The annual Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC) is a multi-day conference focused exclusively on the research and career interests of women in computing. GHC is the flagship conference of the Anita Borg Institute and is presented in partnership with the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM). Inspired by the legacy of Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, the architect behind COBOL, GHC was first held in 1994, led by Anita Borg, founder of the Anita Borg Institute (ABI), and Telle Whitney, current CEO of ABI. GHC encourages women to pursue and remain in the field of computer science by providing a wide range of role models, peer-networking opportunities, and up-to-date information on advanced technical opportunities and career paths in computing. The conference offers multiple sessions designed to address specific career development needs of women in computing.
Computing Research News
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The Collaborative Research Experience for Undergraduates (CREU) program has evolved in a number of ways since it was introduced by CRA-W under the name “CREW” in 1998. But several key ingredients – collaboration, cohort, and strong mentoring – remain central to the program. Administered jointly by CRA-W and the Coalition to Diversify Computing (CDC) since 2004, CREU encourages and supports undergraduates and minorities in computing research. The goal of the program is to increase the number of women and minorities who continue on to graduate school in computer science and computer engineering.
Hispanics have the highest growth rates among all groups in the United States, yet they remain considerably underrepresented in computing careers and obtaining advanced degrees. With computing careers growing at a faster than average rate in the United States (BLS, 2010) and internationally (Cervantes, 2003), it’s important to increase the number of Hispanics who complete computing programs and who are qualified to obtain high-status, lucrative positions. . In 2004, seven Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) formed the Computing Alliance of Hispanic-Serving Institutions (CAHSI) to consolidate their strengths, resources, and concerns with the aim of increasing the number of Hispanics who pursue and complete baccalaureate and advanced degrees in computing areas (Gates et al. 2011).
In May 2007, the National Center for Women & IT (NCWIT) launched the Award for Aspirations in Computing at its annual members meeting, which that year took place in Boulder, Colorado. Fifteen young women were selected from local Boulder and Denver high schools and recognized for their aspirations and achievements in computing.
Research, in its purest form, is an endeavor that is largely unplanned and curiosity-driven, sometimes involving years or even decades of trial-and-error (and, at times, self-deprecating humor).The tiretracks diagram is designed to support each of us in the computing research community in telling our stories about how basic research contributes to new possibilities and economic growth. Many more stories need to be written and told. In order to facilitate the development of these stories, the Computing Community Consortium, in collaboration with Microsoft Research, will produce a series of short articles, to appear in the next six issues. Each article will give one story as an illustration of the concepts depicted in the tiretracks diagram.
Increasing the number of US students entering graduate school and receiving a Ph.D. in computer science is a goal as well as a challenge for many US Ph.D. granting institutions. Although the total computer science Ph.D. production in the U.S. has doubled between 2000 and 2010, the fraction of domestic students receiving a Ph.D. from U.S. graduate programs has been below 50% since 2003. In this article, the Pipeline Project of the CRA-Education Committee (PiPE) provides an initial examination of the baccalaureate origins of domestic students who have matriculated to Ph.D. programs in computer science.
Throughout the United States, many initiatives are underway to engage youth in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). There are also a large number of organizations seeking to increase diversity and gender equity in STEM. The National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP) occupies a unique role among these activities in that it facilitates collaboration with all stakeholders focused on increasing diversity and engagement in STEM, connects them to girl-serving STEM programs, and provides access to information and resources that enhance the impact and effectiveness of these initiatives.
U.S. computer science and engineering was well represented at January’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland (http://www.weforum.org/). Several academic computer scientists were invited to participate in sessions known as Idea Labs, each of which was organized around a single theme and institution. Tomaso Poggio and Alex Pentland participated in a session titled “Worms, Machines and Brains with MIT”; Justine Cassell, Pradeep Khosla, Tom Mitchell and Manuela Veloso comprised a session on “Leveraging Human-Machine Collaboration with Carnegie-Mellon University”; and the author spoke in the session titled “Managing Complexity with the Santa Fe Institute.” Each 75-minute session consisted of a short introduction, usually by the university’s president, followed by (very) short talks from each presenter, and then breakout sessions following up on the talks.
On March 29, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) launched a federal Big Data Research and Development Initiative (BDRDI). By improving our ability to extract knowledge and insights from large and complex collections of digital data, this initiative promises to solve some of the Nation’s most pressing challenges – in science, education, government, medicine, commerce and national security – laying the foundations for U.S. competitiveness for many decades to come.
It is well recognized that increasing the diversity of the workforce is very important to the field of computing. In this article we focus on diversity within doctoral programs because it has a significant impact on diversity among both faculty members and researchers in industry and government labs. In particular, we focus on the source of minority students for graduate programs in computer science with respect to the following underrepresented groups: African Americans, Hispanics, and American Indian or Alaska Natives.
Women in Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) face particular challenges in pursuing and maintaining academic careers at primarily undergraduate academic institutions. Women academicians in CSE typically have few female colleagues to provide critical information about the culture and content required for successful academic careers.