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National Science Foundation logo with rotating globe

National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent agency of the U.S. Government, established by the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended, and related legislation, 42 U.S.C. 1861 et seq., and was given additional authority by the Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities Act (42 U.S.C. 1885), and Title I of the Education for Economic Security Act (20 U.S.C. 3911 to 3922).

History of Budgeting (see Budget Internet Information System)

NSF - Computer, Information Sciences

The excitement of computer science is not only within the discipline itself. Advances in computers have led to leaps in almost every academic discipline and changed the very nature of our everyday lives. At the National Science Foundation, the Directorate for Computer and Information Sciences and Engineering (CISE) promotes basic research and education in the computer and information sciences and engineering, and helps maintain the nation's preeminence in these fields. Such technologies affect nearly every facet of modern life from agriculture to manufacturing, health and education.

The Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE)

CISE is within the National Science Foundation.

CISE provides federal funds for basic research and education in computer science, information science, and computer engineering.

The Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering has three goals:

1.     To enable the U.S. to uphold a position of world leadership in computing, communications, and information science and engineering

2.     To promote understanding of the principles and uses of advanced computing, communications and information systems in service to society

3.     To contribute to universal, transparent and affordable participation in an information-based society.

To achieve these, CISE supports investigator initiated research in all areas of computer and information science and engineering, helps develop and maintain cutting-edge national computing and information infrastructure for research and education generally, and contributes to the education and training of the next generation of computer scientists and engineers. CISE is organized in four divisions.

CISE's formation:

Excerpt from Funding a Revolution: Government Support for Computing Research, National Research Council Report (1999)

Chapter 4: The Organization of Federal Support: A Historical Review, pg. 125 - 126

"Computer research support at NSF took on its current form in 1986. That year, NSF director Erich Bloch announced the creation of a new directorate entirely for computing, the Computer and Information Sciences and Engineering (CISE) Directorate (CSTB, 1992, p. 223). To lead the new directorate, Bloch recruited Gordon Bell, a pioneering system architect at Digital Equipment Corporation, who had been pushing NSF for several years to increase funding for computer science. Bell, like others in the computer industry, was still concerned that universities were not training enough Ph.D.s in computer science to continue advancing the field. He believed that the creation of CISE could help alleviate this problem.

Unlike the more recent organizational changes in computing at NSF, CISE was more than a change of name and bureaucratic position. Much like the creation of OCA, CISE consolidated all the computer initiatives in NSF into one entity. The Division of Computer Research was combined with the computing portions of the Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering Division. CISE also absorbed the Office of Advanced Scientific Computing and the Division of Information Science and Technology. Monetary support for computing exploded immediately. CISE's 1986 budget was over $100 million, almost three times the Division of Computer Science's budget in 1984. CISE constituted 7 percent of the entire NSF budget as opposed to 3 percent in 1985. In addition, attaining the level of NSF directorate symbolically marked the end of the uncertain position of computing within NSF. Computer science was formally on a par with the biological sciences, the physical sciences, and the other directorates of NSF."