Archive of articles published in the 2010 issue.

Cross Flow Among the 2010 Computing Innovation Fellows

For a second straight year, this summer the Computing Research Association, with fund-ing from the National Science Foundation, extended offers of one- to two-year postdoctoral fel-lowships to new Ph.D.s, in an attempt to retain recent graduates in computing research and teaching during difficult economic times (see 1,2 for details). A key requirement of the CIFellows Project has been to support intellectual diversity in computing fields at U.S. organizations.

Turning Visions into Federal Programs

Three years into a joint experiment by the National Science Foundation and the Comput-ing Research Association, the Computing Community Consortium continues to mobilize the community to debate long-range research challenges and to build consensus around specific research visions. In addition, consistent with its overall mission, the CCC is articulating these visions to newly cultivated contacts among Federal funding agencies in Washington.

Congress Adjourns Without Finishing Work on Funding, Science Program

As predicted by many in the science advocacy community, Congress adjourned well in advance of the November mid-term elections without having finished work on any spending bills or a reauthorization of federal research and education programs. Without completed 2011 appropriations, federal agencies began the 2011 fiscal year with spending capped at the 2010 fiscal year levels—a situation that will remain until Congress returns to finish the 2011 appropriations process. Complicating matters is the likelihood of significant change in the composition and, perhaps, leadership of Congress, making it difficult to predict exactly how and when Congress will complete appropriations.

Broader Impacts – Should You Care?

Yes! For many reasons, you should definitely care about broader impacts. First, many CISE researchers report that broader impact efforts bring inspiration, personal satisfaction and new perspectives on their work. What could be more rewarding than seeing significant impact from your efforts? Second, if you receive federal funds for your research, then you should feel a moral obligation to return the taxpayers’ investment by participating in efforts that will ultimately benefit society.

Ratings Redux

In the May 2010 issue of Computing Research News, we provided a perspective on our interactions with the National Research Council group tasked with evaluating and ranking doctoral programs. We outlined concerns with the pending ranking system, especially with regard to its plans to evaluate faculty publications and citations using a method we believe to be flawed. As reported in the CRN article, the NRC’s compromise was to remove the citation analysis and to augment the data used in the report with a list of conferences provided by the CRA (see the CRA web site for a link to the list), together with CVs submitted by faculty to the NRC.

Education a Hot Topic at Snowbird Conference

It seems so obvious that it hardly needs to be repeated: the future of computing research depends on a reliable pipeline of talented young researchers who share a passion for expanding the boundaries and advancing the frontiers of computation. As the organization that represents academic and industrial computing research in North America, CRA has a vital interest in ensuring the health of the research pipeline. In 2008, after consulting with many organizations, the CRA Board established the CRA Education Committee (CRA-E) and charged it with finding ways for CRA to take additional responsibility for the continued flow of quality researchers to the field.

Advancing Women in Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania

Attracting women to study computer science and engineering is an ongoing challenge at colleges and universities across the nation. In the fall of 2007, women in the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) at the University of Pennsylvania made up 30 percent of the undergraduate population.

Reinvigorating the Field

A few weeks ago, members of the computing research community assembled for the 19th biennial Conference at Snowbird, the flagship conference for chairs of Ph.D.-granting departments of computing and allied fields and leaders from U.S. industrial and government computing research laboratories and centers. Here are some observations on trends in the field evident during the meeting.

CRA-E White Paper Summary

The overall goal of this White Paper is to provide guidance that will help institutions create an undergraduate environment that supports the acquisition and internalization of the computationally-oriented researcher mindset. We addressed overall directions rather than comprehensive details, not a curriculum design.

New Activities

In the summer of 2008, Andries van Dam from Brown University convened the CRA-E committee – the Mark I committee as it has become known. Mark I was a panel of world-class computing researchers and educators who were asked to identify and recommend best practices for preparing undergraduates for research careers in computing. A summary of their findings and recommendations appears elsewhere in this issue of Computing Research News.