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.


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), 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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Profiles in Computing: Kim Hazelwood


The 2016 Graduate Cohort Workshop (Grad Cohort) brought together more than 30 accomplished speakers and 550 female graduate students in computing. Kim Hazelwood, who leads a performance and datacenter capacity engineering and analysis team within Facebook’s infrastructure division, was one of the speakers who shared her unique perspective with the attendees. Kim has always had an interest in technology and a love for math. Like many undergraduate students, Kim didn’t take any computer science classes in high school. However, she took a leap and declared computer engineering as her major heading into her undergraduate degree at Clemson University. “First time was a charm on actually picking the right area for me,” she explained.

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CRA Women Early and Mid Career Mentoring Workshops


CRA’s Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W) will host early and mid career mentoring workshops on November 19-20 in Washington, D.C. The goal of these workshops is to provide an environment for mentoring, practical information, advice, and support among researchers and educators in computing. The application is free, there is a $250 registration fee for the workshop (for those accepted), and CRA-W will reimburse participants for expenses (hotel and airfare) after the workshop. In order to receive reimbursement applicants must be affiliated with a U.S. institution or be employed in the U.S. These workshops are open to individuals in their early career in research and labs, and mid career in education, research, and labs.

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Rice to Host Conference on Humans, Machines, and the Future of Work


Those who attended this year’s CRA Snowbird conference may have heard Moshe Vardi’s provocative panel session on Humans, Machines, and the Future of Work, discussing the potential impact of computing technologies on employment and the nature of work over the coming years. Vardi makes a compelling case that the computing research community ought to be concerned with the impact its innovations will have on society, both positive and negative. To that end, Vardi has led an effort to pull together some of the leading thinkers from the computing, economics, and social science communities to consider the issue in Houston in December. The De Lange Conference on Humans, Machines, and the Future of Work will be held December 5-6, 2016, at Rice University. Here’s an announcement from the organizers (CRA is a co-sponsor).

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Profiles in Computing: Bushra Anjum


Bushra Anjum is a self-described “adventure seeker” in addition to her day job in computing.

“I’m into extreme sports–I like jumping out of planes or off of cliffs. I am an adventure seeker, at the bottom of my heart. So anything that sounds like an adventure to me –I will jump at that.”

When Anjum is not jumping out of a plane or off a cliff, she works as a software and research engineer at Amazon, Inc. in San Luis Obispo, Calif. Specifically, Anjum has expertise in agile software development for large-scale distributed systems, with a special emphasis on system design and development for highly scalable, fault-tolerant systems. At CRA-W’s 2016 Graduate Cohort Workshop (Grad Cohort), I had the wonderful opportunity to talk with Anjum, who described why she has a passion for CRA-W and increasing diversity in computing.

Public Workshop on the Growth of Computer Science Undergraduate Enrollments


On Monday, August 15, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will hold a public Workshop on the Growth of Computer Science Undergraduate Enrollments.

This workshop is being convened as an information-gathering session of the Academies’ Study on the Growth of Computer Science Undergraduate Enrollments sponsored by the National Science Foundation and co-chaired by Susanne Hambrusch, professor of computer science at Purdue University, and Jared Cohon, president emeritus of Carnegie Mellon University.

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2016 CRA Conference at Snowbird Recap


From July 17-19, the Computing Research Association (CRA) held its biennial conference at Snowbird, with more than 300 people in attendance. Every two years, the chairs of computing and information departments from across the country, as well as the leaders of government and industrial laboratories, gather in Snowbird, Utah, to network and discuss common issues concerning the future of the field.

Workflows Workshop Sponsored by Blue Waters


Registration is now open for a free Workflows Workshop to be held August 9-10 at multiple institutions across the country. Sponsored by the Blue Waters sustained-petascale computing project, this workshop will provide an overview of workflows and how they can enhance research productivity.

Host the HPC Workflow Workshop at your site in August


The following is a contribution to the CRA Bulletin from Barbara Jewett, Managing Editor, NCSA Public Affairs.

Host sites are being sought for a hands-on Workflows Workshop scheduled for August 9-10, 2016. This multi-site workshop provides a convenient way for researchers to learn about the latest techniques and technologies related to workflows on high performance computing systems without having to travel long distances to attend.

The two-day hands-on workshop, sponsored by the Blue Waters Project, will be broadcast to simultaneous sites across the country. You can view the program at: https://sites.google.com/a/illinois.edu/workflows-workshop/home

Participants in the Workflows Workshop will learn about workflows from leading experts and test their new-found knowledge using Blue Waters and XSEDE computing systems.

The workshop will kickoff by exploring why one should use a workflow and then proceed to various well-known workflow tools, including Copernicus, Galaxy, Makeflow/WorkQueue, Pegasus, RADICAL Cybertools, and Swift.

Participating sites must be able to provide a facility capable of two-way high definition video (described in more detail at the above mentioned website). There should also be a technology assistant available during workshop hours to assist with local technical issues. An A/V system test will be scheduled prior to the workshop.

If your site would like to be a participating site for the Workflows Workshop, please indicate your interest at: http://go.illinois.edu/workflows. Questions can be directed to Scott Lathrop, lathrop@illinois.edu.

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Discipline Specific Workshops (DSW)


CRA-W and CDC are jointly soliciting proposals for discipline-specific mentoring workshops. The goal of these workshops is to provide career mentoring and networking opportunities in the context of a specific research area. Workshop proposals should include coverage of technical topics such as important recent results and future related research directions. These workshops are commonly co-located with major conferences in the sub-field. Our vision is that we will offer seed funding for workshops that will later be sustained by the community.

2016 BECA Winners – Martha Kim and Hanna Wallach


Today, CRA-Women (CRA-W) announced that Martha Kim and Hanna Wallach are the recipients of this year’s 2016 Borg Early Career Award (BECA).  The award honors the late Anita Borg, who was an early member of CRA-W and an inspiration for her commitment in increasing the participation of women in computing research. The annual award is given to a woman in computer […]

New Computing Faculty Workshop in Summer 2016


The following message is from the workshop organizers. The second New Computing Faculty Workshop will be held August 7-8, 2016 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 can […]

Upcoming Sloan Research Fellowships Deadline


The Sloan Research Fellowships are two-year, $60,000 fellowships awarded annually to 126 early-career faculty in recognition of their distinguished performance and exceptional potential as researchers. Fellowships are awarded in eight scientific and technical fields: chemistry, computational and evolutionary molecular biology, computer science, economics, mathematics, neuroscience, ocean sciences, and physics.

Local Instructors, Students Sought for Blue Waters Introduction to HPC Virtual Course


The Blue Waters project at the University of Illinois is pleased to announce the offering of a graduate course Introduction to High Performance Computing that will be offered as a collaborative, online course for multiple participating institutions fall semester 2016. The project is seeking university partners that are interested in offering the course for credit to their students. The course includes online video lectures, quizzes, and homework assignments with access to free accounts on the Blue Waters system.

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CCC Led White Papers


The purpose of the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) is to catalyze the computing research community and enable the pursuit of innovative, high-impact research. One of the ways that the CCC accomplishes this is by publishing white papers for the computing research community.

NSF CISE 2016 CAREER Proposal Writing Workshop


The NSF Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE) will host a one-day workshop on CAREER Proposal Writing on April 4, 2016. This workshop will be held at the Westin Arlington. 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.

Denice Denton Emerging Leaders Workshop 2016


Check out the Denice Denton Emerging Leaders Workshop 2016, an exciting opportunity for mid-career faculty members.

Inspired by the work and legacies of Denice D. Denton, a group of faculty recipients of the Denice Denton Emerging Leader ABIE Award are organizing a one-day faculty leadership development workshop on Friday June 3, 2016 in Madison, Wisconsin.

Call for Nominations for BECA, SWSIS, and NCWIT Awards


BECA Award Take the time to nominate an individual for the CRA-W Borg Early Career Award (BECA). Nominations are open to women who are early in their careers in computer science and engineering and deserve to be recognized for significant research contributions and positive/significant impact on advancing women in the computing research community. Deadline: February 15 Announcement of […]