Published: October 2013,  Issue: Vol. 25/No.9, Download as PDF

Archive of articles published in the October 2013, Vol. 25/No.9 issue.

In Memoriam: Mary Jean Harrold, Former CRA Board Member and CRA-W Co-Chair

On September 19, 2013, the computer science research community lost a stellar and vibrant, researcher and leader, Mary Jean Harrold, Professor in the School of Computer Science at Georgia Institute of Technology, age 66, from cancer. Mary Jean was particularly effective and energetic as CRA-W Co-Chair and Board member. She was a role model, leader, and initiator of programs to increase the number of women participating and succeeding in computer science research careers. She was CRA-W Co-Chair (2003 to 2006) and led the Distributed Research Experiences for Undergraduates (DREU) program for several years. Mary Jean was an inspiring speaker and mentor every year at CRA-W, CRA, and ICSE mentoring events, influencing hundreds of students and young researchers. “She was a great researcher – one of the most highly cited in software engineering – and a wonderful person – she had the ability to light up any room she entered.” “Not only was she an outstanding researcher, she was an inspiring person.”

Career Paths Shaped by Computing Innovation Fellowship

Last month, Google announced the recipients of its Summer 2013 Research Awards, and two former Computing Innovation Fellows (CIFellows) were among the winners: Mohit Tiwari and Katrina Ligget. These awards are made to researchers in computer science which cover tuition for graduate students and provide the opportunity to work with Google scientists and engineers. Tiwari was a 2011 – 2013 CIFellow at the University of California, Berkeley. He is now an Assistant Professor at University of Texas at Austin. He discusses his path as a CIFellow and his Google Research Award below.

Christopher Johnson to Receive IEEE-CS Sidney Fernbach Award

Congratulations to CRA Board Member Christopher Johnson for being named the recipient of the 2013 IEEE Computer Society Sidney Fernbach Award for his work in scientific visualization and computing. Johnson is the founding director of the University of Utah’s Scientific Computing and Imaging (SCI) Institute. Established in 1992 in memory of high-performance computing pioneer Sidney Fernbach, the Fernbach Award recognizes outstanding contributions in the application of high-performance computers using innovative approaches.

CRA Bids Farewell to Melissa Norr

After seven years as CRA’s Policy Analyst, Melissa Norr will be leaving CRA to begin a new career in library science. Melissa — who worked closely with Peter Harsha, CRA’s Director of Government Affairs, helping shape CRA’s policy mission — will be pursuing her passion for books with a position with the DC Public Library while she finishes a Masters in Library Science at Clarion University.

Nominations Open for 2014 CRA Service and Habermann Awards

The Computing Research Association invites nominations for the CRA Distinguished Service Award and the A. Nico Habermann Award for 2014. See “Guidelines for Nominators”. Distinguished Service Award CRA makes an award, usually annually, to a person who has made an outstanding service contribution to the computing research community. A. Nico Habermann Award CRA makes an award, usually annually, to a person who has made outstanding contributions aimed at increasing the numbers and/or successes of underrepresented groups in the computing research community. Nominations are due December 13.

Nominees Sought for CRA Board

The Computing Research Association seeks your help in suggesting nominations for its Board of Directors. Click here to download the nomination form. We seek individuals who have time, energy, initiative, and resources to work on CRA issues on behalf of the entire CRA community. Ours is a working board, and all members are expected to do a fair share of the work.

CRA-W Career Mentoring Workshop held at SIGCSE 2013

On March 6, 2013, the day before the SIGCSE 2013 Symposium in Denver, Colorado, the CRA-W provided a full-day Career Mentoring Workshop for Educators (CMW-E) for women faculty and graduate students interested in teaching careers. Specifically, the workshop targeted women faculty early in their career who are in teaching-track or teaching-focused positions or female graduate students close to finishing their PhD who are interested in such teaching positions. By co-locating with SIGCSE, the attendees are encouraged to stay to attend the SIGCSE Symposium.

A Path Between: Mentoring the Next Generation of Computing Professionals

In the US, increasing the number of students who matriculate, graduate, and enter the workforce in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields—in particular, computing—is a national imperative. My 15 years of experience with MentorNet (, an online program that matches undergraduate and graduate students in STEM disciplines with working professionals and guides them through a one-on-one mentoring relationship for eight months, demonstrates that individuals can help to diversify and develop the next generation of computer scientists. You too can become a mentor and grow professionally and personally—not to mention have fun—while doing good.

Where are They Now? REU Participants

We administered a post-graduation survey to students 1-2 years after they had earned their B.S. in computing to assess their current career status. Survey respondents were more likely to be enrolled in a PhD computing graduate program if they had participated in a CRA-W/CDC-sponsored Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) than if they had participated in Other REUs or No REUs, p < .05.