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1996-97 Annual Report

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1996-97 was another good year in CRA's efforts to strengthen research and advanced education in computing and allied fields.

One activity that received renewed emphasis was workshops for our membership. At the CRA Conference at Snowbird '96 we identified three workshops that would be of interest, and during the year we offered them. In December 1996, Randy Katz organized a workshop in Washington, DC on cooperation between industry and academia on intellectual property. In June 1997, in Denver we held two workshops for new faculty and advanced graduate students. Collocated with the International Symposium on Computer Architecture, which is sponsored by ACM and the IEEE Computer Society, about 60 people received advice on getting funding, networking with other researchers, selecting and managing a research project, the tenure process, time management, and family issues. This academic career workshop was followed by a workshop on effective teaching led by Michael Williams from the University of Calgary. Both these workshops were well received, and plans are being made for additional workshops in the future.

Another new activity is a joint effort by CRA, ACM, and the IEEE Computer Society to address issues involving minorities in computing research. This new committee, known as the Coalition to Diversity Computing, held its first meetings and established its organization; and we are excited about its potential.

The CRA Committee on the Status of Women in Computer Science and Engineering continues to offer excellent services to our community. One highlight of these efforts was the Grace Murray Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference, held at San Jose in September 1997. Among other activities, progress was made on the women's database project; another set of undergraduates were given research experience over the summer on the distributed mentor project; and plans are being made for faculty mentoring workshops directed at more senior faculty.

CRA continues a number of other activities, including an important program in government affairs. CRA is an increasing presence in Washington, both giving formal testimony and consulting informally with many agencies on issues related to computer science and engineering research.

We are pleased to report a growth in our membership. We continue to have sustained and growing support from the academic departments. USENIX became our fifth affiliate society. And the number of industrial and government laboratory members grew by 40 percent.

David A. Patterson
Board Chair

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This has been a good-and transitional-year for CRA. A particularly talented set of officers-Dave Patterson, Mary Jane Irwin, Nancy Leveson, and Mike Garey-completed their term of office; and I am honored to have had the opportunity to work with them. There were no lame ducks here; the outgoing officers remained effective and hardworking up until (and beyond) the end of their term.

In his Chair's Report, Dave Patterson has already mentioned the continuation of CRA's activities relating to government affairs and women in research, as well as some of the efforts to move into new programmatic areas such as workshops and minorities in research. We also continued a number of our long-time activities, such as the CRA Conference at Snowbird and the CRA Taulbee Survey. With the help of Peter Freeman and others, we upgraded our Web site to serve the community better. And plans were developed for expanding our survey activities and improving our government affairs, publications, and awards programs in the coming years.

In the first seven years of CRA as a staffed operation, the organization was operated much like a start-up business. All effort and funding was directed at building the program. Now that CRA has reached a certain maturity and stability, we have begun to direct more attention to building an infrastructure that will enable us to continue to execute our programs and serve our members reliably. The staff has moved to new offices (still in Washington, DC) with improved facilities during summer 1997. A five-year plan to build financial operating reserves was approved by the board, and through new memberships and strict control of expenses the first year's reserve target was surpassed. Two new staff members have been hired to support publications, web activities, and committee work. New procedures were put in place to improve communication lines and staff effectiveness.

With these transitions in program and office operations well underway by the end of the 1996-97 fiscal year, I look forward to an even more productive CRA in the coming years!

William Aspray
Executive Director

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The Computing Research Association seeks to strengthen research and advanced education in computing and allied fields. It does this by working to influence policy that impacts computing research, encouraging the development of human resources, and contributing to the cohesiveness of the professional community. Collecting and disseminating information about the importance and state of computing research play important roles in achieving these objectives. CRA counts among its members more than 180 North American organizations active in computing research: academic CS&E departments, government and industrial laboratories, and affiliated professional societies (AAAI, ACM, IEEE Computer Society, SIAM, and USENIX). CRA works with these organizations to represent the computing research community and to effect change that benefits both computing research and society at large.

CRA was formed in 1972 as the Computer Science Board, which provided a forum for the chairs of Ph.D.-granting computer science departments to discuss issues and share information. In 1986, CSB, in recognition of its increasing concern for R&D in the computing fields-including computer engineering and computational science-incorporated as the Computing Research Board. In 1990, CRB was given its present name, and a permanently staffed office was opened in Washington, DC. Computing is an increasingly integral part of modern life. The benefits that computing brings to our society can be traced directly to basic research and advanced development carried out in academic, government and industrial laboratories by men and women with advanced education in computing and related fields. Research, advanced development, and related educational issues fall under the broad definition of computing research that CRA uses in framing its mission and planning its activities. These activities will help to ensure a firm foundation for the advances in computing that will be essential in meeting the challenges of the 21st century.

CRA is incorporated in the District of Columbia and operates as a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization under the Tax Code of the US Internal Revenue Service.

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As of June 1997:

Board Officers

David A. Patterson, Chair; University of California at Berkeley
Mary Jane Irwin, Vice Chair; Pennsylvania State University
Nancy G. Leveson, Secretary; University of Washington
Michael R. Garey, Treasurer; Bell Laboratories/Lucent Technologies

Board Members

Alfred V. Aho, Columbia University
Francis E. Allen, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center
Gregory R. Andrews, University of Arizona
Sandra Johnson Baylor, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center
Anita Borg, DEC Network Systems Laboratory
Robert Cartwright, Rice University
Thomas L. Dean, Brown University (AAAI representative)
Stuart I. Feldman, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center
James Foley, Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratory
Peter Freeman, Georgia Institute of Technology
C. William Gear, NEC Research Institute Inc.
Irene Greif, Lotus Development Corp.
John V. Guttag, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Stephen C. Johnson, Transmeta Corp. (USENIX representative)
Randy Katz, University of California, Berkeley
Edward D. Lazowska, University of Washington
Jill P. Mesirov, Whitehead/MIT Center for Genome Research (SIAM representative)
James Morris, Carnegie Mellon University
Guylaine M. Pollock, Sandia National Laboratories (IEEE Computer Society representative)
Kenneth Sevcik, University of Toronto
Lawrence Snyder, University of Washington
Mary Lou Soffa, University of Pittsburgh
John A. Stankovic, University of Virginia
Jeffrey Ullman, Stanford University
Mary K. Vernon, University of Wisconsin at Madison
John White, Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (ACM representative)
Stephen S. Yau, Arizona State University (IEEE Computer Society representative)
Stuart Zweben, Ohio State University (ACM representative)

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The following organizations held membership in CRA for part, or in most cases, all of the period July 1996 to June 1997.

Affiliated Professional Societies

American Association for Artificial Intelligence
IEEE Computer Society
Association for Computing Machinery
Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
USENIX Association

Industry and Government Labs

AT&T Labs
Digital Equipment Corporation
GA/San Diego Supercomputer Center
Hewlett-Packard Company
IBM Research
Intel Corporation
Interval Corporation
Lucent Technologies, Bell Labs
Microsoft Corporation
Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs
NEC Research Institute
Ricoh Silicon Valley, Inc.
Silicon Graphics Inc.
Sun Microsystems Inc.
Xerox Corporation

Academic Members

Abilene Christian University - CS
Arizona State University - CSE
Auburn University - CS&E
Boston University - CS
Brandeis University - CS
Brigham Young University - CS
Brown University - CS
California Institute of Technology - CS
Carnegie Mellon University - CS
Case Western Reserve University - CE
City University of New York, Graduate Center - CS
Clemson University - CS
College of William & Mary - CS
Colorado State University - CS
Columbia University - CS
Cornell University - CS
Dartmouth College - CS
Duke University - CS
Florida Atlantic University - CS&E
Florida International University - CS
Florida State University - CS
George Mason University - CS
George Washington University - CS
Georgia Institute of Technology - CS
Harvard University - CS
Indiana University - CS
Iowa State University - CS
Johns Hopkins University - CS
Kansas State University - CS
Kent State University - CS
Lehigh University - CS
Massachusetts Institute of Technology - EECS
Michigan State University - CS
Mississippi State University - CS
Montana State University-Bozeman - CS
New York University - CS
North Carolina State University - CS
Northeastern University - CE & CS
Northwestern University - ECE & CS
Oakland University - CSE
Ohio State University - CIS
Ohio University - CS
Oklahoma State University - CS
Old Dominion University - CS
Oregon Graduate Institute - CS
Oregon State University - CS
Pace University - CS
Pennsylvania State University - CS
Polytechnic University - CS
Portland State University - CS
Princeton University - CS
Purdue University - ECE & CS
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - CS
Rice University - CS
Rutgers, State University of New Jersey - CS
Santa Clara University - CE
Simon Fraser University - CS
Southern Methodist University - CE & CS
Stanford University - CS
State University of New York, Binghamton - CS
State University of New York, Stony Brook - CS
State University of New York, Albany - CS
State University of New York, Buffalo - CS
Syracuse University - CIS
Temple University - CIS
Texas A&M University - CS
Texas Tech University - CS
University of Alabama, Birmingham - CI&S
University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa - CS
University of Alberta - CS
University of Arizona - CS
University of British Columbia - CS
University of Calgary - CS
University of California, Berkeley - CS
University of California, Davis - CS
University of California, Irvine - I&CS
University of California, Los Angeles - CS
University of California, Riverside - CS
University of California, Santa Barbara - CS
University of California, Santa Cruz - CE & CIS
University of Central Florida - CS
University of Chicago - CS
University of Cincinnati - ECE & CS
University of Colorado, Boulder - CS
University of Delaware - CIS
University of Denver - CS
University of Florida - CIS
University of Houston - CS
University of Idaho - CS
University of Illinois, Chicago - CS
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign - CS
University of Iowa - CS
University of Kansas - EECS
University of Kentucky - CS
University of Maryland - CS
University of Massachusetts, Amherst - CS
University of Michigan - CSE
University of Minnesota - CS
University of Mississippi - CIS
University of Missouri-Rolla - CS
University of Montreal - CS
University of Nebraska, Lincoln - CS
University of Nevada, Las Vegas - CS
University of New Mexico - CS
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill - CS
University of North Dakota - CS
University of Oklahoma - CS
University of Oregon - CIS
University of Pennsylvania - CIS
University of Pittsburgh - CS
University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez - EC
University of Quebec, Montreal - CS
University of Rochester - CS
University of South Carolina - CS
University of Southern California - EES & CS
University of Southwestern Louisiana - CE & CS
University of Tennessee, Knoxville - CS
University of Texas, Arlington - CSE
University of Texas, Austin - CS
University of Texas, El Paso - CS
University of Toronto - CS
University of Tulsa - CS
University of Utah - CS
University of Virginia - CS
University of Washington - CSE
University of Waterloo - CS
University of Western Ontario - CS
University of Wisconsin, Madison - CS
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee - EE & CS
University of Wyoming - CS
Vanderbilt University - CS
Wake Forest University - CS
Washington State University - EECS
Washington University - CS
Wayne State University - CS
West Virginia University - CE
Western Michigan University - CS
Williams College - CS
Worcester Polytechnic Institute - CS
Wright State University - CS
Yale University - CS
York University - CS

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CRA works to influence policy that impacts computing research, collects and disseminates information, encourages the development of human resources, and contributes to the cohesiveness of the professional community.

CRA's four mission areas are:

Policy: Develop a deeper understanding of policy issues and their impact, and work for informed policies involving computing research and computing technology in general.

  • Influence policy related to computing research by improving public and policy maker understanding of the nature and role of such research.
  • Increase the computing community's awareness of and participation in policy issues.

Information: Collect and disseminate to the research and policy-making communities information about the importance and state of computing research and related policy.

  • Develop additional policy-relevant information.
  • Bring this information to the attention of the public, policy makers, and the computing research community.

Human resources: Ensure that society's need for a continuous supply of talented and well-educated computing researchers and advanced practitioners is met.

  • Assist with leadership development within the computing research community.
  • Promote needed changes in advanced education.
  • Encourage full participation by members of underrepresented groups.

Community: Promote a cohesive and effective sense of community among individuals and groups involved in computing research.

  • Promote cooperation among various elements of the computing research community.
  • Strengthen CRA as the focal point of this community.

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Next Generation Internet Workshop and Brochure

Policy continues to be one of CRA's most important areas of focus. With a Director of Public Policy, Frederick Weingarten, who has unrivaled experience in Washington in computing R&D policy, and a strong Government Affairs Committee, chaired by Edward Lazowska, the program continued to grow in effectiveness. This list provides a sample of some of our more important policy activities during the year: Next Generation Internet Workshop, Report, and Videotape.

At the invitation of the White House and the Science agencies involved in the Next Generation Internet (NGI) Initiative, CRA planned and hosted a workshop, held in the Washington area in May. The workshop assembled together nearly 150 experts in advanced networking and applications research to discuss the research agenda for NGI. A final report on the meeting and a videotape based on the discussions were produced and distributed to the research community and to government decision makers.

Intellectual Property Rights Workshop

As federal research funding becomes more constrained, industrial support becomes a more critical aspect of university research funding. However, there is widespread belief that university intellectual property rights policies have inhibited some industry-university collaborations. To address those issues and to help formulate underlying principles for university-industry agreements, CRA sponsored a workshop in Washington, DC in December 1996 for 30 representatives from university computer science and engineering departments, university technology licensing offices, industrial research laboratories, and corporate legal staffs. Four broad issues were considered: In what ways is software different from other forms of intellectual property? What are the expectations of the various participants in collaborative arrangements? What are the underlying principles of intellectual property rights? What are the underlying principles of multi-university, multi-industry consortium agreements? Findings were reported in Computing Research News.

National Science Foundation Appropriations

CRA's main efforts to increase NSF funding for computing research were undertaken in conjunction with the Coalition for the National Science Foundation (CNSF) this year. CRA participated in a Congressional exhibition of NSF research, held in February. Mary Jane Irwin exhibited a research project in computer architecture and, with her graduate assistants from the Pennsylvania State University, visited several members of Congress and members of their staffs. CRA also joined in a CNSF letter on NSF appropriations calling for a 7% increase in funding and solicited House Members to join in a "Dear colleague" letter to the appropriations Subcommittee on VA, HUD, and Independent Agencies, which handles NSF's budget. The effort was successful, as the House Committee approved the requested 7% increase. Although the Senate mark was significantly lower, NSF still receive slightly over 5% increase in the final bill, which was higher than the administration's request.

Information Workers

The shortage of information workers has become a significant policy issue in Washington since a trade association report claimed a current shortage of 164,000 workers that would grow substantially over the next five years. In the spring, Weingarten participated in a workshop at Stanford University and the government affairs committee provided a brief report to Commerce Department on the computing research perspective on this issue. This report was included in totality in the Commerce policy report sent to the Secretary of Commerce and to the Vice President. With White House approval, the Commerce Department is sponsoring, together with the trade association, a series of task forces that will culminate in a January 1998 conference at the University of California, Berkeley. Several CRA Board members were appointed to serve on these task forces, and CRA will have a presence at the Berkeley conference.

AAAS R&D Budget Book

As he has done in each of the past five years, Weingarten wrote the chapter on computing research funding for the annual report of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) on Research and Development, FY 1998. This book is a leading source of information on federal budgets for science.

Executive Fellowship Program

In order to address the shortage of computer scientists with senior policy experience in Washington, a CRA committee chaired by Randy Katz coordinated with the White House to develop a new program of fellowship support for computer scientists and engineers to work for a year or two at a senior level in federal agencies. The program has gained the endorsement of Vice President Gore and the AAAS has approved the affiliation of the CRA Executive Fellowship Program with the distinguished AAAS Fellows programs. The first fellows will be awarded in the coming fiscal year and begin their terms in late summer 1998.

Computing Research: A National Investment for Leadership in the Century

Last year CRA produced an electronic and print brochure, entitled Computing Research: A National Investment in the 21st Century, to help policy makers understand the importance of increased investment in computing research. The original print run of 2,000 was fully distributed to CRA members, government officials, and other interested officials. They were used to supplement testimony and submissions to the record on R&D policy issues both by CRA and by government agencies. Ed Lazowska prepared a second edition based on suggestions by reviewers, and the booklet was republished and distributed.

Congressional Visits

CRA believes that it is important for practicing computing researchers to have continuing contact with their elected representatives in Washington. CRA Washington staff coordinated visits by several Board Members with congressional staff. In each case these visits resulted in requests for follow-up contacts on a variety of issues relating to computing research.


To keep the computing research community apprised of events in Washington that affect them, CRA writes articles for its own and other computing publications. In the past year, these included about fifteen articles by Weingarten and CRA's contract professional writer, Louise Arnheim, in Computing Research News, and Weingarten published a series of columns on science policy and computing issues in the pages of SIAM News.

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CRA collects and disseminates to the research and policy-making communities information about the state of computing research and related policy. These include a newsletter in both print and electronic formats, a Web site, list services for policy news and jobs, the annual CRA Taulbee Survey of employment, salaries and degree-production in Ph.D.-granting CS&E departments, and the Forsythe mailing list of Ph.D.-granting institutions. These activities were guided by three CRA committees: Publications, chaired by Jeff Ullman; Surveys, chaired by Greg Andrews; and Electronic Services, chaired by Peter Freeman. Computing Research News and CRN Online.

Under the editorial direction of Joan Bass and guidance of the Publications Committee, CRN provided news and information about the computing research profession and CRA activities. A news journal is published in tabloid format five times a year and distributed to about 5,000 members of the research community. An online version is also published. Two issues provide results from the CRA Taulbee Survey. Another issue gives detailed information about federal funding agencies, programs, and officers. Every issue contains articles about government affairs, news of CRA activities, news of the computing research community, and the "Expanding the Pipeline" column, which focuses on issues and activities associated with underrepresented groups in the profession. Advertisements in CRN and on the jobs list server more than doubled in the past year, and CRA received many positive comments about these being among the most effective places to post jobs for computing researchers.

CRA Bulletin

In order to give the computing research community timely news of government events that might affect their profession, CRA operates a free electronic list server to more than 800 subscribers that provides brief news bulletins such as announcements of federal and state legislation on computing R&D.

CRA Taulbee Survey

For 25 years CRA and its predecessor organizations have annually surveyed the Ph.D.-granting CS&E departments for statistical information about the computing research profession. This survey is widely acknowledged as the most complete and accurate accounting of this field, and, as such, it is widely used by academic departments, industrial employers, and federal agencies. The survey tracks academic salaries, faculty employment, Ph.D. production, and numbers of bachelor's and master's students-and it subclassifies them by gender and ethnicity. The Surveys Committee made refinements in the questionnaire to enhance the value of the survey.

Forsythe List

To keep the research departments informed of important activities in the profession, CRA maintains the Forsythe List, an up-to-date list of the chairs of all US and Canadian Ph.D.-granting CS&E departments. Notices of conferences and other matters of interest to department chairs are distributed to this list on a regular basis.

World Wide Web

CRA maintains a Web site providing information to computing researchers and others who want to learn about computing research. The Web site provides information about CRA, including a link to the page of the CRA Committee on the Status of Women in Computer Science and Engineering; and links to all the research departments, industrial research laboratories, and affiliated professional societies in the United States and Canada in the CS&E field. The Web site provides statistics from the CRA Taulbee Survey and surveys conducted by other organizations such as the National Research Council. Our extensive government pages include a policy archive with past reports, congressional testimony, and links to other government affairs Web sites of interest to the computing research community. Our pages received a major makeover during the year under the guidance of the Electronic Services Committee and a consultant from Georgia Institute of Technology.

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As part of our effort to ensure that society's needs for a continuous supply of talented and well-educated computing researchers and advanced practitioners is met, CRA carries out a wide variety of programs. The CRA Committee on the Status of Women in Computer Science and Engineering (CRA-W) is one of the most effective groups dealing with issues of women in science and engineering disciplines. CRA has recently collaborated with ACM and the IEEE Computer Society to establish a Coalition to Diversify Computing, which will use some of the tactics of our women's committee (and others) to try to increase the participation in the computing research community of all kinds of underrepresented groups. We continue to have strong nominees to our awards program that encourages undergraduates to pursue research and research careers, as well as to our senior award program that recognizes contributions to increased participation of underrepresented groups in the computing research community. Kimberly Peaks provided staff support to all of these committees, chaired by: Jan Cuny of the University of Oregon and Leah Jamieson of Purdue University (CRA-W), Sandra Johnson Baylor of IBM (Coalition to Diversify Computing), John Stankovic of the University of Virginia (Habermann Award) and Daniel Huttenlocker of Cornell University (Undergraduate Awards).

Jobs List Server and Web Page

CRA advertises professional positions for computing researchers in two electronic forms as well as in print form in Computing Research News. CRA maintains job postings on its Web pages and runs a jobs list server. About 1,200 people subscribe to this listserv, and CRA has become the organization of choice to advertise computing research positions for many departments.

A. Nico Habermann Award

Andrew Bernat of University of Texas at El Paso received the 1997 A. Nico Habermann Award. He was honored for creating what is arguably the best computer science department at a minority institution. UTEP has a strong research program, attracts research funding from major granting agencies, has an accredited undergraduate program, and places its graduates in top-ranked graduate schools. CRA has given this award annually since 1994 to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to aiding members of underrepresented groups within the computing research community. This award recognizes work in the areas of government affairs, educational programs, professional societies, public awareness and leadership that has a major impact on advancing these groups in the computing research community.

CRA Outstanding Undergraduate Awards

To recognize and encourage research in CS&E among undergraduate students, CRA awards one male and one female undergraduate with a cash prize and a trip to a research conference. The 1995-96 award was supported by Microsoft Corporation. The Outstanding Female Undergraduate award went to Ekaterina Dolginova from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for research on modeling and verification of hybrid (continuous/discrete) systems. Her work produced models and proofs of safety (or absence of safety) for certain maneuvers arising in automated highway systems. The Outstanding Male Undergraduate award went to Andrew Ng from Carnegie Mellon University. He wrote on "Preventing Over-Fitting of Cross-Validation Data in Hypothesis Selection." The Selection Committee chose Howard Cheng from the University of Alberta as a runner up. Honorable Mention was given to: Aaron B. Brown, Harvard University, Computer Science; Jonathan E. Graehl, University of Southern California, Computer Science; Kelly A. Shaw, Duke University, Computer Science and Economics; Marianne L. Shaw, University of Pennsylvania, Computer Science Engineering and Electrical Engineering; Neil T. Spring, University of California, San Diego, Computer Science and Engineering.

Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing

CRA co-sponsored the first Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in 1994. This highly successful conference recognized and celebrated the significant achievements of women in computing. More than 600 people are expected to attend the second Hopper conference, scheduled for September 1997 in San Jose, where there will be invited addresses by prominent women in computing as well as panels, workshops, and opportunities for networking, mentoring, and interaction.

Women in Computer Science Careers Booklet

CS&E is a much more recent and less established discipline than physics, chemistry, or biology. As a result, there is almost no material available for use with K-12 students that gives the students a taste of the excitement, challenges, and opportunities in the field. CRA-W published a booklet featuring women in various academic and industrial positions, targeted to appeal to junior high and high school girls. About 13,000 of these booklets were distributed in the first three months after publication.

CRA Distributed Mentor Project

During the past four summers, approximately 100 students have participated in the CRA Distributed Mentor Project. With support from the National Science Foundation, CRA-W established this program to give undergraduate women an opportunity to gain research experience in CS&E. These students are awarded grants to work on a research project under the direction of a female faculty member at another institution.

Coalition to Diversify Computing Mentor Project

Based on the highly successful CRA-W Distributed Mentor Project, the Coalition to Diversify Computing is in the process of establishing a mentor project for minority students in computing research. It is hoped that the project will be ready to award its first mentor grants in the coming year.

Women in Computing Database

Women are often underrepresented in many of the important activities of the computing profession. In part, this is due to the (often erroneous) belief that there are no women available to serve on a particular panel or committee or to the fact that the organizers do not know how to identify qualified women. CRA is trying to rectify these problems by building and maintaining a database of women Ph.D.s in CS&E. The database has been used by recruiters in personnel searches, by editors-in-chief seeking editorial board candidates, by conference program chairs in selecting members for their program committees and by CRA to generate lists of women to be nominated for awards.

Coalition to Diversify Computing Database

Based on the successful Women in Computing Database, the Coalition to Diversify Computing has recently begun to compile a database of minorities in computing research. It is expected that it will be ready for use in the coming year.

Graduate Information Kit for Women in CS&E

A serious problem for women students is a lack of information about programs and opportunities that already exist. This booklet contains information about how to select and apply to a graduate program. It includes an appendix with information on graduate fellowships in CS&E targeted for applicants from underrepresented groups. Although targeted primarily to women, much of the information is valuable to all students interested in graduate study in this field.


The goal of this moderated electronic mailing list is to provide mentoring and communication between women CS&E faculty and Ph.D. students. Topics discussed have included sexual harassment, overcoming hurdles and discouragement in the Ph.D. process, selecting and approaching Ph.D. advisers, university and department maternity policies, scholarships and fellowships available for women, and dealing with pornography. More than 500 women subscribed to this service.

Job Fair

At the annual meeting of Academic Departments at Minority Institutions (ADMI), Robert Cartwright and the Coalition to Diversify Computing organized a job fair to bring students and faculty at principally minority institutions into contact with industrial laboratories active in computing research.

Academic Careers for Women in Computer Science Workshop

CRA has been sponsoring workshops since 1993 to provide guidance to senior women, Ph.D. students, and junior women faculty in CS&E on such issues as obtaining their first academic job, succeeding at promotion and tenure, developing teaching and research programs, making contacts, and balancing career and family. The Women's Committee is now in the process of editing the transcripts from the previous workshops into a book that will be available on the net. Future workshops are planned for the Grace Murray Hopper Conference in September 1997 and the Federated Computing Research Conference in the spring of 1999.

Academic Careers Workshop

The CRA Academic Careers Workshop is new this year. Its target audience is faculty in the beginning years of their careers and senior graduate students contemplating an academic career. This workshop is inspired by the very successful Workshops on Academic Careers for Women in Computer Science that have been given in the past by CRA-W. About 60 people attended the first Career Development Workshop, which was held in Denver in June 1997 in collocation with the ACM-IEEE Computer Society International Symposium on Computer Architecture. The workshop was organized by David Patterson and included lectures on getting funding (John Hennessy), networking with other researchers (Susan Eggers), selecting and managing a research project (David Patterson), the tenure process (Mary Jane Irwin), and time management and family issues (Jan Cuny & Bobby Schnabel).

Effective Teaching Workshop

To improve college teaching of CS&E, CRA offered its second Effective Teaching Workshop this June in Denver, to more than 40 people. Designed for beginning teachers but open to college teachers with any level of experience, the workshop provided hands-on guidance in both the theory and practice of effective teaching. The workshop was organized and all the material presented by Michael Williams of the University of Calgary. Topics had a practical orientation, such as preparing and delivering lectures, negotiating teaching schedules, preparing and grading examinations, and dealing with problem students.

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CRA works to promote a coherent and effective sense of community among those involved in computing research in various ways, including conferences enabling department chairs and research laboratory directors to come together and discuss mutual concerns, joint conferences that promote cross-fertilization across research fields, and meetings of the leaders of the professional societies interested in computing research. One of our awards recognizes the contribution of individuals who help to build the computing research infrastructure. Occasional workshops bring together people from different but relevant research communities to explore new problem areas and agendas for research. Thanks are especially due to Nancy Leveson and John Werth (from the University of Texas, and a member of the CRA Board until December 1996), who chaired the 1996 Snowbird Program Committee, and David Johnson (of AT&T Laboratories, who will join the CRA board in the coming year), who has already begun his work as general chair of the Federated Computing Research Conference in 1999.

CRA Conference at Snowbird

Approximately 200 department chairs, managers of government and industrial laboratories, and other leaders in the computing research community attended the biennial CRA Conference at Snowbird, Utah, held in July 1996. The topic this year was changing research priorities in government and industry. There were sessions on the futures of academic research, education, and industrial research; software engineering as a profession, recruitment and training from underrepresented groups, computing and public policy, equipment and facilities issues, NSF funding opportunities, and impact of the World Wide Web on research and education. The meeting was preceded by the National Science Foundation's Information Infrastructure meeting, which CRA also helped organize.

Federated Computing Research Conference

Plans are underway for the third Federated Computing Research Conference, which will be held in spring 1999. CRA was the originator of the conference and continues to be one of its main sponsors. It provides a common time and meeting place for a number of specialized research meetings, plus plenary sessions and social events of interest to the entire community. FCRC retains the intellectual benefits and research identities of the smaller constituent meetings while providing greater visibility for the field. It provides opportunities for researchers to meet with their peers in other specialties and to attend more of these specialized conferences than they might be able to attend on a limited budget if the meetings were held at different times and places. The combined size of the meetings provides buying power in obtaining high-quality facilities at the lowest possible cost.

Leadership Summit

The third CRA Leadership Summit was held in October 1996, with the senior leadership from AAAI, ACM, CRA, IEEE Computer Society, and SIAM participating. The focus this year was on operational issues in government policy, women, minorities, electronic publishing, and other areas. The computing research community is served by a number of different professional organizations. These organizations confront many of the same problems, and it is useful for them to have a forum where they can meet and compare problems and solutions, objectives and strategies. It is also important that these organizations sometimes work in concert, for example, to provide a united position on some policy issue or to address a problem that is not tractable for solution by an individual organization. In an effort to provide this forum, CRA initiated an ongoing series of Leadership Summits in 1993. Future meetings will have focus on issues rather than operations.

CRA Distinguished Service Award

The 1997 CRA Distinguished Service Award was presented to Anita Jones, University Professor of computer science at the University of Virginia. Dr. Jones has made many contributions in the academic, industrial, and government sectors, as researcher, teacher, entrepreneur, and most recently as Director of Defense Research and Engineering, in which she had oversight responsibility for the entire science and technology program of the U.S. Department of Defense. The award is presented annually to a person who has made outstanding service contributions to the computing research community. It recognizes service in the areas of government affairs, professional societies, publications, or conferences, as well as leadership that has had a major impact on computing research.

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The following Statement of Activities of the Computing Research Association for the Year Ended June 30, 1997, was provided by Callow, Machen & Cranford, P.C., an external, independent firm of certified public accountants and management consultants located in Beltsville, MD, as part of their annual audit.


Academic dues $257,400
Research lab dues 84,039
Professional societies dues 136,070
CR News 51, 570
Conferences 89,316
Grants 334,223
Interest 1,448
Miscellaneous 5, 723
Total unrestricted revenues 959,789


Satisfaction of program restrictions10,969
Total unrestricted revenues and other support970,758


Administrative 367,856
Board 5,651
CR News 58,781
Conferences 67,816
Government Affairs 80,560
Grants 341,735
Total expenses 922,399

Loss on disposal of equipment494
Total expenses and losses 922,893




Net assets released from restrictions(10,969)

Beginning net assets35,394

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This year two long-time employees, our webmaster Juan Osuna and our director of communications Joan Bass, resigned to accept positions elsewhere. We are pleased to report that the experience they gained at CRA helped them both to obtain desirable management positions in the non-profit sector. They will be replaced in the fall by Stacy Cholewinski, a 1996 graduate of Georgia Tech, as manager of our print and electronic publications; and Jean Smith, an experienced program officer who worked as a contract program manager for us this year on the NGI workshop, as program associate to help with the work of our committees. William Aspray, Phillip Louis, Kimberly Peaks, and Frederick Weingarten continue, respectively, as executive director, executive assistant, director of administration, and director of public policy.

Valid as of September 1, 1997:

Computing Research Association
1100 Seventeenth Street, NW Suite 507
Washington, DC 20036-4632
Tel. 202-234-2111
Fax: 202-667-1066
E-mail: info@cra.org
URL: http://www.cra.org

William AsprayExecutive Director aspray@cra.org
Stacy CholewinskiManager of Communications stacy@cra.org
Phillip LouisExecutive Assistant plouis@cra.org
Kimberly PeaksDirector of Administration kpeaks@cra.org
Jean SmithProgram Associate jean@cra.org
Fred Weingarten Director of Public Policy rick@cra.org

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Copyright © 2004 Computing Research Association. All Rights Reserved. Questions? E-mail: webmaster@cra.org.