|Volume 1: No. 25|
Here's news from the NSF Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE). [Charles Brownstein, CISE NEWS, 8/27/91.] Calton Pu helped me get hooked up with this newsletter. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a free subscription.
Nico Habermann, Dean of CS at CMU, will take leave to serve as the Assistant Director (i.e., head) of CISE, a position last held by Bill Wulf. Chuck Brownstein (email@example.com) will stay on as his Deputy. Melvin Ciment will continue as NSF coordinator for the High Performance Computing and Communications (HPCC) initiative. The CISE office number is (202) 357-7936.
Rich DeMillo, Division Director for Computer and Computation Research, is returning to Purdue. Bruce Barnes is Deputy and Acting Division Director. (CCR's Director serves under the CISE Assistant Director (!), who serves under the NSF Director, Walter Massey.) Harry Hedges is stepping down as Director of Cross Disciplinary Activities (CDA), but staying to help out in CCR. (That's jargon for keeping the paperwork moving until they can hire full-time directors with suitable interests and credentials.) NSF is recruiting for both the Division Director and CDA positions. I infer that they are also seeking program directors for Programming Languages and Compilers, Operating Systems and Software Systems, and Software Engineering. In fact, you never know what NSF might be looking for. If you want to work there, it makes sense to contact the division director early and often.
CCR's other program directors are Dana S. Richards, Computer Systems; Zeke Zalcstein, Computer Systems; Kamal Abdali, Numeric, Symbolic and Geometic Computation; Harry Hedges, Programming Languages and Compilers; Nat Macon, Operating Systems and Software Systems, and also Software Engineering. The division phone number is (202) 357-9747. (I can supply others if necessary.)
The Division of Information, Robotics & Intelligent Systems (IRIS) consists of YT Chien, Director; Bruce Barnes, NSF-ICOT Visitors Program; Larry Rosenberg, Deputy and also Information Technology and Organizations; Maria Zemankova, Database and Expert Systems; Su-shing Chen, Knowledge Models and Cognitive Systems; Howard Moraff, Robotics and Machine Intelligence; and John Hestenes, Interactive Systems. (202) 357-9572.
The Division of Microelectronic Information Processing Systems (MIPS) consists of Bernie Chern, Director; John Lehmann, Deputy; Bob Grafton, Design, Tools, and Test; Pen-Chung Yew, Microelectronic Systems Architecture; John Cozzens, Circuits and Signal Processing; Gerald Maguire, Experimental Systems; and Paul Hulina, Systems Prototype and Fabrication. The MOSIS program is vacant. (202) 357-7373.
The Division of Advanced Scientific Computing (ASC) includes Tom Weber, Director; Melvyn Ciment, Deputy; Richard Hirsh, Supercomputer Centers; and Merrell Patrick, New Technologies. (202) 357-7558.
The Division of Networking and Communications Research and Infrastructure (NCRI) is adding a program on the National Research and Education Network (NREN), to be run by Robert J. Aiken. Other members are Steve Wolff, Director; Jane Caviness, Deputy; George Strawn, NSFNET; Steven Goldstein, Interagency and International Coordinator; and Aubrey Bush, Networking and Communication Research. (There are several associate program directors as well.) (202) 357-9717.
The Office of Cross Disciplinary Activities (CDA) consists of John Cherniavsky, Acting Head and CISE Institutional Infrastructure and CISE Instrumentation; Gerald Engel, CISE Special Projects; and Caroline Wardle, CISE Educational Infrastructure. (202) 357-7349.
Budget level is still in the hands of Congress, but NSF and CISE expect to do "well" or "very well indeed." CISE may grow 20% because of the High Performance Computing and Communications (HPCC) initiative. All of the program funds are increments to existing programs which support research, instrumentation, education, etc., in the broad range of HPCC topical areas. Mathematics and Biological Resources divisions will team with CISE to support research in "computational biosciences."
CISE intends to increase the average duration of award from 2.4 years to 3.0 years. Content and need will be the deciding factors, as always, but program literature will ask for longer requests. (This means you will win fewer awards and with longer gaps between them, unless you are very skilled. If 20-25% of new proposals are currently winning 2.4 years of funding, something like 16-20% could win 3.0 years -- or an even lower percentage if people submit more proposals to compensate for reduced success. Large proposal-mill departments will do very well, of course, but new faculty members may not. Prestigious lab directors will be happy, NSF's paperwork will most likely be reduced, and Congress will have the warm feeling that NSF is moving to satisfy perceived needs. This will shift funds away from the second and third- ranked schools, however, unless coupled with political pressure to grant more awards to such applicants. Either there will be no outcry and less-successful universities will eventually quit trying for grants, or there will be an enormous outcry and Congress will pump more into research initiation grants and special programs for women, minorities, and smaller schools. Either way, most researchers had better start looking for industrial or Commerce-department funding.)