Published: February 2022, Issue: Vol. 34/No.2, Download as PDF

Archive of articles published in the February 2022, Vol. 34/No.2 issue.

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CRA-Industry Launches New Website and Logo

The Computing Research Association’s newly formed Industry Committee (CRA-I) is pleased to announce the release of our new logo and website.

CRA-I was created in the Fall of 2020 with the goal of reaching out to industry partners involved in computing research and giving them new opportunities to convene and connect on topics of mutual interest with academia and government.

The committee recognizes the diversity of companies that participate in the computing research ecosystem and seeks to enable those companies, big and small, to get the greatest benefit from sharing their experiences with each other. Furthermore, CRA-I recognizes that many companies not traditionally contributing or benefitting from computing research are now actively engaging with the computing research community. We seek to help such companies engage, contribute, and participate in the computing research community for the benefit of all.


Expanding the Pipeline: Design to Disrupt – Making Space for Every Student in CS

In 2011, my team of six instructors led a yearlong CS course for 120 Black/Latinx middle-school students in Washington, DC. After first-day introductions, we asked them to name a computer scientist. Despite six Black men/women in front of them, we heard only three names: Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg. It was then that I realized if they didn’t see us as computer scientists, then how would they ever be able to see themselves as one? We knew we had work to do.

We spent the entire year dismantling the narrative that CS was restricted to White and Asian men and reinforcing how not only were they computer scientists, but also change agents. Students learned much more than what CS was, but also whom it should represent and why these identities mattered.

We were fortunate to have a team that didn’t fit the “traditional” narrative leading that effort. However, this won’t always be the case. As we continue to make strides in CS education, the following strategies can help to ensure that the who and why are prioritized, regardless of the student or instructor.

Mechanism Design for Improving Hardware Security Orientation Recap

On January 13th, the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) held an orientation webinar as an introduction for a CCC visioning workshop on Mechanism Design for Improving Hardware Security to be held in the summer of 2022 (exact date and location TBD). The orientation outlined the goals of the workshop and expanded on what the organizers are looking for in the white papers. We are seeking short white papers to help create the agenda for the workshop and select attendees.

At this workshop, participants will investigate ways to improve the design and uptake of hardware security mechanisms. In addition to looking at traditional technical solutions, the workshop will also consider new mechanisms to incentivize designers, system integrators, and users to create and maintain security of their systems. The workshop will bring together hardware and software security experts and economists and experts in devising and implementing governmental policies.

CCC White Paper on Research Opportunities in Evidence-Based Elections is Now Available

The Computing Community Consortium (CCC) recently released the Research Opportunities in Evidence-Based Elections white paper, written by Josh Benaloh (Microsoft Research), Philip B. Stark (University of California, Berkeley), Vanessa Teague (Australian National University), Melanie Volkamer (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology), and Dan Wallach (Rice University). 

This white paper highlights the need for evidence-based elections, which can convince people that the results of elections are accurate, and suggests several technologies that could play a role in this, mostly focused on risk-limiting audits and end-to-end verifiability. 


NITRD 30th Anniversary Commemoration

On Thursday, December 2nd, a virtual celebratory event was held for the 30th anniversary of the  Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) program. The event was organized by NITRD National Coordination Office (NCO) with support from Computing Research Association’s Computing Community Consortium (CCC) to highlight and reflect on the impact federal investment in the network information technology research and development has had on society over the past three decades.

House of Representatives Passes America COMPETES Act of 2022, Calling for Significant New Research Investments at the National Science Foundation and Other Federal Research Agencies

On February 4th, the House of Representatives passed the America COMPETES Act of 2022, a legislative package containing a bold reauthorization of the National Science Foundation and calling for significant new investments in the country’s research enterprise, among other provisions. While the bill passed the House on a partisan vote, it does set up a better legislative counterpart to the Senate’s NSF reauthorization bill, the US Innovation and Competitiveness Act (USICA), which passed last summer. The hope within the S&T policy community is that a final piece of legislation can be agreed to quickly by both chambers of Congress and then be sent to the President’s desk for signing into law. However, final passage is not guaranteed at the moment.

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Darko Marinov and Jelani Nelson Receive the 2022 CRA-E Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentoring Award

The Education Committee of the Computing Research Association (CRA-E) is proud to announce two recipients of the 2022 CRA-E Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentoring Award: Darko Marinov from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Jelani Nelson from the University of California Berkeley.

These outstanding individuals are being recognized for providing exceptional mentorship, undergraduate research experiences, and, in parallel, guidance on admission and matriculation of their students to research-focused graduate programs in computing.

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Although Most Computer Science Doctoral Students Earned Their Undergraduate Degree in a Computing Field, One Quarter Earned Their Degree in Another Field

CERP examined the undergraduate degree earned by students seeking a doctoral degree in computer science. Results indicate 41% of computer science doctoral students earned their undergraduate degree in computer science, followed by 26% earning their undergraduate degree in a computing-related engineering field.