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Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE) Discoveries

NSF's public investment in science, engineering, education and technology helps to create knowledge and sustain prosperity. Read here about the Internet, microbursts, Web browsers, extrasolar planets, and more... a panoply of discoveries and innovations that began with NSF support.

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Thermal infrared image of Brazilian free-tailed bats in Texas. 'Gone Bats' Over Aeroecology
New scientific discipline studies bats, birds and other animals in atmosphere closest to Earth's surface
Released  October 28, 2008
Photo of basmati rice before harvest. Using Your Computer to Grow More Nutritious Rice for a Hungry World
Computational biologists use a powerful distributed computing network to research rice genome for increased yields of more nourishing rice varieties
Released  October 14, 2008
Image showing a visualization study of inbound traffic on the NSFNET T1 backbone for September 1991. Mysteries of the Unregulated Internet
Researchers develop an alert system and protocol improvements to keep Internet traffic flowing smoothly
Released  September 29, 2008
A computer-generated image showing the "family" of switches and how they are related. Finding the Switches to Our Cells' 'Computer'
Thousands of memory switches inside our cells help them remember and function
Released  September 24, 2008
Spiral raises the level of abstraction for complete automation without sacrifices in performance. Teaching Computers How to Write Fast Software
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University develop a framework to replace the human programmer in high performance numerical library development
Released  August 8, 2008
Photo of Jessica Alba and recipients of 2008 A.M.P.A.S Scientific and Technical Achievement Awards. The Man Behind Amazing Movie Simulations
He may not be as famous as Johnny Depp or Jessica Alba, but Oscar-winner Ron Fedkiw creates 3-D models of liquids that have had a major impact on Hollywood and our lives
Released  July 24, 2008
Illustration of a supernova explosion. Not a Quirk But a Quark ... a Quark Star!
Super-luminous stellar explosion observed via Caltech's Palomar Observatory, possibly resulting in a quark star
Released  June 26, 2008
Plot of genetic markers and world map graphic. Computer Program Reveals Anyone's Ancestry
Researchers develop computer algorithm that can trace the genetic ancestry of thousands of individuals in minutes
Released  May 5, 2008
Photo of two men in at a whiteboard Using Abstract Mathematics to Solve Real-World Problems
Researcher's mathematical theory used in new technologies to destroy cancerous tumors
Released  March 5, 2008
2007 In Review 2007: Year in Review
A look back at some of the NSF-supported advances and activities reported last year
Released  January 30, 2008
Photo of 2 people and a 3-D tessellated image of a brain projected on a large monitor. Brain Surgery: It Really Is Brain Surgery
Dynamic 3-D computer modeling tracks brain changes during surgery
Released  August 31, 2007
woman seated on rug next to blue, circular device labeled Roomba Helpful Robot Alters Family Life
A relationship with your vacuum cleaner? Robotic vacuums are warming their way into homes and even taking on a personality for some families.
Released  June 8, 2007
aerial view of wildfire, smoke and flames covering large area of field The Evolution of California Firefighting
What does high performance wireless networking have to do with fighting wildfires? Plenty, according to California fire captain Ron Serabia.
Released  May 25, 2007
2006 in Review 2006: Year in Review
A look back at some of the NSF-supported activities highlighted last year
Released  January 9, 2007
Plane taking off New Technologies Could Make Airport Screening More Effective and Less Cumbersome
Experts focus on identifying passenger ability and intent
Released  October 24, 2006
View of smoke from wildfire Communications Team Erects Lifeline for Firefighters Battling California Wildfires
Researchers bridge command post to the Internet within 24 hours of emergency call
Released  July 26, 2006
A gene chip A Better Algorithm for Detecting Cancer Genes
Process detects known cancer-related genes as well as new ones
Released  May 12, 2006
Watch this "Virtual Cell" animation to learn how proteins are transported in a cell. Virtual Tools Add New Dimension to Learning
Internet-based resources educate students about archaeology, biology, computer science and geology
Released  April 12, 2006
Single-molecule diodes are gatekeepers for electrons in a circuit. Device Only Atoms Across May Allow Infinitesimal But Powerful Computers
Single-molecule diode may change Moore's "law" of microchip memory
Released  April 3, 2006
Illustration shows message in a bottle, Earth in background. Getting a Message Across the Universe: Would E.T. Send a Letter?
Snail mail from outer space
Released  March 10, 2006
Portrait of Benjamin Franklin by artist David Martin (1737-1797) Ben Franklin Web Portal Brings the Man to the Masses
Driven by search-engine technology, site highlights three centuries of revolutionary influence
Released  January 9, 2006
An unmanned aerial vehicle searches wreckage for survivors in Pearlington, Miss. Small, Unmanned Aircraft Search for Survivors in Katrina Wreckage
Hurricane search and rescue is one of first domestic uses of such vehicles
Released  September 14, 2005
Fingerprint image quality through subsequent generations of genetic algorithm evolution. Man Against Machine
Computer-generated method outperforms human-designed program for fingerprint improvement
Released  September 1, 2005
Man reading newspaper with headline NSF Tops in Computer Funding New Analysis Method Ranks National Science Foundation As Tops For Computer Science Funding
New data shows NSF has the highest ranking among national and international agencies for funding high-impact computer and information science research.
Released  December 16, 2004
World map showing the spread of the Code Red worm in 2001 Network Telescope Offers Global View of Internet's Dark Side
UCSD's network telescope looks at the dark side of the Internet--traffic destined for a part of the Internet with legal addresses but no active computers. By watching this supposedly dark Internet, researchers have shed light on malicious activities.
Released  October 13, 2004
Portion of Digital Libraries I logo. On the Origins of Google
Even in the early days of the Internet, people saw the need for better interfaces to growing data collections. A graduate student supported by an NSF digital library project at Stanford University uncovered the missing links in Web page ranking.
Released  August 17, 2004
Photo of a computer disk drive. From Moonbounce to Hard Drives: Correcting More Errors Than Previously Thought Possible
What does a Nobel laureate need to bounce a radio signal off the moon? A good error-correcting code, for one thing. Now, a breakthrough error-correction method has turned almost 40 years of conventional wisdom in digital communications on its head.
Released  August 11, 2004
graduate student Robert Dalton listens to an MTB recording Hearing It Like It Was
Your ears not only tell you what you're hearing, but also a lot about where you're hearing it. A new recording and playback method developed at the University of California, Davis, keeps your head in the mix, so you can hear it like it really was.
Released  July 30, 2004
icon of a hand and www Detecting Hidden Groups on the Internet
In the free-form clamor of the Internet's discussion groups and other public forums, researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute want to listen for the whispers of groups trying to stay hidden.
Released  July 30, 2004
several views of pterosaur skulls Pterosaur Heads Were Uniquely Adapted for Flight
Taking a high-tech look at fossil skulls, scientists examined the brains of ancient pterosaurs. They found key structures to be specialized and enlarged, a discovery that could revise views of how vision, flight and the brain itself evolved.
Released  July 30, 2004

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