The committee, whose mission is to “address society’s need for a continuous supply of talented and well-educated computing researchers,” provides resources and professional development. Their activities include honoring undergraduate student research and faculty mentoring achievements, as well as leading activities that promote the pursuit of graduate education and research careers.
Sotomayor joins the 13-member board with a mission to expand the pipeline for teaching faculty in computer science, a priority he witnesses directly as Director of the Masters Program in Computer Science (MPCS).
“I feel very strongly about the need to create a more robust pipeline of computer scientists that go into education, both in higher education and in K-12,” Sotomayor said. “It’s a constant struggle, because people who go into computer science have so many options available to them – you can go into research, you can go into industry, you can go do tenure track, etc. – and a lot of people don’t even consider the possibility of doing a teaching career.”
For the last five years, CRA-E has organized an annual workshop on academic teaching career options at the ACM SIGCSE (Special Interest Group Computer Science Education) conference, and Sotomayor will join the organizing team proposing next year’s edition.
“Working with the CRA-E committee is going to be a great way to further that goal at a much, much larger scale,” he said. “Everyone on the committee feels very passionately about computer science education, and the pipeline into both teaching and research careers in computer science. I think it will be very exciting to have an impact, not just here at UChicago, but also all around the country.”