Last year Johns Hopkins University (JHU) started the Institute for Data Intensive Engineering and Science (IDIES, pronounced as “Ideas”), promoting the use of large data sets for scientific discovery across the whole university. IDIES spansAnchor the Schools of Arts and Sciences, Engineering, Public Health, and Medicine. Hopkins president Ron Daniels and several deans have dedicated 10 new faculty positions to IDIES, all encouraging interdisciplinary research related to Big Data in science. Currently, IDIES has more than 80 faculty associates.
Computing Research News
Archive of articles published in the 2015 issue.
The Computing Visions 2025 initiative is intended to inspire the computing community to envision future trends and opportunities in computing research.
Two years since its inception, CRA’s Center for Evaluating the Research Pipeline (CERP) has proven to be a valuable resource for the computing community. CERP’s benchmark survey research mechanism, the Data Buddies Project, generates reliably large and diverse datasets pertaining to computing students’ experiences in their degree programs. CERP’s data had originally been slated primarily for “comparative evaluation” purposes; students’ experiences gleaned from survey data are pitted against each other as a function of whether or not they have participated in a given professional development program. Since August 2014, CERP’s data have been harnessed for a second purpose, which is to conduct basic social science research on issues of diversity of computing. This new focus is supported by a new grant awarded to CRA: NSF DUE-1431112, Promoting a Diverse Computing Workforce: Using National Survey Data to Understand Persistence Across Undergraduate Student Groups, which was written and is overseen by CERP Director, Jane Stout.
Every computer science graduate student learns early in their career which publication venues best match their research interests and where the best work in their area is appearing. These conferences are your research home. Every year, you should endeavor to submit, attend, network, and read the papers in these venues. For example, because I work in programming language design and implementation, I regularly read, attend, and submit to PLDI, OOPSLA, and ASPLOS. These activities build research expertise, expose you to new ideas and methodologies, help you focus your research efforts on important problems, and integrate you into your research community (Matthews, 2014).
The Computing Research Association seeks your help in suggesting nominations for its Board of Directors. 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 work on community issues.
The Computing Community Consortium (CCC) is charged with catalyzing and empowering the U.S. computing research community to articulate and advance major research directions for the field. To do so, the CCC needs truly visionary leaders — people with great ideas, sound judgment, and the willingness to work hard to see things to completion. Please help the computing community by nominating such people for the Council.
This year’s nominees were a very impressive group. A number of them were commended for making significant contributions to more than one research project, several were authors or coauthors on multiple papers, others had made presentations at major conferences, and some had produced software artifacts that were in widespread use
515 students who were 4th or 5th year undergraduates in computing programs reported their parental education, in-major GPA, and whether or not they had an REU during their undergraduate program. First generation college students were significantly less likely to have had an REU, even at the highest GPA levels. Other questions established that the reasons for nonparticipation were not lack of interest (first generation sophomores were equally as interested in an REU as non first generation students, 41% vs. 43%) or finances (first generation seniors who did not participate in REUs were no more likely to say that an REU didn’t pay well enough, 23% vs. 23% of those whose parents had bachelor’s degrees and 31% whose parents had graduate degrees). However, high-GPA first generation students were more likely to say that they were not aware of available research opportunities (students with GPA > 3.5, 48% of first generation students and 50% of those whose parents had bachelor’s degrees vs. 25% of those whose parents had graduate degrees). Therefore, REU programs might want to make a special outreach effort to these students to make sure that they are aware of opportunities and that they understand what is required to apply and participate.
The Computing Community Consortium (CCC) will sponsor a series of workshops on Privacy by Design to frame a broader research vision that frames and explores the problem at the conceptual, engineering, design, operational, and organizational levels. A broader vision will allow researchers from various disciplines to interact and collaborate to develop solutions that address practical privacy needs. The first workshop will focus on the State of Research and Practice in the field.
Early pioneers of computing such as Alan Turing, John Von Neuman and Herb Simon were fascinated by the possibility of computing opening a window into our understanding of the brain, and how understanding the brain might advance computing. A half century later, computing has made extraordinary progress, but much of the inner workings of the brain remain a mystery. Can we re-ignite the early promise of synergy between research on the human brain and computer science to the benefit of both fields?
The wealth of faculty searches in Computer Science during this hiring season for positions starting in the Fall of 2015 affords the opportunity to study areas of Computer Science where departments are choosing to invest in new faculty hires. While the number and areas for faculty searches does not necessarily translate into the same for faculty hires, we believe that they provide insight into current and future needs within the discipline.