Monday, October 11, 2010

The NSF Takes Shape

As I've mentioned before, the NSF is turning over top to bottom especially in computer science. Most of the pieces are now in place so let's check out the new personnel at the NSF that affect theoretical computer science.

The Senate has now confirmed MIT Dean Subra Suresh as the new NSF Director. Suresh replaces Arden L. Bement, Jr.

Michigan CSE Chair Farnam Jahanian takes over as Assistant Director of CISE (as in assistant to Director Suresh) starting in February. Jeannette Wing went back to Carnegie-Mellon last summer. CISE covers computer science funding at the NSF.

Purdue professor Susanne Hambrusch heads the Division of Computing and Communication Foundations (CCF) which includes theoretical computer science. Sampath Kannan returned to Penn.

The other divisions at CISE have new leadership as well. UCSD Chair Keith Marzullo heads Computer and Network Systems (CNS) and CMU Vice Provost for Research Computing Howard Wactlar heads Information and Intelligent Systems (IIS).

The CCF program directors handling the Algorithmic Foundations proposals from last month are Mitra Basu, Tracy Kimbrel and Dmitry Maslov. The NSF is still working to replace Richard Beigel who specialized in computational complexity and has recently returned to Temple.

What do all these changes mean for US funding for computer science and theory in particular? We'll just have to wait and see.


  1. It is partially off topic but only partially to ask about the CIF post-docs. Did NSF "get" anything out of them or was it just a way to keep a bunch of people off the dole queue for a year. Is there a list of fellows for 2009-2010 to look at and Google up to see what they did on the taxpayer dime?



    Jeremy Fineman
    Katrina Ligett
    Jeff Phillips
    Guy Rothblum
    Virginia Vassilevska Williams

    > Did NSF "get" anything out of them

    probably more than out of the so-called senior "researchers"

  3. Did they ever announce the 2010 fellows?

  4. They told the fellows, but I haven't seen a list... Does anyone know? Here's one:

    Shaili Jain --> Yale

  5. elad verbin -> u of c

  6. Dov Gordon -> Columbia U

  7. I doubt EV is a CI fellow. To be eligible, you had to have graduated in 2009 or later, and it seems he graduated in 2007.

  8. von Neumann -> Caltech --> Harvard