CS Press Releases Handbook on Diverse Research Groups

LOS ALAMITOS, Calif., 23 April 2009 -- As universities and colleges continue to see low enrollments for women and minority students in science and engineering, recruiting, training, and retaining a productive and heterogeneous research team is more difficult -- and more important -- than ever. The Affinity Research Group Model: Creating and Maintaining Effective Research Teams by Ann Q. Gates, Steve Roach, Elsa Y. Villa, Kerrie Kephart, Connie Della-Piana, and Gabriel Della-Piana is a guidebook that outlines a set of fundamental principles and effective practices for involving undergraduates -- in particular women and underrepresented ethnic minorities -- in research and preparing them for professional work.

Lead author Gates is the associate vice president of research and sponsored projects at the University of Texas at El Paso and past chair of the Computer Science Department. Her research areas are software property elicitation and specification, and workflow-driven ontologies. Gates directs the National Science Foundation-funded Cyber-ShARE Center that focuses on developing and sharing resources through cyberinfrastructure to advance research and education. In 2003, Gates was named to Hispanic Business magazine’s 100 Influential Hispanics in 2006 for her work on the Affinity Research Group model.

“Because UTEP is a majority-minority institution, the model began as a means of involving Hispanic students; however, we soon realized that the model could benefit a broader range of students -- with varied educational levels, backgrounds, and experiences. By including diverse student researchers, we enhance the level of scholarship and research productivity, providing a cross section of perspectives critical to any technical or scientific discipline,” says Gates, who, along with her colleagues, offers workshops on the Affinity Research Group model nationwide.

A cooperative learning approach to organizing research projects that involve and retain students with diverse backgrounds, establishing mentoring relationships with faculty and enhancing peer and professional collegiality in preparation for future work, The Affinity Research Group Model has been published with the support of the NSF and an IEEE New Initiative seed grant.

For more information, or to place an order for the book, visit http://www.computer.org/ARG

About the Computer Society

With nearly 85,000 members, the IEEE Computer Society is the world’s leading organization of computing professionals. Founded in 1946, and the largest of the 39 societies of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Computer Society is dedicated to advancing the theory and application of computer and information-processing technology, and is known globally for its computing standards activities.

The Computer Society serves the information and career-development needs of today’s computing researchers and practitioners with technical journals, magazines, conferences, books, conference publications, and online courses. Its Certified Software Development Professional (CSDP) program for mid-career professionals and Certified Software Development Associate (CSDA) credential for recent college graduates confirm the skill and knowledge of those working in the field. The CS Digital Library (CSDL) is an excellent research tool, containing more than 250,000 articles from 1,600 conference proceedings and 26 CS periodicals going back to 1988.

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