Tag Archive: CERP Infographics

These infographics are brought to you by the CRA’s Center for Evaluating the Research Pipeline (CERP). CERP provides social science research and comparative evaluation for the computing community. To learn more about CERP, visit our website.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number (CNS-1246649; DUE-1431112). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Differential experiences of students in computing


We asked undergraduate students to indicate the degree to which receiving encouragement from family, friends and teachers led them to pursue a major in computing. Among women, race mattered, p .05. Together, this finding highlights the differential experiences of students in computing as a function of gender as well as race.

Gender Stereotype Endorsement


One hundred eighteen graduate students (n = 75 women, n= 143 men) indicated (a) the degree to which they endorse the stereotype that women are less capable in computing that men; (b) how much they felt they “belong” in computing and (c) their self-efficacy in computing. Men endorsed the negative stereotype to a greater degree than women, p < .01. However, among women, stronger endorsement of the negatively stereotype was associated with a lower sense of belonging and lower sense efficacy in computing, ps < .05; men’s stereotype endorsement was unrelated to their belonging and self-efficacy. These results highlight the importance of fostering a stereotype-free training environment so that women’s self-concept in computing is unconstrained by negative cultural beliefs about their ability.

Minority Students and REUs


CERP recently compared critical outcomes of 187 undergraduate computing students who had participated in a formal research experience (REU) during the 2012 academic year. Students of racial minority who had participated in a REU reported greater gains in (a) knowledge about the graduate admission process, (b) academic and career self-efficacy, and (c) intentions to persist in computing compared to students of racial majority. These findings suggest that REUs in computing provide students of racial minority with an opportunity to be better prepared to apply for graduate study and develop self-efficacy. Further, formal REUs may be a particularly effective strategy for facilitating the matriculation of racial minority students through the computing pipeline.

Grad Cohort and Student Skills


Grad Cohort is a two-day workshop that seeks to improve the success and retention of women in computing research by advising graduate students in computing on research skills and on career planning and development. Grad Cohort seeks to meet these goals using presentations, panels, and individual mentoring, and by creating professional social networks. Participants (N = 162) completed surveys prior to and immediately following the workshop. Findings suggest that Grad Cohort had a positive influence on participants’ self-reported outcomes. Participants reported greater self-efficacy, greater tendency to interpret setbacks as opportunities for growth (i.e., growth mindset), stronger networking skills, and a stronger network of colleagues after attending Grad Cohort than before. The complete Evaluation Report can be viewed at cra.org/cerp/evaluation-reports.

Collaborative research environments in computing


Forty four undergraduate students from underrepresented populations in computing (i.e., women + men of minority racial/ethnic groups) and 26 undergraduate students from well-represented populations in computing (i.e., Asian + White men) who had recently completed a summer NSF research experience for undergraduate students (REU) reported (a) how collaborative their REU had been and (b) interest in pursuing a research career later in life. Well-represented students reported strong interest in a research career, regardless of the degree to which their REU was collaborative. However, underrepresented students’ interest was related to the collaborative nature of their REU, such that experience with a more collaborative REUs was associated with more interest in pursuing a research career later on. This finding suggests that collaborative research environments in computing may be more important for underrepresented students’ persistence in computing research careers than is the case for well-represented students.

Postdoc Experiences


Applicants who applied to the Computing Innovation (CI) Fellowship Program in 2009, 2010, or 2011 were recruited during the fall of 2013 to complete CERP’s survey of postdoc experiences. We asked a sample of CI Fellows (n = 66) and non-fellows who had other postdoc experiences (i.e., Non-fellow Postdocs; n = 117) to reflect on their career aspirations upon completing their PhD and their career aspirations upon completing their postdoc. Both groups reported the same level of interest in pursuing a tenure track academic career upon PhD completion. Among those who had aspired to a tenure track position at upon completing their PhD, CI Fellows reported greater aspirations for being a tenure track academic after completing their postdoc relative to Non-fellow Postdocs, p < .05. These findings suggest that the CI Fellows postdoc program helped individuals maintain interest in a tenure track academic career.

CI Fellowship provides higher, more livable postdoc salary in academia relative to conventional postdocs


Applicants who had applied to the Computing Innovation (CI) Fellowship Program in 2009, 2010, or 2011 were recruited during the fall of 2013 to complete CERP’s survey of postdoc experiences. We compared the responses and outcomes of CI Fellows (n = 66) to non-fellows who had other postdoc experiences (i.e., Non-fellow Postdocs; n = 124). CI Fellows reported higher salaries than Non-fellow Postdocs for academic research postdocs, but lower salaries than Non-fellow Postdocs for industry research postdocs, ps < .01. In academic settings, CI Fellows found it easier to live on their postdoc salary and were more satisfied with their pay than Non-fellow Postdocs, ps < .01. In industry settings, there were no group differences in perceived adequacy of pay.

Computing Faculty Members Report Feeling Over Worked – Especially Women


251 faculty members (82 women; 169 men) from a sample of 56 computing departments in the U.S. indicated that they feel over worked (i.e., the average response was above the midpoint). Women reported feeling significantly more overworked than men, p < .05. One explanation for this gender difference may be that women tend to take on more responsibilities outside of their normal workload than men (e.g., departmental or university service).

Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science (DIMACS) REU program


As part of our comparative evaluation services, we compared critical outcomes of undergraduate computing students who had participated in the Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science (DIMACS) REU program to students who had other research experiences. Students who had participated in the DIMACS REU program reported greater gains in knowledge about graduate school, more interest in pursuing a research career, and more motivation to attain a PhD in computing or math compared to non-DIMACS students with other research experiences, ps < .05.

College graduates talk about why they weren’t involved in more activities while earning their B.S. in computing


We asked 161 college graduates who had earned a B.S. in computing to think about activities they wished they had participated in during their undergraduate career, but had not. Then, we asked “what prevented you from participating in those activities?” As seen from the graphic above, the most prominent hindrance to participating in activities was Time. This finding highlights the time-constraining nature of the undergraduate experience, particularly among computing students.

Where are They Now? REU Participants


We administered a post-graduation survey to students 1-2 years after they had earned their B.S. in computing to assess their current career status. Survey respondents were more likely to be enrolled in a PhD computing graduate program if they had participated in a CRA-W/CDC-sponsored Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) than if they had participated in Other REUs or No REUs, p < .05.