As computer science departments across the country grow rapidly, we all may feel overwhelmed by the staggering growth of our enrollments. While faculty growth still has not caught up with the influx of students, we cannot be anything but happy at the diversity of students who are choosing to become computer science majors. Many people may believe that alumni engagement begins after students earn their diplomas. That assumption is false. Alumni engagement begins the moment that students start their education in our departments. With planning, outreach, and genuine interest in their lives and careers, we make alumni engagement an important part of our mission in the Computer Science department at the University of Maryland (UMD).
Posts categorized under: People
Recently, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) named computational mathematician Richard Tapia from Rice University, the recipient of the 2016 AAAS Public Engagement with Science Award. The award recognizes Tapia’s “remarkable career blending world-class scholarship, admirable mentoring and profound contributions to science, technology, engineering and mathematics education and public engagement.”
Today, former CRA board member Martha Pollack was named the 14th president of Cornell University. Pollack is currently provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Michigan. Cornell University Board of Trustees unanimously elected her, and the position will begin on April 17, 2017.
Today, more than ever, industry leaders are looking to partner with academic computer science programs. With available computer science expertise at a premium, they’re looking for ideas, for new hires, for help on crucial projects. Universities are the mother lode for the personnel and expertise they crave. On July 18, I presented at the CRA Conference at Snowbird session, “Local Corporate Labs, Centers and Development Offices: Optimizing Department/Industry,” which explored the growth of corporate lab culture, and I’d like to share some of insights from that talk.
Those who attended this year’s CRA Snowbird conference may have heard Moshe Vardi’s provocative panel session on Humans, Machines, and the Future of Work, discussing the potential impact of computing technologies on employment and the nature of work over the coming years. Vardi makes a compelling case that the computing research community ought to be concerned with the impact its innovations will have on society, both positive and negative. To that end, Vardi has led an effort to pull together some of the leading thinkers from the computing, economics, and social science communities to consider the issue in Houston in December. The De Lange Conference on Humans, Machines, and the Future of Work will be held December 5-6, 2016, at Rice University. Here’s an announcement from the organizers (CRA is a co-sponsor).
CRA Board Member Farnam Jahanian, who is provost of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), was recently recognized the the Carnegie Corporation of New York’s “Great Immigrants – The Pride of America Campaign.” The CMU news site reported:
Since 2006, the corporation, which was established by CMU founder and Scottish immigrant Andrew Carnegie, has recognized the contributions of naturalized citizens with the “Great Immigrants” campaign. This year’s honorees will be saluted in public service announcements appearing in print and on a companion website.
“I thank the Carnegie Corporation for this wonderful honor,” Jahanian said. “Immigration has been a cornerstone of the American experiment. The ideals of freedom, equality, and opportunity unify us as a nation while the realization of these values celebrates our diversity. Through his dedication to advancing education, Andrew Carnegie provided opportunities to pursue this American Dream.”
Again and again we hear that earning computing degrees leads to one of the highest starting salaries for college graduates and almost a guaranteed job after graduation. This information is supported by data from the National Association of Colleges and Employers who report computer science graduates have the second highest starting salary ($61,321 this year) and the highest full-time employment rate (76% within six months of graduation). A blog post from the Computing Community Consortium in March highlights 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics job projection results, which found that computing occupations are projected to account for 73% of all newly-created STEM jobs during the decade (488,500 jobs), and 55% of all available STEM jobs, whether newly-created or available due to retirements (1,083,800 jobs over the decade). All of this isn’t new information. Many people are aware that the booming tech industry can be a ticket to job security and comfortable living. Data from the National Science Foundation in 2014, shows that there are approximately 17.8% of women studying computer science at the undergraduate level. So why is it every CS classroom I am in is filled with bright-eyed, eager young men, but a dismal number
By Satoe Sakuma, 2016 Eben Tisdale Fellow
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.
ACM has recently announced its newly elected officers. Vicki L. Hanson, Rochester Institute of Technology and University of Dundee, was elected president. Cherri M. Pancake, Oregon State University, was elected vice president, and Elizabeth Churchill, Google, was elected secretary/treasurer.
CCC Vice Chair Elizabeth Mynatt, Georgia Tech, and former CRA Board Member Eugene H. Spafford, Purdue University, were among five individuals elected to be members at large, serving from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2020.
“The hope is that, in not too many years, human brains and computing machines will be coupled together very tightly, and that the resulting partnership will think as no human brain has ever thought and process data in a way not approached by the information-handling machines we know today.”
J. C. R. Licklider, “Man-Computer Symbiosis,” 1960
Fifty-six years ago, J. C. R. Licklider outlined a prescient vision for computing machines coupled with human brains and, together, thinking thoughts previously unattainable by human beings thinking on their own. This vision influenced a generation of scientists and engineers and is largely the basis for our experience of computing today. Yet, I don’t feel a partnership with my current machines, and I often find myself bending my brain, and subjugating my will, to adapt to them. Shouldn’t it be vice versa? Did I miss the symbiosis?
Former CRA Board Member David Johnson passed away yesterday at the age of 70. He was a leader and advocate for algorithms and all of theoretical computer science.
The Computing Research Association (CRA) is pleased to honor Fred Schneider, the Samuel B. Eckert Professor and Chair of Computer Science at Cornell University, with a Service to CRA Award for his work with the organization. Fred was a member of the CRA Board from 2007 to 2016, during which time he thought deeply about how to have positive impact on the computing research community and spearheaded several key initiatives.
Yesterday, Rolling Stone released part one of a special report on the artificial intelligence revolution. The article opens with a quote from Pieter Abbeel, a researcher at UC Berkeley and one of CRA’s 2016 CRA-E Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentoring Awardees. Pieter is one of three winners of the inaugural award which recognizes individuals for providing exceptional mentorship, undergraduate research experiences, and, in parallel, guidance on admission and matriculation of these students to research-focused graduate programs in computing.
The Computing Research Association is sad to hear of the loss of Joanne Cohoon, a leader in the evaluation efforts of our programs. Joanne has been involved with the CRA for more than a decade. In 2006, she was the PI on an NSF-funded study that was initiated to test the validity of an earlier report, “Recruitment and Retention of Women Graduate Students in Computer Science and Engineering” (Cuny and Aspray, 2001). Joanne co-authored the report based on the study, “Recruiting and Retaining Women Graduate Students in Computer Science and Engineering,” which summarizes and expands on the results of a workshop and outlines research-based practices likely to promote gender balance in graduate computing programs.
Congratulations to former CRA Board member David Johnson (Columbia University) for being elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). Johnson served on the CRA Board from 1997 to 2000. He is being recognized for his contributions to the theory and practice of optimization and approximation algorithms.