Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Funding Committee Report

At the STOC Business Meeting Richard Karp gave a report from the SIGACT Funding Committee.
Why does TCS [Theoretical Computer Science] have meager funding and little influence with funding agencies?

A possible answer: Unlike the physicists we have no tradition of leadership within the CS community, setting community goals, and advising, serving and lobbying the funding agencies and congress. For physicists this is a normal responsibility and it should be for us as well.

Ways to get involved include
  • Write popular articles.
  • Contribute short articles for the SIGACT website.
  • Serve on NSF panels and as program directors.
  • Provide research nuggets to NSF.
  • Advise the committee.
The committee suggested two cross-cutting initiatives, Theory of Networked Computing and Computer Science as a Lens for Science.

Theory of Networked Computing will bring TCS into the NSF GENI Initiative. ToNC has already had some influence in the development of the Scientific Foundations for Internet's Next Generation (SING) area of the recent Theoretical Foundations solicitation.

Computer Science as a Lens for Science promotes algorithms as the language of science in many different disciplines including

  • Quantum Computing
  • Statistical Physics—Phase Transitions
  • Algorithmic Economics and Game Theory
  • Computational Biology
Most of all the committee wants community action to help in promoting and supporting TCS.


  1. I think that should be 'Provide research nuggets to NSF' not 'Proves research nuggets to NSF'.

  2. Does "the physicists" refer to theoretical physicists, or physicists in general?