Published: January 2009,  Issue: Vol. 21/No.1, Download as PDF

Archive of articles published in the January 2009, Vol. 21/No.1 issue.

Boldly Exploring the Endless Frontier

During another time of great transition, near the end of World War II, President Roosevelt’s advisor, Vannevar Bush, wrote a seminal essay entitled “Science: The Endless Frontier” in which he sagely observed that “… without scientific progress no amount of achievement in other directions can insure our health, prosperity, and security as a nation in the modern world.” This essay was the progenitor of the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and its model of peer-reviewed fundamental, curiosity-driven research, a model now widely emulated around the world.

CCC Highlights

The CCC and CRA have launched a new “Computing Research Highlight of the Week” (see: that highlights recent press releases showcasing high-impact computing research results. When your institution issues a press release describing a particularly noteworthy accomplishment, use our web form to submit it for consideration. Our goal is to draw broader attention to these accomplishments, and to encourage institutions to write press releases that are as interesting and broadly accessible as possible.

The Hard Work of Building Bridges

The current enrollment crises in computer science and informatics at the post-secondary level have led to a much broader recognition of K-12 education as a critical partner in addressing pipeline and equity issues. The good news is that the current crisis has increased the willingness of many departments and faculty to reach across the educational barriers that have traditionally separated us. The bad news is that many are still not sure how to do so in a way that can lead to sustained improvements at both levels.

Cyber-Physical Systems

Autonomous cars. Robots at work, at play, at home. Intelligent, energy-efficient, earthquake-proof buildings. Physical infrastructure monitored and controlled by sensor nets. Embedded medical devices. Unobtrusive assistive technology. What is common to these systems? They have a computational core that interacts with the physical world.

Where There Is No Vision, the People Perish

The hearing room for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology is as formal and imposing as the name suggests. Each time I have testified there on aspects of the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) program, I have paused to reflect on the two quotations inscribed there. The quotations command attention because they are inscribed on the paneled wall behind the seats of the committee members—and all witnesses face the committee and that wall.

Sexism—Toxic to Women’s Persistence in CSE Doctoral Programs

Preventing sexism in CSE doctoral programs can increase women’s retention. With funding from the National Center for Women & IT (NCWIT), CRA has been studying women in the CRA_W Graduate Cohort program. This program welcomes women graduate students into the computing community and provides them with role models and a broad range of strategies for success. Analyses have produced some interesting findings about women’s retention in CSE doctoral programs.

CISE Bytes

This is the second in a series of columns by Jeanette Wing, Assistant Director of NSF for CISE, covering items of interest from the directorate.

Filling Top S&T Posts Key Task For New Administration

The change in presidential administrations in the New Year means more than just a changing of staff within the offices of the White House. The leadership of nearly every federal agency is politically appointed, and a change of administration likely means a change of leadership in every one of those positions and programs—including dozens of leadership positions at key science agencies relevant to computing and in policy-making positions throughout the executive branch.