Illinois, as its leading-edge site. The objective is to equip these sites with high-end computing systems one to two orders of magnitude more capable than those typically available at major research universities. They will work in partnership with other organizations that are expected to contribute to access, to education, outreach, and training, and to software development that will facilitate and enhance both the overall infrastructure and access to that infrastructure (Cutter, 1997).

Funding for research in computer science weathered these changes reasonably well with basic and applied research posting real gains between 1989 and 1995 (see Chapter 3). Nevertheless, the research community expressed concerns that such funding may not be adequate to support the continuing growth of the field (and the rising number of researchers in academia and industry) and that the nature of such research is changing. Many researchers claim that federal funding is increasingly focused on near-term objectives and less radical innovation. Calls for greater accountability in the research enterprise, they claim, have led agencies to favor work that is less risky and that exploits existing knowledge, despite its potentially lesser payback. The implications of such changes are not yet clear, but they will become evident over the next several years and beyond.22


  • 1.  

    Quoted in Edwards (1996), p. 122.

  • 2.  

    As President Eisenhower declared in the 1958 State of the Union message, "Some of the important new weapons which technology has produced do not fit into any existing service pattern. They cut across all services, involve all services, and transcend all services, at every stage from development to operation. In some instances they defy classification according to branch of service."

  • 3.  

    Quoted in Barber Associates (1975), pp. V-51 to V-52.

  • 4.  

    Quoted in Norberg (1996), pp. 40-53.

  • 5.  

    Quoted in Norberg and O'Neill (1996), p. 31.

  • 6.  

    Figure based on data for 1960-1968 in the National Science Foundation's annual Budget Request to Congress (1960-1969) and for 1968-1970 in its annual publication Grants and Awards (1968-1970). Both are available from the National Science Foundation.

  • 7.  

    Figure based on data from the 1968, 1969, and 1970 editions of the National Science Foundation's Grants and Awards for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30.

  • 8.  

    The fundamental discoveries of computability and complexity theory show precisely that the details of the computing machine do not matter in analyzing the most important properties of the function to be computed. The science of computing is the study of the consequences of certain basic assumptions about the nature of computation (spelled out most clearly in Turing's famous 1936 paper), not the study of particular artifacts. Of course, problems arising from the construction and use of actual computers are a main source of questions for the

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