Published: August 2020, Issue: Vol. 32/No. 7 Download as PDF

Archive of articles published in the August 2020, Vol. 32/No. 7 issue.

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Highlights from the CRA Virtual Conference 2020


For nearly 50 years, the Computing Research Association (CRA) has brought the leadership of the computing research community together every other year at Snowbird, UT to discuss community issues. The COVID-19 pandemic interrupted our plans to hold an in-person event this year, just like it has disrupted much of our way of life, both professionally and personally. After canceling the in-person event, CRA quickly pivoted to provide the conference in an online format with specialized content addressing the current environment and challenges during these unprecedented times. CRA Board members Ran Libeskind-Hadas and James Allan stepped up as chair and co-chair of the Virtual Conference.

Conference sessions provided a community forum to share best practices for continuing to navigate the unpredictable challenges imposed during the coronavirus pandemic and addressing community issues around race, equity, and equality. The conference videos are now available here and lightning talk videos are available here.

CRA’s Strategic Planning Effort Update


Last year, the CRA Board embarked on a process to develop a strategic plan to guide the organization into the future. At the conference, there were two interactive sessions to discuss from CRA members and CRA’s Strategic Planning initiative and gather feedback. This exercise to collect information occurred at a point when the plan has shape, yet room for constructive input regarding the priorities and essential factors for successful implementation of the emerging CRA Strategic Plan. CRA shared draft versions of the revised mission, priority outcomes, objectives, and initiatives that have been developed following extensive analysis and board input over the past year. The community feedback will be used to help determine what to focus on first and to identify key success factors.

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CRA Committee on Industry/Academia Interactions Releases Report


Recent trends such as increasing industry demands for technical talent from academia, as well as changes in the academic environment with increased industry interactions have prompted the need for a fresh look at the relationships between academia and industry. A CRA ad hoc committee on Industry/Academia Interactions was studied these trends and determined how CRA can have an impact. The committee report is available here, and video presentation here.

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Reports on Surveys of Computer Science Faculty and Academic Units/Chairs: COVID-19 Impact


CRA conducted two surveys about the COVID-19 disruption in summer 2020. The first surveyed computer science faculty members who made the transition from teaching in-person to teaching online as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey asked faculty members about their perceptions of the challenges in moving to emergency online instruction and also about planning for the fall 2020 term. In early July, CRA surveyed the chairs of doctoral and non-doctoral departments. They were asked about the impact of COVID-19 so far on their faculty, department operations, student job searches, and budgets. They were also asked about their expectations and concerns for fall 2020. Both reports are available here. CRA Director of Statistics and Evaluation Betsy Bizot recently presented the survey results at the ACM Education Advisory Committee Meeting. Click here to view the clip of her presentation.

Horizontal bars and coinciding percentage values on a chart.Horizontal bars and coinciding percentage values on a chart.

Who is Welcome in Computing?


Analysis of how welcome students feel in computing by intersections of race/ethnicity and gender, and disability status and gender shows that there are significant differences between students from various demographic groups ranging from 36% (Black women) to 75% (White men) of students in each group.

Colorful tree image that appears on the main page of BPCnet.org.Colorful tree image that appears on the main page of BPCnet.org.

CERP Announces Web App to Access Statistics Relevant to the CRA Community on BPCnet.org


In support of the NSF CISE initiative to Broaden Participation in Computing (BPC) and BPCnet.org, CERP has created a web app to facilitate access to statistics helpful to the CRA community. This web app can be used to quickly generate statistics for use in NSF proposals, particularly those that require BPC Plans.

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CCC Welcomes New Council Members and Leadership!


July 1st was the start of a new term at CCC! The Computing Community Consortium (CCC) is happy to announce that Liz Bradley from the University of Colorado-Boulder is the new Chair and Dan Lopresti from Lehigh University is the Vice Chair. Mark D. Hill from the University of Wisconsin-Madison is the Chair Emeritus. The CCC Chair and Vice Chair both serve two-year terms; at the culmination of the two years, the Vice Chair typically becomes the new Chair.

The CCC also welcomes seven new council members, nominated by colleagues in the computing research community.

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CRA and CERP Welcome Colin Karnes


CRA has recently hired Colin Karnes as a research assistant for CRA’s Center for Evaluating the Research Pipeline (CERP). In this role, Colin supports CERP activities, as they relate to CERP’s research and administrative tasks.

Prior to joining CRA, Colin worked as a graduate research assistant at the Department of Public and Nonprofit Studies at Georgia Southern University. Colin holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Georgia Southern University (2019) and a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences from the University at Buffalo (2014). He has experience in public education, nonprofit administration, and corporate governance. In his free time, Colin enjoys reading, volunteering, and exploring Washington, DC.

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In Memoriam: Frances Allen


CRA is sad to report that former CRA and CRA-W Board Member Frances “Fran” Allen passed away yesterday. Fran spent her career advancing the field of computing and inspired generations of technologists. She was a computing pioneer – the first woman to receive the A.M. Turing Award (2006) and the first woman to be named an IBM Fellow in 1989. Fran served as a speaker for CRA-W’s Discipline-Specific Mentoring program in 2008 and Career Mentoring Workshop in 2005.