Friday, May 13, 2005

Dim Future for CS Research in US?

On May 12, 2005 computing researchers met with a congressional panel about impending funding cuts in technology-related research. The primary concern is that broad long-term computer research is being shortchanged in lieu of more narrow, targeted research. Much of this debate has been spurned on by DARPA's recent withdrawal from supporting university-based computer research.

The Computing Research Policy Blog has the CRA's press release, here are some highlights.

"The impact of IT research on enabling of innovation resonates far beyond just the IT sector," said James D. Foley, Chair of CRA and professor of computer science at Georgia Institute of Technology. "IT has played an essential - many argue the essential - role in the economic growth of the US in the past 20 years. In fact, the seeds of this economic growth are in the fundamental discoveries, most of which are pre-competitive and occur in the nation's universities and research laboratories," said Foley.

Congressional members seemed to agree that the US cannot afford to make compromises that would sacrifice our position as technology leaders/innovators.

Rep. Lincoln Davis (D-TN), the panel's ranking Democrat, agreed. "We cannot afford to squander our technological edge in a field that will only grow in importance."

(link to CRA Policy blog)

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