3.4.11 – Cyberinfrastructure Framework for 21st Century Science and Engineering

Speaker: Alan Blatecky, Acting Director NSF Office of Cyberinfrastructure and RENCI Chief Scientist for R&D Initiatives.


Every discipline of science and engineering is being transformed by the widespread use and deployment of cyberinfrastructure.  Data volumes, computing power, software and network capacities are all on exponential growth paths, and research collaborations are expanding dramatically.  All forms of cyberinfrastructure, along with multiple communities spanning international domains, must be brought together to address today’s and tomorrow’s complex grand challenge problems to advance science and engineering, to promote the development of a global workforce, and to address important societal needs.  All of these developments are part of an innovative approach to scientific discovery in which advanced computational facilities (e.g., data systems, computing hardware, high speed networks) and instruments (e.g., telescopes, sensors, mobile and embedded devices, sequencers) are coupled to the development of quantifiable models, algorithms, software and other tools and services, as well as people and organizations, to provide unique insights into multifaceted problems in science and engineering.

This dramatic change in the culture and conduct of science requires a bold national scale strategy to develop an integrated, comprehensive, secure and sustainable cyberinfrastructure that supports and accelerates activities in computational and data-enabled science and engineering needed for 21st century research.   This new NSF effort is called CIF21 (Cyberinfrastructure Framework for 21st Century Science and Engineering).