NSF pumps millions into info tech
- By Paula Shaki Trimble
- Sep 18, 2000
The National Science Foundation awarded the first grants last week to promote
advancements in computer science, and its information technology program
cleared a hurdle toward a $215 million budget for fiscal 2001.
This year's grants, awarded under NSF's Information Technology Research
(ITR) program, will go to 62 large projects funded at about $1 million per
year for three to five years and 148 smaller projects funded at $500,000
or less for up to three years.
The ITR awards stress computer science enhancement, such as how to produce
reliable software, how to build interfaces to help disabled or elderly people
access computers and how to advance quantum and DNA computing, said Michael
Lesk, division director for Information and Intelligent Systems at NSF.
NSF is soliciting proposals for the second round of ITR awards, which
will focus more on applications of IT, Lesk said. And on Sept. 13, the Senate
Appropriations Committee approved a $215 million budget for ITR in 2001.
The grants fund research at national universities that is somewhat risky
and typically not funded by industry, Lesk said. NSF's strategy to support
long-term, high-risk research responds to direction from the president's
Information Technology Advisory Committee, according to an NSF statement.
n Improving data resource sharing to benefit digital government efforts.
n Studying the human/computer interface using advanced vision technology
to develop robotic assistants that could help elderly people live more independently.