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I2-TEAM  February 2003

I2-TEAM February 2003

Subject:

02/03 NSF Cyberinfrastructure to "Radically Empower" Science and Engineering Community

From:

Steve Cavrak <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

UVM Internet2 Development Team <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 5 Feb 2003 07:33:32 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (155 lines)

NSF PR 03-18 - February 3, 2003

National Science Foundation Releases New Report From
Advisory Committee For Cyberinfrastructure

Report envisions a future cyberinfrastructure that will
"radically empower" the science and engineering
community

ARLINGTON, Va. - The critical needs of science and rapid
progress in information technology are converging to
provide a unique opportunity to create and apply a
sustained cyberinfrastructure that will "radically
empower" scientific and engineering research and allied
education, according to the National Science Foundation
(NSF)'s Advisory Committee for Cyberinfrastructure. The
committee details its recommendations in a report,
released today, entitled Revolutionizing Science and
Engineering through Cyberinfrastructure.

Like the physical infrastructure of roads, bridges,
power grids, telephone lines, and water systems that
support modern society, "cyberinfrastructure" refers to
the distributed computer, information and communication
technologies combined with the personnel and integrating
components that provide a long-term platform to empower
the modern scientific research endeavor.

Cyberinfrastructure is "essential, not optional, to the
aspirations of research communities." For scientists and
engineers, the report states, cyberinfrastructure has
the potential to "revolutionize what they can do, how
they do it, and who participates." The seeds of this
revolution are seen in community-driven efforts,
supported by NSF and other agencies, such as the Network
for Earthquake Engineering Simulations (NEES), the Grid
Physics Network (GriPhyN) and the National Virtual
Observatory (NVO).

"We've clearly documented extensive grass-roots activity
in the scientific and engineering research community to
create and use cyberinfrastructure to empower the next
wave of discovery," said Dan Atkins, chair of the
advisory committee and professor in the University of
Michigan School of Information and the Department of
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. "NSF has
been a catalyst for creating the conditions for a
nascent cyberinfrastructure-based revolution. We're at a
new threshold where technology allows people,
information, computational tools, and research
instruments to be connected on a global scale."

While identifying the opportunities, the committee
warned that the cyberinfrastructure that is needed
cannot be created today with off-the-shelf technology.
As a result, they called for increased fundamental
research in computer science and engineering.

In addition to NSF's support for projects such as NEES,
GriPhyN and NVO, the report calls out NSF's leadership
in the Partnerships for Advanced Computational
Infrastructure (PACI) program, the TeraGrid effort, the
NSF Middleware Initiative (NMI), the Digital Libraries
Initiative and the Information Technology Research
program as providing a solid foundation for the future
cyberinfrastructure.

Its unique breadth of scientific scope and prior
investments position NSF to lead an interagency program
to develop an advanced cyberinfrastructure for the
nation, according to the report. To reach critical mass,
an advanced cyberinfrastructure activity would require
interagency partnerships as well as collaboration
between the physical and life sciences, computer
science, and the social sciences.

"On behalf of NSF, I want to extend a strong thanks to
the Advisory Committee for Cyberinfrastructure for the
excellent job they have done in highlighting the
importance of cyberinfrastructure to all of science and
engineering research and education," said Peter Freeman,
NSF Assistant Director for Computer and Information
Science and Engineering and NSF's coordinator for
cyberinfrastructure. "The extensive efforts they have
made in bringing together in one place the ideas and
visions of all segments of the science and engineering
community will be extremely useful to NSF as we move
forward to exploit the opportunities they have
identified."

The report recommends that a cyberinfrastructure program
encompass fundamental cyberinfrastructure research,
research on science and engineering applications of the
cyberinfrastructure, development of production-quality
software, and equipment and operations.

The report emphasizes the importance of acting quickly
and the risks of failing to do so. The risks include
lack of coordination, which could leave key data in
irreconcilable formats; long-term failures to archive
and curate data collected at great expense; and
artificial barriers between disciplines built from
incompatible tools and structures.

The opportunity is evidenced by both progress from
developments in information technology and the
mushrooming of cyberinfrastructure projects for specific
fields, initiated by scientists in those fields. The NSF
has a "once-in-a-generation opportunity," according to
the committee, to lead the scientific and engineering
community in the coordinated development and expansive
use of cyberinfrastructure.

-NSF-

Cyberinfrastructure report is available from:
http://www.cise.nsf.gov/evnt/reports/atkins_annc_020303.htm

For more on the NSF Advisory Committee for
Cyberinfrastructure:
http://www.cise.nsf.gov/evnt/blu_rbbn/


Media contact: David Hart
        (703) 292-8070
        [log in to unmask]

Program contact:Peter Freeman
        (703) 292-8900
        [log in to unmask]


NSF is an independent federal agency that supports
fundamental research and education across all fields of
science and engineering, with an annual budget of nearly
$5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants
to nearly 2,000 universities and institutions. Each
year, NSF receives about 30,000 competitive requests for
funding, and makes about 10,000 new funding awards. NSF
also awards over $200 million in professional and
service contracts yearly.

Receive official NSF news electronically through the
e-mail delivery system, NSFnews. To subscribe, send an
e-mail message to [log in to unmask] In the
body of the message, type "subscribe nsfnews" and then
type your name. (Ex.: "subscribe nsfnews John Smith")


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