Published: March 2009,  Issue: Vol. 21/No.2, Download as PDF

Archive of articles published in the March 2009, Vol. 21/No.2 issue.

CCC Update

The Computing Community Consortium was established by the National Science Foundation (NSF) two years ago to identify new visions and opportunities, build and expand communities, and increase support for computing research. The CCC has been busy and productive in the first two years of its existence.

Persons With Disabilities: Broadening Participation and Accessibility Research

It is startling to learn that approximately 16% of the US population of working age have disabilities. Some of these individuals are so cognitively or emotionally disabled that they cannot work, but most are capable of working and contributing to society. Within information technology (IT) fields the numbers compiled by the National Science Foundation (NSF) from various sources are interesting:

Educating Future Generations in Computing

Computing innovations drive our economy, underlie scientific advances, change societal behavior, and support national security. Tomorrow’s innovations rely on today’s students. To sustain progress, we need a continuous supply of creative and highly trained computer science researchers, a diverse well-trained computing workforce, and an educated, IT-literate citizenry. So, how are we doing?

Publishing Quarks: Considering Our Culture

Over the past thirty years, I have accumulated the common artifact of an academic research career—bookshelves overflowing with research journals and conference proceedings. Each time I pull an old and yellowing volume from my shelves, it is simultaneously nostalgic and thought-provoking to read a few randomly selected articles. Not only does this stroll down memory lane illuminate how far we have come, both technologically and theoretically; it also shows how profoundly the publication culture of our field has changed.

US CS New Majors, Enrollment Both Rise in 2007-2008

CRA’s Taulbee Survey of Ph.D.-granting Computer Science (CS) and Computer Engineering departments in North America has been conducted annually since 1974. Results from the most recent survey were provided to participants and CRA members in February. They will be published on CRA’s website ( and in Computing Research News in May. Due to widespread interest, CRA releases data on undergraduate degrees early.

What is a “Better Internet?”

What is a “better Internet?” The current Internet has been a remarkable success, providing a platform for innovation that far exceeds its original vision as a research instrument. It is well documented that the Internet has transformed the lives of billions of people in areas as diverse as education, healthcare, entertainment and commerce. Yet many of these successes are threatened by the increasing sophistication of security attacks and the organizations that propagate them. A materially more secure Internet would be “better.”

Congress Debates Support for Science in Stimulus, Appropriations

The first significant spending bill to cross newly elected President Barack Obama’s desk for approval in mid-February likely will be a mammoth $900 billion economic stimulus package that could include nearly $10 billion in federal research funds and research infrastructure support. That bill could be followed shortly by another big spending bill—an omnibus appropriations bill that includes funding for nearly every federal agency for FY2009, including hoped-for increases to the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and Department of Energy’s Office of Science.