Nominations Due February 15: CRA-WP Inaugural Skip Ellis Early Career Award


The Computing Research Association is pleased to announce its newest award, the Skip Ellis Early Career Award, which will recognize outstanding scientists and engineers with exceptional potential for leadership in computing. The award joins the Anita Borg Early Career Award for Women in advancing excellence and equal opportunity in computing research. Nominations for the inaugural Skip Ellis Early Career Award are now open and will close on February 15.

This award is in honor of the late Clarence “Skip” Ellis. He was the first African-American to earn a Ph.D. in computer science and the first African-American to be elected a Fellow of the ACM. Among his many contributions to computing, Ellis is most well-known for his pioneering work in groupware and CSCW systems.  His accomplishments include leading the development of OfficeTalk, the first office system to use icons, and Ethernet to allow people to collaborate from a distance.

The Skip Ellis Early Career Award will be given 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. The award will recognize individuals in academia and industrial/government labs who combine excellence in their research accomplishments with a positive and significant impact advancing equal opportunity in the computing research community.  This award is focused on underrepresented researchers that are relatively early in their careers (at most 8 years post-Ph.D.).   

Detailed information about the award and nomination submission can be found on the Skip Ellis Early Career Award webpage.

 

Distributed Research Experience for Undergraduates: Catching up with DREU Alumna Olivia Figueira


When did you participate in DREU and what was your project about?
I participated in a DREU program in the summer of 2019 at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. I worked with Dr. Jennifer Mankoff in her Make4All lab on a project aimed at finding the contribution of correlated stressors on mental health in college students.

How did DREU shape your research career?
DREU has shaped my research career in that it was my first official research experience and I really enjoyed it! I have had the goal of going to graduate school for a while, but I did not have any research experience off which I could base that goal. But after DREU, I feel even more excited and passionate to go to graduate school than ever before. It gave me a very unique view of the graduate school experience since I worked closely with a doctoral student in the lab, and I learned so much about conducting research at the graduate level. DREU allowed me to picture what graduate school could look like for me, and I am really excited about that prospect.

What advice would you have for DREU mentors and DREU student participants?
The best piece of advice I received during my DREU program was during a meet-and-greet lunch for undergraduate interns, graduate students, and visiting research interns in the computer science and engineering school that was held in my first week at UW. The graduate students were participating in a panel, and one of them, in response to the question “What do you wish you had known before you started your Ph.D.?”, said that they wished they knew that it was okay to not have all the answers and to ask questions, especially questions that they think are “dumb.” This really resonated with me as I felt somewhat unprepared having had no prior research experience, but I embraced that piece of advice and asked questions immediately when I had doubts, even if I felt like they were “dumb” questions, because clearly no one there is “dumb”! It really enhanced my experience since I was able to understand the project better and learn more from my mentor and the other students on my team. On the mentor side of things, I would advise them to tell their DREU students this advice! It helps the DREU student feel like they are in a safe environment and that learning (and making mistakes) is okay. This enhanced my DREU experience, and I hope other DREU students and mentors do the same!

Click here to learn more!

Distributed Research Experience for Undergraduates: Catching up with DREU Alumna Sarah Ita Levitan


When did you participate in DREU and what was your project about?
I participated in DREU in the summer of 2012, before my senior year of college.  I worked at the Columbia Speech Lab under the guidance of Dr. Julia Hirschberg. My project involved studying entrainment patterns in US Supreme Court oral arguments.  Entrainment is the phenomenon where people tend to become similar to their dialogue partner in conversation by adopting characteristics of their partner’s speech.  I worked on cleaning noisy Supreme Court audio recordings and measuring and analyzing entrainment on acoustic-prosodic features (such as pitch and loudness) between lawyers and justices.  We found that lawyers entrained more than justices, supporting the theory that the less dominant speaker is more likely to entrain to the more dominant speaker. 

How did DREU shape your research career?
My DREU experience had a major impact on my career path. Spending a summer immersed in research in a large university lab, surrounded by people working on exciting projects in natural language and speech processing, solidified my interest in getting a PhD in computer science and pursuing a research career.  I returned to the Speech Lab the following summer, and ultimately joined the Speech Lab at Columbia as a PhD student, with my DREU mentor as my PhD advisor.  I feel privileged to have had such a wise and dedicated advisor, whose enthusiasm for research is contagious, and whose commitment to helping her students is extraordinary. She is passionate about encouraging women in CS and continues to mentor DREU students during the summer. Under her guidance, I have mentored some excellent DREU students. 

What advice would you have for DREU mentors and DREU student participants?
The DREU program is more than an internship where a student completes a research project — it should be a mentoring relationship as well. For mentors, it is important to take the time to get to know your DREU student.  Meetings should not just be about the project details — ask your student about their plans for after graduation and offer  guidance and support.  For students, take advantage of this rare opportunity to be  mentored.  Communicate as much as possible with your mentor, and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you need help.  And enjoy the experience — it will fly by!

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CRA-WP Co-Chair Andrea Danyluk Named Distinguished Member of ACM


Recently, ACM named 62 Distinguished Members for outstanding contributions to the field. Several from the CRA-WP community were recognized for outstanding educational contributions to computing, including CRA Board Member and CRA-WP Co-Chair Andrea Danyluk. Congratulations to all!

Valerie B. Barr
Mount Holyoke College

Andrea Danyluk
Williams College

Manuel A. Pérez Quiñones
University of North Carolina at Charlotte 

Jodi L. Tims
Northeastern University

Danyluk became CRA-WP Co-Chair in October 2019, replacing Julia Hirschberg. She is the Mary A. and William Wirt Warren Professor of Computer Science at Williams College. She is a member of the ACM Education Board, the ACM Education Advisory Committee, and is co-chair of the ACM Data Science Task Force. She joined the Computing Research Association’s Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W) in 2008. She is the co-chair of CRA-WP.

Check out the Latest Videos on the Grad Cohort Experience


At the 2019 Grad Cohort for Women Workshop, more than 400 graduate students spent two days building both professional and support networks, while also attending sessions on how to succeed in graduate school. In three new videos, students, speakers, and sponsor representatives share their thoughts on the program’s impact.
Interested in applying to the workshop? Share these videos with potential attendees:

Participants find the workshop provides a welcoming environment which creates a sense of belonging. At Grad Cohort, attendees build confidence and connect with others going through similar experiences. The applications for both workshops are now open.

Interested in sponsorship? Check out the video on sponsorship of both workshops.

Deadline November 15 for Graduate Cohort Workshops 2020


CRA-WP will host two Graduate Cohort Workshops in 2020. The Grad Cohort Workshop for URMD is designed specifically for underrepresented minorities in computing and persons with disabilities in graduate school in computing fields. The Grad Cohort Workshop for Women is designed for women students in their first, second, or third year of graduate school in computing fields. The workshops will include a mix of formal presentations, informal discussions and social events. By attending Grad Cohort, participants will be able to build mentoring relationships and develop peer networks that are intended to form the basis for ongoing activities during their graduate career and beyond. Both applications are now open and will close on November 15.

A Broader Case for Diversity and Inclusion: CRA-Women Transitioning to CRA-Widening Participation


By the CRA Committee on Widening Participation in Computing Research 

It is with great excitement that we share with our friends, colleagues, and broader computing community that CRA Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W) is now officially CRA Committee on Widening Participation in Computing Research (CRA-WP). CRA-W was established in 1991 with the mission of increasing the success and participation of women in Computing Research. Since that time, we have organized numerous programs at various levels to engage, encourage, and sustain women in computing. In 2004, CRA-W first partnered with the Coalition to Diversify Computing (CDC) to engage and increase the participation of individuals from additional underrepresented groups in computing. In 2008, this partnership became a BPC Alliance, further expanding and strengthening our outreach and programmatic efforts. Over the past decade, our programs have quite naturally shifted from being initially women-only or women-focused, to being increasingly co-ed, with a mission of serving a wide range of constituencies. This natural progression towards broadening our scope to address all forms of underrepresentation in computing continues to motivate and drive our extremely dedicated board of volunteers.