2007 NSF Expeditions Proposal

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Program summary

  • NSF proposal homepage
  • Program goals
    • To catalyze far-reaching research explorations motivated by deep scientific questions or hard problems in the computing and information fields, and/or by compelling applications that promise significant societal benefits;
    • To inspire current and future generations of Americans, especially those from under-represented groups, to pursue rewarding careers in computer and information science and engineering; and
    • To stimulate significant research and education outcomes that, through effective knowledge transfer mechanisms, promise scientific, economic and/or other societal benefits.
  • Program characteristics
    • Foster research climates that nurture creativity and informed risk-taking, and value complementary research and education contributions such that the whole Expedition is greater than the sum of its parts;
    • Draw upon well-integrated, diverse teams of investigators from one or more disciplines within computer and information science and engineering, as well as investigators from other fields where necessary;
    • Stimulate effective knowledge transfer; and
    • Demonstrate experimental systems or support shared experimental facilities (including instruments, platforms and/or testbeds), where necessary, to enable discovery and learning.
  • 3 awards per year (so very competitive), funded at $2M/year for 5 years
  • An individual can participate in at most one pre-proposal or proposal


  • 5 Nov 07: letter of intent (required) - title + 60 word summary
  • 30 Dec 07: preliminary proposal - 10 page limit
  • 1 Apr 08: full proposal - 20 page limit

Summary of first meeting

The program is very broad; we discussed

  • Energy - use of networked information, computing, economics and control for significant increases in efficiency of energy usage/carbon footprint (ala the difference between an Acura Integra and a Toyota Prius).
  • Interplanetary Internet - teaming up with JPL to think about how to define the architecture for a space-based Internet (network all spacecraft in the soloar system)
  • Robotics/autonomy - building the next generation of information-rich, autonomous systems, ala Alice.
  • Health systems - thinking through how communications/computing/control can affect health care; probably not as good a match as the other areas.