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Fundamentals of Computer Science: Challenges and Opportunities


 Computer Science: Reflections on the Field, Reflections from the Field

This report provides a concise characterization of key ideas that lie at the core of computer science (CS) research together with two dozen essays on diverse aspects of CS research and what motivates and excites CS researchers

Project Scope

This project will explore the fundamental challenges in computer science, illuminating the kinds of research, their breadth and depth, associated with the vitality of the field. The project will emphasize, by illustrating those challenges in accessible form, the opportunities in computer science, highlighting key hard problems for future research in the field. It is intended to motivate more research among computer scientists (current and potential) and to generate better understanding of computer science research opportunities among the scientific community at large and policy makers. Broad input and discussion will feed a process of expert focusing and articulation of the intellectual core of computer science. The project will culminate in a detailed report and a popularly accessible summary statement.

Input from the community on the issues being addressed in this project is welcome and encouraged. Please send your comments and suggestions to jeisenbe at and lmillett at Input received will be shared with the committee.

Committee Members

Mary Shaw, Chair
Carnegie Mellon University

Alfred V. Aho
Lucent Technologies (Bell Labs)

Charles Bennett
IBM Research

Alan Biermann
Duke University

Edward W. Felten
Princeton University

James D. Foley
Georgia Institute of Technology

Mark D. Hill
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Jon M. Kleinberg
Cornell University

Daphne Koller
Stanford University


Jon Eisenberg, Senior Program Officer (Study Director)
Lynette I. Millett, Program Officer (Study Co-Director)
D.C. Drake, Senior Project Assistant
Charles N. Brownstein,  Director


National Science Foundation


James R. Larus
Microsoft Research

Tom M. Mitchell
Carnegie Mellon University (on leave to WhizBang! Labs)

Christos H. Papadimitriou
University of California at Berkeley

Larry L. Peterson
Princeton University

Madhu Sudan
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Kevin J. Sullivan
University of Virginia

Jeffrey D. Ullman
Stanford University