Tag Archive: CRA-WP

Articles relevant to the CRA Committee on Widening Participation in Computing Research (CRA-WP).

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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. 

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CRA-WP Presents the 2022 CRA-WP Early Career Awards


The Committee on Widening Participation in Computing Research (CRA-WP) is proud to announce the recipients of the 2022 Early Career Awards.

Maya Cakmak of the University of Washington has been selected as the 2022 Anita Borg Early Career Award recipient.

Christina Harrington of Carnegie Mellon University has been selected as the 2022 Skip Ellis Early Career Award recipient.

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Call for Coaches for the CSGrad4US Mentoring Program


Are you interested in mentoring prospective graduate students through the application and reentry process?
The coach application is now available on the CSGrad4US Mentoring Program webpage. The goals of the CSGrad4US Mentoring Program are:

  • To guide returning students through the application process towards a successful CS PhD admission and school selection
  • To mentor them through the transition to PhD graduate study in the first year towards high retention.

Access the coach application here. Applications received by July 1st will be given preference.

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Expanding the Pipeline: Addressing the distribution of prior experience in CS1


Imagine you walk into Japanese 101 and on the first day the professor asks, “Has anyone taken Japanese before?” and everyone raises their hand but you and a handful of other students. Imagine then that your classmates not only raise their hands but respond to the professor in Japanese!  At age 18, I would have been intimidated and likely would have dropped the class.  This is how many of our students feel in the first course for computing majors – overwhelmed by the sense that they are already behind when in theory they have only just begun.

The trouble is that prior experience in CS is not uniformly distributed across all genders, races and ethnicities, and further CS is only offered in approximately half of U.S. high schools (with more of those high schools in regions of economic privilege).  Thus, the individuals experiencing the first course required for a computing major (CS1) in this way are more likely to be from less privileged geographies and from genders and races/ethnicities historically marginalized in tech.

It is imperative that computing departments address the distribution of prior experience in coding, but how they respond will depend on the context of the department and the university. In this article, we outline five of the more popular approaches, illustrating the contexts in which they work best, and possible pitfalls.

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CRA-WP Featured in the 2022 STEM for All Video Showcase: Access, Inclusion, and Equity


A short video from CRA’s Committee on Widening Participation in Computing Research (CRA-WP) is featured in the 2022 STEM for All Video Showcase May 10-17. CRA-WP’s video is entitled “Broadening Participation in Computing Research with CRA-WP” and highlights programs funded through National Science Foundation award #1840724. CRA-WP is a Broadening Participation in Computing Alliance that focuses on community building, career mentoring, information sharing, and effecting systemic change for undergraduate and graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, faculty, and industry and government researchers. 

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Expanding the Pipeline: The Center for Research and Education on Accessible Technology and Experiences (CREATE)


In an era of rapidly evolving technology and increasing interconnectedness, full participation in society depends on the successful use of technology. Thus, to ensure equity and participation for people with disabilities, technology must be accessible—we must create and adapt interactive systems to improve access to technology and to the world at large. The University of Washington Center for Research and Education on Accessible Technology and Experiences (CREATE) is dedicated to propelling accessible technology research and education from incremental improvements to paradigm-shifting breakthroughs that enable greater inclusion and participation for people of all abilities. This article briefly introduces CREATE’s mission and then highlights some of its recent research into the impact of the pandemic on students and best practices for hybrid meetings.

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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.

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Nominations Open for the 2022 CRA-WP Early Career Awards


CRA-WP welcomes your nominations for the Early Career Awards honoring Anita Borg and Clarence “Skip” Ellis. Nominations are due February 15, 2022, at 11:59 PM ET.

Anita Borg Early Career Award (BECA)
The Anita Borg Early Career Award (BECA) is named in honor of Anita Borg, who was an early member of CRA-WP and is inspired by her commitment to increasing the participation of women in computing research.

Skip Ellis Early Career Award (SEECA)
The Skip Ellis Early Career Award is in honor of Clarence “Skip” Ellis; he was the first African-American to earn a Ph.D. in computer science and the first African-American to be elected a Fellow of the ACM.

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Expanding the Pipeline: Recruiting and Retaining Computing Students through Research Experiences for Undergraduates


As efforts to broaden computing have become more diverse, inclusive, and just, despite increasing enrollments in computer science, the percentages of historically excluded students have not changed much and many institutions are struggling to retain them. Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs) are designed to introduce undergraduate students to research and present active training opportunities that may lead to students pursuing advanced academic degrees.  Students are exposed early in their academic careers to research as problem solving, and therefore can develop critical thinking skills independently of coding skills. REUs provide an alternative source of funding while engaging with faculty and mentors who can nurture their interests and provide encouragement to persist in their degree program, often prior to declaring a major. In addition to providing early research engagement opportunities for first year and second year students with insufficient experience to compete for cooperative and summer internships, applying to and participating in REUs provide experience navigating application requirements (including writing a personal statement and gaining strong letters of recommendation, which helps them get to know faculty and vice-versa), collaborating on a project, and building a set of skills that would make them an attractive graduate school applicants. REUs are especially beneficial for first-generation, community college, and non-traditional students who may have limited exposure and access to graduate school, the application process, and hands-on opportunities to explore the field more deeply.

We share some key insights that have been gleaned from evaluation reports of mentors and participants in the CRA Committee on Widening Participation in Computing Research (CRA-WP)’s Collaborative Research Experiences for Undergraduates (CREU) and Distributed Research Experiences for Undergraduates (DREU) programs and our own firsthand experiences working with and mentoring undergraduate students.

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CRA-WP 2022 Distributed Research Experience for Undergraduates (DREU) – Applications Open!


DREU interns have the opportunity to be directly involved in a research project and interact with graduate students and professors on a daily basis. This experience is invaluable for those who are considering graduate school; DREU will provide a close-up view of what graduate school is really like and increase interns’ competitiveness as an applicant for graduate admissions and fellowships. Faculty mentors will have the opportunity to work on their research project with new students from other institutions and to mentor future graduate students.