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.”

CRA Director of Programs Erik Russell Receives AccessComputing’s 2019 Capacity Building Award


CRA Director of Programs Erik Russell was recently announced the winner of the AccessComputing 2019 Capacity Building Award. The award recognizes individuals whose work and accomplishments have changed the way the world views people with disabilities and their potential to succeed in challenging computing careers and activities. As Director of Programs at CRA, Erik provides […]

2020 Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award Recipients


Congratulations to the recipients of the 2020 Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award. This year’s nominees are a very impressive group. A number of them were commended for making significant contributions to more than one research project, several are authors or coauthors on multiple papers, others have made presentations at major conferences, and some have produced software artifacts that were in widespread use.

Expanding the Pipeline: Girl Scouts – Building the STEM Leaders and Workforce Talent of the Future


By Sylvia Acevedo, CEO Girl Scouts of the USA

As CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA and a lifelong Girl Scout, and thanks to my successful business tech career, I am in a position to give back to an organization that gave me so much. It was at Girl Scouts that I first discovered my passion for space and astronomy, during a troop camping trip when I was a seven-year-old Brownie and my troop leader noticed my fascination with the night sky. She pointed out the constellations to me and, as I gazed wide-eyed into the New Mexico sky, explained how there were whole systems out there for the exploring.

Deadline October 7: Workshop on Departmental Plans for Broadening Participation in Computing


Since 2017, the NSF Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) has been asking CISE Principal Investigators to include meaningful BPC plans in proposals submitted to a subset of CISE’s research programs. To support departments in preparing for this new effort, teams of 2-3 administrators and faculty members from computing institutions are invited to apply to participate in a workshop focused on Department Plans for Broadening Participation in Computing.

This NSF sponsored workshop will take place from November 13-15, 2019 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (in the Thomas M. Siebel Center for Computer Science). Participants will spend 1.5 days learning from BPC experts and working in break-out groups to develop a departmental plan for their own unit. The culmination of the workshop will be a departmental plan that leadership teams can take back to their unit for their faculty to use in support of their NSF CISE proposals. Additionally, teams will be encouraged to share their department plan with the computing community on the BPCnet Resource Portal.

Reasonable travel costs, housing, and meals will be provided for accepted workshop participants. The deadline to apply is October 7, 2019. Apply here: https://forms.illinois.edu/sec/3791521