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.
Posts categorized under: For Researchers
Information on activities relevant to researchers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Computing Research Association invites nominations for the 2018 CRA Distinguished Service Award and A. Nico Habermann Award. The deadline for receipt of nominations is December 8, 2017.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Over the 30 years since I began graduate school, my computer architecture research has explored many topics, but the ongoing theme has been attention to how technology and application trends and constraints influence hardware and system design, particularly at the hardware-software interface.
CRA Board Member Farnam Jahanian was recently appointed Interim President of Carnegie Mellon University.
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 […]
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.
This article and the accompanying figures and tables present the results from the 46th annual CRA Taulbee Survey.
Today, more than 50,000 high school students will take the inaugural Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles (AP-CSP) exam. Ruthe Farmer, former senior policy advisor for Tech Inclusion in the White House explains why this is such a significant milestone for computer science education in an article in the Huffington Post.
At the CRA board meeting in February, Executive Director Andrew Bernat presented members of the CRA Enrollment Committee: Institution Subgroup with glass awards to thank them for their service on the project, which spanned nearly two years. Former CRA Board Member Tracy Camp leads the CRA Enrollment Committee.
Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs (MERL) is the North American subsidiary of the corporate research and development organization of Mitsubishi Electric Corporation and a Lab and Center member of CRA.
Over the past few months, CRA and its committees have been actively promoting our mission areas of policy, leadership, and talent development.
Thanks to the continued support from sponsors, the NCWIT Academic Alliance (AA) is pleased to announce the call for nominations and proposals for the latest round of awards.
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.
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.
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 […]
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.
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.