Guide to Programs Splash Page Skip Navigation Search Guide to Programs    NSF   Questions   NSF E-Bulletin   OLPA Home   NSF Site Map   NSF Home

This document has been archived. For current NSF funding opportunities, see

Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering
CISE Emphases for FY 2004

1. Cyber Trust

Networked computers reside at the heart of systems on which people now rely, both in critical national infrastructures and in their homes, cars, and offices. Today, many of these systems are far too vulnerable to cyber attacks that can inhibit their function, corrupt important data, or expose private information. Cyber Trust promotes a vision of a society in which these systems are more predictable, more accountable, and less vulnerable to attack and abuse; are developed, configured, operated, and evaluated by a well-trained and diverse workforce; and are used by a public educated in their secure and ethical operation. Trustworthiness is a system property and economic, legal, social, and organizational factors--as well as technical ones--influence how systems are put together. Cyber Trust research aims to advance the science and technology of trustworthy system design and development and better understand the factors that will enable that technology to be incorporated in systems on which the public depends. Specific technical research and education topics may include but are not limited to: efforts addressing security and privacy needs of applications, including improved policy specification, accountability mechanisms, privacy assurance, and comprehensible user interfaces; research in systems software, including trustworthy operating system architectures and mechanisms and middleware for trustworthy software-controlled real-time systems; advances in the trustworthiness of networks at all scales, including affordable network security designs, secure collaboration and Grid computing mechanisms, denial of service prevention and avoidance, and improved accountability and network forensics; and research to establish a sound scientific foundation and technological basis for trustworthy computing, including means to specify and reason about the trustworthiness of individual components and combinations of trustworthy and untrustworthy components. Integrative research that addresses these technical areas in combination with social, organizational, economic, and legal influences on system design is also sought. For more information, see

2. Education & Workforce

Rapid advances in computing technology lead to the need to transfer research results into the classroom. Developing and making effective use of new research results requires a well educated and diverse computer and information science and engineering workforce that is representative of and able to interact with the entire populace. This emphasis involves all CISE divisions and supports projects that integrate research and education, study the causes of the current lack of diversity in the information technology workforce, and lead to a broadening of participation by all underrepresented groups in the CISE workforce. Specific activities include:

  • CISE Combined Research and Curriculum Development and Educational Innovation Program (CRCD/EI)—Supports innovative activities in the computer and information science and engineering disciplines by encouraging the transfer of state-of-the-art research results into undergraduate and introductory graduate curricula; disseminating best practices in information technology (IT) education; investigating emerging areas; and implementing new IT programs. The CRCD/EI Program supports the design, development, testing, and dissemination of innovative approaches to increase the effectiveness of educational experiences. CRCD/EI projects may involve integrating research results into courses and curricula (the research may be ongoing or completed and may be drawn from any research activities in the computer and information sciences and engineering fields); planning and implementation of formal activities designed to publicize effective innovative programs and IT concepts through workshops, publication, and other dissemination mechanisms; and the creation of educational programs and tools that address cutting edge IT. The CRCD/EI Program places special emphasis on curricular approaches that address the recruitment and retention of women and underrepresented minorities in IT educational programs. For more information, see
  • Information Technology Workforce (ITWF)—Since its inception in 2000, the Information Technology Workforce Program (ITWF) has supported basic research studies on the under representation of women and minorities in information technology (IT). ITWF is expanding its portfolio to include implementation and intervention projects that--based on research findings--seek to increase the numbers of women and underrepresented minority students and faculty in IT in the nation's colleges and universities. Implementation projects must incorporate rigorous programs of evaluation and dissemination. For more information, see
  • CISE also participates in a number of NSF-wide education and workforce programs, including:

3. Information Integration

Traditionally, an individual researcher developed hypotheses, designed experiments to test these hypotheses, collected observational data, and published results based on experiments. The data were often published in print to allow others to build upon or verify the results. In nearly every field of 21st century science and engineering, including all of the disciplines funded by NSF, research is now achieved by teams of researchers analyzing data sets that are far too large to publish in journals and sometimes collected independently by other scientists with different goals in mind. The goal of information integration research is to provide the necessary foundations to provide science and engineering researchers seamless access to a multitude of independently developed, heterogeneous data sources. Information integration seeks to maximally exploit available information to create new scientific knowledge. Effective information integration will also enhance public education by facilitating comprehensive access to distributed information resources. Topics may include, but are not limited to: integrating many different, disparate, and possibly distributed sources; supporting automated discovery of new data sources and information within them; integrating structured, semi-structured, text, image, video, time-series, 3D images, citations, graphs, and data streams; unifying data models and system descriptions; reconciling heterogeneous formats, schemas, and ontologies; web semantics; decentralized data-sharing; data-sharing on advanced cyberinfrastructure; and on-the-fly integration. For more information, see

4. Science of Design

Supports science and engineering research and education that develops the foundations of a Science of Design, leading to more effective development, evolution, and understanding of systems of large scale, scope, and complexity. The emphasis of this program is on software-intensive computing, information, and communication systems (ex, systems for which software is the principal means to conceptualize, define, model, analyze, develop, integrate, operate, control, and manage such systems). In other disciplines with a longer history than computing and software, there are scientifically discovered and validated facts, volumes of codified experience, and formalized, teachable principles. Analogous foundations are needed for a Science of Design for software-intensive systems. Research may address theories, models, principles, formalisms, empirical studies, and the nature and limits of design.

Proposals are expected to be crosscutting and topics may include, but are not limited to: design structures and composition techniques leading to robust and evolvable systems; representation of problem formulations and requirements for software-intensive systems, coupled with problem-solving and reasoning techniques to find designs that meet requirements; studies of designs, designers, and design methodology for software-intensive systems; design automation or computer-aided design for these systems; development and integration of design education into curriculum and training for computer scientists, software engineers, and systems engineers. (Note: A Science of Design solicitation is pending; please monitor for more information.)

Back to top
The National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia 22230, USA
Tel: 703-292-5111, FIRS: 800-877-8339 | TDD: 703-292-5090