This article is published in the June 2022 issue.

DEAPening Employer Academic Partnerships


Contributions to this article were provided by CERP Director, Burçin Tamer.

The Computing Research Association (CRA)-Industry’s mission is to increase interaction between industry partners and other organizations involved in computing research for the benefit of all.

In that light, we would like to bring your attention to a project called DEAP, initiated by a group of computer science faculty from eleven different universities, which stands for “DEAPening Employer Academic Partnerships.” It is a National Science Foundation-funded project centered on the development of a national alliance of partners that are either (a) academic programs and institutions, or (b) companies or other organizations that employ graduates of academic programs and institutions – all involving jobs (or training for jobs) in the computing/technology field.

DEAP seeks to develop the academic-industry partnership needed to prepare graduates for long-term success in industry careers. It is made up of a team of academics with industry partners aiming to address a long-standing disconnect: that these two types of entities do not communicate frequently and substantially enough to shape the academic curricula that currently prepare students. Too frequently, universities are producing graduates that employers perceive as not ready for jobs, and companies are sometimes less than realistic in their expectations of those graduates. They want both sides to come together to work collaboratively on a long-lasting solution that continually adapts to the ever-evolving computing landscape. DEAP recently held two faculty workshops (one at SIGCSE) attended by faculty from over 100 computing departments, with a majority of participants interested in further engagement.

CRA is represented in the DEAP project advisory committee by Burçin Tamer, the Director of CRA’s Center for Evaluating the Research Pipeline (CERP). CERP has experience with large scale student surveys and helps to connect DEAP to CRA’s computing science research community. DEAP is also engaged with CRA-Industry and has representation on their advisory committee from ABET, ACM, and IEEE, and other members.

Learn more about DEAP and join their community here. CRA-Industry and CERP look forward to working with DEAP going forward and helping them achieve their similar goals.