Published: September 2022, Issue: Vol. 34/No.8, Download as PDF

Archive of articles published in the September 2022, Vol. 34/No.8 issue.

Snowbird ParticipantsSnowbird Participants

CRA Update: Keeping you in the know

The 2022 CRA Conference at Snowbird provided an excellent opportunity to hear directly from our membership on a number of topics. With CRA’s new strategic plan and new Executive Director, the 2022 CRA Conference was a good time to pause and think about how we might improve. CRA learned from our members that there is a desire for more communication and involvement in agenda setting, increased transparency about our processes, and interest in re-evaluating the Board structure. Thank you for all the thoughtful ideas shared at CRA’s flagship conference! This column provides a summary of the input received, and then concludes with “What’s Next?”.

Taulbee graphicTaulbee graphic

CRA Taulbee Survey Announcement

The 2022 CRA Taulbee Survey will be starting soon. As has been our recent practice, the survey will be split into two parts, salary and main (everything else). This allows us to set an earlier deadline for the salary section in order to produce a preliminary salary report in December, while giving departments more time to collect and enter the information in the rest of the survey if needed.

Taulbee Schedule

  • By September 19: Each academic unit head will receive an email about this year’s survey and so will the Taulbee primary contact(s), if separate. The data-gathering pdf will also be available at this time.
  • September 26: Both Salary and Main surveys open for input
  • November 28: Due date for salary section.
  • Late December: Preliminary salary report available to participants.
  • January 23, 2022: Due date for the main Taulbee section.
  • April 2022: Full Taulbee report to CRA members and participating departments.
  • May 2022: Published in CRN.

National Science Foundation Selects Recipients of the 2022 CSGrad4US Fellowship Program

The National Science Foundation recently selected sixty-nine recipients of the 2022 CSGrad4US Fellowship Program. The objective of the Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Graduate Fellowships (CSGrad4US) is to increase the number of diverse, domestic graduate students pursuing research and innovation careers in the CISE fields: computer science, computer engineering, or information science. CSGrad4US recipients will participate in the CSGrad4US Mentoring Program organized by the Computing Research Association with funding provided by the National Science Foundation through award #2231962. 


Nominations Open for 2023 CRA Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Researchers

The Computing Research Association (CRA) is pleased to announce the annual CRA Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Researchers, which recognizes undergraduate students in North American colleges and universities who show outstanding research potential in an area of computing research. The award is a wonderful way to recognize your best student researchers and your department.  


CRA-E Announces New Board Members and Co-Chair

The CRA Education Committee (CRA-E) recently welcomed two new members to its board: Borja Sotomayor and Steven Swanson. Susanne Hambrusch (Purdue University) has stepped down as the committee Co-Chair, and Kelly Shaw (Williams College) has stepped into the role, serving along with Lori Pollock (Delaware). Susanne will remain a board member and continue her work in a different role.


CRA-E’s Undergraduate Research Highlights: “Gluttonous” Algorithm Feeds Research Growth

This Q&A highlight features Rhea Jain, an Honorable Mention in the 2021 CRA Outstanding Undergraduate Researchers award program. Rhea graduated from Carnegie Mellon University and is now a PhD student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

What originally influenced you to consider doing research as an undergraduate?
I really enjoyed the undergraduate theory course at CMU and later joined the course staff as an undergraduate teaching assistant (TA). Many of the other TAs talked about research opportunities, so I became curious.

I decided to take CMU’s two-semester research seminar course. The first semester is about the research process, especially how to read and analyze papers. In the second semester you’re supposed to work on a small research project. Ultimately, the seminar ended up going virtual in March, so the research project kind of fell apart, but the course was an exciting introduction to the research process and the possibilities out there.


CIFellow Spotlight: Alexis Block – Mobile Social- Physical Human-Robot Interaction and Embodiment

An epidemic of loneliness existed before COVID-19, especially among teens and older adults, due to social isolation and the resulting lack of social touch and interactions. This isolation led to depression, suicide, and self-harm. The COVID-19 pandemic compounded this issue with more people isolating than ever before (immunocompromised individuals, older adults, and other risk categories). It will take time before these groups can re-enter society safely. At the same time, friends, family, and medical staff struggle to balance their health with patients’ need for clinical and affective touch. I am motivated to find a way to help bridge the gap between staying safe and providing people with the beneficial affective touch we need to feel socially connected.


CRA Board and CCC Council Member Katie Siek Releases Paper Discussing why Submitting “junk data” to Period Tracking Apps will not Aid in Protecting Reproductive Privacy

In July, CCC council member Katie Siek, along with two PhD student collaborators, Zaidat Ibrahim and Alexander Hayes from Indiana University, released an article in the journal The Conversation about public concern regarding the use of period tracking apps. 

Recently, many, including researchers and experts, have voiced apprehension over using period tracking applications since the overturn of Roe v. Wade, fearing that state and local governments may attempt to subpoena user’s period data from the owners of these apps. Some have even gone so far as to input false data into these period tracking apps, in the hopes that this “junk data” will confuse the applications’ algorithms, and cause the apps to generate inaccurate ovulation and fertility based predictions.

However, this effort, while perhaps well intentioned, is misguided.


CRA Board and CRA-I Steering Committee Member Fatma Özcan Honored with VLDB Women in Database Research Award

Fatma Özcan, a Principal Software Engineer in the Systems Research at Google, has been awarded the 2022 Very Large Database (VLDB) Women in Database Research Award. Özcan is a member of both the CRA Board of Directors and the Computing Research Association-Industry (CRA-I) Steering Committee.