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Past Highlights

November 2003





Taking Cues from Mother Nature to Foil Cyber Attacks


Computer chips over an image of a circuit boardTaking their cues from Mother Nature and biodiversity, computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of New Mexico are collaborating on a National Science Foundation-supported project to study "cyber-diversity" for computer systems as a way to fend off malicious viruses, worms and other cyber attacks. In nature, diseases are most devastating when an infection-causing organism encounters a "monoculture," a vast swath of genetically similar individuals, each susceptible to the organism's method of attack. In the same vein, computer viruses and worms exploit the same flaw on every computer running the same software. "We are looking at computers the way a physician would look at genetically related patients, each susceptible to the same disorder," said Mike Reiter, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and computer science at Carnegie Mellon and associate director of CyLab, a Carnegie Mellon initiative focused on advancing cybersecurity technology and education. "In a more diverse population, one member may fall victim to a pathogen or disorder, while another might not have the same vulnerability."
Image: iStockPro
Read the full story . ... Posted 11/25/03


Now Available: FY 2004 Guide to Programs


Blue Swirl fractal on FY 2004 Guide home pageThe new edition of the Guide to Programs is available on the web at Published each fiscal year, the Guide is a compilation of funding opportunities offered by NSF for research and education in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology. The Guide includes broad, general descriptions of programs and activities for each NSF directorate. It also offers links to other information sources, including NSF directorate home pages; to related publications such as program announcements and solicitations that contain additional proposal or eligibility information; and to the E-Bulletin for deadline and target date information. NSF funds research and education in most fields of science and engineering, and it accounts for about one-fourth of all Federal support to academic institutions for basic research.
Fractal image courtesy: Frances Griffin
View the Guide to Programs (NSF 04-009) . ... Posted 11/21/03


National Science Board, Citing Census Stats on Foreign-Born Scientists and Engineers, Releases Workforce Report with New Sense of Urgency


NSB report cover The Science and Engineering Workforce Realizing America's PotentialThe National Science Board on Nov. 19 released a report on the U.S. science and engineering (S&E) workforce following a three-year study, saying that new figures on the proportion of foreign-born workers in science and technology occupations make it crucial for the government to "act now" to meet future needs in science, engineering and technology fields. NSB members briefing media at the National Press Club said that a sampling from 2000 census figures indicates a larger than previously known percentage of degree-holding, foreign-born professionals working in the United States in science and engineering occupations. The NSB presenters also revealed a downturn in the number of H1-B visas issued to foreign-born workers in science and technology.
Image: National Science Foundation
Read the full story. ... Posted 11/19/03


Volcanic Eruptions May Affect El Niño Onset


Photo of Mt. Saint Helens eruptingA new study by scientists at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, suggests that explosive volcanic eruptions in the tropics may increase the probability of an El Niño event occurring during the winter following the eruption. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation. "The El Niño-Southern Oscillation is the dominant mode of interannual climate variability on the planet," says NCAR scientist Caspar Ammann. "When thinking about long-term climate, we must ask whether this system itself undergoes changes, perhaps in response to changes in radiative forcing or in the background climate itself. Our findings, based on two reconstructions, suggest that it indeed might."
Image courtesy: Austin Post/U.S. Geological Survey
Read the full story. ... Posted 11/19/03


NSF Support Key to Some of the World's Fastest Supercomputers


NCSA Tungsten ClusterVirginia Tech's X Cluster and the Tungsten Linux cluster at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are the world's third and fourth most powerful supercomputers, according to the 22nd edition of the Top500 List, a ranking compiled every 6 months of the fastest supercomputers. The list was released on Nov. 16 at SC2003, an annual supercomputing conference held this year in Phoenix, Ariz.
Photo courtesy: National Center for Supercomputing Applications
Read the full story. ... Posted 11/18/03


NSF Cyberinfrastructure Previews at Supercomputing Conference Merge Fast Networks, High-End Computing and Big Data


SC2003 logo FirebirdOrganizations and researchers supported by the National Science Foundation will showcase the emerging capabilities of the nation's cyberinfrastructure at SC2003, the annual conference of the high-end information technology community, during the meeting exhibition November 17-20, in Phoenix, Ariz. Among the highlights: The NSF-supported Extensible Terascale Facility, better known as the TeraGrid, will be featured in the exhibits of all nine TeraGrid partner sites. The partners will demonstrate TeraGrid capabilities in bioinformatics applications, atmospheric forecasting, large-scale and long-distance data movement and grid application development.
Image courtesy: SC2003
Read the full story. ... Posted 11/13/03


President Bush Honors U.S. Science and Technology Leaders With National Medals in a White House Ceremony


Photo of the Medal of Science laureate James E. Darnell and President BushEight of the nation's leading fundamental research scientists and engineers, and another eight individuals and one corporation considered leaders in technology and innovation for the nation, received presidential medals at the White House on Nov. 6. President Bush bestowed the 2002 National Medals of Science and National Medals of Technology at a White House ceremony.

Read about the 2002 National Medal of Science Awardees. ... Posted 11/6/03


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