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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Information on activities relevant to students.
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 is pleased to announce a new iteration of the Graduate Cohort Workshop designed specifically for underrepresented minorities in computing and persons with disabilities. Applications are now open for the inaugural CRA URM Graduate Cohort Workshop, which will be held March 16-17, 2018 in San Diego, CA.
The 2017 ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing is being held September 20-23 in Atlanta Georgia. This year’s theme, Diversity: Simply Smarter, evokes the basic yet irrefutable concept that diversity is simply the smarter choice.
At the CRA URMD Grad Cohort Workshop, participants will spend two days interacting with senior computing researchers and professionals, who will share pertinent information on graduate school survival skills, as well as more personal information and insights about their experiences. The workshop will include a mix of formal presentations and informal discussions and social events. By attending URMD Grad Cohort participants will be able to build mentoring relationships and develop peer networks that will form the basis for ongoing activities during their graduate career and beyond.
Most broadening participation efforts have focused on women and underrepresented minorities. However, for more than 10 years, AccessComputing has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to increase the successful participation of students with disabilities in academic programs and careers. AccessComputing addresses underrepresentation by providing multiple activities for students with disabilities.
As a little girl growing up in the Dominican Republic, Yerika Jimenez, currently a Ph.D. student in computing at the University of Florida, noticed she had a knack for fixing things – cell phones, TVs, radios. Everyone in her community would bring her broken items, and she would return them repaired. A few years later, when Jimenez was nine years old, her family settled in New Jersey, and her fascination with technology continued.
Microsoft, Inc. and Google are now offering scholarships to support students to attend the ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference. Encourage your students to apply to these scholarship opportunities.
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.
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.
The Computing Research Association Education Committee (CRA-E) is now accepting applications for the CRA-E Graduate Fellows Program. The program provides opportunities for Ph.D. candidates in computing fields to contribute to CRA-E projects, network with computer science education advocates on the committee, engage in advocacy for mentoring undergraduate students and promote undergraduate research and education at the national level.
CRA-E plans to appoint up to two graduate fellows per year, who will serve as members of the committee, providing a voice for graduate students. The fellows will attend the annual CRA-E meeting (travel expenses funded by CRA-E), serve on a CRA-E subcommittee related to their interests and expertise, and contribute to the CRA-E Conquer site that provides resources for undergraduate research and applying to graduate school.
Tanya Amert, a computer science Ph.D. student at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, found herself drawn to computer science because she enjoyed figuring out how things work. At 13 years old, she was a big fan of the Neopets website and online community. Amert noticed some users had customized homepages, and her interest grew even more. Despite not knowing any HTML at the time, she learned how to look at the source code and figured out how to change the color of the scroll bar within the CSS. “I discovered that specific lines of HTML made that happen. And I thought that was mind boggling and awesome.”
The Heidelberg Laureate Forum was created by the Klaus Tschira Foundation, the Heidelberg Institute of Theoretical Studies, ACM, the International Mathematical Union, and the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters to provide an opportunity for young researchers to spend a week with winners of the ACM Turing Award, ACM Prize in Computing, Abel Prize, Nevanlinna Prize, and Fields Medal. To date four have been held and all have been viewed as a major success by the laureates and the 200 young researchers in computer science and mathematics who attended each forum. Details can be found at http://www.heidelberg-laureate-forum.org/. The inclusion of the ACM Prize in Computing is new this year and will further enrich the computing content of the Forum.
Morgan Carroll, a senior studying computer science at University of Texas at Tyler, fondly remembers her grandfather buying her a HP Pavilion with Windows 98 when she was eight years old. “From then on I just loved computers. In high school, I figured out that I was good at math. So when I went off to college, I took my love of computers and math and decided to try computer science.”
Carroll focuses on general programming and enjoys figuring out how to accomplish project objectives. Last year, one of her professor’s suggested she participate in a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU), so she searched for one on the National Science Foundation REU opportunities webpage. She was particularly excited about a research project at the University of Alabama. The project was supported by CRA-Women’s Distributed Research Experiences for Undergraduates (DREU) program, which matches students with a faculty mentor for a summer research experience at the faculty mentor’s home institution.
The upcoming CRA-Women Graduate Student Cohort (Grad Cohort) will be held April 7-8, 2017 in Washington, D.C. Grad Cohort is a two-day workshop for female students in their first, second, or third year of graduate school in computing fields. The application closes November 30.
Grad Cohort is generously funded by sponsors from industry, academia, the National Science Foundation, and the computing community. The workshop aims to increase the ranks of senior women in computing-related studies and research by building and mentoring nationwide communities of women through their graduate studies.
From an early age, current Ph.D. student and 2016 Graduate Cohort Workshop (Grad Cohort) attendee Caroline Trippel had a positive image of women in computing. Her mother earned an undergraduate degree in math, a Master’s degree in computer science, and currently works as an embedded systems software engineer.
Please share this opportunity with your students. During CRA-W’s Virtual Undergraduate Town Hall Event, students from around the world will learn about cutting edge research in the field of computing, and have the opportunity to ask questions to distinguished computer scientists. The next event will be held October 13 at 7PM EST. Speaker: Deb Agarwal, Senior […]
For Volcano Kyungyoon Kim, current Ph.D. student and 2016 Graduate Cohort Workshop (Grad Cohort) attendee, choosing to study computer science was an easy decision. She knew since elementary school that she would have a career in computing. Volcano comes from a computer science family – her father is a computer science professor, her mother also has a degree in computer science, and now her younger brother is currently pursuing a master’s degree in computer science. “Every single one of them is in computer science. So I never really thought of anything else. My parents think that it’s the most exciting and valuable field of study and it will lead to a great career in the future.”
While this influenced her enough to begin studying computer science in college, during her first two years she wasn’t totally convinced that it was a perfect fit for her. It wasn’t until Volcano discovered the flexibility of the field and its interdisciplinary nature that she was completely hooked. “There was a moment later on when I thought this is really perfect for me. It is not only about computer science, it is about applying it to all the other areas. If you have an interest in art, having a computer science background can boost your art skills or it can even open up a new art genre such as 3D painting in a virtual reality. Computer science is like a magic powder that you can add to other fields. ”
The Computing Research Association (CRA) and its education committee (CRA-E) are excited to announce the creation of five short videos entitled “Choosing a PhD in Computer Science.” These videos were designed in conjunction with award-winning producer Patrick Sammon (co-producer of “Codebreaker”) to explain the benefits of pursuing a PhD in CS. The videos showcase young researchers with PhDs who are now working in industry as they talk about what compelled them to pursue a doctorate and how they are using their advanced training in their work. While many undergraduates understand that a PhD is needed for a position in academia, these videos demonstrate how a PhD can be useful in industry as well.
The Computing Research Association is pleased to announce the annual CRA Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Researchers, which recognizes undergraduate students in North American colleges and universities who show outstanding research potential in an area of computing research. The award is a terrific way to recognize your best student researchers and your department.
The NSF-wide Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions.
CRA’s Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W) recently announced a new program for undergraduates, the CRA-W Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC) Research Scholars Program. The GHC Research Scholars program brings undergraduate women to the annual Grace Hopper Celebration. The purpose of this program is to provide attendees with an unique experience, providing them a mentor, networking opportunities, and advising.
An early love of science fiction is what initially lured Drew to a career in STEM. Her fascination with outer space and the future, recurrent themes in science fiction, inspired her to study astronomy and become a physics major. Although she didn’t take any high school computer science courses, she always enjoyed tinkering with computer programs on her own. She decided in college to take a coding class and “really loved it.” Drew soon changed her major to computer science because she wanted to be part of the movement that brings to life the technologies we dream about in science fiction.
The second annual Congressional App Challenge is a nationwide event that allows U.S. students in high school and below to create and exhibit their software application, or “app,” on mobile, tablet, or computer devices. The Challenge opened for submissions on 7/18, and submissions are due by 11/2. The Challenge is open to all high school students, and the winners get to meet their Member of Congress and have their app displayed in the US Capitol Building! Please spread the word!
During this Virtual Undergraduate Town Hall event, students will learn about cutting edge research in the field of computing and have the opportunity to ask distinguished computer scientists questions. The state of the art in cloth simulation can produce highly realistic cloth, but requires extremely high computation time, on the order of hours or even days.
On Tuesday July 5th, the CRA Government Affairs Office welcomed the 2016 class of Eben Tisdale Science Policy Fellows (http://www.tfas.org/tisdale) to the CRA Washington, D.C. office. These fellows, undergraduates at universities and colleges from across the United States, are spending the summer at high-tech companies, firms, or trade associations in Washington, learning the intricacies of technology policy. Additionally, they are taking two class credits at George Mason University, and attending briefings at institutions such as the U.S. Capitol, Department of State, World Bank, and Federal Reserve. The fellows were in the office to attend a presentation, by Brian Mosley, policy analyst in CRA’s Office of Government Affairs, covering the policy concerns and issues that the association works on and attempts to influence at the federal level.
Again and again we hear that earning computing degrees leads to one of the highest starting salaries for college graduates and almost a guaranteed job after graduation. This information is supported by data from the National Association of Colleges and Employers who report computer science graduates have the second highest starting salary ($61,321 this year) and the highest full-time employment rate (76% within six months of graduation). A blog post from the Computing Community Consortium in March highlights 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics job projection results, which found that computing occupations are projected to account for 73% of all newly-created STEM jobs during the decade (488,500 jobs), and 55% of all available STEM jobs, whether newly-created or available due to retirements (1,083,800 jobs over the decade). All of this isn’t new information. Many people are aware that the booming tech industry can be a ticket to job security and comfortable living. Data from the National Science Foundation in 2014, shows that there are approximately 17.8% of women studying computer science at the undergraduate level. So why is it every CS classroom I am in is filled with bright-eyed, eager young men, but a dismal number
CRA-W’s next Virtual Undergraduate Town Hall will be held on April 7 at 7 PM EST. During this online mentoring event, students will learn about cutting edge research in computing and have the opportunity to ask questions to distinguished computer scientists.
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.
DREU is a highly selective program that matches promising undergraduate women and underrepresented groups with a faculty mentor for a summer research experience at the faculty mentor’s home institution.