Monday, March 30, 2015

Michael's TechCrunch

From New York to London,
From Chicago to Rome,
Michael's TechCrunch is hot.
Sifan's eyes turn red at Boston,
Pat's face becomes long at Upenn,
all because TechCrunch inspires Gay Washington.
Sean turns his page at Illinois,
Austin detaches to fly southwest without other choice,
Glad that Daniel stays at Dutch...
White, Black, Yellow, Gray, Violet, and Brown,
Clove network shoots projects like popcorn,
a Propa-cious show,
a high note on Michael Arrington.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

the national science foundation

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is a United States government agency that supports fundamental research and education in all the non-medical fields of science and engineering. Its medical counterpart is the National Institutes of Health. With an annual budget of about US$7.0 billion (fiscal year 2012), the NSF funds approximately 20% of all federally supported basic research conducted by the United States' colleges and universities.[1] In some fields, such as mathematics, computer science, economics and the social sciences, the NSF is the major source of federal backing.
The NSF's director, deputy director, and the 24 members of the National Science Board (NSB)[2] are appointed by the President of the United States, and confirmed by the United States Senate. The director and deputy director are responsible for administration, planning, budgeting and day-to-day operations of the foundation, while the NSB meets six times a year to establish its overall policies. The current NSF director, confirmed in March 2014, is France A. Córdova, former president of Purdue University.[3]

Grants and the merit review process

The NSF seeks to fulfill its mission chiefly by issuing competitive, limited-term grants in response to specific proposals from the research community. The NSF also makes some contracts. Some proposals are solicited, and some are not; the NSF funds both kinds. The NSF does not operate its own laboratories, unlike other federal research agencies notable examples being the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The NSF receives about 40,000 such proposals each year, and funds about 10,000 of them.[4] Those funded are typically projects that are ranked highest in a 'merit review' process, introduced in 1997.[5] Reviews are carried out by panels of independent scientists, engineers and educators who are experts in the relevant fields of study, and who are selected by the NSF with particular attention to avoiding conflicts of interest. For example, reviewers cannot work at the NSF itself, nor for the institution that employs the proposing researchers. All proposal evaluations are confidential: the proposing researchers may see them, but they do not see the names of the reviewers.
The first merit review criterion is 'intellectual merit', the second is that of the 'broader societal impact' of the proposed research; the latter has been met with opposition from the scientific and policy communities since its inception in 1997.[6] In June 2010, the National Science Board (NSB), the governing body for NSF and science advisers to both the legislative and executive branches, convened a 'Task Force on Merit Review' to determine "how well the current Merit Review criteria used by the NSF to evaluate all proposals were serving the agency."[7] The task force reinforced its support for both criteria as appropriate for the goals and aims of the agency, and published a revised version of the merit review criteria in its 2012 report, to clarify and improve the function of the criteria. However, both criteria already had been mandated for all NSF merit review procedures in the 2010 re-authorization of the America COMPETES Act.[8] The Act also includes an emphasis on promoting potentially transformative research, a phrase which has been included in the most recent incarnation of the 'merit review' criteria.[9]
Most NSF grants go to individuals or small groups of investigators, who carry out research at their home campuses. Other grants provide funding for mid-scale research centers, instruments and facilities that serve researchers from many institutions. Still others fund national-scale facilities that are shared by the research community as a whole. Examples of national facilities include the NSF’s national observatories, with their giant optical and radio telescopes; its Antarctic research sites; its high-end computer facilities and ultra-high-speed network connections; the ships and submersibles used for ocean research; and its gravitational wave observatories.
In addition to researchers and research facilities, NSF grants also support science, engineering and mathematics education from pre-K through graduate school. Undergraduates can receive funding through Research Experiences for Undergraduates summer programs.[10] Graduate students are supported through Integrative Graduate Education Research Traineeships (IGERT)[11] and Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) programs[12] and through the Graduate Research Fellowships, NSF-GRF. K-12 and some community college instructors are eligible to participate in compensated Research Experiences for Teachers programs.[13] In addition, an early career-development program (CAREER) supports teacher-scholars that most effectively integrate research and education within the mission of their organization, as a foundation for a lifetime of integrated contributions.[14]

Scope and organization

National Science Foundation building
The NSF's workforce numbers about 1,700, nearly all working at its Arlington, Virginia, headquarters. That includes about 1,200 career employees, 150 scientists from research institutions on temporary duty, 200 contract workers, and the staff of the National Science Board office and the Office of the Inspector General, which examines the foundation's work and reports to the NSB and Congress.
In June 2013 it was announced that the NSF would relocate its headquarters to Alexandria, VA in 2017.

Research directorates

The NSF organizes its research and education support through seven directorates, each encompassing several disciplines:

Sunday, March 1, 2015

let it go

opinions bestow
It's an unexpected blow,
weeds grow,
a spring time garden show.
Thoughts have no control,
The temperature is zero below,
i let it go,
the way bitter medicine cures a soul.
let it go,
let it fall,
let it flow,
let flaws crow.