Archive for the ‘pipeline’ category


NSF: Significant Surge in CS Postdocs in Last Decade

July 7th, 2012

(This post has been updated; please scroll down for the latest.)

Last December, we blogged about changes in the number of new Ph.D.s in computer science — a slight increase between 2009 and 2010, but the “fastest growth” of all science and engineering disciplines during the 10-year period ending in 2010, according to data from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) annual Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED).

Well, NSF is now out with more data, this time describing trends among graduate students and postdoctoral fellows — and the numbers are quite striking for computing (details after the jump).

» Read more: NSF: Significant Surge in CS Postdocs in Last Decade

First Person: Margo Seltzer on Women in CS

July 5th, 2012

Harvard computer scientist and CCC Council member Margo Seltzer was interviewed last week about her thoughts on women in computer science:

Txchnologist: Although women make up nearly half of the workforce in the U.S., the Department of Commerce reports that only one out of four employed computer scientists is female. Does this fit with what you see?


Margo Seltzer, Harvard University and CCC [image courtesy Harvard].Margo Seltzer: It’s stunning. The numbers are bad, and they’re not particularly getting better globally. The only place that I’ve encountered worse numbers is actually finance and entrepreneurism. Those are the only events that I’ve ever gone to where I’ve felt that I was even more outnumbered.


Txch: What do you think accounts for the disparity? [more following the link]


» Read more: First Person: Margo Seltzer on Women in CS

National Academies’ Report Calls for Cyberinfrastructure Investment

June 18th, 2012

National Academies' report calls for cyberinfrastructure investment [image courtesy NAS].Last week, the National Academies released a report chartered by Congress — “Research Universities and the Future of America: Ten Breakthrough Actions Vital to Our Nation’s Prosperity and Security” — assessing the competitive position of the nation’s research universities, and responding to the following question:

What are the top 10 actions that Congress, the Federal government, state governments, research universities, and others can take to assure the ability of the American research university to maintain the excellence in research and doctoral education needed to help the United States compete, prosper, and achieve national goals for health, energy, the environment, and security in the global community of the 21st century?

The report — authored by a committee of leaders spanning academia, industry, government, and national laboratories — concluded broadly:

It is essential that we as a nation reaffirm, revitalize, and strengthen substantially the unique partnership that has long existed among the nation’s research universities, the federal government, the states, and philanthropy by enhancing their individual roles and the links among them and also by providing incentives for stronger partnership with business and industry. In doing so, we will encourage the ideas and innovations that will lead to more high-end jobs, increased incomes, and the national security, health, and prosperity we expect.

It went on to identify 10 actions designed to revitalize university research and speed its translation into innovative products and services, streamline and improve productivity of research operations within universities, and build a pipeline of future talent in science, engineering, and other research areas.

There’s one recommendation likely to be of particular interest to the computing community (following the link):

» Read more: National Academies’ Report Calls for Cyberinfrastructure Investment

Revisiting “Where the jobs are…”

May 23rd, 2012

A little over two years ago, we blogged about the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’s (BLS) biennial employment outlook — a 10-year forecast of job growth in all occupations — noting the prominence of computing in the decade ahead. Well, earlier this year, BLS released a new employment outlook for the period 2010-2020, and computing was once again front and center:

Computer and mathematical occupations are projected to add 778,300 new jobs between 2010 and 2020, after having added 229,600 new jobs from 2006 to 2010. This represents 22.0 percent growth from 2010 to 2020…


Employment in the computer systems design and related services industry is projected to add 671,300 jobs, to reach an employment level of 2.1 million by 2020, making this industry one of the largest growing ones. Employment in computer systems design and related services also is projected to grow at 3.9 percent per year, making this industry one of the fastest growing. The demand for increased network and computer systems security, mobile technologies, and custom programming services, as well as the health care industry’s ongoing move to electronic records, will drive the employment growth in this industry. The computer systems design and related services industry also is expected to be among those with the largest and fastest increases in real output, which is projected to increase by $208.0 billion, to reach $466.5 billion in 2020, an annual growth rate of 6.1 percent  [more following the link]…

» Read more: Revisiting “Where the jobs are…”

CS URGE: A Resource for Undergraduates

May 21st, 2012

CS URGE, a resource for computer science undergraduates.The Computing Community Consortium (CCC) has developed a new website for undergraduates seeking summer research opportunities as well as advice and tips on applying for graduate school. The website is called CS URGE (CS Undergraduate Research and Graduate Education), and the URL is

We URGE you to promote CS URGE with your students and place a link to the site from your departmental website. In addition to sections on “What is CS Research” and “Why Go to Graduate School?”, the site contains links to many undergraduate summer research programs (e.g., NSF REU, CRA-W, and many others) as well as a free service where researchers can post summer research opportunities and students can search those opportunities by disciplinary area. In addition, there is a page with candid advice on how to navigate through the graduate admissions process and what makes for a good application. Finally, there is a blog in which three current CS Ph.D. students share the joys and challenges of being a graduate student.

» Read more: CS URGE: A Resource for Undergraduates

Surge in Postdocs Continues, According to Latest Survey Data

May 7th, 2012

Computer Science PostdocsThe recent surge in the number of new Ph.D.s in computer science and allied fields pursuing postdoctoral positions has continued in the past year, according to the latest data from the Computing Research Association’s (CRA) annual Taulbee survey being published this month — warranting renewed attention to CRA’s efforts to engage the community in a conversation about this trend (more following the link).

» Read more: Surge in Postdocs Continues, According to Latest Survey Data