Published:  October 2015,  Issue: Vol. 27/No.9, Download as PDF

Archive of articles published in the October 2015, Vol. 27/No.9 issue.

Congress Avoids Shutdown; Boehner Quits; Budget Still Unsettled

A last-minute agreement hammered out September 30th, just hours before the start of the new Federal fiscal year, between the House and Senate averted a government shutdown at least through mid-December. But the agreement spelled the end of Rep. John Boehner’s (R-OH) term as Speaker, as he announced his resignation — citing the difficulties of working with an increasingly fractured GOP — from both the Speakership and his seat in Congress, effective October 30th. While the move quiets debate temporarily about the final budgets for Federal agencies, including Federal science agencies in FY 2016, and keeps them open, it casts very little light about how funding will ultimately be resolved by the Congress.

CRA-E Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentoring Award

CRA is pleased to announce a new award program that honors faculty members in computing who have made a significant impact on students they have mentored. The CRA-E Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentoring Award recognizes faculty members who have provided exceptional mentorship and undergraduate research experiences, and, in parallel, guidance on admission and matriculation of these students to research-focused graduate programs in computing.

Nominees Sought for CRA Board of Directors

The Computing Research Association seeks your help in suggesting nominations for its Board of Directors. We want individuals who have time, energy, initiative, and resources to work on CRA issues on behalf of the entire CRA community. We have a working board, and all members are expected to work on community issues.

Jill HalldenJill Hallden

CRA Welcomes its Newest Staff Member

Jill Hallden is CRA’s part-time accounts payable specialist. She works closely with Sandra Corbett, program associate, to ensure that the organization’s bills get paid on time and reimbursements for participants in CRA-sponsored events are processed expeditiously. Prior to joining CRA, Jill retired from a 12-year career as an assistant professor of geography at George Mason University, where she focused on digital cartography and world regional geography. When she’s not processing reimbursements, she enjoys cycling, spending time with her three boys, and making interesting cupcake creations.

Figure 1Figure 1

Baccalaureate Origins of Women Ph.D.s in Computing, 1990-2013

As part of a larger project examining trends in the representation of women in computing from 1990-2013, we licensed data from the National Science Foundation’s Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED). The SED is sent each fall to every individual who received a research doctorate from an accredited U.S. institution in the previous academic year. It asks about the respondent’s educational background, demographics, and postgraduation plans. In 2013, 92 percent of doctoral recipients completed the survey. We included data on SED respondents whose field of doctoral program was in the disciplines of (SED codes are listed in the parenthesis): Computer Science (400), Computer Engineering (321), Information Science & Systems (410), Robotics (415), and Computer & Information Systems, Other (419).

Ph.D. recipients in computing fields are primarily non-U.S. residents in most states in the U.S.

Overall, non-US residents received 1,210 (54%) of the 2,244 computing related Ph.D. degrees awarded in the U.S. in 2013. This map illustrates that while non-U.S. residents received more than 50% of the Ph.D.s awarded in the majority of states, there was considerable variation across the states. Interestingly, a Pearson correlation test indicates that the proportion of computing Ph.D. degrees awarded to non-residents in each state was not related to the number of Ph.D. programs available in each state, r = .03, p = .83.

CVD ParticipantsCVD Participants

Computing Researchers Fly-in to D.C. to Make the Case for Computing

On September 17, 20 computing researchers from across the country visited Washington, D.C. to make the case before Congress for federally funded computing research. The volunteers, traveling from as near as Virginia and Pennsylvania, and as far away as Indiana and Washington, participated in 57 House and Senate meetings on Thursday, September 17. Their message to Congress was very simple: Federally supported computing research is vital to the nation’s future. Using their own research and individual stories as support, and supported with additional information from CRA, they made the “Federal case” for computing to Members of Congress and their staff. Just as important as the message they presented, they also made valuable connections with the officials who represent them in D.C. Those Members now know more about the expertise and interesting (and important) computing work that occurs in their districts and states, and our participants have a sense of just who represents them in Congress. And they’ve hopefully started a lasting dialogue on both sides.

National Postdoc Association LogoNational Postdoc Association Logo

Postdoc Best Practices Program

The Postdoc Best Practices (Postdoc BP) program is coming into its second year. This project is a joint effort of the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), designed to create a set of best practices for postdocs in computer science.

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.