I am currently a rising senior at Boston University, double majoring in computer science and international relations with a focus in East Asian economics. I am very interested in high tech public policy, especially areas of cybersecurity, because it allows me to utilize both my areas of studies. My two very different majors are finally coming together during my last year as an undergraduate student through my acceptance into the senior honors program, which requires a year-long research project culminating with a thesis and defense. My thesis will examine data privacy laws in East Asia.
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CERP asked undergraduate computing majors what would increase their interest in becoming a middle or high school computing teacher. This infographic shows that financial incentive in the form of a higher teaching salary, free tuition for teacher training, and forgiven student loans were the top factors increasing students’ interest in becoming a middle or high school computing teacher. These findings provide insights into how to generate more computing educators for the K-12 school system, which is becoming increasingly important, given recent efforts to promote widespread K-12 computing education.
By Brian Mosley, CRA Policy Analyst
A new coalition, the Computer Science Education Coalition, whose mission is to focus on securing federal funds to provide computer science education to all K-12 students, recently launched. The coalition is, “a non-profit organization that will encourage Congress to invest $250 million in funding for a crucially needed investment in K-12 computer science education.” At launch, the coalition is composed of 43 members, ranging from industry (Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and IBM, to name a few) to NGOs (CRA, ACM, NCWIT, etc); the membership is a venerable who’s-who of the CS community.
On February 9, President Obama released his final Budget Request to Congress, a $4.1 trillion request for fiscal year 2017 (FY17) that some in the science community have called “aspirational,” which might be a nice way of saying disappointingly unrealistic.
Before getting into details, it’s worth pointing out that the president has been a tremendous champion for federal investments in science throughout his two terms. His administration has launched a large number of new initiatives on brain science, big data, robotics, clean energy, advanced manufacturing, strategic computing, cybersecurity, smart communities, and more that have brought new funding and new energy to federally supported science.
GovAffairsCS in DC
CRA board member Margaret Martonosi is currently serving as a Jefferson Science Fellow (JSF) within the U.S. State Department while on sabbatical from Princeton University for the 2015-2016 academic year. Within the State Department, she works in the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs’ Office of International Communications and Information Policy (CIP). CIP is responsible for the formulation, coordination, and oversight of U.S. foreign policy related to information and communications technology (ICT).
On January 30, President Obama announced a new Computer Science Education initiative that would allow states to take the lead in increasing access to CS in K-12 classrooms. We highlighted the exciting initiative on the CRA Policy Blog and the CCC Blog.
GovAffairsCS in DC
Jim Kurose is an assistant director (AD) at the National Science Foundation (NSF), where he leads the Directorate of Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) in its mission to uphold the nation’s leadership in scientific discovery and engineering innovation through its support of fundamental research and transformative advances in cyberinfrastructure. He is on leave from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he is a distinguished professor in the College of Information and Computer Sciences.
GovAffairsCS in DC
Scott Jordan is the Chief Technologist of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). While at the FCC, Jordan is on leave for governmental service from the University of California, Irvine, where he is a professor of computer science. His research has focused on Internet quality of service issues, including traffic management and resource allocation, in both wired and wireless networks. His current research interests are Internet policy issues, including net neutrality, data caps, and device attachment. In 2006, he served as an IEEE Congressional Fellow, working in the United States Senate on communications policy issues.
A last-minute agreement hammered out September 30th, just hours before the start of the new Federal fiscal year, between the House and Senate averted a government shutdown at least through mid-December. But the agreement spelled the end of Rep. John Boehner’s (R-OH) term as Speaker, as he announced his resignation — citing the difficulties of working with an increasingly fractured GOP — from both the Speakership and his seat in Congress, effective October 30th. While the move quiets debate temporarily about the final budgets for Federal agencies, including Federal science agencies in FY 2016, and keeps them open, it casts very little light about how funding will ultimately be resolved by the Congress.
On September 17, 20 computing researchers from across the country visited Washington, D.C. to make the case before Congress for federally funded computing research. The volunteers, traveling from as near as Virginia and Pennsylvania, and as far away as Indiana and Washington, participated in 57 House and Senate meetings on Thursday, September 17. Their message to Congress was very simple: Federally supported computing research is vital to the nation’s future. Using their own research and individual stories as support, and supported with additional information from CRA, they made the “Federal case” for computing to Members of Congress and their staff. Just as important as the message they presented, they also made valuable connections with the officials who represent them in D.C. Those Members now know more about the expertise and interesting (and important) computing work that occurs in their districts and states, and our participants have a sense of just who represents them in Congress. And they’ve hopefully started a lasting dialogue on both sides.
On July 1, the CRA government affairs office welcomed the 2015 class of Eben Tisdale Public Policy Fellows to CRA headquarters in Washington, D.C. These fellows – undergraduates at universities and colleges from across the United States – spent the summer learning the intricacies of technology policy at high-tech companies, firms, or trade associations in Washington, D.C. In addition, they took two class credits at George Mason University and attended briefings at institutions such as the U.S. Capitol, Department of State, World Bank, and Federal Reserve. At CRA, the fellows attended a presentation by Peter Harsha, Director of Government Affairs, that covered the policy concerns and issues that the association works on and attempts to influence at the federal level.