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.


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.

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 […]

Mary CzerwinskiMary Czerwinski

Research Highlight: CRA Board Member Mary Czerwinski


My research revolves around tracking and understanding users’ emotional states and leveraging that information as additional context for the design of emotionally sentient systems. Some of the systems we have built have been designed for a user’s own personal reflection. Our first application, AffectAura, provided users with their own behavior patterns over time, such as what they were doing, where they were, who they were with and how they felt. This information could be used to make personal decisions about behavior change—if certain activities usually result in your feeling good or bad, perhaps you want to increase or decrease those behaviors.

NCSES Publishes Latest Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering Report


Yesterday, the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) announced the release of the 2017 Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering (WMPD) report, the federal government’s most comprehensive look at the participation of these three demographic groups in science and engineering education and employment.

A Conversation on Data Science


CRA brings together people from academia, government labs, and industrial labs. For me, coming from industry, Snowbird is an unbeatable opportunity to take the pulse of academia. One of the hot topics in 2016 was the Data Science juggernaut. I was glad to join Barbara Ryder (Chair) and Lise Getoor (Co-Chair) in organizing the panel session: Data Science in the 21st Century, which was well attended and full of energy and ideas. After CRA’s Committee on Data Science (Lise Getoor, Chair, David Culler, Eric de Sturler, David Ebert, Mike Franklin, and H.V. Jagadish) published the bulletin article Computing Research and the Emerging Field of Data Science, David Culler and I sat down for a follow-up chat: A Conversation on Data Science.

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Undergraduate Research Opportunity Listing Service


The Computing Research Association’s Education Committee (CRA-E) is pleased to announce the “Undergraduate Research Listing Service.” This free service is now available for faculty and other researchers to advertise undergraduate research opportunities and for undergraduates to find such opportunities. The site can be found here: http://conquer.cra.org/research-opportunities.

NSF CISE 2017 CAREER Proposal Writing Workshop


The NSF Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE) will host a one-day workshop on CAREER Proposal Writing on March 20, 2017. This workshop will be held at the Hilton Arlington, near the National Science Foundation. The goal of this workshop is to introduce junior CAREER-eligible faculty to the NSF CAREER program and help them to prepare their CAREER proposals to target CISE programs. Attendees will have the opportunity to improve their skills in proposal writing, as well as to interact with NSF program directors from different CISE divisions (ACI, CCF, CNS, and IIS) and recent NSF CAREER awardees.

J WingJ Wing

Executive Q&A: Jeannette M. Wing, Head of Microsoft Research


Microsoft is a Lab and Center member of CRA. This article is the second in a series of our industry member profiles.

Jeannette M. Wing joined Microsoft Research in January 2013, after holding positions in academia and government, most recently at Carnegie Mellon University and the National Science Foundation (NSF). From 2007 to 2010, she served as assistant director of the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate at the NSF. Wing is a former CRA board member and recipient of the 2011 CRA Distinguished Service Award. Her areas of expertise are in trustworthy computing, formal methods, concurrent and distributed systems, programming languages, and software engineering.

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De Lange Conference on Humans, Machines, and the Future of Work


CRA recently was a sponsor and participated in the De Lange Conference on Humans, Machines, and the Future of Work, which focused on the impact of the amazing technologies being developed by the computing research community on the nature of work and employment. The conference was held at Rice University with primary funding from the De Lange Conference Fund at Rice, which brings top experts and major figures to its campus in order to focus on a topic of great concern to society.

Analysis of Current and Future Computer Science Needs via Advertised Faculty Searches for 2017


The wealth of faculty searches in Computer Science during this hiring season for positions starting in 2017 again affords the opportunity to study areas of Computer Science where departments are choosing to invest in new faculty hires. While the number and areas for faculty searches does not necessarily translate into the same for faculty hires, we believe that they provide insight into current and future needs within the discipline.

We analyzed ads from 347 institutions seeking to fill hundreds of tenure-track faculty positions in Computer Science. There is a 30% one-year (and 56% two-year) increase in the number of institutions searching for tenure-track faculty in Computer Science and a 35% one-year(and 71% two-year) increase in the number of positions being searched for. The number of institutions searching and positions seeking to be filled has increased even more for non-PhD-granting institutions.

It’s Not About the Money: Optimizing Academic-Industrial Partnerships


Today, more than ever, industry leaders are looking to partner with academic computer science programs. With available computer science expertise at a premium, they’re looking for ideas, for new hires, for help on crucial projects. Universities are the mother lode for the personnel and expertise they crave. On July 18, I presented at the CRA Conference at Snowbird session, “Local Corporate Labs, Centers and Development Offices: Optimizing Department/Industry,” which explored the growth of corporate lab culture, and I’d like to share some of insights from that talk.

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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).

What is Data Science in the 21st Century?


Last July, a distinguished panel of computer scientists – David Culler (UC Berkeley), Rayid Ghani (U of Chicago), Rahel Jhirad (Hearst) and Rob Rutenbar (UIUC) — discussed this question with a group of approximately 100 CRA Conference at Snowbird attendees. There was agreement that data science is an interdisciplinary field, combining techniques from machine learning, natural language processing, data mining, algorithms, information retrieval, etc.

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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.

Computing Research and the Emerging Field of Data Science


Our ability to collect, manipulate, analyze, and act on vast amounts of data is having a profound impact on all aspects of society. This transformation has led to the emergence of data science as a new discipline. The explosive growth of interest in this area has been driven by research in social, natural, and physical sciences with access to data at an unprecedented scale and variety, by industry assembling huge amounts of operational and behavioral information to create new services and sources of revenue, and by government, social services and non-profits leveraging data for social good. This emerging discipline relies on a novel mix of mathematical and statistical modeling, computational thinking and methods, data representation and management, and domain expertise. While computing fields already provide many principles, tools and techniques to support data science applications and use cases, the computer science community also has the opportunity to contribute to the new research needed to further drive the development of the field. In addition, the community has the obligation to engage in developing guidelines for the responsible use of data science.

Announcing the VMware Systems Research Award for Early Career Faculty


We are pleased to announce a new award in support of the computer science research community. The objective of this award is to call attention to a valuable and promising body of emerging computer science systems research and provide support for continued advances by an emerging research leader. This will be an annual award in the amount of USD 100,000, granted to the recipient’s university in support of her/his research.

Eligible nominees are faculty worldwide within 5 years of their first tenure-track appointment. Nominations must be submitted by a university department chair and each submission should include a one-page letter of nomination, a proposed citation and three references with contact information. Each department chair is limited to a single nomination which must be submitted via email at sysaward@vmware.com. The deadline for the nominations submission is November 15, 2016.

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Computing Researchers Travel to D.C. to Make the Case for Computing


On September 14, 21 computing researchers from across the country visited Washington, D.C. to make the case before Congress for federally funded computing research. The volunteers, traveling from as near as Maryland and Pennsylvania, and as far away as Utah and California, participated in nearly 50 House and Senate meetings. Their message to Congress was very simple: Federally supported computing research is vital to the nation’s future. Using their own research and individual stories as support, and reinforced with additional information from CRA, they made the “Federal case” for computing to members of Congress and their staff. Just as important as the message they presented, they also made valuable connections with the officials who represent them in D.C. Those members now know more about the expertise and interesting (and important) computing work that occurs in their districts and states, and our participants have a better sense of just who represents them in Congress. And they’ve hopefully started a lasting dialogue on both sides.

Government Shutdown Averted; Federal Budget on Autopilot Until Dec. 9


First, the good news: the government won’t have to shut down on Saturday, as Congressional leaders have agreed to a continuing resolution (CR) through December 9. As our regular readers will remember, the Fiscal Year 2016 budget year runs from October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2016 and if Congress has not passed a budget or a CR by this Saturday October 1, federal agencies must stop operations. The last government shutdown happened back in 2013, but we’ve been dealing with the potential of one every year since. The agreed to CR puts funding for federal agencies generally, and science research accounts specifically, on autopilot at Fiscal Year 2016 levels.

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Nominations Open for CRA Distinguished Service and A. Nico Habermann Awards


The Computing Research Association invites nominations for the 2017 CRA Distinguished Service Award and A. Nico Habermann Award.

Distinguished Service Award
CRA presents an award, usually annually, to a person who has made an outstanding service contribution to the computing research community. This award recognizes service in the areas of government affairs, professional societies, publications or conferences, and leadership that has a major impact on computing research.

A. Nico Habermann Award
CRA presents an award, usually annually, to a person who has made outstanding contributions aimed at increasing the numbers and/or successes of underrepresented groups in the computing research community. This award recognizes work in areas of government affairs, educational programs, professional societies, public awareness, and leadership that has a major impact on advancing these groups in the computing research community. Recognized contributions can be focused directly at the research level or at its immediate precursors, namely students at the undergraduate or graduate levels.

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Computing, Cognition, and the Future of Knowing: How Humans and Machines are Forging a New Age of Understanding


IBM Research is a Lab and Center member of CRA. This article is the first in a series of our industry member profiles.

It’s not surprising that the public’s imagination has been ignited by artificial intelligence since the term was first coined in 1955. In the ensuing 60 years, we have been alternately captivated by its promise, wary of its potential for abuse, and frustrated by its sometimes slow development.

But like so many advanced technologies that were conceived before their time, artificial intelligence has come to be widely misunderstood—co-opted by Hollywood, mischaracterized by the media, and portrayed as everything from savior to scourge of humanity. Those of us engaged in serious information science and in its application in the real world of business and society understand the enormous potential of intelligent systems.

The future of this technology—which we believe will be cognitive, not “artificial”—has very different characteristics from those generally attributed to AI, spawning different types of technological, scientific, and societal challenges and opportunities, with different requirements for governance, policy, and management.

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.

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ACM Athena Lecturer Award Accepting Nominations


The ACM Athena Lecturer Award celebrates female researchers who have made fundamental contributions to computer science. Each year ACM honors a preeminent female computer scientist as the Athena Lecturer. The recipient gives an invited talk at a major ACM conference of her choice. A video of the talk is made available on the ACM website. The award carries a cash prize of $25,000. Financial support for the Athena Lecturer Award is provided by Google.

Nominations Open for Two NSF Awards: Alan Waterman, Vannevar Bush


The National Science Foundation is currently accepting nominations for two prestigious awards. Consider nominating an individual from your department today! The Alan Waterman Award recognizes an outstanding young researcher in any field of science or engineering supported by NSF. The Vannevar Bush Award honors truly exceptional lifelong leaders in science and technology who have made substantial contributions to the welfare of the Nation through public service activities in science, technology, and public policy.

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), Andy Ko (University of Washington) and Ben Shapiro (University of Colorado-Boulder) in a session moderated by Ran Libeskind-Hadas (Harvey Mudd College).