Message from the CISE AD
Good news: Funding opportunities for the CISE community are plentiful. We are in the middle of fiscal year 2010, and last month the President presented his fiscal year 2011 budget to Congress. Taken together, the Administration is acting on its priorities, as outlined in my November 2009 CRN column. Here is a sketch of the relevant NSF programs to be on the lookout for in the coming months:
Climate Change, Energy, Environment → Sustainability
Starting with the foundation-wide FY10 Climate Research Initiative (CRI) and evolving into the FY11 Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainable Well-being (SEES), NSF is putting its mark on sustainability, broadly construed to include climate change, energy, and the environment. For CRI, NSF just released a new program solicitation seeking new approaches in computational modeling to handle the scale and complexity of modeling the Earth at decadal and regional scales, capturing the interactions among land, air, water, and living systems.
While peta-scale and exa-scale hardware will play a major role in climate modeling, revolutionary new approaches will rely on our expertise in new computational abstractions-algorithms, languages, software interfaces, architectures, environments and tools-for more modular and compositional system models, to exploit data-intensive, not just compute-intensive applications, to provide visualization tools to scientists, and to help policymakers make science-based decisions. So please consider submitting a CRI proposal, especially in collaboration with other scientists.
Looking ahead to FY11 and the research challenges in computing that SEES will highlight, we as a community will be able to contribute through advances in energy-efficient and energy-intelligent computing, as well as through computing advances that support sustainability in other sectors. SEES will provide our community with an opportunity to understand from first principles energy requirements inherent in computation and communication, and to design and build energy-aware hardware and software systems. Advances in computing will enable more efficient, reliable, trustworthy energy delivery in the Smart Grid and will help reduce energy consumption in the Smart Home. Smart sensing systems have the potential to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Intelligent decision-making can help optimize energy usage and can help a community make data-driven policies about its energy usage and effects on the local environment. Stay posted for more information on SEES in the summer or fall of 2010.
Education and Learning
In FY10, CISE will evolve its education and workforce programs into a more broadly scoped effort on education in computing. Leveraging our successes in CPATH at the undergraduate level and our successes in the BPC alliances, we will be extending our reach into the pipeline to include middle school and high school students and teachers-and simultaneously to widen it to include early on diverse populations, including women, underrepresented minorities, persons with disabilities, and the economically disadvantaged.
This effort will allow us to put front and center our support for innovative projects like 10K x 10K and our endorsement of revising the CS Advanced Placement course(s) and exam(s). With this plan, we intend to send the strong message that computing is for everyone, regardless of one’s eventual career, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, income, and so on. Of course, by promoting education and learning in computing at earlier stages in the pipeline, we hope that a direct benefit to our community will be increased interest in computing as a field of study. We hope to release our new program solicitation in the summer of 2010.
Cyberlearning Transforming Education (CTE) is NSF’s FY11 foundation-wide initiative on cyberlearning. It recognizes that despite the revolution computing technology has had in science and engineering and in all aspects of our lives, we have not yet fully exploited its potential in the ways we teach and students learn. CTE will focus on three themes: 1) Anytime Anywhere Learning, redistributing learning throughout waking hours and throughout a lifetime, not bound to formal classroom settings or traditional modes of instruction; 2) Personalized Learning, tailoring the learning experience to an individual and supporting new forms of learning as a collaborative and social activity; and 3) (Cyber)Learning About (Cyber)Learning, to advance our knowledge about learning, especially with cyber tools, and to advance next-generation cyber tools for learning based on new understandings about learning. More information on CTE will be available this summer or fall.
Computing Core Activities
For FY10 and FY11, CISE’s core programs and activities look strong and healthy. CISE will continue to lead NSF in the Cyber-enabled Discovery and Innovation program, aka “Computational Thinking for Science and Engineering.” We will continue to work with MPS, ENG, and OCI on the Science and Engineering Beyond Moore’s Law, with a spotlight on quantum information science. In partnership with ENG, we will continue to support Cyber-Physical Systems, and are working vigorously to engage other agencies and the private sector to join our effort. We are working more closely with OCI to promote cloud computing as a new platform for scientists and engineers, especially for data-intensive applications (see CISE Bytes for an exciting update on this front). Along with SBE, we plan to continue our support for socially intelligent computing through our joint Social-Computational Systems program. Thanks to additional funding from the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative, CISE continues to provide sustained, robust support for our Trustworthy Computing program, with specific emphases on foundations of trustworthy computing, privacy, and usability. As always, please visit our website for a complete list of programs and funding opportunities.
Remember: We want your great ideas—be bold, be creative, be visionary!