The National Science Foundation (NSF) is awarding a series of 40 new grants worth more than $51.5 million in cross-cutting research through its agency-wide Knowledge and Distributed Intelligence (KDI) initiative. Nearly 50 institutions will be part of this very broad scientific enterprise that could lead to rapid and radical interdisciplinary advances in: Knowledge Networking (KN) (e.g., employing a distributed cognition approach to designing digital work materials for collaborative workplaces); Learning and Intelligent Systems (LIS) (e.g., designing intelligent software agents to control and optimize resource allocation in large-scale computer networks); and New Computational Challenges (NCC) (e.g., modeling defects in solid materials at multiple levels).
"NSF's cultivation of this highly multidisciplinary research arena," said NSF Director Rita Colwell, "will change the way scientists collaborate and the way they prepare to examine the world as they seek new frontiers for discovery."
The explosive growth in computer power and connectivity is reshaping relationships among people and organizations while also transforming the processes of discovery, learning and communication. Similar growth in scientific understanding of learning and intelligence in natural systems and artificial systems is contributing to unprecedented research opportunities in these areas.
"This investment will be making our high-speed, high-volume
information systems more human-centered, more 'intelligent'_a place where people and machines collaborate beyond their physical presence," said Joseph Bordogna, NSF's acting deputy director. "We are entering an era in which insight into complex problems will be more readily garnered." This is an age of global intellectual and commercial environments "in which knowledge will be available to anyone, located anywhere, at any time." KDI will help keep the "information age" from becoming the "information overload age," said
Contact: K. Lee Herring
National Science Foundation