Tag Archive: NSF CISE

Information from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Directorate for Computer & Information Science (CISE).

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).

Thinking About Computing

In answering “What is computable?” we must consider the underlying machine, abstract or physical, that is the computer. Consider the Internet as a computer. Now ask “What is computable?” Consider a molecular computer, a DNA computer, or even a quantum computer. If those kinds of computers are not mind-bending enough for you, consider a human and a machine working together as a single computer to solve problems that neither can solve alone. Now ask “What is computable?”

Moving Forward Strategically

I want to alert you to a major educational effort we have just announced and update you on continuing progress on the GENI Project. The pervasive impact of computing technology in our lives and throughout the global economy is indisputable, and it is clear that the U.S. workforce—most especially computing professionals of all types and at all levels—must be prepared to play a leading role in the technology-based economy of the 21st century. At the same time, enrollments are down significantly, full representation of the U.S. population is not reflected in our matriculated students, and our major computing industries are increasingly concerned about the quality of the computing education that we are providing.

Another Year, More Dollars

For the fifth—and probably last—year, it is my honor on behalf of the NSF and CISE to welcome you back after what I hope was a productive and relaxing summer. The coming year promises to be an important one for NSF and CISE, so in addition to commenting briefly on the year past I want to highlight some issues for the coming year. I have received a number of comments—almost all positive—on my article in the May 2006 issue of CRN (http://www.cra.org/CRN/issues/0603.pdf). I’m very pleased that it struck a responsive chord, and even more pleased to report that we are making good progress on the Computing Community Consortium (described in the May issue of CRN) and GENI (http://www.nsf.gov/cise/geni/ and http://www.geni.net).

Are Computer Scientists Timid?

But, we’ve become too timid in many of the ambitions we collectively and individually have for our field. I start to come to that conclusion when I hear from our Program Directors that too few of the proposals they see offer truly innovative ideas that excite panels or themselves. While confirmatory or incremental work is essential, we must also have a continuous flow of exciting, innovative ideas (and the community must ensure they are well received, and then we must ensure they are funded).

GENI and Your Research

GENI (Global Environment for Networking Innovations) is an advanced experimental infrastructure and accompanying research program being planned by CISE to explore new capabilities that will advance innovations in many areas.

NSF/CISE Plans GENI Initiative

CISE is planning an initiative called “Global Environment for Networking Investigations” (GENI) to explore new networking and other capabilities that will advance science and stimulate innovation and economic growth. The GENI Initiative responds to an urgent and important challenge of the 21st century to improve significantly the capabilities provided by networking and distributed system architectures.

Issues for the CISE Community in the New Academic Year

I trust that you had a refreshing and productive summer and are beginning the new academic year with renewed vigor to help advance our field. The NSF staff continued to work long hours with great dedication over the summer to make sure that we are serving you well. As usual at this time of year, we have a number of personnel transitions underway; these will appear on our website as they occur. As we begin a new academic year, I want to give a brief status report on CISE and then outline some of the major issues we will be discussing this year.