[Published originally in the March 2004 edition of Computing Research News, Vol. 16/No. 2.]
NSF/CISE Plans for FY2005
By Kamal Abdali, Gregory Andrews, Mari Maeda, Michael Pazzani
At the National Science Foundation, the Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE) began operating with a new organizational structure in November 2003. This has resulted in numerous changes to date. Several more will occur over the next year. This column describes our plans for the coming year in order to give the community advance notice.
The CISE Directorate was created in 1985, and a relatively minor reorganization took place in 1997. Needless to say, a lot has happened in the past 19 years-or even the past seven. The 2003 reorganization was driven by changes to the field and by four additional objectives: 1) enhance the research portfolio by strengthening the core and addressing important new challenges; 2) increase the synergy between research and education; 3) broaden participation in the CISE workforce; and 4) improve organizational effectiveness. To meet these objectives, we have realigned divisions to mirror the structure of the field, grouped related research topics into clusters, and begun to develop themes for important, crosscutting initiatives.
The CISE home page, www.cise.nsf.gov, reflects the current status of the organization. The remainder of this article summarizes our plans for the divisions and clusters, and hence what the organization will look like for FY 2005, which begins October 1, 2004. The four crosscutting emphases for FY04-Cyber Trust, Education and Workforce, Information Integration, and Science of Design-are described in previous or forthcoming issues of CRN and on the CISE web site.
Computing and Communication Foundations (CCF)
CCF supports research and education activities that explore the foundations of computing and communication devices and their usage. CCF inherited many of its activities from the former Division of Computer-Communications Research (CCR), including numeric, symbolic, and geometric computation; software engineering; programming languages and compilers; computer architecture; design automation; signal processing; and communication. CCF has added advanced computational techniques from the former Division of Advanced Computational Infrastructure and Research (ACIR), and quantum and bio-inspired computing from the former Division of Experimental and Integrative Activities (EIA). CCR's systems-oriented programs have moved to the Computer and Network Systems (CNS) division. These additions and subtractions have made CCF a more cohesive division devoted to the foundational issues in computing and communication.
CCF is organized into three clusters:
We were able to transition completely from programs into clusters this year, and to issue one program announcement per cluster, but this took time. While CCR's proposal submission deadlines used to be in November and December, the FY04 deadlines for CCF's clusters are in March. In FY05, we plan to go back to fall deadlines after revising the solicitations in early summer.
Computer and Network Systems (CNS)
CNS supports research and education activities that strive to create innovative computing and networking technologies and systems, to make better use of existing technologies, and to create better abstractions and tools for designing, building, and measuring future systems. The division also supports the computing infrastructure that is required for experimental computer science. CNS has three clusters (and also hosts the CISE Education and Workforce programs and program officers):
Information and Intelligent Systems (IIS)
The Division of Information & Intelligent Systems contains the programs that were in the prior IIS division, and it added activities from EIA. IIS is organized into three clusters:
In FY2004, each program had a separate solicitation with a single deadline in the late fall through the winter. All programs in IIS will make the vast majority of funding decisions in time to allow PIs to make commitments to initiate research projects by the summer. In FY05, we anticipate a solicitation per cluster with deadlines in late summer to mid fall. The digital library research within IIS will focus on core research issues that will enable the next generation of digital libraries. Artificial Intelligence funding will encourage projects that integrate several modes of intelligence (e.g., reasoning, learning, planning, and representation).
Shared Cyberinfrastructure (SCI)
The Division of Shared Cyberinfrastructure supports design, development, and deployment of a broad spectrum of information technology systems that facilitate and accelerate scientific discovery and engineering research. The SCI portfolio builds on projects funded initially by programs in the ACIR and ANIR divisions, but is also expected to expand and grow in scope and size. While the division is not organized into clusters, key areas of activity supported include:
In FY04, solicitations are being issued to expand the middleware and other software portfolio; to support international networking links between US research and education networks with international counterparts; and to seek new projects that emphasize education, outreach, and training. Due to the complexity of many of the programs, we are currently making a careful assessment of the application community needs as well as the state-of-the-art in the near- to mid-term technology base, and the FY05 plans are currently still under development.
The authors are the Directors of the four NSF-CISE divisions: Kamal Abdali (Computing & Communication Foundations), Gregory Andrews (Computer & Network Systems), Mari Maeda (Shared Cyberinfrastructure), and Michael Pazzani (Intelligent Information Systems).
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