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

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 […]

Incentivizing Quality and Impact: Evaluating Scholarship in Hiring, Tenure, and Promotion


A careful distinction between quality and quantity is key to promoting the future growth of the computing and information field. Toward that end, this document advocates adjustments to hiring, promotion, and tenure practices as well as to the publication culture. Contributions in a small number of high quality publications or artifacts are what should be emphasized; success as a researcher is then not primarily a matter of numbers.

The recommendations that follow were developed over an 18-month period by the CRA Committee on Best Practices for Hiring, Promotion, and Scholarship. As part of this work, the committee conducted interviews in autumn 2013 with more than 75 academic and industry computing and information unit heads to understand the issues and gain insights from practice. Preliminary recommendations were vetted with department chairs and CRA Deans at the Snowbird Conference in July 2014.

Computer Science Postdocs – Best Practices


The Computing Research Association’s (CRA) Board of Directors has approved a Best Practices Guide, providing guidance to graduate students, postdocs, advisors and mentors, and departments and institutions on how to have a positive postdoctoral experience within computer science and engineering. We encourage our colleagues throughout the community to take a look at the document — the latest in a series of white papers about the recent increase in postdocs in the field — and adopt these Best Practices.

Promotion and Tenure of Interdisciplinary Faculty


The fields of computing and information science and engineering have a strong commitment to interdisciplinary work, with CISE researchers collaborating with electrical engineers in the design of low-power chips; with linguists in the development of natural-language processing systems; with biologists in the exploration of the genetic code; with economists in the formation of theories of on-line commerce; and with statisticians in the discovery of new ways to extract information from rich sets of data—to name just a few examples.

University-Industry Sponsored Research Agreements


The fields of computing and information science and engineering have a strong commitment to interdisciplinary work, with CISE researchers collaborating with electrical engineers in the design of low-power chips; with linguists in the development of natural-language processing systems; with biologists in the exploration of the genetic code; with economists in the formation of theories of on-line commerce; and with statisticians in the discovery of new ways to extract information from rich sets of data—to name just a few examples.

Commercialization Oversight for Computer Research Departments


The relentless pressure to innovate in the information technology (IT) industry has drawn university researchers and graduate students into entrepreneurial situations to an increasing degree. The trend affects the academic enterprise in diverse ways, both favorable and unfavorable. The risks and rewards are outlined, and the concept of a Commercialization Oversight Committee is described as a mechanism that can facilitate the best outcomes when interests conflict.

Evaluating Computer Scientists and Engineers For Promotion and Tenure


The evaluation of computer science and engineering faculty for promotion and tenure has generally followed the dictate “publish or perish,” where “publish” has had its standard academic meaning of “publish in archival journals” [Academic Careers, 94]. Relying on journal publications as the sole demonstration of scholarly achievement, especially counting such publications to determine whether they exceed a prescribed threshold, ignores significant evidence of accomplishment in computer science and engineering. For example, conference publication is preferred in the field, and computational artifacts —software, chips, etc. —are a tangible means of conveying ideas and insight. Obligating faculty to be evaluated by this traditional standard handicaps their careers, and indirectly harms the field. This document describes appropriate evidence of academic achievement in computer science and engineering.