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NSF Congressional Highlight

House Hearing on Federal Information Technology Research: NSF's Freeman Computes

July 7, 2004

U.S. Capitol image

On July 7, 2004, Dr. Peter Freeman, the Assistant Director for Computer and Information Science and Engineering at the National Science Foundation (NSF) appeared before the House Committee on Government Reform's Subcommittee on Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations, and the Census. The hearing entitled, "Defining Federal Information Technology Research and Development: Who? Where? What? Why? and How Much?," was opened by Chairman Adam Putnam (FL-12). The hearing examined Federal government investments in information technology (IT) research and development (R&D) across agencies, academia and industry.

Putman emphasized the significance of federal investments in IT R&D in his opening comments. He affirmed, "The outcomes achieved through public and private funding programs create a synergistic environment in which both fundamental and application-driven research is conducted, benefiting government, industry, academia and the public. Government funding appears to have allowed research on a larger scale and with greater diversity, vision, and flexibility than would have been possible without government involvement."

The hearing witnesses each represented a different, yet significant, role in our nation's collective IT enterprise. Freeman commented on NSF's role in the federal government's IT portfolio. NSF-funded IT-research has resulted in several widespread successes, including fiber-optic communications, the Internet, and Magnetic Resonance Imaging. The Foundation also successfully answered charges of the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee's (PITAC) 1999 Report via its Information Technology Research Priority Area and lead role in the Administration's Network and Information Technology Research and Development Initiative.

NSF currently serves as the largest source of Federal funds for IT research, supporting over half of the university-based research in computer science, computer engineering, informational science, and networking.

Freeman was joined by fellow witnesses: Dr. David Nelson, Director National Coordination Office for Information Technology Research and Development (Executive Office of the President); Dr. Hratch Semerjian, Acting Director, National Institute of Standards and Technology; Dr. C. Edward Oliver, Associate Director, Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research, U.S. Department of Energy; Dr. Donna Fossum, Manager of RaDiUS Project, RAND Corporation; Dr. Edward Lazowska, Co-Chair of President's Information Technology Advisory Committee and (Bill & Melinda Gates) Chair in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Washington; Dr. William Scherlis, Principle Research Scientist, School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon; and Dr. Stephen Squires, Chief Science Officer, Vice President, Hewlett-Packard.

For detailed information regarding the hearing, visit the House Committee on Government Reform.

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