On March 5-7, 2020, CRA-WP hosted the 2020 Grad Cohort for Underrepresented Minorities and Persons with Disabilities (URMD) Workshop in Austin, TX. Now in its third year, the workshop brought together approximately 200 graduate students from groups that are underrepresented in computing (including Alaska Native, Black/African American, Hispanic, Native American, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander, and/or Persons with Disabilities). Collectively, they represented a diverse set of computing-related research areas and more than 90 institutions. By developing meaningful connections with a focus on mentoring and community building, the workshop aims to increase representation from these groups in computing research. Graduate students also learn research skills and career strategies from experienced researchers and professionals.
Computing Research News
Articles relevant to the CRA Committee on Widening Participation in Computing Research (CRA-WP).
The 2019 CMD-IT University Award for Retention of Minorities and Students with Disabilities in Computer Science was presented on September 19, 2019, at the 2019 ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference in San Diego, CA. The third annual award was presented to the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP).
The annual CMD-IT University Award recognizes US institutions that have demonstrated a commitment and shown results for increasing the computer science baccalaureate degree production of minorities and students with disabilities, through effective retention programs over the last five years. The award is focused on the following underrepresented groups: African-Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics, and people with disabilities. Introduced at the 2017 ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference, the two previous award winners are Georgia Institute of Technology (2017) and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (2018).
As CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA and a lifelong Girl Scout, and thanks to my successful business tech career, I am in a position to give back to an organization that gave me so much. It was at Girl Scouts that I first discovered my passion for space and astronomy, during a troop camping trip when I was a seven-year-old Brownie and my troop leader noticed my fascination with the night sky. She pointed out the constellations to me and, as I gazed wide-eyed into the New Mexico sky, explained how there were whole systems out there for the exploring.
Girl Scouts is also where I realized that I was not only interested in science and math—I was good at them. Through my badge experiences, like the one where I earned my Science badge by building and launching an Estes Rocket after much trial and error, I developed the persistence and resilience that I have relied upon my entire career as a rocket scientist, engineer, and tech executive.
Now it’s my personal mission to ensure that today’s girls have every opportunity to discover and cultivate their passions, to dream big, and to succeed and thrive in whatever path they choose—especially in STEM fields.
Although Girl Scouts has always offered valuable hands-on STEM experiences—among our first badges were pilot, carpentry, and electrician—in the past few years we have undergone a STEM revolution. In the last year alone, girls have earned nearly 1 million STEM badges in robotics, coding, computer programming, mechanical engineering, space science, environmental advocacy, and cybersecurity.
The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC) appears to be on track to break attendance records every year. The 2019 conference, held in Orlando Florida, saw an increase to more than 25,000 participants, up from around 20,000 in 2018. As GHC grows, so does the reach of CRA-WP’s programs at GHC for attendees interested in research and research careers. For undergraduate students exploring research for the first time, graduate students embarking on the path to a research career, academic and research professionals furthering their careers, and industry professionals considering a career change, CRA-WP’s programs make a real impact on many GHC participants.
The Computing Research Association is pleased to announce its newest award, the Skip Ellis Early Career Award, which will recognize outstanding scientists and engineers with exceptional potential for leadership in computing. The award joins the Anita Borg Early Career Award for Women in advancing excellence and equal opportunity in computing research. Nominations for the inaugural Skip Ellis Early Career Award are now open and will close on February 15.
The 2019 ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference, presented by CMD-IT, took place at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina on September 18-21. This year’s theme, “Diversity: Building a Stronger Future” reminded the participants of the critical role of diversity in computing innovation and the creation of the future of all aspects of STEM. Engaging a diverse workforce will result in solutions that benefit everyone and create a stronger, brighter future.
Recently, ACM named 62 Distinguished Members for outstanding contributions to the field. Several from the CRA community were recognized for outstanding educational contributions to computing, including CRA Board Member and CRA-WP Co-Chair Andrea Danyluk. Congratulations to all!
Valerie B. Barr
Mount Holyoke College
Manuel A. Pérez Quiñones
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Jodi L. Tims
National Science Foundation Director France Córdova named former CRA board member, current CRA-WP co-Chair, and current Princeton Computer Science professor Margaret Martonosi as the next head of the Computer and Information Science and Engineering directorate at NSF. Martonosi will assume the role of Assistant Director, CISE on February 1, 2020.
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.
At the 2019 Grad Cohort for Women Workshop, more than 400 graduate students spent two days building both professional and support networks, while also attending sessions on how to succeed in graduate school. In three new videos, students, speakers, and sponsor representatives share their thoughts on the program’s impact. Applications are now open!
DREU interns have the opportunity to be directly involved in a research project and interact with graduate students and professors on a daily basis. This experience is invaluable for those who are considering graduate school; DREU will provide a close-up view of what graduate school is really like and increase interns’ competitiveness as an applicant for graduate admissions and fellowships. Faculty mentors will have the opportunity to work on their research project with new students from other institutions and to mentor future graduate students.