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The FY 2003 Budget Request for the Information Technology Research (ITR) Subactivity is $190.67 million, an increase of $17.16 million, or 9.9 percent, over the FY 2002 Current Plan of $173.51 million.

(Millions of Dollars)


FY 2001

FY 2002
Current Plan

FY 2003




Information Technology Research






Total, ITR






Advances in computing and communications theory and practice and their implementation have made information technologies a transcendent agent of change. A cyber future is emerging, whose details are amorphous and unpredictable, but it is certain to impact individuals through its effects on such diverse areas as science and engineering research, education, commerce, health, and national security. Fundamental research in computer science and engineering is critical to laying the basis for advances and to utilizing the increasing power of computing and communications technologies.

As part of the Foundation's ITR priority area, $190.67 million is requested for FY 2003. Funding for large-scale networking will total $22.79 million for efforts that include ubiquitous connectivity, wireless networks, and advanced networked applications. High end computing will support projects that include scaling systems to hundreds of thousands of processors and software to fully utilize the computing power, in addition to new architectures such as those based on bio-molecules or quantum principles at $17.94 million. Support for high end computation and infrastructure efforts will total $28.39 million and provide research in integrated computing, storage systems, connections to high-data volume instruments, and visualization facilities. Funding at $17.90 million for high confidence software and systems will address the theory and technology of building safe and secure, complex embedded and autonomous systems and measurement of risk and performance assurance. Human-computer interaction and information management, funded at $44.01 million, will support technology for successful aging; universal access to expand the sensory and manipulation capabilities of all people; and new uses of computing and communications technology in the social sciences, humanities, and the arts. Funding at $24.71 million for software design and productivity will focus on the creation of a new generation of information systems to support research and education. The social, economic and workforce implications of IT and IT workforce development efforts will provide $34.93 million for research on technologies for assisting teaching, learning, collaboration, and creating educational environments to expand the pipeline for students and professionals in IT careers.

Research efforts in FY 2003 include four new emphasis areas: CyberInfrastructure Research, Human Augmentation, the Interface of Biology and Information Technology, and Trusted Systems.

CyberInfrastructure Research. This area will support research for creating a new generation of information systems to support research and education. The next transformations of the information revolution will integrate content sources, storage, and new modes for humans to access information with computing and communications. Scientific research is moving to large, shared instruments; to wide-area sensing and observing; and to shared data resources. These changes are creating massive amounts of data that will require new methods for storage, search, and access; new techniques for distribution and sharing in the scientific community; and new tools for analyzing and presenting data and analysis. CyberInfrastructure research will build on many CISE research efforts to catalyze the next transformation of information systems including Grid Computing, Digital Libraries, Virtual Reality / Telepresence, and High Performance Networking and Middleware Applications.

Human Augmentation. The advances of personal computing, the Internet and the WWW have made truly impressive advances in extending access to information. The challenge we face is to use the power of computing and communication to make these systems more suited to human abilities and needs. Speech research will seek to make computer systems able to interact with humans in the most common mode of interaction that people use. Research on interfaces for the differently-abled will create new ways to access and use computers and all the devices that computers can control. This will impact both the handicapped population and people whose abilities are changing due to aging. Research that develops techniques to better understand human needs and locate needed information will be supported. Lastly, globalization highlights the need for research on multi-lingual systems that would serve the needs of multi-national industry, collaborating science teams, or virtual cultural exchanges.

The Interface of Biology and Information Technology. This thrust will focus on four areas in IT: computational biology, biological systems informatics, biomolecular computation, and biological information technology. Computational biology uses data-analytical and data-theoretical methods, mathematical modeling, and computational simulation techniques for the study of biological, behavioral, and social systems. Biological systems informatics addresses genomic information analysis, annotation, and curation; data mining; data modeling; and algorithmic and inference techniques for relating genes to biological function. Biomolecular computation addresses the application of biotechnology, such as recombinant DNA, nanotechology assembly techniques, and solution and surface technologies, to exploit biology as a medium and a model for computation and data storage. Biological information technology integrates research in science and engineering to understand computation and information flow in biological systems from the molecular and cellular, to the multi-cellular level and beyond. Its goal is to develop new theories, models, and paradigms for information processing systems based on how biology acts as an information technology.

Trusted Systems. This research will address the theory and technology for building complex, large-scale systems that are safe and secure. The range of systems that benefit will include embedded, networked and autonomous devices and components. This research will include methods to assess and measure risk and performance assurance, an essential step to improve confidence in information and communications systems.

The Terascale Computing Systems, requested through the Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction Account, will provide advanced computing capabilities for the most demanding scientific and engineering applications. This facility, in cooperation with the PACI centers and Advanced Networking Infrastructure, will provide computing and communications facilities for many of the application and research needs. Research awards will support novel databases and networking tools that enable broader communities of users to build state-of-the-art, distributed collaboratories, and other needs.

Within ITR, IT Education and Workforce activities will also be supported. IT has emerged as a delivery vehicle for education at all levels - from traditional school settings to workforce education - helping to maintain and improve skills. Education in IT itself addresses the shortage of skilled workers and the rapidly changing needs in this area. This effort will reach broader segments through programs collaborating with K-12 and improvement in curriculum for IT at the college level. Under-representation of minorities and women in the IT education and career paths will be addressed by research on the underlying causes of this concern.

ITR also supports research on the social impacts of information technology. This is deepening our understanding of how computing and the Internet are changing society, as well as developing new knowledge about the factors that determine the acceptance and success of IT innovations.

  Last Modified: Sep 17, 2004


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