COMPUTER & INFORMATION
SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING
Fast Links and Funding Opportunities
Deadline: December 8, 2021
Deadline: December 10, 2021
Deadline: December 13, 2021
Deadline: January 24, 2022
A Message from CISE Leadership
Dear CISE community.
Each year, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), through the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program, selects and awards early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education, and lead advances in the mission of their department or organization. During FY 2021, CISE made 235 new CAREER awards with planned funding of approximately $124.5M through FY 2025. Our CAREER awardees are not only outstanding researchers but are also dedicated educators who demonstrate commitment to teaching, learning, and dissemination of knowledge. They are truly the future of our field. We are excited to see how this new cohort of CAREER recipients build a firm foundation for a lifetime of leadership that integrates education and research.
We welcome CAREER proposals from early-career faculty at all CAREER-eligible organizations and especially encourage women, members of underrepresented minority groups, and persons with disabilities to apply. The next full proposal deadline is July 25, 2021.
As we approach the end of our calendar year, I would like to also highlight our efforts on semiconductor research and education. In December 2020, CISE funded a workshop focusing on the lowest levels of the computing stack. This workshop considered the scientific frontiers for semiconductor and microelectronics technologies as well as the needs for access to semiconductor foundries.
Building upon this workshop, CISE issued a Semiconductor Research and Education Request for Information (RFI) for input from those who are directly engaged in, or might potentially benefit from, CISE-related research and education in semiconductor and micro- and nano-electronics. Over 250 responses have been received, predominantly from university faculty and staff, as well as professionals from industry and other research institutes. The responses span across varieties of disciplines including computer science and engineering (70%), electrical engineering (13%), material sciences (2%), physical sciences (1%), and other fields (14%). A report on the outcome of this survey is currently under development and will be published in early 2022.
We expect these efforts can help us understand how best to invest in research that navigates these technology trends for societal and economic benefit, for years to come.
I hope you enjoy our November newsletter, which highlights the Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace program and recent awards that address cybersecurity and privacy challenges.
NSF Assistant Director for CISE
CISE is looking to fill the following vacancies:
Deputy Office Director in the Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure. Deadline: December 4, 2021
News & Announcements
Photo Credit : U.S. National Science Foundation
The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) has long invested in aspects of computing and communications security through the Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) program, which takes an interdisciplinary, comprehensive and holistic approach to cybersecurity research and education.
Photo Credit : Linus Health
CISE-funded researchers won Time Magazine’s The Best Inventions of 2021 in the Medical Care category for their work on DCTclokTM, a new test that can be completed in less than three minutes for simple and accurate detection of cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.
PAWR Program Announces Launch of AERPAW Testbed for Advanced Research on Wireless Connectivity and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
Photo Credit : AERPAW
Located in Raleigh, North Carolina, the AERPAW – or Aerial Experimentation and Research Platform for Advanced Wireless – testbed is designed to accelerate the integration of UAS into the national airspace and enable research into advanced wireless technologies supporting dynamic, mobile, and airborne networks.
Photo Credit : Cornell University
Sometimes to create a breakthrough, researchers need a problem complex enough to demand a fundamentally new approach. A team led by Christopher Batten, associate professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, found a truly big one: graph-based pangenomics.
NSF-funded researchers are exploring how these mysterious plumes are created. Learn more with the NSF Discovery Files
Photo Credit : U.S. National Science Foundation
Epic weather events are often caused by unique atmospheric conditions that form towering plumes of ice and water vapor above severe thunderstorms. NSF-funded researchers are exploring how these mysterious plumes are created and their connection to the world’s most damaging tornadoes.
November 18, 2021
- Future Directions for Communication Engineers
- 2021 NSF Workshop Series on Sustainable Computing (SUSCOMP)
- Working Sessions for Departmental Broadening Participation in Computing Plans
December 7-8, 2021
December 9, 2021
In today’s increasingly networked, distributed, and asynchronous world, cybersecurity involves hardware, software, networks, data, people, and integration with the physical world. Society’s overwhelming reliance on this complex cyberspace, however, has exposed its fragility and vulnerabilities that defy existing cyber-defense measures; corporations, agencies, national infrastructure, and individuals continue to suffer cyber-attacks.
Achieving cybersecurity while protecting the privacy of individuals requires not only understanding the technical weaknesses of the components of a system and how they can be addressed, but also understanding the human-centric aspects of secure cyber systems. Examining the fundamentals of security and privacy from many different perspectives can, in turn, lead to fundamentally new and holistic ways to design, build, and operate cyber systems, protect existing infrastructure, and motivate and educate individuals about security and privacy.
The goals of the SaTC program are aligned with the National Science and Technology Council’s (NSTC) Federal Cybersecurity Research and Development Strategic Plan (RDSP) and National Privacy Research Strategy (NPRS) to protect and preserve the growing social and economic benefits of cyber systems while ensuring security and privacy. The multi-disciplinary SaTC program seeks fundamentally new, principled approaches to protect and defend cyberspace against harmful actions by determined adversaries, and to assess their effectiveness. The SaTC program also seeks to explore innovative approaches for growing a capable, next-generation cyber workforce, and accelerating the transition of successful cybersecurity research into practice and useful products and services.
The SaTC program welcomes proposals that address cybersecurity and privacy, drawing on expertise in one or more of these areas: computing, communication, and information sciences; engineering; education; mathematics; statistics; and social, behavioral, and economic sciences. To learn more about SaTC, visit the program webpage here.
The ‘SaTC Deeper Dive’ section below highlights a few previous awardees of SaTC funding.
SaTC Deeper Dive
Source: U.S. National Science Foundation
The problem of insider threat detection has been studied for a long time, but the traditional machine learning-based detection approaches, which heavily rely on feature engineering, do not accurately capture the behavior difference between malicious insiders and normal users due to the dynamic and adaptive nature of insider threats.
This project – led by Utah State University – develops a deep learning framework for insider threat detection by developing self-supervised user behavior representation learning, few-shot learning for malicious session detection, reinforcement learning for adaptive behavior detection, and counterfactual explanations based malicious activity detection. The project’s broader significance and importance are to provide a novel toolset for detecting and mitigating internal security risks, which can benefit industries and governments, which are frequently under attack from malicious insiders.
Removing the Human Element: Securing Deployed Cryptographic Systems through the use of Cryptographic Automation
Source: U.S. National Science Foundation
Cryptography has shown itself to be invaluable in everyday life, especially as more and more devices and interactions are moving to the online world. Even though users — often unknowingly– rely on the security of systems that use cryptography, recent years have seen a number of serious vulnerabilities in the cryptographic pieces of systems, some with large consequences. These have been caused by various problems, including poor designs, difficulty of implementation, and use — or misuse — of (in)secure primitives. Cryptographic automation is a relatively new and promising area that is designed to help solve many of these issues and make developing secure systems far easier and less error-prone, even for a non-expert.
This project – led by Purdue University – focuses on removing the human element from the deployment and analysis of cryptographic systems. Using cryptographic automation and the development of tools, the project aims to make it easier to design and securely deploy new and complex cryptographic systems while preventing insecurities from occurring in such systems.
Source: U.S. National Science Foundation
Biometrics technology related to recognizing the identities and traits of people has been widely adopted in intelligence gathering, law enforcement, and consumer applications. Recent studies suggest that face-based biometric technology does not work equitably across demographic variations. There is a pressing need to investigate fair biometric solutions and modalities toward accurate, fair, and trustworthy technology for enhanced security and public safety. Ocular biometrics, which consists of regions in and around the eyes, offers an alternate solution to face biometrics due to its accuracy and privacy.
This project – led by Wichita State University – investigates the fairness of ocular biometric technology and develops solutions to mitigate unequal accuracy gaps across demographic variations. This project spans a highly multidisciplinary research area, which integrates engineering, statistics, mathematics, computing, and policy. The findings of this project are used to update the engineering curricula, including computer vision, image analysis, machine learning, deep learning, and biometrics.
Faces of CISE: Josiah Hester, Ph.D.
Dr. Josiah Hester
Assistant Professor of Computer Engineering
McCormick School of Engineering
Photo Credit: Tiani K. Hester at TKI Photography
Josiah Hester, Ph.D., is the Breed Chair of Design and assistant professor of Computer Engineering at Northwestern University, who currently works toward a sustainable future for computing influenced by his Native Hawaiian (Kanaka maoli) heritage. In 2021, Dr. Hester received many accolades and awards including American Indian Science and Engineering Society’s Most Promising Engineer or Scientist Award and 3M Non-tenured Faculty Award. He was also named one of Popular Science’s Brilliant Ten.
Dr. Hester research focuses on mobile and ubiquitous computing systems, wireless sensor networks, and embedded systems. He designs battery-free, energy harvesting devices resilient to frequent and unpredictable power failures caused by the intermittent availability of ambient power sources such as solar, thermal, and RF. The past decade has seen a push for building battery-free, energy harvesting smart devices for passive, invisible, and long-term sensing tasks.
Supported by multiple NSF awards, Dr. Hester has conducted foundational work on circuits and computer architecture for timekeeping through power failures, runtime systems and programming models for intermittent computing, and proof-of-concepts demonstrating the capability of battery-free smart devices. These include the first mobile video game console (a Battery-free Game Boy) that runs off solar power and mechanical harvesting from button presses. These works have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, BBC, Popular Science, Communications of the ACM, the Guinness Book of World Records, and many other media.
Recently, Dr. Hester and his team have been working on smart face masks, supported by an NSF-CISE RAPIDS grant. Hester’s team has built an energy-efficient hardware platform that allows face masks to be retrofitted to gather critical health and safety metrics on-device like heart rate, respiratory rate, and wear time. Energy is harvested from breathing, motion, or sunlight to extend the device’s lifetime. This technology will enable researchers in mobile computing to explore and support critical healthcare applications, taking advantage of the now-ubiquitous form factor of face masks.
Division of Computer and Network Systems (CNS)
CNS invents new computing and networking technologies, while ensuring their security and privacy, and finds new ways to make use of current technologies.
Division of Computing and Communication Foundations (CCF)
CCF advances computing and communication theory, algorithms for computer and computational sciences and architecture and the design of computers and software.
Division of Information and Intelligent Systems (IIS)
IIS studies the interrelated roles of people, computers and information to increase the ability to understand data, as well as mimic the hallmarks of intelligence in computational systems.
Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (OAC)
OAC supports and coordinates the development, acquisition and provision of state-of-the-art cyberinfrastructure resources, tools and services essential to the advancement and transformation of Science and engineering.
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