those of the more theoretically oriented disciplines such as mathematics or statistics. Indeed, the committee believes that the lack of experimental infrastructure and/or a supportive research environment, including collaborators and mentors, may have greatly hampered or even prevented many talented experimentalists from producing significant research and thus led to their not receiving appropriate academic recognition. Reasonable expectations for research output should be scaled to match the resources available to an ECSE faculty member or team; this is especially important in light of the tighter funding picture for the foreseeable future.

The teaching dimension is problematic for many ECSE faculty, although differences among institutions of higher education obscure it to a certain degree. The very high student-faculty ratio in computer science and engineering (CS&E); the grading of complex student laboratory or project work in ECSE; the installation, maintenance, and upgrading of student ECSE laboratories; and keeping ECSE courses current in the face of rapidly changing technological underpinnings—all present extraordinarily time-intensive demands on ECSE faculty that should be recognized in making teaching assignments. The service dimension presents less of a problem, except for the rather frequent demand on ECSE faculty time to provide computer-related advice to the rest of the institution.

The focus on artifacts in ECSE, and other differences between the experimental and analytical methodologies, have led to tension between theoreticians and experimentalists. The manifestations of this tension vary from none at all in some departments to the perception, and perhaps the fact, in others that even very good junior experimental faculty members are being evaluated by criteria that are not appropriate for their research areas.


The committee makes the following recommendations to improve the academic environment for ECSE.

Recommendations for Departments

The importance of a supportive research environment for ECSE faculty cannot be overstated; indeed, it is so important that its absence may well defeat the most talented and gifted faculty member. Departments can help ECSE faculty, and especially new assistant professors, by

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