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
PandemicPandemic

Pandemic Informatics: Vaccine Distribution, Logistics, and Prioritization


In Fall 2020, the Computing Research Association released a series of planned white papers produced through its subcommittees (including the Computing Community Consortium), exploring areas and issues around computing research with the potential to address national priorities over the next four years. Called Quadrennial Papers, the white papers attempt to portray a broad picture of computing research detailing potential research directions, challenges, and recommendations for policymakers and the computing research community. 

One of those white papers Pandemic Informatics: Preparation, Robustness, and Resilience outlined a strategy to reduce the impact of global pandemics stressing early detection, predicting the public’s reaction and developing effective policies. 

Several months later, the pandemic is still ongoing but we are facing a new and different set of challenges that are both surprising and yet also somehow predictable. The authors of the paper have produced a March 22nd, 2021 Addendum to address current issues. 

See the March 22nd, 2021 Pandemic Informatics: Preparation, Robustness, and Resilience Addendum here for more details. 

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Introducing the CERP Bulletin


The CRA Center for Evaluating the Research Pipeline (CERP) is excited to launch a new blog called the CERP Bulletin to share news, research and evaluation findings, promote resources and community platforms, and provide helpful context to CERP’s mission. The CERP Bulletin will include CERP research activity, infographics, evaluation reports, and interesting CERP-related articles.

We encourage you to stay updated on CERP through the Bulletin by signing up for our mailing list, which you can do here.

This post is brought to you by the CRA’s Center for Evaluating the Research Pipeline (CERP). CERP provides social science research and comparative evaluation for the computing community. Volunteer for Data Buddies by signing-up here.

 

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CRA-E Releases Report on Best Practices for Scaling Undergraduate CS Research Opportunities


Undergraduate enrollments in CS have grown considerably and continue to grow.  Yet opportunities for undergraduates to engage in CS research have not grown proportionally.  Engaging undergraduates in research has tremendous benefits for students, and is critical to the health of the North American CS PhD pipeline.

The CRA’s Education committee has released a new report documenting best practices and concrete suggestions for departments wishing to expand undergraduate research opportunities in CS (without overwhelming their faculty!).  The report is based on a broad examination of existing structured research programs at universities across North America. It compiles the main challenges departments face in implementing undergraduate research programs, and provides best practices for addressing these challenges. 

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Amplifying Resources for Inclusiveness in Computing: NCWIT Conversations for Change Webinar Tomorrow


Numerous events of 2020 have placed a national spotlight on the inequities and inequalities that are present in K-16 education and society at large. In this conversation, Dr. Nicki Washington discusses how her personal journey in computing influenced her research on identity in computing, including the development of her “Race, Gender, Class, and Computing” course and why “teaching is political.”

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Call for Submissions: Departmental BPC Plans


The Computing Research Association (CRA) and the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) are calling upon the academic community to create and submit Departmental BPC Plans to BPCnet.org.

Departmental BPC Plans are important because they help departments:

  • reaffirm their commitment to equity and inclusion,
  • identify and organize their BPC related goals and activities,
  • and support PIs in their department who are submitting CISE proposals requiring a Project BPC Plan at the time of award.
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CERP Announces Webinar for Data Buddies Survey


The CRA Center for Evaluating the Research Pipeline (CERP) recently published a webinar featuring the Data Buddies Survey (DBS). This webinar details some of the background of the Data Buddies Survey, tips for good response rates, benefits for participating departments, and requirements for participating departments. This webinar is designed for a broad audience, including prospective DBS participants. You can view the webinar by clicking here.

Cultural Competence in Computing (3C) Fellows Program Now Accepting Applications


Undergraduate computing departments have long suffered from issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). However, there has been, to date, no large-scale effort that focuses on addressing issues of systemic racism and bias that directly impact not only students from minoritized groups, but also faculty (as issues of race, gender, and intersectionality impact hiring, […]

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CRA Committee on Industry/Academia Interactions Releases Report


Recent trends such as increasing industry demands for technical talent from academia, as well as changes in the academic environment with increased industry interactions have prompted the need for a fresh look at the relationships between academia and industry. A CRA ad hoc committee on Industry/Academia Interactions was studied these trends and determined how CRA can have an impact.

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Amplifying Resources for Inclusiveness in Computing: Join CMD-IT for Standing Against Racial Injustices – Sharing Our Stories


Join the Center for Minorities and People with Disabilities in IT  (CMD-IT) this Friday, August 7 (1:30 – 2:30 pm CT) for a panel discussion examining racial injustice from the perspective of Black professionals in computing. Panelists will provide their stories of overcoming racial injustices to get to where they are today. They will also share advice and insights about systemic changes needed for equity and inclusion. Register here.

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Request for Community Feedback on BPCnet.org


With this particularly challenging academic year coming to an end, and the upcoming NSF CISE program submissions, it is a good time to update everyone on the NSF CISE Pilot Program for Broadening Participation in Computing (BPC) Plans. All Medium and Large CISE Core Programs, Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC), and Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) project proposals require an approved BPC Plan by the time of award. CRA and NCWIT have led an effort to develop the BPCnet.org portal as a resource for the community to assist in developing Departmental BPC Plans and Individual BPC Plans.

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2019 Taulbee Survey: Total Undergrad CS Enrollment Rises Again, but with Fewer New Majors; Doctoral Degree Production Recovers from Last Year’s Dip


After twelve years of sustained growth in undergraduate enrollment, there may be signs of a slowdown in that there are, on average, fewer new undergraduate majors in 2019-20 than there were in 2018-19. Nevertheless, the average number of CS majors continued its rise in 2018-19, both in U.S. CS departments and overall.

CRA’s CV Database Initiative Turns One


As a first step to address recent recruiting challenges in the computing research community, the Computing Research Association (CRA) launched the CV Database initiative in Fall 2018. This initiative provides a database of candidates for academic and industrial/government laboratory research positions. Recruiting continues to be one of the top computing research community challenges. Thus, CRA plans to strengthen the CV Database initiative and take additional actions in 2019-20. The CRA has reviewed usage data from the first year application cycle and made adjustments to improve the user experience and process. The CV Database will re-open for the 2019-20 recruiting season in mid-September 2019. In mid-October 2019, recruiter access to the CV Database will be made available to all CRA academic members. Additionally, industrial and government laboratory CRA member institutions that sponsor Grad Cohort 2020 at the silver level and above will receive access.

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Generation CS, Three Years Later


In 2017, CRA published the Generation CS report on the surge in undergraduate computer science enrollments, based on data gathered through an Enrollments Survey of doctoral and non-doctoral academic units of computer science in fall 2015.Since then, enrollments have continued to grow. In fall 2018, as part of the Taulbee Survey of doctoral departments, CRA included some questions to assess the current impact. Are academic units still struggling, or has the increase become the new normal?  What changes have occurred in department resources or policies? What is the observed impact on students and faculty, including student diversity?

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Seven Tips for Advertising Your Graduate Program to Undergraduate Programs


Four years ago, I left a tenured faculty position at Grinnell, a selective liberal arts college, to found a brand new computer science program at Whitman, another selective liberal arts college. Since establishing this program, I’ve started to receive mailings not only from my own Ph.D. program, but from a range of graduate programs in computer science and related fields.

If you’re reading this, you probably care about attracting graduate student applicants from institutions like mine. If you don’t, you should: Baccalaureate colleges are second only to “very high research activity universities” in their institutional-yield ratios for graduates who go on to receive a doctorate in science or engineering.

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Creating Institutional Homes for Computing: Transforming a Department into a School or College


The Computing Research Association has released its latest white paper, “Creating Institutional Homes for Computing: Transforming a Department into a School or College.” This white paper addresses the growing interest and trend in transforming a department of computer science, usually housed within a college of engineering or science, into a school or college of computing. It follows up on a successful panel at the 2016 CRA Conference at Snowbird on Schools and Colleges of Computing and a second panel on transitioning to Colleges of Computing at the 2018 CRA Conference at Snowbird.

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Analysis of Current and Future Computer Science Needs via Advertised Faculty Searches for 2019


This work uses the same methodology as work over the past five years to study where Computer Science departments are choosing to invest faculty positions by examining data obtained from advertised faculty searches for the current hiring season.  While the number of 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 409 institutions seeking to fill hundreds of tenure-track faculty positions in Computer Science.  There was a small one-year increase in the number of institutions searching but there has been a 83% increase over the five years of our studies.  The number of tenure-track positions sought shows a one-year increase of 5% and a 118% increase over the five years.

New from CRA: Database of Candidates for Academic and Industrial/Government Laboratory Positions


The number of faculty openings in computing has increased significantly in recent years, which has placed stress on the faculty recruiting process. Both academic departments and faculty candidates go through an arduous process. CRA has started a new service intended to improve the recruiting process for academic and industrial/government laboratory research positions. Candidates for these positions […]

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.