Cyber-enabled Discovery and Innovation
On September 28, 2007, the National Science Foundation (NSF) issued a solicitation for proposals under
a major new initiative, called Cyber-enabled Discovery and Innovation (CDI). See the formal solicitation for the precise
description of the program.
The NSF has budgeted a minimum of $26M in 2008 for CDI, with substantial increases in funding
anticipated over the next five years. CDI seeks to support ambitious, transformative, multidisciplinary research that,
through computational thinking, promises radical, paradigm-changing research findings, within or across the following three thematic areas:
- From Data to Knowledge: enhancing human cognition and generating new knowledge from a wealth of heterogeneous digital data;
- Understanding Complexity in Natural, Built, and Social Systems: deriving fundamental insights on systems comprising multiple interacting elements; and
- Building Virtual Organizations: enhancing discovery and innovation by bringing people and resources together across institutional, geographical and cultural boundaries.
For the first round,
Larger grants are anticipated in future rounds, starting with letters of intent due by September 30, 2008 and annually
- A letter of intent must be submitted between October 30 and November 30, 2007;
- A preliminary proposal is due between December 7, 2007 and January 8, 2008;
- Full proposals will be by invitation only based on review of the preliminary
proposal, and must be submitted between March 28 and April 29, 2008.
In this first round of the competition CDI smaller grants will fund summer support for 2 investigators
along with support for 2 graduate students, and materials, supplies and travel for 3 years; larger grants
will fund summer support for 3 investigators
along with support for 3 graduate students, 1-2 postdocs or research staff, and materials, supplies and travel for 4 years.
Proposals may only be submitted by U.S. universities and colleges and certain non-profits such as museums and observatories.
Shared cost partnerships with industrial and other organizations, domestic and international, are encouraged.
Mathematics and CDI
It is clear that mathematics must play a key role in research in the areas outlined for this initiative.
The Division of Mathematical Sciences at the National Science Foundation is strongly supportive of the involvement of
mathematical and cross-disciplinary groups in research projects connected with CDI. As a first step in promoting
mathematics involvement, the NSF Mathematical Sciences Institutes
have begun a coordinated effort to inform the mathematical community about this initiative and to facilitate the development
of research proposals.
In the coming weeks there will be four NSF workshops on CDI at NSF Institutes.
A preliminary description of the workshops is as follows.
- On October 12, 2007, a one-day workshop will be held at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) on Computation and
Complex Systems. This is planned to include key lectures about large scale interdisciplinary
problems, round table discussions about mathematical challenges in these and related areas,
and Q & A sessions about the structure of the CDI initiative and the NSF's expectations
On October 29, a one-day workshop will be held at the
Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics (IPAM) focused on the knowledge
extraction aspect of CDI. It is expected that there will be an
information session including Q & A with NSF representatives,
as well as several panels where each panelist will present slides about
what they consider to be the interesting and important questions of long-term
significance, followed by a discussion with Q & A. Possible topics include
(i) Numerical Methods for Fast Knowledge Extraction,
(ii) Nonlinear Methods for Dimensional Reduction,
(iii) Knowledge Extraction from Images and Problems of Visualization,
(iv) Discrete and Graph-based Techniques for Knowledge Extraction and Analysis
of Large Networks, as well as selected examples of success stories
in relevant earlier research.
On October 30, a one-day workshop will be held at the
Mathematical Biosciences Institute (MBI) focusing on opportunities for mathematicians who are interested in doing interdisciplinary
work related to biology. This workshop will include overview talks and panel discussions,
and presentations from representatives of the NSF Division of Mathematical Sciences and Directorate for Biological Sciences.
On November 1, a one-day workshop will be held at the
Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute (SAMSI).
There will be a presentation by NSF officers concerning the new
initiative, followed by a Q & A session,
as well as overview presentations by experts on issues and challenges
in the areas of Knowledge Extraction, Interacting Elements, Computational Experimentation
and Virtual Environments. There will also be presentations on
CDI-type problems from industry, national
laboratories, or other sciences who might be interested in establishing
collaborations with mathematical and statistical scientists to pursue
Support for project planning and proposal preparation
The Institute for Mathematics and its Applications (IMA)
is supporting visits by groups of mathematicians and
scientists who wish to meet to at the IMA to explore possible research projects related to CDI
and/or for proposal preparation,
and the American Institute of Mathematics (AIM)
is holding a workshop for teams preparing submissions:
Other meetings related to CDI
Other information about CDI on the web