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Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering
Division of Information and Intelligent Systems

The Division of Information and Intelligent Systems (IIS) supports research and education that will increase the capabilities of human beings and machines to create, discover, and reason with knowledge by advancing the ability to represent, collect, store, organize, locate, visualize, and communicate information. The division contributes to interdisciplinary research on how observational data leads to discovery in the sciences and engineering.

Data, Inference And Understanding Cluster

1. Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science

Supports research and related education activities that are fundamental to the development of computer systems capable of performing a broad variety of intelligent tasks and to the development of computational models of intelligent behavior across the spectrum of human intelligence. Examples of performance-oriented topics include intelligent agents, planning, automated reasoning, machine learning, case-based reasoning, knowledge representation methodologies, and architectures for combining intelligent tasks such as perception, reasoning, planning, learning, and action. Examples of cognitive-oriented topics include analogical reasoning, concept formation and evolution, argumentation, integration of knowledge from diverse sources and experience, knowledge acquisition by human learners, manipulation and development of taxonomies and classification systems, collaborative behavior, and adaptation and learning.

2. Computer Vision

Supports research and education activities to develop novel ideas into projects that have the potential to lead to advanced visual perception and intelligent systems. The emphasis is on image representation and interpretation for systems designed to infer properties of the environment from imaging data, and advanced vision systems providing cognitive abilities. Research topics include recognition, classification, and identification of objects, people, events, and activities; scene understanding, including algorithms for the geometric and photometric description of objects from visual data; methods for grouping, comparing, matching, indexing, and retrieving visual data; and 2D and 3D video.

3. Human Language and Communication

Supports research and related education activities fundamental to the development of computer systems capable of analyzing, understanding, and generating language, speech, and other forms of communication that humans use naturally across a wide variety of situations. The program's ultimate objective is to transform the human-computer communication experience so that users can address a computer at any time and any place at least as effectively as if they were addressing another person.

4. Information and Data Management

Supports research and education fundamental to the design, implementation, development, management, and use of databases, information retrieval, and knowledge-based systems. Topics include design methodologies, data, metadata, information, knowledge and process/event modeling, information access and interaction, knowledge discovery and visualization, and systems architecture and implementation. Research areas span web-based systems, novel data types, efficient data gathering and storage/archival, information and data organization and management, including security/privacy issues, information flow, dynamic/evolutionary systems, change maintenance, and information life-cycle management, interoperability in heterogeneous systems, highly scalable, data-intensive, and distributed/mobile information systems, and performance and quality of service issues.

Science And Engineering Informatics Cluster

The Science and Engineering Informatics cluster supports research and education focused on advances in information technology that address problems in specific sciences and engineering domains such as biology, geology, or chemistry. Characteristics of the research and education activities within the cluster include integrative, focused on tools and analysis, supportive of the data infrastructure across all fields of science and engineering, and focused on a significant computer science problem that is a barrier to achieving a domain challenge.

1. Collaborative Research in Computational Neuroscience

Seeks to enhance our understanding of nervous system function by providing analytical and modeling tools that describe, traverse, and integrate different levels of information. The most exciting and difficult challenge facing neuroscientists is to understand the functions of complex neurobiological systems. Computational approaches are needed in the study of neuroscience as the requirement for comprehensive analysis and interpretation of complex data sets becomes increasingly important. Collaborations among computer scientists, engineers, mathematicians, statisticians, theoreticians, and experimental neuroscientists are imperative to advance our understanding of the nervous system and mechanisms underlying brain disorders. Computational understanding of the nervous system may also have a significant impact on the theory and design of engineered systems.

2. Science and Engineering Information Integration and Informatics

Focuses information technology research on addressing problems that will enable scientific discovery via analysis of large data sets or information resources. This component sponsors collaboration between computer scientists and engineers and scientists and engineers from other domains to address significant, real requirements of an application. Topics include science and engineering data models and systems; analysis of science databases and information resources; analysis of scientific and engineering images; and construction of shared resource environments. This component is among the CISE Emphases for fiscal year 2004 (for a complete description, see CISE Emphases for Fiscal Year 2004, elsewhere in the CISE section).

Systems In Context Cluster

1. Digital Government

Government, on a large scale, is a collector and provider of data and information; a provider of information-based services; and a user of information technologies. The Digital Government Program has two goals that reflect the importance of information technology on the conduct and services of government: (1) projects will support computer and information science research on the application of information/computer technologies to government missions, in partnership with government agencies; and (2) projects will support multidisciplinary research on the design and use of information technologies in democratic processes; the impact of information technologies on government institutions; and the interaction between citizens and government. Digital government research and education may be conducted in government contexts, such as environmental management; electronic rule making; long-term archiving of digital objects; urban and land-use planning; social services; criminal justice and law enforcement; crisis management and emergency response; public transportation; public records and libraries; and the collection, maintenance, and confidentiality of government statistics.

2. Digital Society and Technologies

The future and well being of the nation depend on the effective integration of information technologies (IT) into its various enterprises and social fabric. ITs are designed, used, and have consequences in a number of social, economic, legal, ethical, and cultural contexts. With the rise of unprecedented new technologies (ex., smart homes, shop-bots, pedagogical agents, wearable computers, personal robots, multi-agent systems, sensors, grids, knowledge environments) and their increasing ubiquity in our social and economic lives, large-scale social, economic, and scientific transformations are predicted. In order to make progress and advance science, scientists and scholars need to work across disciplinary boundaries to develop new interdisciplinary knowledge at the interstices of computer and information sciences and the social, behavioral and economic sciences. Areas of interest include but are not limited to, universal participation in a digital society; collaborative intelligence; management of knowledge intensive enterprises; knowledge environments for science and engineering; and enterprise transformation.

3. Human-Computer Interaction (HCI)

Supports research and education fundamental to the design of systems that mediate between computers and humans, and that lead to the creation of tomorrow's exciting new user interface software and technology. The program's ultimate objective is to transform the human-computer interaction experience so the computer is no longer a distracting focus of attention, but instead is an invisible tool that empowers the individual user and facilitates natural and productive human-human collaboration. HCI research topics include but are not limited to, development and formal experimental evaluation of foundational models and theories; augmented cognition and novel uses of computer technologies in education; multi-media and multi-modal interfaces in which combinations of text, graphics, gesture, movement, touch, sound, etc. are used by people and machines to communicate with one another; intelligent interfaces; information visualization; virtual and augmented reality; immersive environments; wearable, mobile, and ubiquitous computing; and new I/O devices.

4. Robotics

Provides opportunities to develop novel ideas into projects that have the potential to lead to advanced, intelligent robotic systems. The Robotics Program supports fundamental research and related education activities in robotics (ex., machines with sensing, intelligence, mobility). The emphasis is on systems operating in unstructured environments with a high level of uncertainty; interaction and cooperation of humans and robots; and advanced robotic sensory systems. Topics include but are not limited to, theoretical, algorithmic, experimental, and hardware issues in robotics; robotics for unstructured environments; personal robots with an emphasis on human-centered end use; novel and advanced approaches to sensing, perception, and actuation; representation, reasoning, and planning for complex physical tasks; robots to extend human capabilities into unknown and hazardous environments; communication and task sharing between humans and machines, and among machines; and intelligent control architecture for robotic systems.

5. Universal Access (UA)

Supports fundamental research and related education activities in computer science that advance computer systems technology so that all people can possess the skills needed to fully harness the power of computing. The program's mission is to empower people with disabilities, young children, seniors, and members of other underrepresented groups, so that they are able to participate fully in the new information society. UA research topics derive from all aspects of human-computer interaction, but topics of special interest include development of new models, architectures, and programming languages that emphasize interface speed and usability by all; definition of semantic structures for multimedia information to support cross-modal I/O; development of specific solutions to address the special needs of communities such as those enumerated above; and experimental studies to evaluate the success of attempts to provide access in all its varied forms.

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