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DNA model

For more than 15 years, University of Pittsburgh researcher John Rosenberg and his colleagues have studied how protein-DNA recognition works in the case of a particular protein, EcoRI endonuclease. This detailed model shows that the DNA-EcoRI interaction creates a kink in the DNA's structure.
Credit: John Rosenberg, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center

Current and wave-measuring station

Scientists from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) deployed two current- and wave-measuring stations in shallow water at Black's Beach in La Jolla, Calif., as part of a pilot study to examine surf-zone water motions in realtime. With the High Performance Wireless Research and Education Network (HPWREN), the stations can send data in realtime to SIO and WHOI laboratories for analysis.
Credit: High Performance Wireless Research and Education Network (HPWREN)

Cover Page Credits: Photo illustration by Adam Saynuk, National Science Foundation. Klaus Schulten, Emad Tajkhorshid, Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center. Additional credits appear throughout the site.

The Internet. Google. The Web browser you’re using right now. These are just a few of the advances arising from National Science Foundation (NSF) support that have made information technology indispensable to everyday life. Today, NSF continues to fund cutting-edge computing research and education activities that are leading to tomorrow’s innovations.

NSF’s investment in computing-related research supports advances that will provide for a more powerful wired and wireless Internet and one that is more reliable, secure and trustworthy. Sensors and sensor networks projects are exploring the fundamental principles and technologies needed to create systems for monitoring the environment for pollutants, bioterrorism threats or imminent earthquakes.

Robotics researchers are experimenting with new ways of interacting with computers and of adding intelligence to robotic tools for assisting humans at home and for conducting search-and-rescue operations. Research into grid computing, data mining, digital libraries and informatics will combine computing and data resources into systems that are more powerful than the sum of their parts. And NSF-funded investigators are pursuing research into bleeding-edge technologies such as quantum computing to take computers beyond the limits of silicon chips.

In addition, activities spanning all of NSF are focused on cyberinfrastructure—integrated technologies that are poised to revolutionize all fields of science and engineering. NSF’s goal for cyberinfrastructure is to assemble powerful computing, information, networking and instrumentation resources into a seamless environment as reliable and easy to use as the electricity and water in our homes. These capabilities will support the research needed to strengthen buildings against earthquakes, make more accurate severe weather forecasts, improve air and water quality, and better understand the universe and the planet Earth.

The fundamental computer science and engineering research that NSF supports are essential to creating the information systems of the future, as illustrated by the selected Grand Challenges described here.

The Grand Challenges
row bullet A Universal Safety.Net - A web of systems in place to mitigate the impact of and coordinate the response to natural and man-made disasters.
row bullet Systems You Can Count On - The information systems of tomorrow designed and developed to be inherently reliable, secure and available.
row bullet A Team of Your Own - A team of robots to amplify physical abilities and software agents to carry out specialized thought processes in your pursuit of complex goals.
row bullet A Teacher for Every Learner - Virtual "one-on-one" instruction for students of all ages, tailored to their learning style, in an environment of unlimited digital resources.
row bullet The Taming of Complexity - Large-scale information systems designed and developed according to methods that ensure success despite their complexity.