On April 23-24, CRA-WP was thrilled to hold the 2021Grad Cohort Workshop for Women after canceling the previous year’s event because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Grad Cohort for Women 2021 was quite different than previous Grad Cohorts as it was held virtually using the Socio event platform. The workshop still consisted of advice panels by professors and research scientists, research discussion sessions, a keynote talk, one-on-one mentoring sessions, an exhibit hall, and even food breaks complete with a customized snack box delivered in advance. Attendance was strong with 375 students, 35 speakers and mentors, 36 sponsors and 14 staff present.
Computing Research News
Articles on diversity analysis and efforts.
Today, we are issuing another call to action to the individuals, organizations, educational institutions, and companies in the computing ecosystem to address the systemic and structural inequities that Black people experience.
As we did in June 2020, we ask that you translate the public statements into public action to support the Black professional communities toward achieving systemic fairness in computing.
Five years ago, we wrote in this column about the research our team was initiating on the BRAID (Building Recruiting and Inclusion for Diversity) initiative, a coordinated effort among 15 universities to increase representation among women and Students of Color in their undergraduate computing programs. Over these past five years, the BRAID institutions have indeed made significant strides towards greater diversity. Collectively, while BRAID departments experienced an 87% increase in overall undergraduate computing enrollments, such increases were even larger among women (139%), BLI (Black, Latinx, and Indigenous) students (106%), and BLI women (127%). While there is much more work to be done in order to achieve gender and racial/ethnic parity in computing representation (not to mention fostering more inclusive environments), these figures certainly reflect progress. Further, such progress was not experienced by BRAID institutions alone, as data from the nationwide CRA Taulbee Survey during this same time period also show significant gains in representation among women and underrepresented Students of Color.
The goal of the 2021 CMD-IT Academic Careers Workshop is to mentor assistant- and associate-level faculty, senior doctoral students, and postdocs in computing about academic careers.
NSF CISE has announced the new CSGrad4US Graduate Fellowship program that aims to increase the number of diverse, domestic graduate students pursuing research and innovation careers in the CISE fields. The program is for those who have graduated with a bachelor’s degree in a CISE field between July 1, 2016, and June 31, 2019 and are interested in earning a PhD. The new fellowship program will provide 3-year fellowship opportunities for new Ph.D. students in the computing disciplines.
Although computer science has become foundational to every industry and field of study, representation and participation in computer science is still far from balanced. Only 3% of Black students learn computer science in high school or university. Please watch and share this video broadly. Inspire or encourage a student to try computer science, and let them know they belong. Together we can change the face of computer science.
CRA released its third set of 2020 Quadrennial Papers, part of a series of white papers produced though its subcommittees, exploring areas and issues around computing research with the potential to address national priorities over the next four years. This release focused on papers around the themes of Socio-Technical Computing and Diversity & Education.
For the past fifteen years, I have led the NSF-funded broadening participation alliance AccessComputing that has the goal of increasing the participation and success of people with disabilities in computing fields. This has given me and my team the ability to help create positive change and to observe what others have done to do the same. No doubt, there are still significant barriers for some students with disabilities to enter our field, and as technology changes new barriers often arise.
On March 5-7, 2020, CRA-WP hosted the 2020 Grad Cohort for Underrepresented Minorities and Persons with Disabilities (URMD) Workshop in Austin, TX. Now in its third year, the workshop brought together approximately 200 graduate students from groups that are underrepresented in computing (including Alaska Native, Black/African American, Hispanic, Native American, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander, and/or Persons with Disabilities). Collectively, they represented a diverse set of computing-related research areas and more than 90 institutions. By developing meaningful connections with a focus on mentoring and community building, the workshop aims to increase representation from these groups in computing research. Graduate students also learn research skills and career strategies from experienced researchers and professionals.
The 2019 CMD-IT University Award for Retention of Minorities and Students with Disabilities in Computer Science was presented on September 19, 2019, at the 2019 ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference in San Diego, CA. The third annual award was presented to the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP).
The annual CMD-IT University Award recognizes US institutions that have demonstrated a commitment and shown results for increasing the computer science baccalaureate degree production of minorities and students with disabilities, through effective retention programs over the last five years. The award is focused on the following underrepresented groups: African-Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics, and people with disabilities. Introduced at the 2017 ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference, the two previous award winners are Georgia Institute of Technology (2017) and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (2018).
The Computing Research Association is pleased to announce its newest award, the Skip Ellis Early Career Award, which will recognize outstanding scientists and engineers with exceptional potential for leadership in computing. The award joins the Anita Borg Early Career Award for Women in advancing excellence and equal opportunity in computing research. Nominations for the inaugural Skip Ellis Early Career Award are now open and will close on February 15.