EXPERIMENTAL AND INTEGRATIVE ACTIVITIES $62,160,000
The FY 2003 Budget Request for the Experimental and Integrative
Activities (EIA) Subactivity is $62.16 million, a decrease of $510,000,
or 0.8 percent, below the FY 2002 Current Plan of $62.67 million.
(Millions of Dollars)
Experimental and Integrative Activities
The EIA Subactivity facilitates new ventures and the evolution
of CISE-related disciplines, and encourages activities that cross traditional
boundaries. Specifically, EIA promotes new and typically multidisciplinary
research initiatives; builds capacity in terms of people and facilities;
and assesses the impact of IT research, education, and technology on society.
EIA has a balanced portfolio across NSF's three strategic
goals. Multidisciplinary research supports NSF's Ideas strategic goal;
instrumentation and infrastructure supports Tools for CISE research; education,
human resources, and workforce activities support the People goal; and
EIA provides approximately $2.0 million to support workshops, symposia,
studies, travel, and international activities. Approximately $28.0 million
in multidisciplinary research funding supports projects that cross the
disciplinary boundaries within CISE as well as projects that have a core
of CISE research and application outside of CISE areas. Approximately
$21.0 million for instrumentation and infrastructure efforts provides
funding for groups of investigators for equipment (such as high-performance
computers, robots, or visualization devices) and operations that enable
multi-investigator research. Education, human resources, and workforce
efforts provide approximately $11.0 million to support research on uses
of technology to improve learning, to transfer research into college and
graduate level curriculum, and to increase the participation of under-represented
groups in educational and career paths in IT.
Among the successes resulting from prior EIA funding are
- Carnegie Mellon University's VuMan series of wearable computers allow
a user to move while accessing a map, image database, or textual database.
The key problems of energy consumption were addressed by reducing the
complexity, weight and volume; as a result power consumption decreased
by a factor of four. This was accomplished with an increase of over
a factor of two in capability and a reduction of 40 percent in design/fabrication
- The ambitious SimMillenium Project has developed clumps (or
clusters of cluster computers) that will serve computing needs in 17
campus units at the University of California, Berkeley. The overall
clump will allocate resources through a "computational economy"
model in which users bid for resources. The "economy" approach
will drive computing to be a standard and reliable commodity across
all the participating units.
- The National Center for Sign Language and Gesture Resources, a cooperative
project of the University of Pennsylvania and Boston University,
has developed facilities for computerized acquisition and analysis of
American Sign Language video data. The Center represents a unique collaboration
between researchers in linguistics and computer science toward the collection
of a linguistically valid, digital video database for the study of sign
language and gesture.
- A longitudinal evaluation by the University of Wisconsin shows the
Distributed Mentor Project (DMP) to be spectacularly successful at meeting
its primary goal of increasing the number of women entering graduate
school in Computer Science and Engineering (CS&E). The DMP project
linked female undergraduate students with volunteer faculty mentors
in universities across the United States. The evaluation conducted at
Wisconsin showed that the best male CS&E graduates were 10 times
more likely to enter graduate or professional school within one year
of graduation than a comparable group of female CS&E graduates.
However, over 50 percent of the DMP participants were enrolled in graduate
or professional school the year following their graduation, exceeding
the enrollment rate for males.
The following are areas of emphasis for FY 2003.
- EIA plans to continue to expand its investments at the intersection
of information technology and biology research and in information-technology-enhanced
learning and teaching by creating rapid response mechanisms to identify
and support new opportunities within and across traditional and emerging
research areas. Within the Biology and IT intersection, EIA will emphasize
biomolecular computing, biologically-inspired information technology,
and bioinformatics as well as coordinate CISE participation in the NSF-wide
Biocomplexity and the Environment priority area. EIA will also continue
its investment in the Digital Government and Data-Driven Application
- The portfolio of instrumentation and infrastructure programs will
provide research equipment generally unavailable on individual research
awards, ranging from specialized instrumentation for small research
groups, to large-scale infrastructure, to nationally and internationally
shared facilities, which are closely tied to research. Participation
by regionally disadvantaged and underrepresented groups will be ensured
through partnerships and special programs.
- Activities in education, human resources, and workforce will focus
on the underlying issues, needs, and components of teaching and learning,
workforce needs, pipeline problems, and under-representation in information
technology. The Information Technology Workforce Program is the primary
program in this area, and EIA will continue to participate in many cross-directorate
activities, including the Combined Research Curriculum Development (CRCD)
program, the Graduate Teaching Fellowships in K-12 Education (GK-12)
program, and in the Interagency Education Research Initiative (IERI).
Priority activities for reallocated funding are as follows.
- Support will be increased for research at the Biology
IT interface, where IT research can greatly benefit biology (genomics,
pathways, and gene expression and function) and where biology can benefit
IT research (macromolecular computation, hybrid devices, new modes,
and models for computation).
- Approximately $1.0 million will be used to enhance the
Research in Interactive Education program to develop the research base
for new means of using IT for enhancing learning for any age group,
in any setting, for any learning goal, and at any convenient time and
- EIA will introduce a new program in Creating Interactive
Learning Environments that will focus on technology to enable and enhance
individual learning independent of time, place, ability or age. This
will draw on IT, education research, cognitive science, and instructional
design; it is expected to support several focused learning settings
(e.g., elderly, K-12 STEM) and draw on recent advances in tele-immersive
- CISE support for the ADVANCE program to promote opportunities
for women to develop careers in computer science and engineering research
will be funded at $2.39 million.