Bypass Navigation


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)


FY 2001

FY 2002
Current Plan

FY 2003




Experimental and Integrative Activities






Total, EIA






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 as follows.

  • 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 effort.

  • 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 Systems programs.

  • 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 place.

  • 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 technologies.

  • 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.
  Last Modified: Sep 17, 2004


Policies and Important Links


Privacy | FOIA | Help | Contact NSF | Contact Web Master | SiteMap  

National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia 22230, USA
Tel: (703) 292-5111, FIRS: (800) 877-8339 | TDD: (800) 281-8749

Last Updated:
Text Only
National Science Foundation Summary of FY 2003 Budget Request to Congress NSF Logo