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The Information Technology R&D Initiative. Computer and Information Science and Engineering Robert R. Borchers Division Director Advanced Computational Infrastructure and Research ORAP, March 21, 2000. Overview. ITR agenda maps PITAC into ITR and beyond

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the information technology r d initiative

TheInformation Technology R&D Initiative

Computer and Information Science

and Engineering

Robert R. Borchers

Division Director

Advanced Computational Infrastructure and Research

ORAP, March 21, 2000


ITRagenda maps PITAC into ITR and beyond

  • Fundamental, long-term thematic IT research
  • Advanced computing for science, engineering, and the Nation
  • Ethical, social, and economic implications of Information Revolution
  • Education and training of America’s IT workforce
  • Five teraflop computing capability for S&E research

FY 2000 Current Plan

  • Information technology research - $90 million
  • Terascale acquisition - $36 million
itr research agenda
ITR Research Agenda

Increase fundamental, long-term, high risk basic research

  • Software – security, reliability, scalability, ease of reuse
  • Human-Computer Interface and Information Management
  • High-End Computing
  • Scalable Information Infrastructure
  • Socioeconomic, Ethical, Legal & Workforce Implications
a vision of the world in 2010



Information Sciences


A Vision of the World in 2010

Life Sciences

Social , Behavioral,

Economic Sciences

Social ,




IT2 Research

IT2 Research


Information Sciences





  • Increase productivity
  • Reduce fragility
  • Strengthen security
  • Manifest adaptiveness and flexibility


  • Seek revolutionary ideas and validate on realistic problems
  • Increase science base underlying software development
  • Bring greater engineering discipline to development process
  • Incorporate self-stability to achieve fault-tolerance, load-balancing, etc.
high end computing pyramid
High-End Computing Pyramid

“Familiar problems are made more acute by greater scale, diversity, and performance requirements” – Herb Schorr

high end computing research
High-End Computing Research


  • Develop enabling computational science technologies for all disciplines
  • Advance the fundamental high-end computingstate of the art


  • Encourage exploration of new ideas in scalable software and scientific visualization
  • Launch a major program for scientific applications
  • Establish cross-directorate activity
scalable information infrastructure ubiquitous connectivity
Scalable Information Infrastructure:Ubiquitous Connectivity


Suburban& rural








Adapted from Tim Hewitt, “UMTS Overview,” TIA inf. Session, ITU Comf., Mpls, MN, Oct. 17-18, 1998

socioeconomic ethical legal workforce implications
Socioeconomic, Ethical, Legal & Workforce Implications

Economic and social implications of IT

Interaction between social and computer scientists


  • Understanding the pipeline
  • Technology for learning
  • Innovation in education
  • Mentoring

High End Computing in IT2

  • The Presidential Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC) recommended:
    • Major new investments in long-term computing research, including high-end computation, and
    • Providing a terascale computing system to support future computational and computer science research.
  • NSF’s implementation of a terascale system, following a full and open competition, would augment the resources available to the Science and Engineering computation community through the Partnerships for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (PACI) program.
presidential advisory commission on information technology
Presidential Advisory Commission on Information Technology
  • High-end needs highlighted by PITAC
    • Long-term research in innovative computing technologies & software
    • Funding leading-edge computing facilities for research
  • High-end recommendations by PITAC
    • Major new investments in long-term research enabling high-end computation
    • Terascale equipment acquisition supporting current computational and computer science research
    • Integrated research and development plan to create balanced petaflop systems by 2010
  • Addressing these will require coordinated efforts with other IT2 thrusts
hpcc workshops background
HPCC Workshops Background
  • NSF hosted 3 workshops in 1998 to identify HPC challenges
  • Science workshop findings
    • Important applications need large scale computing, large memories, high bandwidth networking and I/O
  • Algorithms workshop findings
    • Algorithm development requires teams with representation of applications and computer science
    • Algorithms must demonstrate usefulness for applications on BIG systems
  • Software workshop findings
    • HPCC potential of large parallel systems can only be partially fulfilled due to limited programmability, limited understanding of end to end behavior, inadequate data management, …
    • Software research is necessary in all of these areas
computational science terascale examples
Computational Science Terascale Examples
  • Weather and Climate Prediction
  • Protein Folding
  • Cosmology
  • Chemical Kinetics
  • Gravitational Waveforms
  • Seismology
  • Combustion Systems
  • Large Scale Economic Systems Analyses
  • Materials Sciences

Capability Computing - Numerical Prediction of Thunderstorms

Moore, OK



Moore, OK



2-Hour ARPS Computer Forecast Down

to the Scale of Counties -- Run on the

256-Node Origin 2000 at NCSA

7 pm NEXRAD Radar Observations

Nat’l Weather

Service Computer


(unable to




Moore, OK


Storm Missing!

Same Computer Forecast Without

NEXRAD Radar Data

Central Oklahoma, May 3 1999, 7:00 pm CDT


Five years ago, this sort

of prediction was deemed

theoretically impossible.

Now it’s being done in

real time! With terascale

systems it will be routine.

NSF Science and Technology Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms

University of Oklahoma

review and selection criteria
Review and Selection Criteria

The normal NSF review criteria will be used, plus examination of:

  • Delivery schedules, costs, and system performance
  • Evidence that the institution can mount and sustain the system
  • Construction and operations budgets, and sources of funds
  • Quality and credibility of the following plans:
    • Physical Facility,
    • Computer Acquisition and System Integration,
    • Staffing & Management,
    • Computing Resource Management,
    • Network Connectivity, and
    • Education.
human computer interaction information management
Human-Computer Interaction & Information Management


  • To use information technology effectively and efficiently
  • To make computers do what we want
  • To find out what we wish to know

Research Themes

  • Active Knowledge
  • Computer Human Boundary
  • Human Support and Augmentation
scalable information infrastructure central research issues
Scalable Information Infrastructure:Central Research Issues







Dynamic Networks

itr multidisciplinarity
ITR Multidisciplinarity

Multidisciplinary research stressed

  • Encourages projects simultaneously contributing to IT and other disciplines

Cross-directorate collaboration and involvement

  • Extensive consultation in planning process
  • Multi-directorate ITR Coordinating Committee
    • Advises CISE AD
    • NSF-wide contact point
    • Responsible for preproposal and full proposal reviews
status of itr research competition
Status of ITR Research Competition

Solicitation released Sept. 28, 1999

Project Budgets over $500K

  • Letters of intent due Nov. 15, 1999
  • Preproposals due Jan. 5, 2000 (Panel review early Feb. 2000)
  • Full proposals due Apr. 17, 2000 (Panel review mid May 2000)

Project Budgets under $500K

  • Letters of intent due Jan. 5, 2000
  • Full proposals due Feb. 14, 2000 (Panel review mid Mar. 2000)
itr management
ITR Management

Impact Assessment

  • Annual awardee progress and final reports
  • Midterm external reviews, site visits, and/or PI meetings for research project awards with budgets above $500K
  • Internal tracking of all awards
  • Reporting to external groups, e.g., PITAC, OSTP, OMB, and interagency ITRworking group
  • External Program Evaluation planned in FY2003
challenges and opportunities
Challenges and Opportunities

Involving teaching faculty

Role of research institutes

Support for research/engineering staff

Changing Federal IT support picture, e.g.,

  • Possible change in DARPA research emphases
  • Possible increase NIH participation
  • No FY 2000 Terascale hardware funding for DOE
challenges opportunities

Forging collaborative interdisciplinary environments, e.g.,

  • IT and Biology in bioinformatics
  • IT and Physics in quantum computing
  • IT and Chemistry in molecular switching
  • Computer Science and Computational Sciences...
itr management1
ITR Management

Review Process

  • CISE and other directorates participate, as relevant
    • Multi-level
      • Pre-proposal, full-proposal, site-visit (as necessary)
      • Final award decision by AD/CISE in consultation with other ADs


    • 30% of program funding in ~ $2M-$4M/year awards
    • 40% of program funding in ~$1M/year awards
    • 30% of program funding in ~$150K/year awards