Published: March 2008,  Issue: Vol. 20/No.2, Download as PDF

Archive of articles published in the March 2008, Vol. 20/No.2 issue.

Science Increases Abandoned in Final 08 Spending Bill

Despite a year of positive milestones for the advocates of increased funding for three key science agencies, the final FY 2008 numbers for the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and Department of Energy’s Office of Science left many in the scientific community bitterly disappointed as lawmakers reneged on commitments to continue the effort to double basic research funding in favor of other programs and congressional earmarks.

Research Funding and Education: Stay the Course, Keep the Faith

As all of you undoubtedly know by now, at the eleventh hour, the new funding for physical science research (including computer science) disappeared from the omnibus appropriations bill. This was especially disheartening after all the work invested by so many and after the America COMPETES Act authorized major increases earlier in the year, with strong bipartisan support. Thus, we rightfully had high hopes for a corresponding appropriation. It was not to be.

National Center for Supercomputing Applications Powers Scientific Breakthroughs

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) is a unique partnership of the University of Illinois, the state of Illinois, and the federal government. For more than two decades, the center has aided scientists and engineers across the country with powerful computers, innovative technologies and tools, and the knowledge and dedication of its expert staff. Investment in NCSA continues to yield concrete dividends for scientists, government, industry, education, and society.

Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing: 2007 Event Strongest Ever; Next Event Planned

The Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference, a biennial event sponsored by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the IEEE Computer Society (IEEE-CS) in cooperation with the Computing Research Association (CRA), had its most successful event to date on October 14-17, 2007 in Orlando, Florida. The conference is the premier event for the Coalition to Diversify Computing (CDC), a joint organization of the ACM, CRA, and IEEE-CS. The next celebration will take place April 1-4, 2009, on the West Coast of the United States.

Data-Intensive Computing

I have some exciting news to share with all of you: NSF is partnering with Google and IBM to explore data-intensive computing. Through NSF’s reach, Google and IBM are providing software and services running on a large cluster to the broad academic community to explore innovative research and education ideas in data-intensive computing. Google and IBM launched the Academic Cluster Computing Initiative last October with instructional programs at six pilot universities, and the NSF will be joining this initiative as the first research-oriented pilot partner. We are calling the NSF program to provide access to these types of resources the Cluster Exploratory (CluE).

Enrollments and Degree Production at US CS Departments Drop Further in 2006-07

CRA’s Taulbee Survey of Ph.D.-granting Computer Science (CS) and Computer Engineering departments in North America has been conducted annually since 1974. Results from the most recent survey were provided to participants and CRA members in February. They will be published on CRA’s website ( and in Computing Research News in May. Due to widespread interest, CRA releases data on undergraduate degrees early.