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49. Web Browsers - Nifty 50

Detail of browser window

Web browsers, such as Internet Explorer and Netscape, emerged from NSF-funded research at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign (UIUC).

The funding came from NSF's Computer and Information Science and Engineering's (CISE) Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure. Without the NCSA infrastructure, web browsers might not have happened or be what they are today.

First browser

Today's web browsers are based on Mosaic, developed by a student at UIUC, one of NSF's four original supercomputer facilities.Before Mosaic, Internet communications were text only.

NSF funded web browser research at all of the former supercomputer centers each year, and has done so especially since FY1992. In FY1994, an even larger NSF grant ($306,000) for Mosaic deployment on NSF pilot projects was awarded.

NSF is investing in next-generation networking and in applications to take advantage of advanced networking. The payoff from these investments will make possible advances in all areas of science and engineering research and education.

Original publication date: April 2000

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