Give feedback on their research ideas
and the ways in which they present
them in their proposals. Encourage
them to attend the CRA Career Mentoring Workshop run for senior graduate students, post-docs, and assistant
professors for advice on writing proposals and other professional development activities.
6. Learn the basics of the federal
budget process. Please see my first
Communications blog entry (http://
on this topic. Make sure to attend any
CRA Snowbird session on government
affairs. You should learn the vocabulary
and what steps happen when.
7. Lead your faculty in building collaborations. Connect the faculty within
your department to other departments
on campus, to other universities, to
industry, to private foundations, and
to your local and regional school districts. Computing is transforming every aspect of our lives, so leverage the
strengths of your faculty and your institution to build new interdisciplinary partnerships and new research and
education collaborations. As a department head, you can spearhead a new
large-scale research and/or education
effort for your campus, e.g., on the scale
of a CISE Expedition, an Engineering
Research Center, or an NSF Science and
8. encourage undergraduates to do
research in computing. Make sure your
faculty always request supplements to
support undergraduate researchers
and/or consider submitting proposals
to host Research Experiences for Undergraduates Sites.
9. encourage seniors and first-year
graduate students to apply for an NsF
Graduate research Fellowship.
Students indicating their intent to pursue
graduate studies in computing are underrepresented in this program.
10. encourage faculty to serve as reviewers for NsF. Serving on a panel can
especially be an eye-opening learning
experience for junior faculty. Remind
your faculty that the PI community and
peer review community are one and the
same. Service matters.
11. encourage mid-career and senior
faculty to serve as “rotators” to NsF.
CISE is always looking for good PDs and
Division Directors. The quality of PDs
shapes the frontiers of our field. Here is
“We need to consider
how we combine
to attack large-scale
a holistic way,”
Daniel Reed writes.
“this is the beauty
of our field.”
the logic: The PD chooses the reviewers
and the PD makes the funding recommendations. Clearly good judgment
is required for both. In the end what
is funded and what is not partly determine where our field moves and what
our field looks like.
12.encourage bold, creative, and
visionary thinking. NSF first and foremost looks to fund good people and
a. NSF is all about fundamental,
long-term research. It is all about high-quality research identified through the
merit-review process. Regardless of
your perception of NSF, we welcome
groundbreaking, high-risk, high-return
and potentially transformative ideas.
b. NSF supports not just curiosity-driven, but use-inspired research (“
Pasteur’s Quadrant”). Computing research
is naturally use-inspired. In tackling
societal grand challenges (e.g., energy,
environment, health care, and security), we will need both fundamental advances in computing and working with
others in other disciplines. Opportunities abound!
“consilience: the Path
As a universal intel-
lectual amplifier, computing is the
quintessential enabler of 21st century
discovery and innovation. Much of
computing’s power accrues from its
broad applicability and relevance; its
definitions are at least as varied as the
talents and interests of its practitio-
ners, in varying proportions spanning
mathematics, science, technology, en-
gineering, policy, the humanities and
the arts. I would not presume to define
computing more precisely for to do so
would inevitably omit something im-
portant and would unnecessarily con-
strain its scope.
Jeannette M. Wing is a professor at carnegie mellon
university and the assistant director for computer and
information science and engineering at nsf. Daniel Reed
is vice president of technology strategy & Policy and the
eXtreme computing group at microsoft.