CISE - CCF - About


CCF’s mission is to inspire, challenge and sustain the CISE foundations research community by developing and directing funding programs that (1) support research and education on the mathematical, scientific and technological foundations of computing, information and communications, and (2) use fair, transparent and informed project-selection mechanisms honoring both the letter and the spirit of NSF policies and guidelines.


CCF aspires to support research displaying the highest levels of creativity and impact in foundational aspects of computing, information and communications, consistent with national needs; to help provide for the education of next-generation researchers; to deepen and broaden its core community of researchers and educators; and to engage with groups both inside and outside NSF to cross-fertilize research that draws on its core areas.

CCF supports four core programs

Algorithmic Foundations (AF)

The Algorithmic Foundations program supports research characterized by algorithmic thinking accompanied by rigorous mathematical analysis. The goal is to understand the fundamental limits of resource-bounded computation and to obtain optimal solutions within those limits. Specifically, the time and space complexity of finding exact and approximate solutions in deterministic and randomized models of computation are the central concern of the program. Resources other than time and space, such as communication, heat, power, etc., are also of interest. In addition to the traditional, sequential computing paradigm, research on models such as the streaming model, parallel, distributed and hybrid models and the quantum-computing model are welcomed. Such research includes optimizations across complex processor/memory hierarchies as well as measurement of the performance of algorithms by correct, reproducible computational experiments. Theories that exploit algorithmic scalability and portability are especially welcome.

Communications and Information Foundations (CIF)

The Communications and Information Foundations (CIF) program supports transformative research that addresses the theoretical underpinnings and current and future enabling technologies for information acquisition, transmission, and processing in communication and information networks. As a result, CIF research and education projects strengthen the intellectual foundations of communications and information theory and signal processing in a variety of types of networks such as sensor networks, wireless and multimedia networks, biological networks, and networks of quantum devices. Research outcomes can lead to more secure and reliable communications and advanced mathematical capabilities that are applicable throughout science and engineering. 

Foundations of Emerging Technologies (FET):

The Foundations of Emerging Technologies (FET) program aims to enable radical innovations across all areas traditionally supported by CCF, including the theory, algorithms, software, hardware, and architecture of computing and communication systems, through research at the intersection of computing and biological systems, nanoscale science and engineering, quantum information science, and other nascent, yet promising, areas.

Software and Hardware Foundations (SHF)

The Software and Hardware Foundations program supports foundational research essential to advance the capability of computing systems. The combined power of the software and hardware of these systems enables new, possibly unforeseen application. At the same time, new and emerging technologies require continued advances in software and hardware foundations. The focus of this program is on reasoning, comparing and establishing properties of existing and newly-conceived software and hardware components, systems, and other artifacts.