Published: September 2009,  Issue: Vol. 21/No.4, Download as PDF

Archive of articles published in the September 2009, Vol. 21/No.4 issue.

Engaging High School Students in Interdisciplinary Studies

The United States and Canada have been facing a reduction in enrollments in computer science courses and a drop in the number of offerings of high school courses in computing and related subjects. In this report, we will discuss a recent attempt to reinvigorate the stream of high school students interested in this topic. We hope that more students will become interested in computer science if they can pursue interesting applications than if they are only learning to program for its own sake.

A Transition

It’s been a great honor—not to mention a lot of fun—to serve on the Board of Directors of the Computing Research Association. My participation on the board has been truly fulfilling, in large part because the importance of CRA to the computing research community has grown markedly in recent years, and also because of the many great colleagues I’ve met along the way. Now, as the Board Chair, I have come to understand fully how much CRA has accomplished in recent years and how many great opportunities it has to make a difference for the community.

NetSE Council Announces Networking Research Agenda

The Network Science and Engineering (NetSE) Council of CRA’s Computing Community Consortium, led by Georgia Tech’s Ellen Zegura, released an agenda for networking research at the GENI Engineering Conference in Seattle in late July. CCC charged the NetSE Council with developing a comprehensive research agenda that would support the development of better networks. Through a series of workshops and a tremendous amount of community input, the NetSE Council evolved the current draft.

A National Roadmap for Robotics

Over the last year, as part of CRA’s CCC program, a group of researchers has formulated a national roadmap for robotics. Robotics programs over the past decade have been scattered across agencies with little or limited cohesion. In 2006, a group of senior community members requested support from the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) to generate a roadmap that would address not only basic research, but national needs ranging from basic research to industrial needs. A series of four workshops were organized during the summer of 2008 to formulate the roadmap.

Science Funding Faring Well in Budget Process But Appropriations Still a Long Way from Complete

As Members of Congress returned to their districts for the month-long August Congressional Recess, they left an appropriations process on pace to deliver federal science agencies significant budget increases in FY 2010. While the process is far from complete—and much could potentially happen to derail it—the milestones reached so far suggest that Congress intends to hold true to their oft-stated pledge of doubling the budgets for some key federal science agencies over the next several years.

Grimson Approved as New CRA Board Chair

The Computing Research Association’s Board of Directors in August approved the appointment of MIT’s Eric Grimson as the organization’s 21st board chair. He replaces Peter Lee of CMU, who stepped down earlier that month after accepting an appointment to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

The Computing Innovation Fellows Project: Strengthening the Field in Difficult Times

In this difficult economic time many Ph.D. graduates would be lost to the research and education track if—due to severely reduced hiring by universities and research labs—they accepted positions that would not permit them to pursue their independent scholarly interests. Doing this would diminish dramatically the possibility of a future research career.