Published: January 2016, Issue: Vol. 28/No.1, Download as PDF

Archive of articles published in the January 2016, Vol. 28/No.1 issue.

Snowbird ThumbnailSnowbird Thumbnail

2016 Conference at Snowbird Preliminary Program

The 2016 CRA Snowbird conference will kick-off with a plenary conversation between John Markoff, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who covers science and technology for The New York Times, and University of Washington professor Ed Lazowska. A second plenary will feature Jessica Hodgins, professor in the Robotics Institute and Computer Science Department at CMU. Panel sessions will include topics ranging from “Smart Cities” to “Computing’s Place in the University to the Future of Work.” A major focus of the conference will be booming enrollments, with a short plenary followed by parallel sessions devoted to the topic, its various ramifications, and ideas to help you deal with it, including best practices for managing growth. The meeting will also feature a view into computing and Washington from CRA’s Government Affairs Director Peter Harsha, and short after-dinner talks on computing research futures. New this year, we will facilitate book discussion groups over coffee.

In addition to the conference, a workshop for new department chairs will be held on July 17. There will be several hours of free time for networking, mingling, hiking, or hanging out and enjoying the gorgeous environment.

2016 Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award Winners

This year’s nominees are 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 are in wide use.

Many nominees had been involved in successful summer research or internship programs; many had worked as teaching assistants, tutors, or mentors; and a number were significantly involved in community volunteer efforts.

CRA gratefully acknowledges the support of Microsoft Research and Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs (MERL), which sponsor the Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award program in alternate years. MERL is the sponsor of the 2016 awards.

CRA Board UpdateCRA Board Update

Nominees for CRA Board Announced and Petition Nominees Sought

CRA is pleased to announce the 2016 Election Committee’s slate of nominees for the CRA Board. CRA also currently accepting nominations by petition.

Important dates and events:
On February 5, 2016, petition nominations due
On February 12, 2016, final ballots will be distributed to all CRA department chairs and lab directors. Each will have one vote for each open slot on the board.
On February 26, 2016, completed ballots must be returned to CRA.
In early March, the election results will be announced.


CRA Surveys in Progress, Deadline January 22
The main part of the Taulbee Survey is still in progress. This includes data on student degrees and enrollment, faculty, research expenditures, and the every-three-years Profiles questions about department space, teaching load, and graduate student recruitment. CRA is conducting a one-time survey of doctoral institutions that goes beyond Taulbee’s basic enrollment numbers to collect information on the current surge in computer science enrollments. If you have any questions about either survey, contact Dr. Betsy Bizot, CRA Director of Statistics and Evaluation, or 202-266-2943.

Call for Nominations for BECA Award

New CRA Board Member
Tom Conte is the new IEEE-CS representative on the CRA Board of Directors. Tom joins David Ebert and replaces Jean-Luc Gaudiot who has been elected IEEE-CS 2017 president. Tom was the president of IEEE-CS in 2015.


CRA-E Announces New Program and Service

The Computing Research Association Education Committee (CRA-E) is pleased to announce the CRA-E Graduate Fellows Program and a new Undergraduate Research Listing Service. The CRA-E Graduate Fellows program provides opportunities for Ph.D. candidates in a computing field to contribute to CRA-E projects, to network with computer science education advocates on the committee, and to engage in advocacy for mentoring undergraduate students and to promote undergraduate research and education at the national level. A new “undergraduate research listing service” is now available for faculty and other researchers to advertise (at no cost) undergraduate research opportunities and for undergraduates to find such opportunities. The site can be found here.


CS in DC: Jim Kurose, Assistant Director, NSF, CISE

Jim Kurose is an assistant director (AD) at the National Science Foundation (NSF), where he leads the Directorate of Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) in its mission to uphold the nation’s leadership in scientific discovery and engineering innovation through its support of fundamental research and transformative advances in cyberinfrastructure. He is on leave from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he is a distinguished professor in the College of Information and Computer Sciences.

Nominations Sought for New CCC Council Members

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 its Council. The CCC is also accepting proposals for visioning activities.

Computer-Aided Personalized Education Visioning Workshop

On November 12th and 13th the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) held a visioning workshop on Computer-Aided Personalized Education (CAPE) in Washington, DC to address these challenges. The workshop brought together more than 50 researchers from academia, industry, and the government in order to foster new collaborations among participants from diverse disciplines and to suggest new research directions in computer-aided personalized education.


Mentoring the Whole STEM Person: Advancing LGBTQ+ students and professionals

January is National Mentoring Month, a great time to learn how mentoring can help support students and professionals in computing research, and in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) more generally. Mentoring is especially important for individuals in STEM from underrepresented groups in promoting persistence and success in education and professional settings. Effective mentoring programs help mentors and mentees consider various attributes of their identities and experience, like race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, and educational background, which may influence their persistence and success. Although effective programs aim to support the whole person, gender identity and expression and sexuality orientation are often overlooked.

Racial/ethnic Minority Students Who are CDC/CRA-W REU Participants are Particularly Likely to Apply to a Graduate Program in Computing

A sample of racial/ethnic minority undergraduate students graduating with a computing major (n = 201) reported whether they had applied to a graduate program in the fall. Students who had participated in a CDC/CRA-W REU program were significantly more likely to have applied to graduate program in computing than their peers with no undergraduate research experience (p < .05). Among students who had other research experiences and students with no research experience, there was no difference in graduate school application rates (p = .13). Importantly, this analysis controlled for students’ college GPA and parental education level, indicating that participating in a CDC/CRA-W REU program predicted applying to a computing graduate program over and above GPA and parental education level.

CRA_W BoothCRA_W Booth

CRA-W Mentoring at the 2015 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing

The 2015 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC) was the largest-ever gathering of women technologists. GHC 2015 was held at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas, from October 14 -16, 2015. Following the trend of recent years, the size of the conference dramatically increased once again: from 3,600 in 2012 to 4,700 in 2013 (~31% increase) to 7,800 in 2014 (~66% increase) to more than 12,000 in 2015 (~54% increase).