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: Diversity

Several activities sponsored by CRA and other organizations are designed to increase diversity in the computing field.

OSTP Shares Resource on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Science and Technology

  Today, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) shared a summary of actions to take to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in science and technology. The post titled, “Raising the Floor: Sharing What Works in Workplace Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion,” was written by Megan Smith, the U.S. Chief Technology Officer, and […]


Richard Tapia Receives the AAAS Public Engagement with Science Award

Recently, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) named computational mathematician Richard Tapia from Rice University, the recipient of the 2016 AAAS Public Engagement with Science Award. The award recognizes Tapia’s “remarkable career blending world-class scholarship, admirable mentoring and profound contributions to science, technology, engineering and mathematics education and public engagement.”

Building, Recruiting And Inclusion for Diversity Initiative Seeking Affiliate Schools

The BRAID (Building, Recruiting And Inclusion for Diversity) initiative is a joint project led by the Anita Borg Institute (ABI) and Harvey Mudd College. The BRAID project addresses the lack of diversity in computer science departments and specifically looks at the underrepresentation of women and racial/ethnic minorities.
Would your school like to participate? BRAID is now accepting applications for new BRAID affiliate schools, and proposals are due by 5 pm on December 30, 2016.


Profiles in Computing: Volcano Kyungyoon Kim

For Volcano Kyungyoon Kim, current Ph.D. student and 2016 Graduate Cohort Workshop (Grad Cohort) attendee, choosing to study computer science was an easy decision. She knew since elementary school that she would have a career in computing. Volcano comes from a computer science family – her father is a computer science professor, her mother also has a degree in computer science, and now her younger brother is currently pursuing a master’s degree in computer science. “Every single one of them is in computer science. So I never really thought of anything else. My parents think that it’s the most exciting and valuable field of study and it will lead to a great career in the future.”

While this influenced her enough to begin studying computer science in college, during her first two years she wasn’t totally convinced that it was a perfect fit for her. It wasn’t until Volcano discovered the flexibility of the field and its interdisciplinary nature that she was completely hooked. “There was a moment later on when I thought this is really perfect for me. It is not only about computer science, it is about applying it to all the other areas. If you have an interest in art, having a computer science background can boost your art skills or it can even open up a new art genre such as 3D painting in a virtual reality. Computer science is like a magic powder that you can add to other fields. ”

Kim HazelwoodKim Hazelwood

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.


LAtINiTY: Empowering Latin American Women in Technology

The Latinas in Computing (LiC) community was established with the help of The Anita Borg Institute for Women in Technology (ABI) at the 2006 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC). Recognizing the status of Latinas as a double minority in North America, this community defines and implements strategies to improve the participation of the current and next generations of Latinas in technology. These dual strategies complement the work done by the Coalition to Diversify Computing (CDC) that focused on the recruitment and retention of minority students in computing-based fields in North America, and the work done by the Computing Research Association’s Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W) to grow the research pipeline of women in computing. National Science Foundation (NSF) data shows Hispanic or Latino enrollment increased from 7.2% in 2002 to 9.9% in 2012, but the hiring of underrepresented minorities seems to be “stuck in neutral.”


Student Opportunites: Grace Hopper Celebration Research Scholars

CRA’s Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W) recently announced a new program for undergraduates, the CRA-W Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC) Research Scholars Program. The GHC Research Scholars program brings undergraduate women to the annual Grace Hopper Celebration. The purpose of this program is to provide attendees with an unique experience, providing them a mentor, networking opportunities, and advising.

Bushra Anjum headshotBushra Anjum headshot

Profiles in Computing: Bushra Anjum

Bushra Anjum is a self-described “adventure seeker” in addition to her day job in computing.

“I’m into extreme sports–I like jumping out of planes or off of cliffs. I am an adventure seeker, at the bottom of my heart. So anything that sounds like an adventure to me –I will jump at that.”

When Anjum is not jumping out of a plane or off a cliff, she works as a software and research engineer at Amazon, Inc. in San Luis Obispo, Calif. Specifically, Anjum has expertise in agile software development for large-scale distributed systems, with a special emphasis on system design and development for highly scalable, fault-tolerant systems. At CRA-W’s 2016 Graduate Cohort Workshop (Grad Cohort), I had the wonderful opportunity to talk with Anjum, who described why she has a passion for CRA-W and increasing diversity in computing.

Title ResearchTitle Research

CRA-Women Virtual Town Hall on July 14

During this Virtual Undergraduate Town Hall event, students will learn about cutting edge research in the field of computing and have the opportunity to ask distinguished computer scientists questions. The state of the art in cloth simulation can produce highly realistic cloth, but requires extremely high computation time, on the order of hours or even days.

Satoe SakumaSatoe Sakuma

Through the Screen of a Female Coder: A First Person Perspective on Diversity in STEM 

Again and again we hear that earning computing degrees leads to one of the highest starting salaries for college graduates and almost a guaranteed job after graduation. This information is supported by data from the National Association of Colleges and Employers who report computer science graduates have the second highest starting salary ($61,321 this year) and the highest full-time employment rate (76% within six months of graduation). A blog post from the Computing Community Consortium in March highlights 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics job projection results, which found that computing occupations are projected to account for 73% of all newly-created STEM jobs during the decade (488,500 jobs), and 55% of all available STEM jobs, whether newly-created or available due to retirements (1,083,800 jobs over the decade). All of this isn’t new information. Many people are aware that the booming tech industry can be a ticket to job security and comfortable living. Data from the National Science Foundation in 2014, shows that there are approximately 17.8% of women studying computer science at the undergraduate level. So why is it every CS classroom I am in is filled with bright-eyed, eager young men, but a dismal number

Diversity in TechDiversity in Tech

CRA’s CRA-W Urges Continued Support for Diversity Efforts in Capitol Briefing

At a briefing of the congressional Diversity in Tech Caucus, hosted by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) in the Capitol yesterday, CRA-W board member Rebecca Wright explained why efforts to increase the participation of women and underrepresented minorities in STEM fields — particularly computing — were worthy of continued Federal support. Wright, a professor of computer science at Rutgers University, was a member of a panel of experts assembled by the Diversity in Tech Caucus to explore the issue of diversity within the research and STEM Education communities.


Discipline Specific Workshops (DSW)

CRA-W and CDC are jointly soliciting proposals for discipline-specific mentoring workshops. The goal of these workshops is to provide career mentoring and networking opportunities in the context of a specific research area. Workshop proposals should include coverage of technical topics such as important recent results and future related research directions. These workshops are commonly co-located with major conferences in the sub-field. Our vision is that we will offer seed funding for workshops that will later be sustained by the community.


Want to Encourage Gender Diversity? Choose Your Words WISEly

In recent decades, there have been many Women In Science and Engineering (WISE) initiatives aimed at increasing the participation of women in these fields. In computer science and engineering, the percentage of women pursuing degrees and careers has remained relatively low. According to CRA’s annual Taulbee Survey of Ph.D. granting institutions, less than 15 percent of undergraduate computer science degrees were awarded to women in the 2013-14 academic year [1]. Given the significant increases of women in other traditionally male dominated fields such as law and medicine in the past 50 years [2], computing’s persistent low representation of women is rather disappointing, to say the least. Women’s low participation is also alarming when we consider the increasing number of jobs in computing, as well as the positive impact of improving gender diversity on innovation in research settings [3] and on collective intelligence [4]. So the question becomes, how do we change things?


Narratives of Black Women in Computing

On January 8-10, 2106, NSF sponsored the Inaugural summit of Black Women in Computing community leaders. This workshop is part of an effort to build a robust community to support Black women in computing and by extension, all those who are persisting in the field, either through their education or careers.

This video narrative showcases the positive experiences of women in this community who were workshop participants. Please share the video with your students –

Click here to view the final workshop report, Black Women in Computing: A Research Agenda.

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.


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.