The CRA Center for Evaluating the Research Pipeline concluded its fall 2018 Data Buddies Survey. The survey was modified to provide additional insight on student experiences in computing degree programs. These new data will be used in annual reporting and program evaluation.
Computing Research News
Articles relevant to the CRA Center for Evaluating the Research Pipeline (CERP).
Data Buddies 2018 came to a close at the end of February 2019 concluding the sixth year of data collection. Since its launch in 2013, the survey has collected approximately 60,000 total responses and 25,000 of these respondents agreed to join CERP’s longitudinal cohorts.
According to the 2017 Data Buddies Survey, significantly higher percentages of students who are underrepresented in computing (29% and above) felt like an outsider in computing than majority men with no disabilities (17%). This lack of a sense of belonging was highest among the students with disabilities who are women or racial/ethnic minorities (45-46%).
Among doctoral students, those with a terminal master’s degree are twice as likely to have first author journal publications than those without a terminal master’s degree. They are also approximately 1.5 times more likely to have first author refereed conference papers, and co-authored journal publications and conference papers.
Undergraduate and graduate students in computing fields were asked to rate how much importance they place on a list of 15 career values. Helping others was rated the highest by both groups of students.
CERP evaluated the CCC Early Career Researcher Symposium held in Washington, D.C. during August 2018. Evaluation findings showed that participants of the symposium gained potential collaborators for future work. These findings highlight a key feature of the symposium, which was to encourage networking and discussions among peers and leaders from the field.
In 2018, CRA launched the Grad Cohort for Underrepresented Minorities + Persons with Disabilities (Grad Cohort URMD) workshop. CERP found that compared to before the workshop, participants reported stronger knowledge about a number of professional skills after attending Grad Cohort URMD. Applications for the 2019 workshop will open October 2018.
Diversity-focused conferences such as the Grace Hopper Celebration and Richard Tapia Conference provide an opportunity for students who are underrepresented in computing to meet other students and professionals who have similar experiences. Data Buddies Survey data show that students who participated in these conferences feel more confident in their ability to complete their degree in computing than the students who did not participate.
Enrollments in master’s CS degree programs continue to rise. Compared to master’s students in traditional degree programs, online master’s students report lower levels of mentorship support. Departments should consider ways to increase accessibility and visibility of mentorship resources to online students. Examples discussed in main text.
CRA’s Center for Evaluating the Research Pipeline (CERP) recently underwent staffing changes when former Director Jane Stout left CRA. Burçin Tamer, Ph.D., is now the Director of CERP and Heather Wright is the Associate Director. Under their leadership, CERP will extend its reach as a resource for the computing community through its Data Buddies Project, evaluation services, and other activities. Heather and Burçin are both excited to make contributions to the computing community and drive the broader mission of CRA to facilitate the development of strong, diverse talent in the field.
Compared to White and Asian students, who are considered the racial and ethnic majority in computing fields, students who are members of underrepresented racial and ethnic groups and students with disabilities (URMD) were 1.5 times more likely to report having seriously considered leaving their graduate program.