This article is published in the March 2012 issue.

Highlights of the CISE Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Request

On February 13, the President delivered the Fiscal Year 2013 Budget to Congress. The Administration is requesting a total of nearly $7.4 billion dollars for NSF, which is an increase of $340 million, or almost five percent, over the FY 2012 NSF Enacted level. The Request also includes an increase of $56 million, or 8.6 percent, over the FY 2012 Current Plan for the Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) directorate, for a total of $709.7 million. For more information on the NSF FY 2013 budget, see:

As the NSF Director, Dr. Subra Suresh, stated at the NSF FY 2013 Budget Rollout, “There is overwhelming consensus that scientific discovery and technological innovation, driven by a creative and skilled science and engineering workforce, are the engines of economic growth…. Sustained momentum in NSF’s core programs is essential for progress in science and engineering.” I couldn’t agree more and would like to take this opportunity to reaffirm CISE’s strong commitment to its core basic research programs. We continue to cast a wide net and to let the best ideas surface. Requested funding for each of CISE’s three divisions-Computing and Communications Foundations (CCF), Computer and Network Systems (CNS), and Information and Intelligent Systems (IIS)-is increased by approximately nine percent in the FY 2013 Request. This funding will support a broad range of ambitious, long-term research in computer, communication, and information science and engineering.

The CISE FY 2013 Request is shaped by investments in its core basic research, education, and infrastructure programs as well as by those included in the Foundation-wide OneNSF vision. OneNSF aligns closely with the Administration’s priorities and increases support for fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. I wish to highlight several NSF-wide programs in which CISE is significantly involved:

Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC): Under OneNSF and in partnership with other NSF Directorates, CISE provides the scientific and engineering leadership for SaTC. This investment seeks to protect the Nation’s critical information technology infrastructure, including the Internet, from a wide range of threats that challenge its security and reliability. SaTC emphasizes the long-term investments needed across computer science, engineering, statistics, mathematics, economics, and social science to support scientific foundations for trustworthy systems, induce change, maximize research impact, and, ultimately, transition new concepts and technologies into practice. [CISE will contribute $69 million to SaTC, an increase of 25.5% over the FY 2012 Current Plan.]

Smart Systems and Robotics:   Also under OneNSF, the Cyber-enabled Materials, Manufacturing, and Smart Systems (CEMMSS) program is a path-breaking effort to develop “smart systems” that can sense, respond, and adapt to changes in the environment. This program brings together researchers and educators from the areas of advanced manufacturing, materials science, cyber-physical systems, and robotics to stimulate new directions in research. CISE’s investments include (i) the Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) program, which aims to deeply integrate computation, communication, and control into physical systems and to engineer complex “smart” cyber-physical systems; and (ii) the National Robotics Initiative (NRI), an interagency program with NASA, NIH, and USDA that intends to develop the next generation of collaborative robots to enhance personal safety, health, and productivity. [CISE will contribute $91 million to CEMMSS, an increase of 82% over the FY 2012 Current Plan.]

Cyberinfrastructure Framework for 21st Century Science and Engineering (CIF21):  In partnership with all NSF Directorates and Offices and under OneNSF, the CISE investment in CIF21 is in two broad areas in FY 2013. One is Advanced Computing Infrastructure (ACI), which seeks to fully exploit parallelism and concurrency through innovations in computational models and languages, algorithms, operating and run-time systems, software tools, and advanced hardware. The other area, big data science and engineering, aims to advance the core scientific and technological means of managing, analyzing, visualizing, and extracting useful information from large, diverse, distributed, and heterogeneous data sets in order to accelerate the progress of scientific discovery and innovation. [CISE will contribute $16 million to CIF21, an increase of 33% over the FY 2012 Current Plan.]

Cyber-enabled Sustainability:   The CISE investment in the OneNSF Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability (SEES) framework for FY 2013 creates a research community engaged in cyber-enabled sustainability to advance research in large-scale and intelligent data management and analysis; wide-spread heterogeneous sensing and control; and optimization, modeling, and simulation of large, complex problems, including energy, computation, and communication trade-offs. [CISE will contribute $11.5 million to SEES, an increase of 44% over the FY 2012 Current Plan.]

Education and Workforce Development:   In the FY 2013 Budget Request, CISE continues its strong commitment to education and workforce development. It is estimated that CISE will support approximately 16,000 people across the spectrum from undergraduate and graduate students to postdoctoral fellows and senior researchers in FY 2013. The Computing Education for the 21st Century (CE21) program, for example, seeks to increase the pool of students and teachers who develop and practice computational competencies in a variety of contexts and to increase the pool of early postsecondary students who have the background necessary to pursue degrees in computing, computation, and data-intensive fields of study. CISE also continues its investment in the CAREER program, which supports the integration of research and education of early-career researchers and contributes to the development of future generations of computer and information scientists and engineers.

CISE’s budget request also continues to support a number of crosscutting programs developed over recent years, including Expeditions in Computing, Smart Health and Wellbeing, Cyberlearning: Transforming Education, Collaborative Research in Computational Neuroscience, and Enhancing Access to the Radio Spectrum, as well as its investments in mid-scale computing research infrastructure.

As a field of inquiry, computer and information science and engineering has a rich intellectual agenda. Basic research seeds new programs that keep CISE at the frontiers of knowledge and discovery. I invite you to work with us to ensure that our Nation remains at the forefront of advances in computing science and engineering research and education.


Highlights of the CISE Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Request