Published: September 2014,  Issue: Vol. 26/No.8, Download as PDF

Archive of articles published in the September 2014, Vol. 26/No.8 issue.

Origami-Inspired Robots Spring to Life

Inspired by the traditional Japanese art form of origami, researchers from Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have figured out how to take flat sheets of specialized paper and plastic and make it self-fold into a complex machine that can “get-up and go”.

Gender Stereotype Endorsement

One hundred eighteen graduate students (n = 75 women, n= 143 men) indicated (a) the degree to which they endorse the stereotype that women are less capable in computing that men; (b) how much they felt they “belong” in computing and (c) their self-efficacy in computing. Men endorsed the negative stereotype to a greater degree than women, p < .01. However, among women, stronger endorsement of the negatively stereotype was associated with a lower sense of belonging and lower sense efficacy in computing, ps < .05; men’s stereotype endorsement was unrelated to their belonging and self-efficacy. These results highlight the importance of fostering a stereotype-free training environment so that women’s self-concept in computing is unconstrained by negative cultural beliefs about their ability.

Spotlight on Nancy Amato

Nancy Amato, Unocal Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University, has had a banner year. She is the recipient of two prestigious awards for mentoring, the Habermann and the Harrold/Notkin awards, elected to the CRA Board, and will shortly be CRA-W Co-chair. She exemplifies teaching, research and service excellence in computing.

Updates from CISE

It was great to see so many of you during this summer’s CRA Snowbird conference! The talks were great and the side conversations stimulating. To keep the dialogue going, I want to highlight some of our upcoming activities.

CCC Releases Request for Proposals for New Visioning Activities

The Computing Community Consortium (CCC) invites proposals for visioning workshops that will catalyze and enable innovative research at the frontiers of computing. Successful activities will articulate new research visions, galvanize community interest in those visions, mobilize support for those visions from the computing research community, government leaders, and funding agencies, and encourage broader segments of society to participate in computing research and education.

CERP Receives Additional Grant Funding

Jane Stout, Director of CRA’s Center for Evaluating the Research Pipeline (CERP), is the PI on a three-year grant recently awarded to CRA by NSF for the amount of $783,975. The project, entitled Promoting a Diverse Computing Workforce: Using National Survey Data to Understand Persistence Across Undergraduate Student Groups, will use data collected from CERP’s Data Buddies program, to understand predictors of student retention in computing, with specific focus on the experiences of underrepresented groups. Data collection for the project will begin during the fall of 2014, and track students’ successes and persistence through 2017.

Taulbee 2014

This fall, CRA is implementing a major upgrade to the Taulbee survey. Why a new Taulbee? We began with the goal of developing the long-requested ability for each department to select an individual peer group and compare key results. As we looked into it, we realized that the entire Taulbee process needed improvement. There were too many user-unfriendly aspects to the online interface, too many ways for bad data to slip through, and too many manual steps in the analysis. We wanted to provide peer group reporting, but even more than that, we wanted to improve the timeliness and accuracy of information available to the computing community.