Archive of articles published in the 2011 issue.

Career Mentoring for Faculty from Primarily Undergraduate Academic Institutions

Women in Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) face particular challenges in pursuing and maintaining academic careers at primarily undergraduate academic institutions. Women academicians in CSE typically have few female colleagues to provide critical information about the culture and content required for successful academic careers.

A Shifting Perspective on Computing’s Future?

As all of us are acutely aware, recent turmoil in the financial markets, near gridlock on Capitol Hill, uncertainty about long-term fiscal planning in Congress, and concerns about hesitancy in the job market are all converging to create a somewhat daunting perspective for computing research, and especially for funding for computing research, in the next few years.

Increasing Women and Underrepresented Minorities in Computing Research Careers:

CRA-W and CDC have been working since the mid 1990s to encourage women and underrepresented minorities, respectively, toward graduate school and research careers in the computing field. In 2005, the two organizations collaborated on a proposal to the National Science Foundation’s Broadening Participation in Computing (BPC) program and in 2006 they were awarded funding. The result was the Widening the Research Pipeline Alliance, one of 16 Alliances currently funded by the BPC program. Our alliance manages programs that encourage individuals to begin and remain on the path to a research career.

First Person: “Life as a NSF Program Director”

In November 2006, I received a call from a colleague suggesting I apply for a Program Director opening at the National Science Foundation. Prior to his call, I had determined to re-orient my research in machine learning towards environmental applications. It didn’t take long to decide that NSF would be much more a retooling for, rather than a distraction from, this new direction.

Trip Report from Spain

In July I had the opportunity to travel to Spain to attend and present at two research venues. The first event was the 19th International Conference on User Modeling, Adaptation, and Personalization (UMAP), which took place in Girona, a charming and beautiful old city in Costa Brava, Catalonia.

Computing Researchers Take to the Hill as Congress Debates Science Budgets

While congressional appropriators struggled to finish their work on the FY2012 budget—and a congressional supercommittee debated short- and long-term changes to the budget to combat the massive government debt—members of the computing research community continued their efforts in a variety of ways in September to make the case for the federal investment in early-stage computing research.

National Robotics Initiative

In a speech on U.S. innovation and competitiveness at Carnegie Mellon University in late June1, President Obama announced a new initiative with investments up to $50 million for major advances in next-generation robotics, called the National Robotics Initiative (NRI; The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE), together with the Directorates for Engineering; Education and Human Resources; and Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences, will play a leading role in this cross-agency program that also includes the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Reflections on the 2011 Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference

The goal of the Tapia conferences is to bring together undergraduate and graduate students, professionals, and faculty in CS&E from all backgrounds and ethnicities to: 1) Celebrate the diversity that currently exists in CS&E; 2) Create communities of CS&E people with diverse backgrounds, genders, and ethnicities that extend beyond the conference; 3) Receive advice from and make useful contacts with CS&E leaders in academia and industry; and 4) Be inspired by great presentations and conversations with successful people in CS&E who have similar backgrounds, ethnicities, and gender as the attendees.

Interesting Times as CRA Approaches 40

Welcome to the 39th year of the Computing Research Association! And for our academic members, welcome to a new academic year. For those of you fortunate enough to not have been reading national news or watching your retirement portfolio, this last year has been quite the wild ride in Washington, DC, home to CRA World Headquarters.