Posts tagged ‘graduate education’

Preparing students for a research career: Gregory Abowd’s 30 PhD Graduates

Georgia Tech’s School of Interactive Computing did an article on my friend Gregory Abowd and his 30 PhD graduates, many of whom have continued in academia. You can find the article here.

The “Abowd family” is a real thing. The article ends talking about how Gregory and his students and their students get together at conferences. I’ve seen pictures of these events. There’s a strong sense of kinship and support in the group, inspired by Gregory.

Here at the University of Michigan, we have just hired two second-generation members of the Abowd family. Gabriela Marcu (see webpage here) and Nikola Banovic (see webpage here) both earned their PhD’s at CMU, working with former Gregory students Jen Mankoff and Anind Dey (who have now moved to U. Washington).  What’s striking to me about both Gabriela and Nikola is that they started down the path to academic research by doing undergraduate research with other Abowd graduates: Gillian Hayes at Irvine and Khai Troung at Toronto (respectively).

What does it take to support future academic researchers while they are still undergraduates?  Obviously, we don’t want all of our undergraduates to become researchers. But we need some. Academic researchers in computing perform a useful and important role. We particularly want more women getting into computing research, and kudos to Google for awarding fifteen grants to promote more women getting into computing research (see article here). We do not have enough CS academics today (as I described in this blog post), and that’s part of the struggle in dealing with the enrollment boom. So we want more — how do we get them?  What do we do at the undergraduate level to make it more likely that we get graduates like Gabriela and Nikola?

We need to expect that CS undergraduates will have careers other than software developers. We often build our undergraduate programs assuming that all of our graduates will become software developers, or will manage software developers. But you can do a lot with a CS degree. We have to build into our programs the features that will help students succeed in the career that they choose, including becoming academic researchers.

One of my colleagues in the Engineering Education Research program here, Joi Mondisa, researches mentoring. She just gave the first EER Seminar, and talked about the importance of being “treated/advised like family.”  Mentors give their mentees honest and valuable advice as if the mentee were a family member.

I suspect that that’s part of Gregory’s success — that the notion of being in the “Abowd family” is something that the members feel and actively participate in. That’s likely a lesson that we can use in the future. Personal mentoring relationships play a big role in encouraging future researchers.  I don’t know how to build personal “like family” research relationships into an undergraduate program, especially at the enrollment scales we see today. But it’s an important problem to think about, both because we should support a variety of outcomes for our CS undergraduates and because one way of managing the enrollment crisis is to grow more CS faculty.

 

September 28, 2018 at 7:00 am 3 comments

Join us at the University of Michigan to study Computing Education

As of September 1, Barbara Ericson and I are new faculty at the University of Michigan.  The School of Information has a nice write-up about their new faculty, including Barb here. The Computer Science and Engineering Division (of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department) wrote up their new faculty, including me here.

We are both looking to bring on new students in Ann Arbor.  Readers of this blog can find out a lot about us.  Barb continues to be interested in further developing interactive ebooks as a medium for education and in issues of broadening participation in computing (especially looking to grow Project Rise Up and Sisters Rise Up).  I continue to be interested in how students come to understand program execution (building a mental model of the notional machine) and in the role of programs to be a notation for learning (like in Bootstrap).

Because of how we’re situated at the University of Michigan, there are several avenues for new PhD students:

The EER program is hosting a prospective student open house on Oct 22, and there are travel grants available. See https://eer.engin.umich.edu/ for more information, and I have part of the flyer pasted below.

Choosing between the degree options depends on what you want to do with your PhD after you graduate, and what kind of preparation you want during your PhD. You can do CS Ed research via the CS PhD at Michigan (I did), and your preparation will involve classes in CS and a CS qualifying examination. SI is more oriented towards psychological and sociological perspectives on computing. EER will be more about CS and education in an Engineering context. If you want a CS faculty job, the CS PhD is the surest bet, but SI PhDs do get hired in CS departments, and we hope EER PhDs do, too. EER PhD opens up possibilities in Engineering Education departments (like at Purdue, Virginia Tech, Ohio State, and Clemson), where a CS or SI Phd is less common.

Michigan is becoming a seriously interesting place for computing education research.  Elliot Soloway (my PhD advisor) is still an energetic force in CS. SI just hired Ron Eglash (starting the same time as us), who is one of the founders of ethnocomputing and ethnomathematics (see news article here). I’m eager to collaborate with my friends in the learning sciences here, like Betsy Davis, Barry Fishman, and Chris Quintana. Do come join us!

2018_EER_Open_House_Flyer_Final_pdf__1_page_

September 3, 2018 at 7:00 am 2 comments

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!

NewCSPhDs

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 http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/srvydoctorates/ These were reported in Mark Guzdial’s Computing Education Blog https://computinged.wordpress.com/2016/05/04/what-really-happens-to-new-cs-phds-starving-the-beast/

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 http://www.ic.gatech.edu/future/phdhcc 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
http://www.livecodenetwork.org

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:
http://toplap.org/about/

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.

UPCOMING SYMPOSIA

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 (http://www.nime2014.org/), which will
itself include a good number of live coding performances and papers.

Please see our website for more information:
http://www.livecodenetwork.org/2014/04/12/symposium-on-live-coding-and-the-body-and-algorave/
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
(http://networkmusicfestival.org/), running over the weekend, which
will itself showcase network-based live coding music amongst its
programme. Watch our website for details.
UPCOMING ASSOCIATED EVENTS

* 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: https://www.facebook.com/events/291980540962097/291989147627903/

* 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:

http://www.livecodenetwork.org
http://twitter.com/livecodenet/
http://facebook.com/livecodenet/

Or get in contact with network co-ordinators Thor Magnusson <Thor
Magnusson <T.Magnusson@sussex.ac.uk> and Alex McLean
<a.mclean@leeds.ac.uk>

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

Older Posts


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4,352 other followers

Feeds

Recent Posts

Blog Stats

  • 1,587,035 hits
December 2018
M T W T F S S
« Nov    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

CS Teaching Tips