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: For Researchers

Information on activities relevant to researchers.


Outcomes of Advertised Computer Science Faculty Searches for 2017


Professor Craig E. Wills presents new work that directly follows his previous analysis of current and future computer science needs via advertised tenure-track faculty searches for 2017. This follow-on work looks to understand the relative success of institutions in hiring the tenured/tenure-track faculty in the areas of computer science that were being sought.

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Nominations Open for 2018 CRA-E Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentoring Award


This 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.

2018 IBM Two-Year Worldwide PhD Fellowship


IBM is pleased to announce the 2018 IBM Two-Year Worldwide PhD Fellowship for the academic years of 2018-2019 and 2019-2020.  Strong collaboration with faculty, students and universities is vital to IBM. The PhD Fellowship Program advances this collaboration by recognizing and supporting exceptional PhD students who want to make their mark in promising and disruptive technologies. In 2018, the Fellowship Program is focusing on: AI, blockchain, security, and quantum computing. IBM is well positioned to advance these technologies and exploit their ability to transform industries and societies.

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Expanding the Pipeline – Engaging Undergraduates in Research: UC San Diego Early Research Scholars Program


Engaging undergraduates in research can be an effective way to increase their confidence, perception of science, and sense of belonging. But at many large research universities, it can be difficult for undergraduate students—especially early undergraduates—to find research opportunities. Furthermore, even when they find opportunities, they might not have the background, training, or support to be successful. These issues are particularly acute for women and other underrepresented groups in computer science as they tend to have less pre-college computer science experience.

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CRA Board Member Highlight: IEEE Honors Susan Davidson With TCDE Impact Award


This year, CRA Board Chair Susan Davidson received the IEEE TCDE Impact Award for “expanding the reach of data engineering within scientific disciplines.” In this interview, Davidson reveals how her interest in bioinformatics came about and how her career led to this award. Two of her favorite problems have been data integration and data provenance.

Survey on Publication and Presentation Experiences for CS Faculty


If you have ever held a position as an Assistant Professor in computing at a US college/university, we respectfully request that you take a few moments of your time to complete a survey about your experience.  The survey solicits feedback on a variety of potential factors that can influence a common expectation in the Assistant Professor rank, publishing and presentation of scholarly research. Analysis of survey responses will hopefully yield results that inform how to better support graduate students and new professors in generating more productive publication and presentation records. Retention of junior faculty is of heightened concern at present due to booming enrollments in many Computer Science programs.

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New CRA-E Resource – Teaching Computer Science: Capacity Building and Scaling


The CRA-Education Committee has added to its website a new resource for “Teaching Computer Science: Capacity Building and Scaling.” Across the United States and Canada, universities and colleges are facing significant increases in undergraduate computer science (CS) enrollments. This surge has exceeded all previous CS program booms and there is a general sense that the current enrollment growth is substantially different than that of the mid-1980s and late 1990s. CRA’s Generation CS Study provides excellent insight into enrollment trends and their impact on computer science units, diversity, enrollment management strategies, and more.

CRA Summit on Technology and Jobs


On December 12, 2017, the Computing Research Association will host a Summit on Technology and Jobs in Washington, DC. The goal of the summit is to put the issue of technology and jobs on the national agenda in an informed and deliberate manner. It will bring together leading technologists, economists, and policy experts who will offer their views on where technology is headed and what its impact may be, and on policy issues raised by these projections and possible policy responses.

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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 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.

Why Social Science? Because It Makes Computing Work for People


Two years ago, the leadership of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee looked to our organization, the Computing Research Association, to endorse an approach to reauthorize funding at a number of key Federal science agencies. The proposed legislation would provide increases for computing research funding at the National Science Foundation while keeping the overall agency budget essentially flat by bolstering computing — along with mathematics, physics, biology, and engineering — at the expense of the social, behavioral, and economic sciences (and the geosciences). The committee Chair hoped that CRA, which represents nearly 200 academic computing departments and industrial research labs — including computing research labs at IBM, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft — would support the approach, given the direct and indirect benefits increased investment in computing research at NSF would have to our member institutions.

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Collaborative Research as the Key to Advancing AI


Just about every day we learn about a new application of cognitive computing. From predicting schizophrenia to analyzing Wimbledon fan experiences, cognitive computing and artificial intelligence have arrived and are making a measurable difference in our daily lives. But with all the excitement around real-world applications of this powerful technology, it is easy to forget that the Cognitive Era, as we call it at IBM, is still in its infancy. And there is a tremendous amount of work yet to be done. Collaborating with leading minds around the world is the key to fulfilling the true potential of cognitive computing. And that’s why IBM formed the Cognitive Horizons Network (CHN), a network of the world’s leading universities committed to working with IBM to accelerate the development of core technologies needed to advance the promise of cognitive computing.

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CRA Board Member Highlight: H. V. Jagadish


I study how data and people interact. For more than a decade, I have been studying how to help humans access and manage information. While there is a lot of good work on human-computer interaction and on data visualization, much less work exists on “human-data interaction.” Why can anyone use Google to get information of interest while it is so difficult to get useful information from a structured database? The difference lies in the specificity of the request. A web search engine receives your request and tries to guess your intention. You know that it has a limited understanding of your need, and are happy to have it get you into “the zone,” from where you can explore for yourself. On the other hand, a traditional database query engine can give you complete answers to complex questions but requires that you precisely specify your query. If you make a small mistake, you are out of luck. Wouldn’t it be helpful to devise database query mechanisms that you can actually use and get reasonable results from even if you don’t ask it totally correctly? Complementarily, can the system help you ask a better question in the first place? Similar concerns also apply to the creation of a database, and helping users manage their data.

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.

The CRA Taulbee Survey and Teaching Faculty Data


Non-tenure-track teaching faculty are becoming more important to doctoral departments to help them meet their educational goals and responsibilities, particularly in response to the current enrollments surge. In the Generation CS report (available at https://cra.org/data/Generation-CS/), 65% of doctoral departments reported in fall 2015 that they had increased the number of teaching faculty on continuing appointments in response to increased enrollments, and an additional 16% were considering it. Similarly, between fall 2006 and fall 2016, the proportion of Taulbee Survey respondents reporting at least one full-time non-tenure-track teaching faculty member increased from 81% to 87% and, more notably, the median number of such teaching faculty at the departments reporting nonzero counts rose from 3 to 6.

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CERP Director Discusses Strategies to Promote Diversity in Tech in EdTech Magazine


CRA’s own Jane Stout, director of the CRA Center for Evaluating the Research Pipeline (CERP), was recently featured in the article “Q&A: Researcher Shares Strategies to Increase Diversity in Tech,” in EdTech Magazine: Focus on Higher Education. Amy Burroughs, managing editor of EdTech spoke to Jane about why the lack of diversity in tech persists, how institutions benefit from diverse groups and how IT leaders can build more diverse teams. Drawing from her social science background and her current research on factors that influence women and minorities pursuing computing careers, Jane emphasized building a sense of belonging and community and encouraged IT managers to actively recruit women who can serve as role models and mentors. She also encourages IT managers to recognize that there are different types of effective leadership styles. 

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Maximizing Opportunity and Building Capacity: Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington


This article describes strategies we have employed at the University of Washington to increase the prominence and impact of our program. In the past few years we have been elevated from a department to the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering, we have begun construction on a second building that will double our space, and we have received legislative investments that will double our enrollment while preserving our ability to closely mentor students. While we have some important advantages (principal among them Seattle’s emergence as a leading center of technology in multiple sectors) and some particular circumstances (such as our role as a public university, dependent upon legislative support and bearing regional responsibilities), we believe that many of these strategies will be usable by others.

Workshop – Research on Learning about Machine Learning


The ACM International Computing Education Research (ICER) Conference will hold a workshop on Research on Learning about Machine Learning Organizers: Ben Shapiro (University of Colorado Boulder) Peter Norvig (Google) Rebecca Fiebrink (Goldsmiths University of London) When: Monday, August 21, 2017 09:00-17:00 Machine learning is transforming many areas of computer science. From natural language processing and search […]

New Computing Faculty Workshops in Summer 2017


The third New Computing Faculty Workshop will be held August 6-8, 2017 in San Diego. The goal of the workshop is to help computing faculty at research intensive universities to be better and more efficient teachers. By learning a little about teaching, we will help new faculty (a) make their teaching more efficient and effective (e.g., students learn more with less input time from faculty) and (b) make their teaching more enjoyable. The workshops were described in Communications of the ACM in the May 2017 issue.