Summary of FY2002 Budget Request to Congress - National Science Foundation


The FY 2002 Budget Request for the Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Activity is $470.36 million, a decrease of $7.54 million, or 1.6 percent, below the FY 2001 Current Plan of $477.90 million.

(Millions of Dollars)

  FY 2000 Actual

FY 2001 Current Plan
FY 2002 Request Change
Amount Percent
Computer-Communications Research 60.24 65.49 64.39 -1.10 -1.7%
Information and Intelligent Systems 41.43 48.84 48.02 -0.82 -1.7%
Experimental and Integrative Activities 57.84 60.95 57.81 -3.14 -5.2%
Advanced Computational Infrastructure and Research 78.01 81.60 80.22 -1.38 -1.7%
Advanced Networking Infrastructure and Research 60.66 65.55 64.44 -1.11 -1.7%
Information Technology Research 90.39 155.48 155.48 0.00 0.0%
Total, CISE $388.57 $477.90 $470.36 -$7.54 -1.6%

Totals may not add due to rounding.

Computing, communications, and information are the focus of the basic research and education programs supported by the CISE Activity. CISE supported research ranges from the study of basic principles of the creation, representation, storage, transmission, transformation and application of information to development of new algorithms, systems and applications of these research innovations. CISE activities include theoretical and experimental investigator-initiated research in all areas of computer and information science and engineering, the development and maintenance of a cutting-edge national computing and information infrastructure for research and education, and programs that contribute to the education and training of the next generation of computer scientists and engineers.

Information technology (IT) is playing an increasingly important role in nearly every part of our lives, affecting science and engineering research and education, general education, commerce, health, and national security. The federal investment in research has played a key part in developing early U.S. leadership in underlying computing, communications and information technologies and in applying these technologies to many areas of critical national importance. As part of the overall federal effort, CISE provides more than 43 percent of the total support for fundamental research in computer science at U.S. colleges and universities.

CISE continues to support major advances in information technology. Just as important are the training environments in the laboratories and research groups that develop these ideas. The following examples illustrate the creativity of new ideas that have potential to support innovation and new industrial growth.

  • CISE supported researcher Michael Rabin at Harvard has created the world's first provably completely secure cryptosystem. Previous cryptosystems relied upon both computational limitations of the adversary and assumptions in computational complexity theory. This system is provably secure against any adversary of any computing power.

  • The Digital Libraries program, which combines support from NSF, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Library of Medicine, has been continued in the "Information Management" theme of the Information Technology Research (ITR) program. It has expanded its international activities, supporting joint research programs with the United Kingdom, Germany, and other European Union member states, as well as several Asian countries. Digital library research now includes new applications of computer techniques to resources in education. For example, the Education and Human Resources Activity is supporting development of a National Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology Education Digital Library (NSDL) which is aimed at improving science, engineering, mathematics and technology education.

  • Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh are researching the next steps in intelligent tutoring systems using natural language dialogue, eye tracking, and problem solving to create novel ways for learners to make their thinking visible to computational and human tutors. One premise of the research is that truly intelligent human and computer based tutors support the learner's cognitive processes and learn from learners in real time. This work is leading to a better understanding of the diverse learning styles and cognitive processes that tutors must support to be effective in complex learning situations.

  • James Demmel, a computer scientist at the University of California at Berkeley, invented a new algorithm to compute eigenvalues of matrices, one of the most central mathematical tasks in analyzing linear systems arising from business, engineering, chemistry and economics. This new algorithm outperforms the well-known "QR" method that has been widely used for 30 years and it is already changing curricula and textbooks for computational science.

  • The Internet evolved from CISE projects (CSNET and NSFNET) and was supported by CISE in its early years. Research is continuing on new services, characterization of traffic and methods to improve the performance of the Internet. Azer Bestavros and colleagues at Boston University have conducted groundbreaking research on World Wide Web (WWW) workload characterization and scalable WWW server architecture design. This research is an essential enabling technology for new uses of the Internet such as wide-band networking, multimedia distribution, real-time capabilities and other uses.

The people who make up the nation's highly educated science and technology workforce drive advances in knowledge, innovations in technology and growth in the economy. The most important outcome for CISE is producing this trained workforce that has given the U.S. international leadership in IT research and is central to the productivity and economic growth stemming from IT. At NSF, integrating research and education is our principal strategy; the people involved in our research projects are the focus of our investments. Across its programs, CISE provides support for more than 8,000 people, including students, researchers, post-doctorates, and trainees. Support for programs specifically addressing NSF's strategic goal of "People - developing a diverse, internationally competitive and globally-engaged workforce of scientists, engineers and well-prepared citizens" totals more than $56 million in FY 2002, an increase of 16.5 percent over FY 2001. Moreover, about 39 percent of the funding for research grants -- an amount exceeding $112 million in FY 2002 -- provides support for researchers and students, including more than 4,600 post-doctorates, trainees, and graduate and undergraduate students.

In FY 2002, CISE will support research and education efforts related to broad, Foundation-wide priority areas in Biocomplexity in the Environment, Information Technology Research, Nanoscale Science and Engineering, and Learning for the 21st Century

Biocomplexity in the Environment (BE): Funding for BE in FY 2002 totals $6.10 million. These funds will contribute to NSF's centralized competition and will be used to support more focused environmental informatics activities such as multi-scale modeling and simulation, dynamic data analysis and interpretation, data mining and management and data fusion.

Information Technology Research (ITR): Since 1994, information technology (IT) has been responsible for a third of the nation's economic expansion, primarily due to advances in fundamental understanding of computing, communications, and information. The Internet, Web browsers, software for medical, scientific, educational, and business applications, as well as many other features of daily life are rooted in the basic research achievements of the past few decades. In the future, IT will have an even greater impact on the quality of our lives, the state of the economy and national security. Recommendations of the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC) highlighted the fragile ground on which this progress is built, expressing alarm that under-funding of long-term basic research will seriously undercut future U.S. leadership in information technology and efforts dependent on it. Recommendations were made concerning the efforts in research, infrastructure and education and training needed to maintain the present U.S. leadership position. In response, NSF was chosen in FY 2000 as the lead agency among participating agencies in the federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development program. NSF's Information Technology Research (ITR) effort began in FY 2000 with a $90.0 million investment in basic IT research coordinated with $36.0 million for a new Terascale Computing System provided through the Major Research Equipment (MRE) account. In FY 2001, this support expanded to $215.0 million across NSF with $155.48 million managed in CISE; in addition, a second Distributed Terascale Computing Facility is being funded at a level of $44.90 million through the MRE account.

Funding within CISE for the Foundation's ITR priority area will be sustained at $155.48 million in FY 2002. ITR continues the Foundation's effort to address computing, communications, and information research, and related education and training and infrastructure efforts essential for maintaining the nation's preeminence in IT research and its wider applications to all sectors of society. This program builds on and is integrated with prior CISE activities, complements and draws upon strong collaborative efforts among all of NSF's research programs, and continues a long and successful history of federal interagency cooperation. Partner agencies in this multi-agency effort include the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research (AHRQ), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the National Security Agency (NSA), the Department of Energy (DOE), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and others.

In response to the need for more long-range IT research, the ITR program will support research that often entails a higher risk than that prevailing in established areas. In managing the award process, CISE will ensure that at least 10 percent of funding is used for these high-quality, higher-risk proposals.

In FY 2002, as part of the ITR priority area, CISE will focus on broad thematic, large-scale, long-term, basic computer science research challenges, such as:

Research enabling the next generation of Cyber Infrastructure will build on our successes in high-performance computing and communications; it will make possible the full integration of high-volume data resources, high capacity storage, and new techniques enabling users to use and understand information. This research will create technologies for advances in computational science, education, universal access to cultural resources, and other uses.

  • Human Augmentation research will expand the capabilities of computers to serve people by creating new interfaces, such as speech, haptic (force-feedback) sensing, and telepresence. These advances will allow the disabled and elderly to fully participate in the Information Age and expand the abilities of all people to fully use the power of computing and communications.

  • Research at the interface of biology and information technology will be conducted in computational biology to understand biological and social systems, biological systems informatics to understand the "IT" mechanisms of biological systems, biomolecular computation to explore new biological and chemical mechanisms that may form the basis of a new generation of computing, and biologically inspired computing to understand how biological systems do information tasks.

  • Security and reliability for computer, communication and information systems will be expanded under a comprehensive approach to increase the number of active researchers and to support expanded research programs.

Nanoscale Science and Engineering: CISE will support $6.20 million in Nanoscale Science and Engineering research on quantum computing, self-assembly of biomolecular computer components, nano-robotics, and design automation to support a new approach to molecular architecture.

Learning for the 21st Century: CISE provides $1.15 million in support for the Foundation's Learning for the 21st Century priority area through a range of programs that encourage creative approaches to meeting the workforce requirements for IT in the new century. These include the Interagency Education Research Initiative (IERI) and the NSF Graduate Teaching Fellows in K-12 Education (GK-12).


CISE's support for ongoing and new activities contributes to NSF efforts to achieve its strategic goals, as well as to the administration and management activities necessary to achieve those goals:

(Millions of Dollars)

  FY 2001
FY 2002
People 48.88 56.93 16.5%
Ideas 303.88 288.09 -5.2%
Tools 118.42 117.62 -0.7%
Administration and Management 1 6.72 7.72 14.9%
Total, CISE $477.90 $470.36 -1.6%

Totals may not add due to rounding.
1 Includes only costs charged to the R&RA Appropriation


CISE places the highest priority on programs to develop the IT workforce through efforts to increase graduate training and the attractiveness of university careers for computer scientists and engineers; to increase participation of under-represented groups in the workforce; and to enhance the ability of all citizens to benefit from the expanded use of computing and communications technologies.

(Millions of Dollars)

  FY 2001
FY 2002
Undergraduate 6.92 7.92 14.5%
Graduate and Professional 41.96 49.01 16.8%
Total, CISE $48.88 $56.93 16.5%

Totals may not add due to rounding.

In response to the need for more people with advanced skills in all areas of computer and information science and engineering, CISE will continue to promote incorporating up-to-date research findings into the undergraduate curriculum with two goals: first, to improve undergraduate education in computer science and engineering in order to better prepare students for careers in industry, research, or teaching; and second, to improve educational processes and tools for all students so they can participate effectively in a technology-intensive society.

Undergraduate curriculum improvements and research experiences for undergraduates will be supported in FY 2002 at a level of $7.0 million. Curriculum programs improve classroom teaching for computer science and engineering students and are focused on developing new curriculum from current research advances. Research experiences are important in introducing students into the research "culture" and have proven to increase the rate of undergraduates going into graduate study and research careers.

In FY 2002, CISE will provide $27.0 million for the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program, an increase of $2.0 million. This program helps make academic careers attractive to new doctorates and adds to the number of faculty needed at universities and colleges to increase education and training for all IT careers. Funding for the foundation-wide Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) program will total $2.57 million to support interdisciplinary research.

In FY 1999, CISE initiated an activity to identify and understand the reasons for lower participation rates in IT careers among women and minorities. In FY 2002, CISE will fund research at the level of $7.90 million on the underlying issues of lower participation rates among women and minorities, including components of teaching and learning, workforce needs, and retention issues in student IT majors at colleges.


Support for discovery across the frontier of science and engineering connected to learning, innovation and service to society underlies all the research areas in the CISE activity. Projects that support research as well as the university training environment are the highest priority. As part of this support for discovery, funding for ITR will remain stable at $155.48 million, with approximately two-thirds of this support going to individual and small group research projects and one-third to small centers. Across all CISE Subactivities, investment in ideas will be reduced by $15.79 million to $288.09 million.

Priorities in CISE for increased effort, in addition to the ITR goals described above, include:

  • Maintaining award size and duration levels.

  • A new program on Hybrid and Embedded Systems will explore the engineering challenges of systems that combine digital and analog devices, low power systems, and devices that incorporate computer technology for control, such as medical devices and other systems with small computing requirements.

  • Research, demonstrations, and technical assistance on ways to make technology more accessible. These assistive technologies will enable a greater spectrum of the citizenry - the elderly, disabled, and those with less experience with computer systems - to use and benefit from IT innovations in computing and communications.

  • Increased support for research on methods to store and access scientific data to improve usage and access of existing resources; expanded research on visualization and analysis for large, scientific data sets; and research on new mechanisms for computing such as quantum devices and DNA or chemical based techniques.

  • Networking research will increase activity in middleware, the software used to build distributed systems that utilize the networks efficiently and reliably by providing advanced services such as multimedia, quality of service, and broadcast services.

Another priority within CISE is Critical Infrastructure Protection. An increase of $4.0 million within ITR will bring total support to $32.52 million in FY 2002. This will provide for increased research in networking, high performance computing and software that will enable computer and communications systems to be safer, more reliable, and free from intrusions. In addition to increased support in ITR, a Cyber-Trust effort will be coordinated to create the fundamental knowledge for building reliable and secure systems. Both investments will support the Critical Infrastructure Protection effort with research knowledge needed to build a new generation of safe and reliable information systems.

In FY 2002, CISE expects to maintain the average size and duration of awards. These efforts will simultaneously contribute to increasing the efficiency of the Foundation's merit review process, and achieving greater cost-effectiveness for both NSF and the research community.

CISE-supported centers include:

(Millions of Dollars)

  FY 2001
FY 2002
Science and Technology Centers 1 3.26 0.00 -100.0%
Information Technology Centers 50.00 53.00 6.0%
Total, CISE Centers $53.26 $53.00 -0.5%

Totals may not add due to rounding.
1 The reduction of support for STCs reflects the planned phase out of the 1991 class in FY 2001.

Two STCs that are supported in FY 2001 but will no longer receive funding in FY 2002 as part of the planned phase out of the 1991 class of STCs are:

  • The Center for Cognitive Science (University of Pennsylvania), which is jointly funded by CISE with the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences Activity; and

  • The Center for Computer Graphics and Scientific Visualization (University of Utah, Cornell University, Brown University, California Institute of Technology, and University of North Carolina).

The Information Technology Centers were initiated in FY 2000 with 33 awards, with 20 additional awards planned for FY 2001. Support will be for fundamental research in IT spanning computer and information science and engineering, encompassing scientific applications, or addressing areas of social, ethical and workforce issues in IT. These centers are multi-investigator teams, often "virtual centers" with participation of several institutions. Reallocations within ITR will provide an additional investment of $3.0 million in FY 2002 that will allow funding of three to five new centers.


In FY 2002, CISE will see a modest decrease in support for infrastructure programs:

(Millions of Dollars)

  FY 2001
FY 2002
Advanced Computational Infrastructure 1 73.71 73.71 0.0%
Advanced Networking Infrastructure 44.71 43.91 -1.8%
Total, CISE $118.42 $117.62 -0.7%

Totals may not add due to rounding.
1 Includes $3 million in operations support for integrating the Terascale Computing Systems with the PACI facilities.

Two facilities programs, Advanced Computational Infrastructure (ACI) and Advanced Networking Infrastructure (ANI), provide state-of-the-art computing and communications essential for advanced work in all fields of science and engineering. Within ACI, the Partnerships for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (PACI) program develops and provides the most advanced, leading edge computing capabilities. ANI provides the major high-performance network and information-communications infrastructure for the U.S. scientific and engineering community. These facilities complement each other in enabling and developing experimentation with high performance computational and communications tools, providing training and education in the use of cutting-edge scientific computing and information technologies, and facilitating geographically-separated and cross-sector collaboration in research and education.

Support for PACI will total $70.71 million in FY 2002, level with FY 2001. With the transition from the Supercomputer Centers program completed and all partnering activities fully operational, the program will continue broadening and accelerating the capability of the research community to utilize this advanced technology to work on cutting-edge research problems in all scientific disciplines.

ACI will also continue funding of $3.0 million for operations of the Terascale Computing Systems to provide operations support for integrating these new systems with the existing PACI facilities. The Terascale Computing Systems are described under the Major Research Equipment account. These efforts will complement PACI by supporting a major strengthening of the high performance computational capability needed for IT research and applications.

Support for ANI will total $43.91 million in FY 2002, a decrease of $800,000 from FY 2001. ANI participates in the interagency Next Generation Internet (NGI) program, and complements the university-led Internet2 effort. Within NGI, the focus is on high performance connectivity between academic research institutions, contributing to basic infrastructure for high-end research applications, and taking a major role in developing the national scalable high-performance network infrastructure for the U.S. research and education community. In FY 2002, ANI will stress extending the reach of high performance networking by:

  • Providing access to high performance networking to additional research and educational sites;

  • Developing new methods for access technology to extend high performance networks to difficult to reach sites and end users; and

  • Developing new middleware for applications to better serve the requirements of networked applications.

Administration and Management

Administration and Management provides for administrative activities necessary to enable NSF to achieve its strategic goals. This includes the cost of Intergovernmental Personnel Act appointments and contractors performing administrative functions.

Number of People Involved in CISE Activities

  FY 2000
FY 2001
FY 2002
Senior Researchers 2,221 2,450 2,450
Other Professionals 538 650 640
Postdoctorates 299 340 340
Graduate Students 2,878 3,300 3,400
Undergraduate Students 652 850 870
K-12 Students 200 230 250
K-12 Teachers 100 120 140
Total Number of People 6,888 7,940 8,090

Totals may not add due to rounding.

CISE Funding Profile

  Actual Estimate Estimate
Number of Requests for Funding 5,272 5,500 5,500
Dollars Requested (in thousands) $5,472,937 $6,100,000 $6,200,000
Total Number of Awards 1,809 2,050 2,200
Statistics for New Competitive Awards:      
   Number 921 1,050 1,050
      Funding Rate 31% 28% 28%
   Median Annualized Award Size 1 $100,000 $105,000 $105,000
   Average Annualized Award Size 1 $157,225 $160,000 $160,000
   Average Duration (yrs.) 1 3.0 3.1 3.1

1 Statistics for award size and duration are for Research Grants only.

Home | Overview | Summary of NSF Accounts
NSF Investments & Strategic Goals | Ideas | People | Tools
Administration & Management | NSF Funding Profile | Level of Funding by Program



Policies and Important Links


Privacy | FOIA | Help | Contact NSF | Contact Web Master | SiteMap  

National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia 22230, USA
Tel: (703) 292-5111, FIRS: (800) 877-8339 | TDD: (800) 281-8749

Last Updated:
Text Only