Posts tagged ‘graduate education’

What’s going on with CS PhD Enrollments: Guest Blog Post from Betsy Bizot

Betsy Bizot at Computing Research Association (CRA) dug into the question that I posed about CS PhD’s, and came up with these answers. Thanks, Betsy!


Percentages are computed from those who answered the question about their postdoctoral status, about 90% of all SED respondents. They include those who said they were returning to or continuing with predoctoral employment, or who have a definite commitment for employment or postdoctoral study. Those who were negotiating with one or more possible employers were not counted.

Values in the Engineering column are from Doctorate Recipients from U.S. Universities: 2014 (for the 2004 and 2009 figures) and Doctorate Recipients from U.S. Universities: 2013 (for the 2013 figure), Table 42, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, available from the “data” tab at These were reported in Mark Guzdial’s Computing Education Blog

Values in the Computer Science column are computed using data from the Survey of Earned Doctorates licensed to the Computing Research Association through the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics at the National Science Foundation. The use of NSF data does not imply NSF endorsement of the research methods or conclusions contained in this report. Licensing of this data was supported by grant B2014-12 from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

May 20, 2016 at 7:31 am 2 comments

What really happens to new CS PhDs? A glut of PhDs, even in Engineering.

I was surprised to see the numbers quoted below.  PhD unemployment is that high? Aman Yadav just pointed me to an article in The Atlantic, with even more depressing news about the number of years to PhD, the debt after PhD, and the percentage of unemployment — see here.

CS is grouped into Engineering, so I tried to find the stats just on CS PhD’s.  The 2014 Taulbee survey (see link here) says “The unemployment rate for new Ph.D.s again this year was below one percent.” But goes on to say, “The fraction of new Ph.D.s whose employment status was unknown was 19.7 percent in 2013-14; in 2012-13 it was 20.8 percent. It is possible that the lack of information about the employment of more than one in six graduates skews the real overall percentages for certain employment categories.”  It’s not clear that we know what happens to new CS PhD’s, and what the real unemployment rate is.

Percent of Doctorate Recipients With Job or Postdoc Commitments, by Field of Study

Field     2004 2009 2014

All        70.0% 69.5% 61.4%

Life sciences    71.2% 66.8% 57.9%

Physical sciences    71.5% 72.1% 63.8%

Social sciences    71.3% 72.9% 68.8%

Engineering    63.6% 66.8% 57.0

Education    74.6% 71.6% 64.6%

Humanities    63.4% 63.3% 54.3%

Source: Starving the Beast | The Professor Is In

May 4, 2016 at 8:32 am 8 comments

Earn your Human-Centered Computing PhD at Georgia Tech: Applications due Dec 15

Georgia Tech founded the very first HCC degree program in 2004, focusing on the intersection of computing and people – where computing includes not just computers but also different kinds of computational artifacts from games to mobile applications, from robots to bionics and mobile applications; and people includes not only individuals but also teams, organizations, societies and cultures.

Join our 29 faculty in working across the HCC spectrum: learning sciences & technologies, computing education, artificial intelligence, cognitive science, collaboration, design, human-computer interaction, health & wellness, informatics, information visualization & visual analytics, international development, learning sciences & technology, social computing, and ubiquitous & wearable computing.

Join our 39 students, all doing research in one of three broad areas: Cognition, Learning & Creativity, Human-Computer Interaction, and Social Computing. We value diversity in all its dimensions; our students have a broad range of backgrounds, coming from across the world and with a variety of different and undergraduate degrees.

Join a vibrant community of faculty and graduate students that encompasses not just the HCC PhD but also the PhDs in Digital Media, Computer Science with specialization in HCI, Psychology with specializations in Engineering Psychology and Cognitive Aging, Music Technology, and Industrial Design, and the interdisciplinary GVU Center with its multitude of research labs.

Join, upon graduation, our alumni who have academic or research careers at Adobe Research, CMU, Drexel, Georgetown, Georgia Tech, Google, Kaiser Permanente, Kaltura, U. Maryland, U. Michigan, Michigan State, U. Minnesota, Oak Ridge National Labs, Northeastern, Penn State, Rose Hulman, Samsung, Sassafras, U. Washington, US Military Academy and Virginia Tech.

Our curriculum is flexible, allowing considerable customizing based on individual interests: three core courses, three specialization courses and three minor courses. You get involved with research during your first semester, and never stop!

Students receive tuition and a competitive stipend during their studies; outstanding US students are eligible for the President’s Fellowship.

Applications are due December 15; see for additional program and application information.

November 19, 2014 at 1:16 pm Leave a comment

Research Outcome: Professors work long hours, spend much of day in meetings, and tuition increases aren’t because faculty are getting raises

To all academics this is totally obvious.  But I’m guessing that the general public may not know this.  The general public may think that tuition rises are paying for rising faculty salaries, when the dramatic rise in salaries is with coaches and administrators.  (Here at Georgia Tech, the faculty have not had raises across the board since January 2008.)  As mentioned earlier this month, research funding has decreased dramatically, and the time costs for seeking funding have grown.  There’s a blog (meta?) post that is collecting links to all the “Goodbye, Academia” blog posts — faculty who are giving up on academia, and explaining why.  All of this context may help explain declining number of American students going into graduate school.

Professors work long days, on weekends, on and off campus, and largely alone. Responsible for a growing number of administrative tasks, they also do research more on their own time than during the traditional work week. The biggest chunk of their time is spent teaching.

Those are the preliminary findings of an ongoing study at Boise State University — a public doctoral institution — of faculty workload allocation, which stamps out old notions of professors engaged primarily in their own research and esoteric discussions with fellow scholars.

via Research shows professors work long hours and spend much of day in meetings | Inside Higher Ed.

July 17, 2014 at 8:50 am 4 comments

Launching Livecoding Network

Interesting announcement from Thor Magnusson and Alex McLean — more energy going into livecoding.  Check out the doctoral consortium around livecoding, too.

AHRC Live Coding Research Network

We are happy to announce the launch of the Live Coding Research
Network (LCRN), hosting a diverse series of events and activities over
the next two years, funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research
Council (AHRC). In addition the TOPLAP organisation will run a
year-long programme of performance events around the country,
supported by the Sound and Music national agency for new music.

If you are unfamiliar with the practice of live coding, for now we
refer you to the website of our sister organisation TOPLAP:

Following a successful launch symposium last month, we have three more
symposia, an international conference as well as a range of associated
events already planned.


4th-6th July 2014, University of Sussex, Brighton – “Live coding and the body”

Our second symposium will be preceded by an “algorave” night of
performances at The Loft on the 4th July, with the symposium proper
running on the 5th and 6th of July. This symposium will follow after
the NIME conference in London (, which will
itself include a good number of live coding performances and papers.

Please see our website for more information:
25th-28th September 2014, Birmingham – “Live coding in collaboration
and network music”

Our third symposium will run from the 25th-26th September 2014, with
the first day focussed on doctoral research. It will lead into the
well established Network Music Festival
(, running over the weekend, which
will itself showcase network-based live coding music amongst its
programme. Watch our website for details.

* 26th April 2014, Gateshead from 10pm – An algorave celebrating great
Northern live coders Holger Ballweg, Hellocatfood, Shelly Knotts, Sick
Lincoln, Norah Lorway, Section_9, Yaxu + more. Organised by the
Audacious Art Experiment.
More info:

* 13th May 2014, London – Sonic Pattern and the Textility of Code, a
daytime symposium in collaboration with the Craft Council. More
details on our website next week.
We have much more in the pipeline, please watch our website and social
media feeds for more information:

Or get in contact with network co-ordinators Thor Magnusson <Thor
Magnusson <> and Alex McLean

May 5, 2014 at 2:34 am Leave a comment

CRA study: How long does it take to get a PhD in CS? Longer for women and minorities

Really interesting new study out of Computing Research Association (CRA). How long does it take to get a PhD in CS? How does that compare to other STEM disciplines? How does it differ based on gender or minority status?

Table 3 and Figure 1 show the median time to complete a Ph.D. since first beginning a graduate program, for each subgroup, for each cohort.

Gender . Women take longer than men. This is true in both cohorts; there is a larger difference (almost a year) in the second cohort.

Citizenship status. In the earlier cohort, students on temporary visas take less time than citizen or permanent resident students. In the later cohort, the median times of the two groups are exactly the same.

Minority status. Students from underrepresented minorities (URM) – that is, racial and ethnic groups underrepresented in computing – take longer than majority students to complete a Ph.D.. In the first cohort, the difference is almost two years; in the second cohort it is close to one year.

Carnegie Class. Eighty percent of doctorates in computing are granted by “Very high research activity” institutions; students at those institutions take noticeably less time to complete their degrees than those at the less-research-intensive institutions.

via Computing Research News – Online – Computing Research Association.

April 30, 2014 at 9:12 am 6 comments

Call for Participation in ACM SIGCSE’s ICER 2014 Doctoral Consortium

Sally Fincher and I are organizing this year’s Doctoral Consortium for students working in computing education.  Do come join us in Glasgow!

ICER DC Call for Proposals

The ICER 2014 Doctoral Consortium provides an opportunity for doctoral students to explore and develop their research interests in a workshop environment with a panel of established researchers. We invite students to apply for this opportunity to share their work with students in a similar situation as well as senior researchers in the field. We welcome submissions from students at any stage of their doctoral studies.

Sally Fincher, University of Kent at Canterbury

Mark Guzdial, Georgia Institute of Technology

Contact us at:


What is the Doctoral Consortium? 

The DC has the following objectives:

  • Provide a supportive setting for feedback on students’ research and research direction
  • Offer each student comments and fresh perspectives on their work   from researchers and students outside their own institution
  • Promote the development of a supportive community of scholars
  • Support a new generation of researchers with information and advice on research and academic career paths
  • Contribute to the conference goals through interaction with other researchers and conference events

The DC will be held on Sunday, August 10 2014. Students at any stage of their doctoral studies are welcome to apply and attend. The number of participants is limited to 12. Applicants who are selected will receive a limited partial reimbursement of travel, accommodation and subsistence (i.e., food) expenses of $600 (USD).

Preparing and Submitting your Consortium Proposal Extended Abstract

Candidates should prepare a 2-page research description covering central aspects of your PhD work, which follows the structure, details and format specified in the ICER Doctoral Consortium submission template Word<> / LaTeX<>.

Key points include:

  • Your situation, i.e., the university doctoral program context in which your work is being conducted.
  • Context and motivation that drives your dissertation research
  • Miniature Background/literature review of key works that frames your research
  • Hypothesis/thesis and/or problem statement
  • Research objectives/goals
  • Your research approach and methods, including relevant rationale
  • Results to date and your argument for their validity
  • Current and expected contributions

Appendix 1. A letter of nomination from your primary dissertation advisor, that supports your participation in the DC, explains how your work connects with the ICER community, and describes the expected timeline for your completion of your doctorate.

Appendix 2. Your concise current Curriculum Vita (1–2 pages)

Once you have assembled – and tested – the PDF file, the entire submission file should be emailed to no later than 17:00 PDT on 21 May 2014. When submitting the applications, please put “ICER DC 2014 – <Last Name>” in the Subject line.

Process Timeline:

Friday 21st May – initial submission

Monday 2nd June – notification of acceptance

Monday 16th June – camera ready copy due


Doctoral Consortium Review Process

The review and decision of acceptance will balance many factors. This includes the quality of your proposal, and where you are within your doctoral education program. It also includes external factors, so that the group of accepted candidates exhibit a diversity of backgrounds and topics. Your institution will also be taken into account, where we are unlikely to accept more than two students from the same institution.  Confidentiality of submissions is maintained during the review process. All rejected submissions will be kept confidential in perpetuity. Upon Acceptance of your Doctoral Consortium Proposal Authors will be notified of acceptance or rejection on 2 June 2014, or shortly after.

Authors of accepted submissions will receive instructions on how to submit publication-ready copy (this will consist of your extended abstract only), and will receive information about attending the Doctoral Consortium, about preparing your presentation and poster, about how to register for the conference, travel arrangements and reimbursement details. Registration benefits are contingent on attending the Doctoral Consortium.

Please note that submissions will not be published without a signed form releasing publishing copyright to the ACM. Attaining permissions to use video, audio, or pictures of identifiable people or proprietary content rests with the author, not the ACM or the ICER conference.

Before the Conference

Since the goals of the Doctoral Consortium include building scholarship and community, participants will be expected to read all of the Extended Abstracts of your colleagues prior to the beginning of the consortium with a goal of preparing careful and thoughtful critique. Although many fine pieces of work may have to be rejected due to lack of space, being accepted into the Consortium involves a commitment to giving and receiving thoughtful commentary.

At the Conference

All participants are expected to attend all portions of the Doctoral Consortium. We will also be arranging an informal Welcome Dinner for participants and discussants on Saturday August 9, 2014 before the consortium begins. Please make your travel plans to join us this evening to get acquainted.

Within the DC, each student will present his or her work to the group with substantial time allowed for discussion and questions by participating researchers and other students. Students will also present a poster of their work at the main conference. In addition to the conference poster, each student should bring a “one-pager” describing their research (perhaps a small version of the poster using letter or A4 paper) for sharing with faculty mentors and other students.

After the Conference

Accepted Doctoral Consortium abstracts will be distributed in the ACM Digital Library, where they will remain accessible to thousands of researchers and practitioners worldwide.


AUTHORS TAKE NOTE: The official publication date is the date the proceedings are made available in the ACM Digital Library. This date will be one week prior to the first day of the conference. The official publication date affects the deadline for any patent filings related to published work.



April 23, 2014 at 8:24 am 2 comments

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