Updates from CRA-W

Request for Community Feedback on BPCnet.org

To the computing community,

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.

New Resources on BPCnet.org:
The community has been developing additional resources on BPCnet.org to simplify the process of writing a BPC Plan (for both Individual and Departmental plans). There is an FAQ link, plan templates, sample BPC Plans, and an extensive Getting Started Guide. There will also be additional virtual workshops later in the summer, and in-person workshops once travel is resumed.

How You Can Help:
The inclusion of BPC plans in a large number of CISE projects is a significant step in making our field inclusive and welcoming, and consequently growing the computing workforce and making it more representative of the users of technology. It will take a community-wide effort, and significant preparation of the community to make this BPC effort successful. To this end, we would like to invite interested people from this group to provide feedback on the contents in the portal. If you are interested in reviewing the portal contents, please complete our interest form.

Thank you for your interest in the NSF BPC Pilot Program, which has contributed to creating a large resource that we expect the community will find valuable. Please let us know if we can answer any questions by contacting bpcmailinglist@cra.org.



BPCnet.org Steering Committee

CRA’s Position

Dear CRA Community,

The amount of pain and suffering we are witnessing and feeling is only a snapshot of a broader social reality. We, and everyone before us, have had a role in arriving at where we are today. As such, it is of paramount importance to step up and take a stance. It is our responsibility and a moral imperative to not stand by and simply witness the events around us. We must collectively find our voice and reject racism and inequality. Silence perpetuates, doubt reinforces, and rationalization of incident after incident only compounds the pain so many in our society continue to endure.

While CRA has a long history of celebrating, promoting, and advocating for inclusivity, we cannot be satisfied with continuing the status quo. We will continue to actively stand against discrimination and hatred. We will find new ways to use our voice in Washington to advocate for policies that address the inequities that exist in our field. We will amplify the efforts of our membership organizations wherever we can to help them improve the spaces they occupy and create an environment that is more welcoming, just, and equitable to all. Only together can we begin to right the long history of wrongs that have led us to this place and time.

We start with acknowledging the issues by talking to those around us and explicitly stating that we stand with them when they stand against discrimination and hatred.

We know that racism:

  • Is systemic and institutionalized, was intentionally designed, and established well before the foundation of our nation.
  • Continues to oppress people of color around the world – denying basic human rights, denying opportunity, and even more tragically denying many of their very lives.
  • Is learned behavior that may be unlearned through education, compassion, empathy, and action.
  • Drives a wedge between communities, and in doing so limits the enviable quest for a society steeped in respect.
  • The privileged benefit from its existence and must be willing to sacrifice to overcome it.
  • Lives in our homes, schools, workplaces, parks, churches, stores, amusement parks, government, law enforcement – it lives in us all to varying degrees.

To stand against it, we:

  • Acknowledge the existence of racism within our communities and commit to defeating it.
  • Call out and reject rationalization of incidents and distortion of information.
  • Educate ourselves and those around us to be better equipped to address racism in its many forms.
  • Stand up against the status quo by using our voice and agency.
  • Commit to systemic change in laws, policies, procedures, etc.
  • Dedicate all necessary resources to create lasting change.

Ellen Zegura, Chair of the CRA Board
Andrew Bernat, CRA Executive Director

Tawanna Dillahunt and Michel A. Kinsy Receive the Inaugural Skip Ellis Early Career Award 

CRA-WP is honored to announce Tawanna Dillahunt of the University of Michigan and Michel A. Kinsy of Boston University have been selected as the first recipients of the  Skip Ellis Early Career Award.

The Skip Ellis Early Career Award honors the late Clarence “Skip” Ellis, who was the first African-American to both earn a Ph.D. in computer science and be elected a Fellow of the ACM. This award is given annually by CRA-WP to a person who identifies as a member of a group underrepresented in computing (African-American, Latinx, Native American/First Peoples, and/or People with Disabilities), who has made significant research contributions in computer science and/or engineering and has also contributed to the profession, especially in outreach to underrepresented demographics.

This year, recognition was warranted beyond the award winners and additional nominees are receiving the Distinction of Honorable Mention.

  • Cindy Rubio González of the University of California Davis is recognized by both the Anita Borg Early Career Award and the Skip Ellis Early Career Award committees for a joint Honorable Mention.

CRA-WP is proud to celebrate the growing representation in computing research by highlighting the recipients for their significant contributions and outreach in the field. It is encouraging to see the growth in the excellent computing researchers from diverse backgrounds committed to scholarly excellence and equal opportunity. Thank you to everyone who took the time to submit a nomination for this year and we hope to see many more in the next cycle.

Olga Russakovsky Receives the 2020 Anita Borg Early Career Award 

CRA-WP is honored to announce Olga Russakovsky of Princeton University has been selected as the 2020 Anita Borg Early Career Award recipient.

The Anita Borg Early Career Award honors the late Anita Borg, who was an early member of CRA-W (before it became CRA-WP), and is inspired by her commitment to increasing the participation of women in computing research. The annual award is given to a woman in computer science and/or engineering who has made significant research contributions and who has contributed to her profession, especially in the outreach to women.

This year, recognition was warranted beyond the award winners and additional nominees are receiving the Distinction of Honorable Mention.

  • Cindy Rubio González of the University of California Davis is recognized by both the Anita Borg Early Career Award and the Skip Ellis Early Career Award committees for a joint Honorable Mention.
  • Carole-Jean Wu of Arizona State University is recognized by the Anita Borg Early Career Award committee.

CRA/CCC Computing Innovation Fellows Program 2020: Deadline June 17

Applications are now open for the Computing Research Association (CRA) and Computing Community Consortium’s (CCC) Computing Innovation Fellows (CIFellows) Program for 2020. This program recognizes the significant disruption to the academic job search caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and associated economic uncertainty and aims to provide a career-enhancing bridge experience for recent and soon-to-be PhD graduates in computing.

The goal of the CIFellows program is to create career growth opportunities that support maintaining the computing research pipeline. Computing research is defined as any area included under the National Science Foundation (NSF) Computing and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Directorate. This effort takes inspiration from CRA/CCC’s NSF-funded Computing Innovation Fellows Programs with cohorts starting 2009, 2010, and 2011.

The current program is actively seeking researchers who will encourage Broadening Participation in Computing through their research or other activities. There is no requirement that the mentor be at a PhD granting institution; however, we actively seek mentors whose mentoring will serve to broaden participation in computing.

Awards will support an individual for 2 years as a postdoctoral fellow (“CIFellow”) at a host institution of their choosing. CRA will issue subawards to the Host Institution to cover an annual postdoc salary of $75,000, plus fringe and indirect costs (capped at 35%). Fellows will have the ability to select a September, 2020 or January, 2021 start date for their Fellowship. CRA and CCC held an informational webinar on the program on May 26th — a video recording of the webinar is available hereLearn more about the program and apply now on the CIFellows website. The deadline for submission is June 17.

Important notice to all applicants: the application deadline has been extended by 5 days to Wednesday, June 17, 2020 at 11:59 pm EDT in recognition of the unrest and protests across the nation. If possible, please try to begin your application through Task 2, Academic Information, by the initial deadline of June 12, 2020 at 11:59 pm EDT.

CRA-WP Board Member Nancy Amato Elected ACM Member-at-Large

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) recently announced the election of new officers and members at large. CRA-WP Board Member and CRA Vice Chair Nancy M. Amato has been elected for a four year Member-at-Large term. She will serve from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2024. Amato is a robotics expert and Head of the University of Illinois Department of Computer Science. She is a CRA-WP board member and served as co-chair from 2014- 2017. Amato is a also a member of the CRA Education committee and received the CRA A. Nico Habermann award in 2014 for her efforts to increase diversity in computing.

Computing Researchers Respond to COVID-19

By CCC Staff

The Computing Community Consortium (CCC) is publishing a series of posts on the CCC Blog about ways in which computing researchers are working to adapt and help with the COVID-19 situation. We hope that you find something that may inspire you in these blog posts, either now or in the future:

  • Running a Virtual Conference
    • Working with Kyle Johnsen, an associate professor in the University of Georgia’s College of Engineering, Professor MacIntyre “transitioned the IEEE VR 2020 Conference to an all-virtual event…Working non-stop for two weeks, with the help of the entire conference committee and support from Mozilla and dozens of volunteers, they pulled together the technology to support a full scale virtual conference.”
  • Misinformation
    • Recognizing and responding to misinformation during this emergency: “Rumoring can help to alleviate anxiety during information voids and acts as a form of collective sensemaking, but it can also lead to the spread of misinformation. False rumors (or misinformation) are dangerous, because they can cause people to make the wrong decisions, including decisions that endanger themselves or others.”
  • Staying Connected
    • “As difficult as the current Covid-19 situation is, at least we can use the Internet to support the global collaboration of scientists, keep abreast of the latest developments, teach our students and children, stay in touch with friends and family, and even find much-needed moments of levity.”
  • Decontaminating N95 Masks
    • “Fu is a co-organizer of N95DECON, a volunteer-based organization made up of esteemed scientists, engineers, clinicians, and students seeking to provide information and develop guidance for medical facilities that need to decontaminate face masks for reuse by healthcare workers. Fu explains that the group’s overarching mission is to provide a rigorous scientific assessment of decontaminating N95 masks for reuse by healthcare professionals during this crisis shortage.”
  • Personal Protective Equipment Fabrication 
    • “Recently, UW Medicine launched an effort to harness the University of Washington’s extensive network of maker spaces and fabrication expertise to address the shortage of PPE.”
  • Voxel51; A Means of Tracking Social Distancing
    • “Leveraging the startup’s existing video analysis technology, Voxel51 developed the Physical Distancing Index to help track how COVID-19 and preventative measures to contain its spread have impacted human activity around the globe in real time.”
  • Automated Contact Tracing for Fighting the Coronavirus: A Short-Term Effort with Long-Term Repercussions
    • Automated contact tracking uses “Bluetooth Low Energy phone-to-phone transmission. Phones constantly broadcast a system-provided identifier, and collect identifiers received from nearby phones. Once a user tests positive, their phone uploads its transmitted and collected identifiers to a central database along with other location information.  The center then contacts users who were collocated with the infected individuals for potential quarantine and treatment.”

Expanding the Pipeline: CRA-WP Research Mentoring at the 2019 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing – Going Strong and Growing

By A.J. Bernheim Brush, Tracy Camp, Sheila Castañeda, Andrea Danyluk, Yuqing Melanie Wu

The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC) appears to be on track to break attendance records every year. The 2019 conference, held in Orlando Florida, saw an increase to more than 25,000 participants, up from around 20,000 in 2018.  As GHC grows, so does the reach of CRA-WP’s programs at GHC for attendees interested in research and research careers. For undergraduate students exploring research for the first time, graduate students embarking on the path to a research career, academic and research professionals furthering their careers, and industry professionals considering a career change, CRA-WP’s programs make a real impact on many GHC participants.

Deadline March 30: 2020 Microsoft Research Dissertation Grant Accepting Proposals

By Meredith Ringel Morris, Sr. Principal Researcher & MSR Dissertation Grant Chair

We are currently accepting proposals for the Microsoft Research Dissertation Grant through March 30, 2020. You can read more about the grant and find instructions to submit a proposal at http://aka.ms/Dissertation-Grant.

We encourage you to share this announcement within your communities either directly with your student and faculty contacts, via topically relevant email lists, or on social media:TwitterFacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn.

Broadening participation in computing is a core part of Microsoft’s values; accordingly, we are excited to continue the Microsoft Research Dissertation Grant that aims to recognize and support diverse doctoral students as they complete their dissertation research in computing-related fields.

This grant is open to doctoral students in their fourth year or beyond at universities in the United States, Canada and Mexico, who are underrepresented in the field of computing. This includes those who self-identify as a woman, African American, Black, Hispanic, Latinx, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and/or person with a disability. The program allows students to submit a proposal of up to $25,000 to support their dissertation research; grant recipients can also participate in a two-day career workshop at one of Microsoft Research’s labs this autumn.

For questions, please contact msrgrant@microsoft.com.

Package Submission Deadline December 2: NCWIT Harrold and Notkin Research and Graduate Mentoring Award

Do you know someone who has combined outstanding research accomplishments with excellence in graduate mentoring? Have they served as an advocate for recruiting, encouraging, and promoting women and minorities in computing fields? What better way to show them than to submit nomination materials on their behalf and surprise them with a $5,000 gift and a trip to the NCWIT Summit? Read the details of what information you’ll need to gather and then go ahead and submit it on their behalf here.