Published: June 2020, Issue: Vol. 32/No. 6 Download as PDF

Archive of articles published in the Current Issue issue.

CRA’s Position


The amount of pain and suffering we are witnessing and feeling is only a snapshot of a broader social reality. We, and everyone before us, have had a role in arriving at where we are today. As such, it is of paramount importance to step up and take a stance. It is our responsibility and a moral imperative to not stand by and simply witness the events around us. We must collectively find our voice and reject racism and inequality. Silence perpetuates, doubt reinforces, and rationalization of incident after incident only compounds the pain so many in our society continue to endure.

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Save the Date for the CRA Virtual Conference 2020


While the biennial CRA Conference at Snowbird will be postponed to next summer, we will be holding an online meeting this summer on Wednesday, July 22nd, and Thursday, July 23rd.  The conference will run each day from approximately 8:30 AM Pacific/11:30 AM Eastern to 2:00 PM Pacific/5:00 PM Eastern.  A detailed schedule and registration information will be forthcoming, but here are some of the events that are planned:

  • NSF CISE Assistant Director Margaret Martonosi and CRA Director of Government Affairs Peter Harsha will give plenary talks with opportunities for participants to contribute questions and comments.
  • There will be four panel sessions on Challenges in the time of COVID, including sessions on teaching, research and collaboration, mentoring students and colleagues, and challenges for chairs.
  • There will be two interactive sessions on CRA’s Strategic Planning process.

As is traditional, each CRA member representative will receive an invitation to this meeting.  For more information contact VirtualConference@cra.org. Please save the date, and we look forward to seeing you online!

Sincerely,

Ran Libeskind-Hadas – Chair
James Allan – Co-Chair

 

President’s Immigration Order is Latest in a Series Vexing Computing Research Community


On Monday, June 22nd, President Trump issued the latest in a series of immigration and visa related orders designed to limit the involvement of foreign students and researchers, in particular those from mainland China, in U.S. research efforts. The order follows a series of other proposals and orders emanating from the White House and Capitol Hill that have raised the ire of higher-education, U.S. industry, and the computing research community over recent weeks. The proposals — two proclamations, Senate legislation and bicameral legislation — all have the stated goals of protecting U.S. jobs from foreign competition or protecting U.S. research from foreign exploitation, but in CRA’s analysis would likely do more damage to the U.S. research ecosystem than the threats they are trying to address.

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Undergrads who are Underrepresented in Computing Indicate Higher Confidence in Graduate School Admission & Becoming Capable Researcher than Peers


CERP analyzed the results of the 2018 Data Buddies Survey and discovered areas where undergraduates indicate their confidence in computing abilities. Additionally, CERP uncovered some significant differences in confidence levels between students who are underrepresented and non-underrepresented.

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Expanding the Pipeline: Scholarships for Women Studying Information Security


The Scholarships for Women Studying Information Security (SWSIS) program provides scholarships of up to $10,000 for women earning their Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in fields related to information security. The scholarships support collegiate women working to join the growing security industry through academic funding and mentoring opportunities. Over the past eight years, SWSIS has supported more than 90 women for one to two years each and have funded more than $625,000 in scholarships, providing assistance at the formative stages of their careers.

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CRA-WP Announces Recipients of the Inaugural Skip Ellis Early Career Award and the 2020 Anita Borg Early Career Award


CRA-WP is honored to present the recipients of two award programs. Tawanna Dillahunt of the University of Michigan and Michel A. Kinsy of Boston University have been selected as the 2020 Skip Ellis Early Career Award recipients. Olga Russakovsky of Princeton University has been selected as the 2020 Anita Borg Early Career Award recipient.

Computing Researchers Respond to COVID-19: Contact Tracing for All? Bridging the Accessibility Gap for Contact Tracing


Automated, proximity-based contact tracing apps use Bluetooth to identify who is near them. In theory, this is a great solution that can be efficiently deployed widely (albeit with many privacy and protocol considerations addressed here), however the assumption is that people have access to mobile phones with Bluetooth and use technology similarly.

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Request for Community Feedback on BPCnet.org


To the computing community,

With this particularly challenging academic year coming to an end, and the upcoming NSF CISE program submissions, it is a good time to update everyone on the NSF CISE Pilot Program for Broadening Participation in Computing (BPC) Plans. All Medium and Large CISE Core Programs, Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC), and Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) project proposals require an approved BPC Plan by the time of award. CRA and NCWIT have led an effort to develop the BPCnet.org portal as a resource for the community to assist in developing Departmental BPC Plans and Individual BPC Plans.

New Resources on BPCnet.org:
The community has been developing additional resources on BPCnet.org to simplify the process of writing a BPC Plan (for both Individual and Departmental plans). There is an FAQ link, plan templates, sample BPC Plans, and an extensive Getting Started Guide. There will also be additional virtual workshops later in the summer, and in-person workshops once travel is resumed.

How You Can Help:
The inclusion of BPC plans in a large number of CISE projects is a significant step in making our field inclusive and welcoming, and consequently growing the computing workforce and making it more representative of the users of technology. It will take a community-wide effort, and significant preparation of the community to make this BPC effort successful. To this end, we would like to invite interested people from this group to provide feedback on the contents in the portal. If you are interested in reviewing the portal contents, please complete our interest form.

Thank you for your interest in the NSF BPC Pilot Program, which has contributed to creating a large resource that we expect the community will find valuable. Please let us know if we can answer any questions by contacting bpcmailinglist@cra.org.

Sincerely,

BPCnet.org Steering Committee

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Announcing CRA Workshop Series on Departmental Broadening Participation in Computing (BPC) Plans


We are pleased to announce the Workshop Series on Writing Departmental Broadening Participation in Computing (BPC) Plans.

As part of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering’s (CISE) commitment to broaden participation in computing (BPC), a number of NSF Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) programs now require PIs to have a meaningful broadening participation in computing (BPC) plan at time of award. Computing departments are encouraged to develop departmental BPC plans that faculty can use in their proposals submitted to these NSF programs.

To support departments developing a Departmental BPC Plan, the Computing Research Association (CRA) will host a series of workshops funded by NSF. The first two workshops in this series will be held virtually on July 13-14, 2020 and August 6-7, 2020.

These two workshops will present the same content on BPC plans, and include hands-on activities and real-time feedback for writing these plans. At the end of the workshop, the participants will have their own draft Departmental BPC Plan. Following the workshops, the participants will also have the opportunity to receive additional feedback as they continue to refine their BPC plans.

Please visit the workshop website for more information. The deadline to apply for the July workshop is July 8th, 2020. Click here to apply for the July workshop.

We also encourage you to visit BPCnet.org to access resources on broadening participation in computing and NSF BPC plans.

Sincerely,
BPC Plan Workshop Steering Committee