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: Education

Information on educational initiatives.


Conquer logoConquer logo

CRA Education Committee Presents Updated Conquer Website


The Computing Research Association’s Education Committee (CRA-E) is excited to announce a new and improved version of its Conquer website (conquer.cra.org)  for CS undergraduates interested in research and graduate school.  The site also has resources for faculty who are interested in mentoring undergraduate research and helping their students apply to graduate school.

A CS Education Summit in Pittsburgh: Addressing the Challenges of Increasing Interest in Computing at the Undergraduate Level through Institutional Transformation


Given the convergence of burgeoning enrollments in CS across many universities and colleges in the United States and the need to re-imagine the way computer science is taught to address 21st century challenges, the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University is hosting a 2-day summit in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pending anticipated funding.

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New CRA Education Committee Co-Chair


At the CRA Education Committee (CRA-E) meeting in June, Lori Pollock (University of Delaware) stepped up to replace Ran Libeskind-Hadas (Harvey Mudd College) as CRA-E co-chair. She will join current co-chair Susanne Hambrusch (Purdue University), and Ran will remain a member of the CRA-E committee.

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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CRA-E Selects New Graduate Student Fellow


CRA’s Education Committee (CRA-E) is pleased to welcome its new 2017 CRA-E Graduate Student Fellow – Booma Sowkarthiga Balasubramani. The Graduate Fellows Program was established in 2015 to give graduate students the opportunity to contribute to CRA-E projects, engage in advocacy for mentoring undergraduate students, and promote computer science research and undergraduate education at the national level.

Dan GrossmanDan Grossman

Research Highlight: CRA Board Member Dan Grossman


Since I started graduate school in 1997, I have considered myself a member of the programming languages research community — and I continue to attend and publish in the annual conferences of this vibrant computing subfield. But over the last 5-10 years, I have also found myself increasingly passionate about opportunities for computing researchers to focus on ways to influence computing education beyond, for those of us who are academics, our own classrooms and independent studies. Let me share some of the projects I have enjoyed (seriously!) and others I wish I had more time to pursue.

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CRA Releases Report on Surge in Computer Science Enrollments


Generation CS: Computer Science Undergraduate Enrollments Surge Since 2006 Across the United States and Canada, universities and colleges are facing a significant increase in enrollment in both undergraduate computer science (CS) courses and programs. The current enrollment surge has exceeded previous CS booms, and there is a general sense that the current growth in enrollment […]

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2017 CRA-E Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentoring Award Winners Announced


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. These outstanding individuals are recognized for providing exceptional mentorship, undergraduate […]

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”.

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Call for Applications: CRA-E Graduate Fellows Program


The Computing Research Association Education Committee (CRA-E) is now accepting applications for the CRA-E Graduate Fellows Program. The program provides opportunities for Ph.D. candidates in computing fields to contribute to CRA-E projects, network with computer science education advocates on the committee, engage in advocacy for mentoring undergraduate students and promote undergraduate research and education at the national level.

CRA-E plans to appoint up to two graduate fellows per year, who will serve as members of the committee, providing a voice for graduate students. The fellows will attend the annual CRA-E meeting (travel expenses funded by CRA-E), serve on a CRA-E subcommittee related to their interests and expertise, and contribute to the CRA-E Conquer site that provides resources for undergraduate research and applying to graduate school.

2017 Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award Winners


This year’s nominees were a very impressive group. A number of them were commended for making significant contributions to more than one research project, several were authors or coauthors on multiple papers, others had made presentations at major conferences, and some had produced software artifacts that were in widespread use.

Computer Science Education Week and new NSF CSforAll Solicitation


A recent White House blog post by Ruthe Farmer, Senior Policy Advisor for Tech Inclusion, emphasizes that Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) is an opportunity to join the #CSforAll movement and give every student the opportunity to learn computer science. On that note, with the kick off of CSEdWeek yesterday, the White House released a fact sheet detailing the great scope of CS for All efforts, including a new CSforAll program solicitation from NSF called Computer Science for All: Researcher Practitioner Partnerships (CS for All: RPP).

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Computer Science Education Week – December 5-11


The eighth annual Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) will be held next week, December 5 – 11. CSEdWeek is “a call to action to raise awareness of computer science education and computing careers for students, educators, and the public.” This is a great opportunity to raise awareness about the impact of computing and the critical need for computer science education. Originally conceived by the Computing in the Core coalition, Code.org organizes CSEdWeek as a grassroots campaign supported by 350 partners and 100,000 educators worldwide.

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CRA-Education to Host Workshop at Supercomputing 2016


The CRA Education Committee (CRA-E) hosts a series of workshops on Engaging Undergraduates in Research at major computer science research conferences. The next workshop titled “Best Practices in Mentoring Undergraduate Research in Supercomputing,” will be held at Supercomputing 2016 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The workshop will run as BoF session on Wednesday, November 16, 5:15-7 pm and is run by Nancy Amato (Texas A&M) and CRA-E Fellow Max Grossman (Rice University).

CRA Endorses K-12 CS Framework


Back in January the Computer Science Teacher Association (CSTA), the Association of Computer Machinery (ACM), and Code.org announced an initiative to develop a K-12 Computer Science Framework for use throughout the country’s education system. The plan was to develop a high level framework, not education standards, that states and school districts could use to create individual CS curriculums for their needs and wants. On Monday, the group, which now includes Cyber Innovation Center and the National Math and Science Initiative, announced that they had completed their work and made the framework public.

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Nominations Open for 2017 CRA-E Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentoring Award


CRA’s newest award program honors faculty members in computing who have made a significant impact on students they have mentored. The CRA-E Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentoring Award recognizes faculty members who have provided exceptional mentorship and undergraduate research experiences and, in parallel, guidance on admission and matriculation of these students to research-focused graduate programs in computing.

Andrew BernatAndrew Bernat

CRA Executive Director Speaks at White House Summit on Computer Science for All


Today, CRA Executive Director, Andrew Bernat was a speaker at the White House Summit on Computer Science for All. The audience heard from students and leaders of CS education efforts as part of the CS for All initiative. The initiative aims to ensure CS education is available to all K-12 students across the U.S.

Bernat expressed his excitement about the incredible success of the initiative and explained CRA’s commitment to strengthening the computing research community by supporting the development of strong, diverse talent. He announced that so far more than 75 university and college computing departments from across the country have agreed on behalf of their departments to take action to support the goals of the CS for All Initiative through a variety of concrete actions. And he is confident many more will sign up. CRA member institutions’ support will include faculty expertise and effort, the development of innovative computing education products, and teacher development.

Choosing a PhDChoosing a PhD

New Videos Encourage Undergraduates to Pursue Advanced Education in Computing


The Computing Research Association (CRA) and its education committee (CRA-E) are excited to announce the creation of five short videos entitled “Choosing a PhD in Computer Science.” These videos were designed in conjunction with award-winning producer Patrick Sammon (co-producer of “Codebreaker”) to explain the benefits of pursuing a PhD in CS. The videos showcase young researchers with PhDs who are now working in industry as they talk about what compelled them to pursue a doctorate and how they are using their advanced training in their work. While many undergraduates understand that a PhD is needed for a position in academia, these videos demonstrate how a PhD can be useful in industry as well.

Why CS Departments Should Embrace Computing Education Research


How can a CS Department benefit from hiring tenure-track faculty in the field of Computing Education Research (CER)? What are some of the major research questions in CER? How can CER enhance existing research in a CS department? A panel at the CRA Conference at Snowbird Meeting in July 2016 addressed these and other questions. The panelists included Diana Franklin (University of Chicago), Mark Guzdial (Georgia Tech), Scott Klemmer (UC San Diego), Amy Ko (University of Washington) and Ben Shapiro (University of Colorado-Boulder) in a session moderated by Ran Libeskind-Hadas (Harvey Mudd College).

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Nominations Open for 2017 CRA Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Researchers


The Computing Research Association is pleased to announce the annual CRA Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Researchers, which recognizes undergraduate students in North American colleges and universities who show outstanding research potential in an area of computing research. The award is a terrific way to recognize your best student researchers and your department.

The Congressional App Challenge is Now Open!


The second annual Congressional App Challenge is a nationwide event that allows U.S. students in high school and below to create and exhibit their software application, or “app,” on mobile, tablet, or computer devices. The Challenge opened for submissions on 7/18, and submissions are due by 11/2. The Challenge is open to all high school students, and the winners get to meet their Member of Congress and have their app displayed in the US Capitol Building! Please spread the word!

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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.

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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?

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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 – https://youtu.be/2terTfzuLxA.

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

New Google Site for CS Education and Career Opportunities


Today, Google launched a new website that outlines all of its computer science (CS) education tools, content, and programs for K-12 through career opportunities. Computer science education is a pathway to innovation, to creativity and to exciting career opportunities. Google is committed to developing programs, resources, tools and community partnerships which make CS engaging and accessible for all students.