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
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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.

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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.