Published: September 2007,  Issue: Vol. 19/No.4, Download as PDF

Archive of articles published in the September 2007, Vol. 19/No.4 issue.

GENI Moves Forward

In late May, the National Science Foundation, through its directorate on Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE), and BBN Technologies announced a cooperative agreement for BBN to operate the GENI Project Office. This announcement came a few months after the announcement of the GENI Science Council (operating under the auspices of the CRA’s Computing Community Consortium). Together the announcements represent a significant step forward in the GENI’s evolution from an idea to reality.

Fifteen Years Later, Caregivers Still an Issue for Conference Attendees

In January 1993, Elaine Weyuker wrote an article for this column in CRN titled “Childcare an Issue for Conference Attendees,” making a powerful case for support for childcare at conferences (see: 1993 Article). Almost fifteen years later, that article remains relevant. The original article focused on on-site childcare, but similar observations apply for caregiver support for other needs, such as those of the physically disabled.

Computing: All Our Constants Are Variables

We humans are not particularly good predictors of change, particularly exponential change. We tend to extrapolate tomorrow from today—geometrically, two points do define a straight line, after all. In the near term, that is a safe and reasonable expedient. However, we, of all disciplines, know that the pace of change is accelerating, with ever greater global connections and greater social, economic and scientific interdependence. In turn, this has profound implications for computing education, research, employment and societal engagement.

An Update on Trends in Degree Production

With plans under way for CRA’s next Taulbee Survey of PhD-granting CS/CE departments in the fall, it is a good time to mention that CRA’s website offers trend data from both the Taulbee reports and from the National Science Foundation. The two sources complement each other: Taulbee data are more current and focused on CS/CE (the NSF groups information science with computer science), while NSF data provide longer trends, an opportunity to compare CS/CE with other fields, and include all degree-granting institutions.

CRA Participates in CNSF Exhibit

The Coalition for National Science Funding held its annual Science Exposition on Capitol Hill in late June. The event, a science fair for Congress and staff, had 35 booths manned by researchers representing universities and scientific societies featuring some of the important research funded by NSF. This year CRA was represented by Lydia Kavraki, a computer science professor from Rice University, whose research into using computational tools to solve problems in a range of areas such as biology was a hit with all those who stopped at the booth.

Key Appropriations, Authorizations on Track

Congress continues to stay on track to honor commitments from the House and Senate Leadership to bolster funding at three key science agencies, but a veto threat from President Bush could derail the annual appropriations process, putting gains for science in doubt. At the same time, House and Senate Leaders have also approved a mammoth omnibus innovation and competitiveness bill that would “ensure our nation’s competitive position in the world through improvements to math and science education and a strong commitment to research,” according to the bill’s sponsors.