Archive of articles published in the 2022 issue.

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2022 CRA Board of Directors Election Results and New Board Members


CRA members have elected three new members to its Board of Directors: Maria Gini, Gillian Hayes and Ben Zorn. Lorrie Cranor, Divesh Srivastava and Jaime Teevan were re-elected to the CRA Board. All of their terms run from July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2025. There are also changes to the appointed members to the board, who are not elected. Yolanda Gil has been appointed the new AAAI representative, replacing Charles Isbell. Beginning July 1, Dan Lopresti will replace Liz Bradley as the CCC Chair and representative on the CRA Board.

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

Applications Open for BPCnet.org BPC Plan Workshop in Denver, CO (August 3-5, 2022)


Applications are now open for the upcoming Broadening Participation in Computing (BPC) Plan Workshop, hosted by BPCnet.org in Denver, CO from August 3-5, 2022. In this workshop, departments will have the opportunity to learn more about BPC efforts from the National Science Foundation (NSF), how to create a Departmental BPC Plan, and how to best support faculty PIs submitting NSF proposals that require a BPC Plan. Consultants from BPCnet.org will be available to answer questions and provide real-time feedback about your departments’ BPC Plan during the workshop.

Please check out the workshop website for more information about the workshop.

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Call for Coaches for the CSGrad4US Mentoring Program


Are you interested in mentoring prospective graduate students through the application and reentry process?
The coach application is now available on the CSGrad4US Mentoring Program webpage. The goals of the CSGrad4US Mentoring Program are:

  • To guide returning students through the application process towards a successful CS PhD admission and school selection
  • To mentor them through the transition to PhD graduate study in the first year towards high retention.

Access the coach application here. Applications received by July 1st will be given preference.

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Expanding the Pipeline: Addressing the distribution of prior experience in CS1


Imagine you walk into Japanese 101 and on the first day the professor asks, “Has anyone taken Japanese before?” and everyone raises their hand but you and a handful of other students. Imagine then that your classmates not only raise their hands but respond to the professor in Japanese!  At age 18, I would have been intimidated and likely would have dropped the class.  This is how many of our students feel in the first course for computing majors – overwhelmed by the sense that they are already behind when in theory they have only just begun.

The trouble is that prior experience in CS is not uniformly distributed across all genders, races and ethnicities, and further CS is only offered in approximately half of U.S. high schools (with more of those high schools in regions of economic privilege).  Thus, the individuals experiencing the first course required for a computing major (CS1) in this way are more likely to be from less privileged geographies and from genders and races/ethnicities historically marginalized in tech.

It is imperative that computing departments address the distribution of prior experience in coding, but how they respond will depend on the context of the department and the university. In this article, we outline five of the more popular approaches, illustrating the contexts in which they work best, and possible pitfalls.

CSTB Releases Report Fostering Responsible Computing Research: Foundations and Practices


The National Academies’ Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB) released a new report, Fostering Responsible Computing Research: Foundations and Practices. The report outlines recommendations for the computing research community to ensure ethical and societal impacts are thought through and a part of the conversation from the start.

The National Academics’ CSTB was created to advise the nation on technical and public policy issues pertaining to computing. This includes social and economic implications, sustaining leadership in computing innovation, and using computing in desirable and beneficial ways. The board is comprised of leading experts in the field, one of which is CCC Council Member David Danks.

On May 2nd, the project’s Committee Chair, Barbara Grosz, discussed the key findings and recommendations from the report. You can see the webinar recording here. In Grosz’s talk, she stressed that the report and its recommendations carry no expectation that computer scientists and engineers become experts in areas of scholarship such as ethics, psychology, sociology etc.

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CRA Opportunity Board


Last year the Computing Research Association (CRA) launched an Opportunity Board to enable recent new PhD graduates and members of the community that are looking for postdocs to connect. This is a continuation of the Opportunity Board used to match potential postdocs and mentors during the CIFellows 2021 process. The board allows for the posting of postdoc opportunities by potential mentors and posts by those looking for a postdoc opportunity. We encourage members of the community to use this as a resource.

You are able to search for potential postdocs and available postdoc positions by research area. This board is monitored by CRA, but we will not endorse any posts or make any recommendations. Posts will remain for six months before being removed. If you find a match, please remove your profile from the Opportunity Board. You can view the board here.

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NITRD 30th Anniversary Symposium Recap


The NITRD 30th Anniversary Symposium was held in Washington D.C. at the National Spy Museum. The event provided an opportunity for the computing research community to come together and celebrate the impact that federal funding has had on computing technologies, innovations and the world at large. The day featured insightful remarks from key leaders in the community including Alondra Nelson (Deputy Assistant to the President Deputy Director for Science and Society White House Office of Science and Technology Policy), Barbara McQuiston (Director of Defense Research and Engineering for Research and Technology in the Department of Defense), Kamie Roberts (Director of the National Coordination Office for the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program), Sethuraman (“Panch”) Panchanathan (Director of the National Science Foundation), Erwin Gianchandani  (NSF) and the Computing Community Consortium’s Chair Elizabeth Bradley.

The event consisted of five panels, each composed of four to five experts discussing the impact federal funding has had on their field and what entities funding should focus on going forward.

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The Decision to Go to Graduate School After Undergraduate Degree Completion


Analysis suggests that job prospects weigh heavily on students’ decision to skip or delay graduate education. Further, while the importance of some of the reasons remain the same across students at different stages of their degree program, others vary in terms of their salience depending on how close students are to graduating.