Social media such as Facebook, Twitter, blogs, wikis, Flickr, and YouTube have garnered a billion users and their popularity is spreading rapidly, particularly on mobile devices. Technology-mediated social participation (TMSP) is a useful term for describing how these social media tools, user-generated content sites, discussion groups, problem reporting, and volunteer systems can be applied to national priorities. Provocative examples suggest transformative applications for healthcare/wellness, disaster response, energy sustainability, cost-effective education, and economic health. Additional new missions for these sociotechnical infrastructures include cultural heritage, political participation, environment/climate protection, public safety, international development, and local civic involvement.
Computing Research News
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Attracting women to study computer science and engineering is an ongoing challenge at colleges and universities across the nation. In the fall of 2007, women in the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) at the University of Pennsylvania made up 30 percent of the undergraduate population.
As technology becomes ever more pervasive in everyday life and across many disciplines, one might expect that the study of Computer Science (CS) would become more appealing to more people, and to a broader spectrum of students. However, the number of undergraduate CS majors in 2009 is still much lower than it was during the dot-com boom of 2000…
Computer science, computer engineering, information technology, informatics, computing and a host of other terms: we have used them all to denote this wonderfully fascinating and diverse thing we do. We have debated connotation and denotation as we seek a clear and compelling exegesis of our field. In so doing, I suspect we have occasionally lost sight of one key aspect, namely the importance of invisibility. What follows is a serious but whimsical look at invisibility’s power.
Hands-on, discovery-based, lab experiences are known to be an essential part of middle and high school students’ education in all STEM disciplines, including computing. We tend to think of “labs” as test tubes and beakers, ramps and levers, or frogs and bugs, but in reality they can be defined much more broadly. A lab can be any place where students can explore, experiment, test, design, and get their hands dirty and their minds engaged.
Many institutions are about to head into recruiting season, during which we carefully scour applications, statements of research interest, letters of reference, and sample publications, looking to identify that great candidate who is going to boost our institution’s productivity and reputation for the next 40 years.
On October 29-30, 2009, 97 people gathered at the Parc 55 Hotel in San Francisco, CA, for the “Discovery and Innovation in Health IT” workshop. This invitation-only event, co-sponsored by several federal agencies and non-profit organizations, sought—through a series of plenary and breakout sessions—to explore and define fun-damental research challenges and opportunities in using information technology to improve health and healthcare.
In July, Dr. Regina Dugan was sworn in as the 19th Director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. In September she visited six universities: Virginia Tech (her undergraduate alma mater), Texas A&M, UCLA, Caltech (her graduate alma mater), Stanford, and UC Berkeley. Here are some of the messages she delivered during these visits
We are embarking on a new era in Defense research. Over the past decade we have seen remarkable progress from the computer science research community spurring growth in the fields of robotics, learning and reasoning, language understanding, collective intelligence and other related technologies.
The United States and Canada have been facing a reduction in enrollments in computer science courses and a drop in the number of offerings of high school courses in computing and related subjects. In this report, we will discuss a recent attempt to reinvigorate the stream of high school students interested in this topic. We hope that more students will become interested in computer science if they can pursue interesting applications than if they are only learning to program for its own sake.
Graduate students planning a research career in computer science are often asked, “Do you want to go into academia or industry after your Ph.D.?” However, there is a stealth third option for a researcher: a career at a government lab. This column sheds some light on this “hidden” career. There are many government labs in the United States conducting computer science research (for a partial list, see: http://cra-w.org/govindresearch). Although some of these institutions focus on classified or weapons research, most include unclassified or basic research in their missions, and a substantial minority work only on unclassified research.