Published: January 2007,  Issue: Vol. 19/No.1, Download as PDF

Archive of articles published in the January 2007, Vol. 19/No.1 issue.

Congress Change Could Mean Slight Changes in Science Policy

With the change in Congressional leadership resulting from the Democrats’ strong showing in November’s mid-term elections, the landscape for research funding issues in Congress is expected to change in a number of ways, with outcomes that are, at this point, difficult to predict. For the research advocacy community, these changes will include new personalities heading every key Congressional committee and new legislative priorities for the Congressional leadership that could imperil recent gains in research funding commitments.

Avaya Labs Research – Thriving In Pasteur’s Quadrant

“The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.” [Linus Pauling] Avaya Labs Research (Research) was created in 2000 when Avaya spun off from Lucent, inheriting and now extending the 75-year tradition of Bell Labs Research. We are responsible for advancing high-potential technologies, understanding customer trends and needs, and establishing alliances with both academia and industry to introduce innovative technologies and competitive solutions. We partner closely with Avaya business units to generate and trial ideas that form the basis for next-generation, enterprise-based telecommunications.

CRA-W Cohort of Associate Professors

National discussions on global competitiveness often overlook the role that diversity must play: we cannot expect our nation’s IT workforce to meet its goals if we fail to fully engage most of our population in that effort. By failing to attract women, minorities, and persons with disabilities to IT, we are ceding our global position in innovation. Women make up the largest of these groups, and they are underrepresented in the workforce as a whole and at the highest ranks in particular. Women hold just 27 percent of professional computing-related positions and only 15 percent of board and executive officer positions in the top IT-related companies.

Inventing the Future

In the context of this quote, and as I leave NSF, I invite you to review with me how well CISE is positioned to invent the future. In the space available I cannot review the entire computing innovation ecology (NSF is funding an Academy study on exactly this question; see: I can, however, review the situation at NSF, which continues to be the funding mainstay of basic computer science and engineering research.

Random Ramblings

The November mid-term election changed the political landscape in Washington, with both the House and Senate shifting from Republican to Democratic control. As I write this column, many TV pundits are busily debating the broad implications of this change. More cogently, CRA’s Peter Harsha is writing about the policy ramifications in both the CRA government affairs blog ( and elsewhere in this issue of CRN. Meanwhile, CRA is not waiting for the policy waters to clear, but is continuing an active role in the Task Force on the Future of American Innovation, advocating increased funding for the physical sciences, of which computing is a central component.