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book coverFuture Directions for NSF Advanced Computing Infrastructure to Support U.S. Science and Engineering in 2017-2020Interim Report   (CSTB)
Released 2014-11-10

Advanced computing capabilities are used to tackle a rapidly growing range of challenging science and engineering problems, many of which are compute- and data-intensive as well. Demand for advanced computing has been growing for all types and capabilities of systems, from large numbers of single commodity nodes to jobs requiring thousands of cores; for systems with fast interconnects; for systems with excellent data handling and management; and for an increasingly diverse set of applications that includes data analytics as well as modeling and simulation. Since the advent of its supercomputing centers, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has provided its researchers with state-of-the-art computing systems. The growth of new models of computing, including cloud computing and publically available by privately held data repositories, opens up new possibilities for NSF. In order to better understand the expanding and diverse requirements of the science and engineering community and the importance of a new broader range of advanced computing infrastructure, the NSF requested that the National Research Council carry out a study examining anticipated priorities and associated tradeoffs for advanced computing. This interim report identifies key issues and discusses potential options. Future Directions for NSF Advanced Computing Infrastructure to Support U.S. Science and Engineering in 2017-2020 examines priorities and associated tradeoffs for advanced computing in support of NSF-sponsored science and engineering research. This report is an initial compilation of issues to be considered as future NSF strategy, budgets, and programs for advanced computing are developed. Included in the report are questions on which the authoring committee invites comment. We invite your feedback on this report, and more generally, your comments on the future of advanced computing at NSF.

book coverAt the Nexus of Cybersecurity and Public PolicySome Basic Concepts and Issues   (CSTB)
Released 2014-06-16

We depend on information and information technology (IT) to make many of our day-to-day tasks easier and more convenient. Computers play key roles in transportation, health care, banking, and energy. Businesses use IT for payroll and accounting, inventory and sales, and research and development. Modern military forces use weapons that are increasingly coordinated through computer-based networks. Cybersecurity is vital to protecting all of these functions. Cyberspace is vulnerable to a broad spectrum of hackers, criminals, terrorists, and state actors. Working in cyberspace, these malevolent actors can steal money, intellectual property, or classified information; impersonate law-abiding parties for their own purposes; damage important data; or deny the availability of normally accessible services. Cybersecurity issues arise because of three factors taken together - the presence of malevolent actors in cyberspace, societal reliance on IT for many important functions, and the presence of vulnerabilities in IT systems. What steps can policy makers take to protect our government, businesses, and the public from those would take advantage of system vulnerabilities? At the Nexus of Cybersecurity and Public Policy offers a wealth of information on practical measures, technical and nontechnical challenges, and potential policy responses. According to this report, cybersecurity is a never-ending battle; threats will evolve as adversaries adopt new tools and techniques to compromise security. Cybersecurity is therefore an ongoing process that needs to evolve as new threats are identified. At the Nexus of Cybersecurity and Public Policy is a call for action to make cybersecurity a public safety priority. For a number of years, the cybersecurity issue has received increasing public attention; however, most policy focus has been on the short-term costs of improving systems. In its explanation of the fundamentals of cybersecurity and the discussion of potential policy responses, this book will be a resource for policy makers, cybersecurity and IT professionals, and anyone who wants to understand threats to cyberspace.

Watch the video "Six Things to Know About Cybersecurity" | Report in Brief (PDF)
book coverInterim Report of a Review of the Next Generation Air Transportation System Enterprise Architecture, Software, Safety, and Human Factors   (CSTB)
Released 2014-04-09

The Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) is an effort begun in 2003 whose goals include improving the capacity, efficiency, and safety of the U.S. air transportation system and also enabling reduction in noise, pollution, and energy use. The Federal Aviation Administration and various stakeholders, including equipment providers, airlines, and contractors, are currently implementing both near-term and midterm capabilities of this effort. Interim Report of a Review of the Next Generation Air Transportation System Enterprise Architecture, Software, Safety, and Human Factors is part of a larger project to examine NextGen's enterprise architecture and related issues. This interim report provides an initial assessment focusing on challenges of system architecture for software-intensive systems.