NSF grants in information technology
have won National Science Foundation
research grants totaling more than $3 million for projects that
seek to improve the capabilities of the computer industry -- from
software to hardware to the Internet.
computer scientists Jorg Liebeherr, Kevin Sullivan and Kevin Skadron
and electrical engineers Ronald Williams and Barry W. Johnson
are among the first grant recipients in the country whose work
will be funded under a new strategic Information Technology Research
initiative. The program, advocated by the White House and recently
approved by Congress, supports fundamental research and innovative
applications of information technology in science and engineering.
Liebeherr will receive more than $1.2 million, a quarter of a
five-year, $5-million grant shared with John Chuang at the University
of California at Berkeley, Edward Knightly at Rice University
and Hui Zhang at Carnegie Mellon.
project involves a revolutionary rethinking of how certain specialized
services operate over the Internet. Existing methods of data transmission
and storage are effective only for small private networks and
cannot be expanded to accommodate use by millions of people around
the world. Liebeherr's group will work to come up with new infrastructures
for the Internet that will support the rapidly expanding demands
for enhanced services.
secured a grant of more than $1.3 million over three years, along
with colleagues Mary Shaw at Carnegie Mellon, Barry Boehm at University
of Southern California and David Notkin at University of Washington.
project involves transforming the way that software design is
conceived and taught to prioritize the end user's needs, values
and points of view. For a business, a software design that maximizes
profits and minimizes costs may be the best design, while for
a philanthropic foundation, a design that causes the least social
trauma while having the greatest social benefit may be the best,
and Johnson won a three-year, $436,701 award. Their project combines
education and research in an effort to improve the security of
computer networks. They will identify the characteristics of effective
security systems, develop a theoretical explanation for their
effectiveness, and create a curriculum to teach the principles
of effective network security to computer engineers.
received a two-year, $110,000 award. He is collaborating with
colleagues David August and Douglas Clark, both at Princeton,
on a project designed to speed up computer processing when the
central processing unit (CPU) reaches a logical fork in the road.
Such a fork occurs when a program encounters "if" statements,
which offer different paths of resolution.
researchers are approaching the problem simultaneously from two
different directions, software and hardware. On one hand they
are working to enhance the capabilities of a compiler, which translates
software instructions into the 0s and 1s that computer hardware
can understand. On the other hand, they want to eliminate processing
bottlenecks that occur when hardware works on a complex problem
while simple problems pile up behind it. These two approaches
will be combined to seek new levels of cooperation between the
software and hardware.
than 1,400 research proposals were submitted to the Information
Technology Research initiative. Approved were 62 large projects,
averaging $1 million a year for three to five years, and another
148 smaller projects for $500,000 or less, for up to three years.