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.


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.

Jane StoutJane Stout

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.

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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.

CRA EducationCRA Education

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.