It is with great excitement that we share with our friends, colleagues, and broader computing community that CRA Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W) is now officially CRA Committee on Widening Participation in Computing Research (CRA-WP). CRA-W was established in 1991 with the mission of increasing the success and participation of women in Computing Research. Since that time, we have organized numerous programs at various levels to engage, encourage, and sustain women in computing. In 2004, CRA-W first partnered with the Coalition to Diversify Computing (CDC) to engage and increase the participation of individuals from additional underrepresented groups in computing. In 2008, this partnership became a BPC Alliance, further expanding and strengthening our outreach and programmatic efforts. Over the past decade, our programs have quite naturally shifted from being initially women-only or women-focused, to being increasingly co-ed, with a mission of serving a wide range of constituencies. This natural progression towards broadening our scope to address all forms of underrepresentation in computing continues to motivate and drive our extremely dedicated board of volunteers.
Computing Research News
“Expanding the Pipeline” is a regular column in Computing Research News. The column serves both as a vehicle for describing projects and issues related to women and underrepresented groups in computing. The column is guest-authored by individuals who share their insight and experiences from their active participation in programs designed to involve women, minorities, and persons with disabilities in education and research. Patty Lopez is the column editor.
Teaching is hard — and teaching computer science can be even harder. With the growing need for computer science teachers in the classroom and an increased focus on access to computer science education, the role of the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) is more important than ever. With the mission of supporting K–12 teachers in the field, CSTA provides educators with the professional development events and community they need to improve their craft.
This article examines gender and residency/ethnicity differences in PhD specialty areas as reported to the CRA Taulbee Survey from 2012-2018. The Taulbee Survey is conducted each fall and, among other questions, asks doctoral departments of Computer Science, Computer Engineering, and Information for data about each PhD they awarded in the previous academic year. The data on each new PhD includes gender, residency/race/ethnicity, and PhD specialty area. A total of 12,968 PhDs were awarded by Taulbee respondents during the 7 year period from 2012-2018.
On April 12-13, CRA-W hosted the 2019 Graduate Cohort for Women (CRA-W Grad Cohort) at the historic Chicago Hilton. The location provided elegance and grandeur as students spent two days in sessions tailored for their graduate student experience, based on their year in the program. Workshop participants had access to other participants, speakers, and the program through the CrowdCompass AttendeeHub mobile app, plus many opportunities to network with peers and senior researchers. They also had opportunities to meet and talk to potential employers during the workshop.
On March 22-23, CRA hosted the second annual Graduate Cohort for Underrepresented Minorities and Persons with Disabilities (URMD Grad Cohort) in picturesque Waikoloa Village, Hawaii. The location provided beautiful scenery as students spent two days learning how to succeed in graduate school and networked with a diverse group of peers and senior researchers.
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.
Convention tells us that research involves a selection of topic, literature review, framework development, refining/defining your research question, developing a design, collecting data, analyzing data, and drawing conclusions, but at a community college the formality cannot always be used as a rule, but as a guideline for developing a realistic, learning opportunity. Community college participation in undergraduate research is an important part of education, but can easily fall by the wayside to address life challenges often faced by community college students. However, given the opportunity to participate, research can be a rewarding and valuable skill that should be afforded to more students.
The 2018 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC) broke its attendance records again, with more than 20,000 participants gathering in Houston, Texas, from September 26th through September 28th, and CRA-W also broke its attendance records with a variety of programs for GHC attendees interested in research. From talks, panels, and mentoring circles to the CRA-W Research Scholars Program to poster presentations and sponsorship of other sessions, CRA-W played an important role at the conference.
The 2018 ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference, presented by CMD-IT, was held September 19-22 in Orlando, Florida. The Tapia conferences bring together undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, researchers, and professionals in computing from all backgrounds and ethnicities.
These guidelines were established to articulate successful strategies for mentoring African-American doctoral students in Computing Sciences (CS). iAAMCS defines “student mentoring” as the process of supporting, encouraging and guiding students’ academic and social progress with the goal of facilitating career and personal development. Grounded in project-based results and similar empirical research, the following guidelines emerged: (1) recruit strategically, (2) establish community, (3) foster a research culture, (4) provide holistic advising, (5) provide funding and (6) promote professional development. iAAMCS hopes that institutions, departments and faculty use these guidelines to bolster the participation of African-American students pursuing doctoral degrees in CS.
Although the iAAMCS Guidelines serve as best practices for mentoring African-American students in computing, these strategies are useful for optimal mentoring all students.
At the recent CRA Conference at Snowbird several sessions focused increasing diversity in computing. The conference provided an excellent opportunity to spread the message of increasing inclusion in computing to a wide audience of department chairs and leaders of government and industrial laboratories.