


In February, Ayanna Howard from Georgia Institute of Technology received the 2016 A. Nico Habermann Award for her sustained commitment to increasing diversity in computing. Howard is currently a CRA-W board member, and at Georgia Tech, she has provided research opportunities to dozens of undergraduates – more than 75% of whom are underrepresented minorities or women, and a majority of these students have gone on to graduate school. Nominations for the 2017 A. Nico Habermann Award are due on Friday, December 9.

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Profiles in Computing: Morgan Carroll


Morgan Carroll, a senior studying computer science at University of Texas at Tyler, fondly remembers her grandfather buying her a HP Pavilion with Windows 98 when she was eight years old. “From then on I just loved computers. In high school, I figured out that I was good at math. So when I went off to college, I took my love of computers and math and decided to try computer science.”

Carroll focuses on general programming and enjoys figuring out how to accomplish project objectives. Last year, one of her professor’s suggested she participate in a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU), so she searched for one on the National Science Foundation REU opportunities webpage. She was particularly excited about a research project at the University of Alabama. The project was supported by CRA-Women’s Distributed Research Experiences for Undergraduates (DREU) program, which matches students with a faculty mentor for a summer research experience at the faculty mentor’s home institution.

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Graduate Student Opportunity: Applications Open for Grad Cohort 2017


The upcoming CRA-Women Graduate Student Cohort (Grad Cohort) will be held April 7-8, 2017 in Washington, D.C. Grad Cohort is a two-day workshop for female students in their first, second, or third year of graduate school in computing fields. The application closes November 30.

Grad Cohort is generously funded by sponsors from industry, academia, the National Science Foundation, and the computing community. The workshop aims to increase the ranks of senior women in computing-related studies and research by building and mentoring nationwide communities of women through their graduate studies.

CRA-Women Virtual Undergrad Town Hall: Enabling Science Breakthroughs Using Computer Science


Please share this opportunity with your students. During CRA-W’s Virtual Undergraduate Town Hall Event, students from around the world will learn about cutting edge research in the field of computing, and have the opportunity to ask questions to distinguished computer scientists. The next event will be held October 13 at 7PM EST. Speaker: Deb Agarwal, Senior […]

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Profiles in Computing: Kim Hazelwood


The 2016 Graduate Cohort Workshop (Grad Cohort) brought together more than 30 accomplished speakers and 550 female graduate students in computing. Kim Hazelwood, who leads a performance and datacenter capacity engineering and analysis team within Facebook’s infrastructure division, was one of the speakers who shared her unique perspective with the attendees. Kim has always had an interest in technology and a love for math. Like many undergraduate students, Kim didn’t take any computer science classes in high school. However, she took a leap and declared computer engineering as her major heading into her undergraduate degree at Clemson University. “First time was a charm on actually picking the right area for me,” she explained.

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CRA Women Early and Mid Career Mentoring Workshops


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 research and labs, and mid career in education, research, and labs.