CRA Statements and Positions

Advocacy

Trump Administration Rescinds Foreign Student Visa Rule – July 14, 2020

The Trump Administration on Tuesday reserved course and rescinded its change that would have stripped visas from international students whose courses move exclusively online during the pandemic.

CRA Joins Science and Higher-Ed Community in Working to Reverse ICE Rule on Student Visa Holders That Could Force Hundreds of Thousands to Leave U.S. – July 8, 2020

CRA believes this policy is ill-conceived, cruel and will damage the U.S. research ecosystem greatly, perhaps for years to come. The uncertainty created by this policy, and by the other immigration policy decisions restricting other foreign students and researchers issued over the last several weeks, will certainly discourage more of the best minds in the world from studying and researching in the U.S., to our great detriment.

President’s Immigration Order is Latest in a Series Vexing Computing Research Community – June 24, 2020

On Monday, June 22nd, President Trump issued the latest in a series of immigration and visa related orders designed to limit the involvement of foreign students and researchers, particular those from mainland China, in U.S. research efforts. The order follows a series of other proposals and orders emanating from the White House and Capitol Hill that have raised the ire of higher-education, U.S. industry, and the computing research community over recent weeks.

CRA Statement on Presidential Proclamation Concerning Visas for Chinese Scholars in the U.S. – June 1, 2020

We oppose the banning of any foreign student or researcher unless there is clear evidence of their personal connection to wrongdoing. Indiscriminate large-scale banning of students and researchers from any particular country deprives the U.S. research enterprise of contributions by international scholars, most of whom are not involved in IP theft or espionage.

CRA Releases Statement on Reported Plans to Suspend or End the Optional Practical Training (OPT) Program – May 29, 2020

CRA opposes efforts to end or suspend the OPT program, which would cause great harm to an innovation ecosystem that continues to be a crucial part of our recovery effort.

Read more on the CRA Policy Blog.

Rankings

  • CRA Statement on US News and World Report Rankings of Computer Science Universities - November 2017

    The latest US News and World Report (USN&WR) ranking of Computer Science (CS) at global universities does a grave disservice to USN&WR readers and to CS departments all over the world. Last week, we respectfully asked the ranking be withdrawn. Unfortunately USN&WR declined.

    The methodology used — rankings based on journal publications collected by Web of Science — ignores conference publications and as a consequence does not accurately reflect how research is disseminated in the CS community or how faculty receive recognition or have impact. Furthermore, the list of venues is not public. So while some may debate the soundness of any bibliometric-based rankings, there will be no debate about the flaws in the rankings USN&WR has published; the methodology makes inferences from the wrong data without transparency and, consequently, it arrives at an absurd ranking.

  • Dangers of Rankings with Inaccurate Data - May 2010

    By Eric Grimson, CRA Board Chair, on behalf of the CRA Board

    Our culture is embedded with rankings: of movies, of college athletic teams, of consumer products, of universities, and of graduate programs. Rankings are a guilty pleasure—we claim they don’t influence us, and we know their foibles, yet we can’t help looking to see where we stand.

    The CRA board is very concerned about releasing flawed citation and publication data as part of the NRC report. The board has urged the NRC to acquire accurate publication data and to release a ranking system that includes those data but does not include the flawed citation data; if that is not possible, the board urges the NRC to withhold the release of computer science programs until they can fairly assess the productivity and impact of those programs. The board urges the NRC to work with CRA, Thomson Reuters, and other partners to implement an accurate and fair citation measurement system for computer science. Without this, we are concerned that the NRC’s ratings system will incorrectly portray the field of computer science in a manner damaging to all of us.

  • Ratings Redux - November 2010

    By Eric Grimson, CRA Board Chair, on behalf of the CRA Board

    In May 2010, we provided a perspective on our interactions with the National Research Council (NRC) group tasked with evaluating and ranking doctoral programs. We outlined concerns with the pending ranking system, especially with regard to its plans to evaluate faculty publications and citations using a method we believe to be flawed. As reported in the statement, the NRC’s compromise was to remove the citation analysis and to augment the data used in the report with a list of conferences provided by the CRA, together with CVs submitted by faculty to the NRC.

    Since the release, many departments have examined the data in detail and the associated ranges of rank produced by the NRC system. Based on their observations, there appear to be additional concerns about the NRC rankings-some unique to our discipline and some perhaps shared by other disciplines. We highlight some of those concerns.

Data Science

  • Computing Research and the Emerging Field of Data Science - October 2016

    By CRA’s Committee on Data Science: Lise Getoor (Chair), David Culler, Eric de Sturler, David Ebert, Mike Franklin, and H.V. Jagadish on behalf of the CRA Board

    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.