The Future of Computer Science Research in the U.S.
Today the House Science Committee (full committee) meets to examine the current and future state of computing research in the U.S. Appearing before the committee will be John Marburger, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; Tony Tether, Director of DARPA; Bill Wulf, President of the National Academy of Engineering; and Tom Leighton, Co-Founder and Chief Scientist of Akamai Industries and member of the President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee. This is obviously a very important hearing for the computing research community as it represents the first time in several years that congress will take an in-depth look at whether the federal government is doing all it can to maintain U.S. leadership in IT.
In addition to the testimony from the witnesses present at the hearing, the computing research community’s perspective will be represented by written testimony (pdf, 1.6 megs) jointly endorsed by CRA, the American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T), the Coalition for Academic Scientific Computation (CASC), the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Heads Association (ECEDHA), the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, and the U.S. Public Policy Committee of the Association for Computing Machinery.
The testimony (pdf), which I strongly encourage you to read, examines how the U.S. came to assume its dominant position in IT and the benefits that role conveys to the nation; why the changing landscape for federal support of computing research imperils U.S. leadership in IT, and in turn, U.S. economic performance in the coming decades; and finally, what the community believes should be done to shore up that leadership.
Also, for those not in DC, the hearing will also be webcast live on the Science committee website. It begins at 10 am ET. I’ll be there. Unfortunately, there isn’t usually very good cell coverage in the Rayburn building for my wireless service, so I probably won’t be able to liveblog the hearing, like all the cool kids do. But I’ll be back after the hearing with all the details.
In the meantime, press coverage of the hearing has already begun. Business Week was the first out of the blocks with this piece, including some key quotes from Science Committee Chairman Sherry Boehlert (R-NY) and ACM President Dave Patterson.