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: Resources

CRA Taulbee Survey Announcement


The 2018 CRA Taulbee Survey will be starting soon. As has been our recent practice, the survey will be split into two parts, salary and main (everything else). This allows us to set an earlier deadline for the salary section in order to produce a preliminary salary report in December, while giving departments more time to collect and enter the information in the rest of the survey if needed.

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iAAMCS Releases Guidelines for Successfully Mentoring Black/African-American Computing Sciences Doctoral Students


These guidelines were established to articulate successful strategies for mentoring African-American doctoral students in Computing Sciences (CS). iAAMCS defines “student mentoring” as the process of supporting, encouraging and guiding students’ academic and social progress with the goal of facilitating career and personal development. Grounded in project-based results and similar empirical research, the following guidelines emerged: (1) recruit strategically, (2) establish community, (3) foster a research culture, (4) provide holistic advising, (5) provide funding and (6) promote professional development. iAAMCS hopes that institutions, departments and faculty use these guidelines to bolster the participation of African-American students pursuing doctoral degrees in CS.

Although the iAAMCS Guidelines serve as best practices for mentoring African-American students in computing, these strategies are useful for optimal mentoring all students.

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CRA Taulbee Survey Correction to Tables by Specialty Area


In the report of the CRA Taulbee Survey published in the May 2018 CRN, there is an error in specialty area labeling in Tables D4 (Employment of New PhD Recipients by Specialty) and D4a (Detail of Industry Employment).  In both D4 and D4a, the column labels for High Performance Computing and Human Computer Interaction were swapped. In addition, in D4a the column labels in alphabetical sequence between Informatics: Biomedical/Other Science and Social Computing/Social Informatics were incorrect.

Laying a Foundation: Best Practices for Engaging Teaching Faculty in Research Computing Departments


To achieve their educational mission, computing departments at research universities increasingly depend on full-time teaching faculty who choose teaching as a long-term career. This memo discusses the need for teaching faculty, explores the impact of teaching faculty, and recommends best practices.

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2017 CRA Taulbee Survey: Another Year of Record Undergrad Enrollment; Doctoral Degree Production Steady While Master’s Production Rises Again


This article and the accompanying figures and tables present the results from the 47th annual CRA Taulbee Survey. The survey, conducted annually by the Computing Research Association, documents trends in student enrollment, degree production, employment of graduates, and faculty salaries in academic units in the United States and Canada that grant the Ph.D. in computer science (CS), computer engineering (CE), or information (I). Most of these academic units are departments, but some are colleges or schools of information or computing.

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Videos Now Available from the CRA Summit on Technology and Jobs


On December 12, 2017, CRA hosted the Summit on Technology and Jobs in Washington, DC. The day was packed with sessions that explored issues surrounding the impact of artificial intelligence and the future of work. Leading technologists, economists, and policy experts offered 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. Videos and slides from the event are now available.

NAS Report Released: Assessing and Responding to the Growth of Computer Science Undergraduate Enrollments


The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has released a new report titled “Assessing and Responding to the Growth of Computer Science Undergraduate Enrollments“. The report urges U.S colleges and universities to respond to the ongoing surge in undergraduate enrollments in computer science programs, which is straining resources. The report was prepared by the NAS Committee on […]

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New CRA-E Resource – Teaching Computer Science: Capacity Building and Scaling


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.

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CRA Surveys, Fall 2017


In fall 2017, CRA will be conducting the usual Taulbee Survey and a one-time Teaching Faculty Survey. The Taulbee Survey schedule will be as follows.

  • By September 8: All doctoral departments will be contacted to update Taulbee user information. The academic unit head will receive an email and so will the Taulbee primary contact, if separate.
  • September 13: PDF will be available for data gathering.
  • September 19: Salary section opens for input.
  • September 25: Main section opens for input.
  • November 20: Due date for salary section.
  • December 18: Preliminary salary report available to participants.
  • January 8, 2018: Due date for the main Taulbee section.
  • April 2018: Full Taulbee report to CRA members and participating departments.
  • May 2018: Published in CRN.

If you have any questions, contact Betsy Bizot at bizot@cra.org

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The 2016 Taulbee Survey: Supplementary Report on Course-level Enrollment


The 2016 Taulbee Survey report, published in the May 2017 issue of CRN, did not include the results of a component that was introduced in the most recent survey–namely, bachelor’s enrollment data from specific courses in the curriculum. This component was introduced as a result of what was learned in the CRA Enrollment Report (see https://cra.org/data/generation-cs). Unfortunately, we were unable to compile the data in time to feature the results in the May issue.

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.

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CERP Offers New Resource


Since May 2013, the CERP team has published a graphic in each issue of Computing Research News (CRN) that analyzes the experiences of underrepresented students and professionals in computing. Each month, this newsletter will share the infographic published in CRN and news about CERP. If you are interested in receiving this newsletter, subscribe here.

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.

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.

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.

2016 CRA Taulbee Survey Schedule


The 2016 CRA Taulbee Survey will be starting soon. As we did last year, the survey will be split into two parts, salary and main (everything else). This allows us to set an earlier deadline for the salary section in order to produce a preliminary salary report in December, while giving departments more time to collect and enter the information in the rest of the survey.

The schedule will be as follows:
By September 9: All doctoral departments will be contacted to update Taulbee user information. The academic unit head will receive an email and so will the Taulbee primary contact, if separate.
September 13: PDF will be available for data gathering.
September 27: Both sections of the Taulbee will open for input.
November 18: Due date for salary section.
December 19: Preliminary salary report available.
January 18, 2017: Due date for the main Taulbee section.
April 2017: Full Taulbee report to CRA members and participating departments.
May 2017: Published in CRN.
If you have any questions, contact Betsy Bizot at bizot@cra.org.

CRA Best Practice Memo: Response to Surge in Postdocs


By Shar Steed, CRA Communications Specialist Similar to how we are currently facing a boom in undergraduate computer science enrollments, several years ago, the field encountered an exponential increase in postdoctoral appointments. In a Communications of the ACM Viewpoint article from February 2013, The Explosive Growth of Postdocs in Computer Science, Anita Jones wrote, “The […]

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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.

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New CRA RSS Subscription Center


CRA has several RSS feeds available, and now you can view them all on a single webpage. Visit https://cra.org/resources/rss-subscriptions/ to view and subscribe to resources that interest you most. When you subscribe to a resource, you will receive an email when new content is posted. Check out our current offerings.

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In Memoriam: Joanne Cohoon


The Computing Research Association is sad to hear of the loss of Joanne Cohoon, a leader in the evaluation efforts of our programs. Joanne has been involved with the CRA for more than a decade. In 2006, she was the PI on an NSF-funded study that was initiated to test the validity of an earlier report, “Recruitment and Retention of Women Graduate Students in Computer Science and Engineering” (Cuny and Aspray, 2001). Joanne co-authored the report based on the study, “Recruiting and Retaining Women Graduate Students in Computer Science and Engineering,” which summarizes and expands on the results of a workshop and outlines research-based practices likely to promote gender balance in graduate computing programs.

CRA Best Practice Memos


The Computing Research Association (CRA) produces resources that standardize and establish best practices in the field. Most recently, last spring the CRA Board of Directors released its latest Best Practices Memo, “Incentivizing Quality and Impact: Evaluating Scholarship in Hiring, Tenure, and Promotion.” Distinguishing between quality and quantity is key to promoting the future growth of the computing and information field. The memo advocates adjustments to hiring, promotion, and tenure practices as well as to the publication culture. Below is a summary of the reports main points.

New Undergraduate Research Opportunities Listing Service


The Computing Research Association’s Education Committee (CRA-E) is pleased to provide a new “undergraduate research listing service” for faculty and other researchers to advertise (at no cost) undergraduate research opportunities and for undergraduates to find such opportunities. The site can be found here:http://conquer.cra.org/research-opportunities.

CRA Launches CS Enrollments Survey


CRA has launched a survey about the significant increases many institutions are seeing in undergraduate computer science course enrollments (often referred to as the enrollment boom). This is a question of deep concern to many in our community. The survey is a unique opportunity to measure, assess, and better understand enrollment trends and their impact […]

Analysis of Current and Future Computer Science Needs via Advertised Faculty Searches for 2016


By Craig E. Wills, Professor and Department Head, Computer Science Department,Worcester Polytechnic Institute

The wealth of faculty searches in Computer Science during this hiring season for positions starting in the Fall of 2016 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.

Towards Big Steps Enabled by Big Data Science


Towards Big Steps Enabled by Big Data Science Two workshops on big data in education were organized. The first workshop, held in January, focused on case studies of effective partnerships outside of education between big data producers and consumers (see below for the agenda and slides). The second workshop held in early June and focused on case […]

CRA Best Practices Memo on Evaluating Scholarship in Hiring, Tenure, and Promotion


The CRA Board of Directors has recently released its latest Best Practices Memo, “Incentivizing Quality and Impact: Evaluating Scholarship in Hiring, Tenure, and Promotion.” Distinguishing between quality and quantity is key to promoting the future growth of the computing and information field. The memo advocates adjustments to hiring, promotion, and tenure practices as well as […]