Archive of articles published in the 2015 issue.

Mark HillMark Hill

Cache or Scratchpad? Why Choose?

The following is a special contribution to this blog by CCC Executive Council Member Mark D. Hill of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Full disclosure: He had the pleasure of working with one of the authors of the discussed paper—Sarita Adve—on her 1993 Ph.D.

Great conundrums include:
* Will I drink coffee or tea?
* Shall I have cake or ice cream?
* Should I use a cache or scratchpad?
While most readers will not face the last choice, it is important for saving time and energy in the devices we love by keeping frequently used information close at hand.

Excitement Around K-12 CS Education, but There’s Work to be Done by the CS Community

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced this week that every public school in New York City, from elementary through high school, must offer computer science (CS) courses to all students within 10 years. It is estimated that fewer than 10% of schools in New York City currently offer a CS course, and only 1% of students take such a class. Computer science will not be required of all students, but the opportunity to take a CS course will be available in every school.

Exploring Computer Science: Active Learning for Broadening Participation in Computing

An opinion piece published in The New York Times entitled “Are College Lectures Unfair?” provides a clue to the persistent gender and race gaps in computer science [1]. The author, Annie Murphy Paul, poses several provocative questions: “Does the college lecture discriminate? Is it biased against undergraduates who are not white, male, and affluent?” She proceeds to explain how a growing body of research shows that “the lecture is not generic or neutral, but a specific cultural form that favors some people while discriminates against others, including women, minorities, and low-income first generation college students.” Paul then contrasts the lecture with active learning, where students construct knowledge through hands-on problem solving, engaging with the material through group work, collaborative thinking, and where students anchor their learning in knowledge they possess and cultural references with which they are familiar. For educators of computer science, a field that has been largely taught through lecture and direct instruction, research supporting active inquiry-based learning should give everyone pause to reflect and discuss.

nsf logonsf logo

NSF/CISE Plays Leadership Role in New Federal Smart Cities Initiative

On Monday, Sept. 15th, National Science Foundation (NSF) Director, Dr. France Córdova, joined other federal science leaders at the White House, including the President’s Science Advisor, Dr. John Holdren, and U.S. Chief Technology Officer, Ms. Megan Smith, to help kick off a new government-wide Smart Cities Initiative. NSF’s Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) is pleased to be playing a leadership role in this initiative.

Black/African-American Representation: Major Tech CompaniesBlack/African-American Representation: Major Tech Companies

The State of African-Americans in Computer Science – The Need to Increase Representation

In the field of computer science, African-Americans are considered one of many groups who are underrepresented. Even though African-Americans comprise 13.2% of the U.S. population [8], their current representation in computer science is not proportional. This underrepresentation is especially visible in the industry and academic employment sectors of computer science.

This reality has caused many to question why diversity is scarce among employees at major technology companies in the United States [3]. Within the academy, the issue of underrepresentation, along with concerns regarding the recruitment, retention, and production of African-American computer scientists, has been brought to the forefront.

Where are they now?

Overwhelmingly, Grad Cohort women are employed in industry/government positions. In 2015, CERP followed up with women who had attended a CRA-W Grad Cohort Workshop between 2004 and 2012. Survey respondents (n = 371) provided the following current employment information: 70% were employed, 26% were graduate students, and 4% who were unemployed. Of those who responded that they were employed (n = 258), 64% indicated they were employed in an industry/government setting, 32% were in academia, and 4% in other settings.

Schedule for the 2015 CRA Taulbee Survey

The 2015 CRA Taulbee Survey will be starting soon. There are a couple of new features this year:

The survey will be split into two parts: salary and everything else. This allows us to set an earlier deadline for the salary section in order to produce a preliminary salary report in December, while giving departments more time to collect and enter the information in the rest of the survey.
The every-three-years Department Profiles section of the survey will be included this year. These questions cover teaching loads, floor space, graduate student recruitment, staff, and details on sources of research funding.

Nominations Open for 2016 CRA Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Researchers

The Computing Research Association is pleased to announce the annual CRA Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Researchers, which recognizes undergraduate students in North American colleges and universities who show outstanding research potential in an area of computing research. The award is a terrific way to recognize your best student researchers and your department.

People at computerPeople at computer

Computer-Aided Personalized Education Workshop

The CCC Computer-Aided Personalized Education (CAPE) Workshop will be held in Washington, D.C. on November 12-13.

The demand for education in STEM fields is exploding, and universities and colleges are straining to satisfy this demand. In the case of computer science, for example, the number of U.S. students enrolled in introductory courses has grown threefold in the past decade. Recently, massive open online courses (MOOCs) have been promoted as a way to ease this strain, but scaling traditional models of teaching to MOOCs poses many of the same challenges observed in the overflowing classrooms; namely, the assessment of students’ knowledge and providing meaningful feedback to individual students.

Video Analysis for Body-worn Cameras in Law Enforcement

In May, The White House Office of Science Technology Policy, Department of Commerce, and the Arnold Foundation approached the Computing Community Consortium (CCC), as a community organization of computer science researchers, to lead a conversation for law enforcement to learn about the state of the art in video-analysis techniques and how they may be applicable to analyze and improve law enforcement practice. This was a timely opportunity to provide input to a burgeoning application space: police body-worn cameras.