Skip to Main Content
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Computer Science and Telecommunications Board
Computer Science and Telecommunications Board
Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences
Current Projects
Completed Projects
Publications by Year
Publications by Topic
News & Events
Cyber Forum
CSTB's Mission
CSTB's Impact
Board Membership

Contact Us
500 Fifth Street NW
Washington, DC
Phone: (202) 334-2605
Fax: (202) 334-2318

Follow CSTB on
Facebook and Twitter


CSTB is a part of the
Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences.

Sign up for the DEPS newsletter.



Information Technology Research in a Competitive World

Audio recording of public briefing (56 minutes; Requires RealPlayer)

 Making IT Better: Expanding Information Technology Research to Meet Society's Needs
This book identifies research areas that are in need of greater attention if the nation is to continue to enjoy the benefits of its leadership in the development and deployment of IT systems.


Project Scope

Ongoing efforts to boost federal funding for information technology (IT) research and development (R&D) reflect a growing consensus on the importance of IT in supporting a broadening array of societal functions. But as IT is increasingly integrated into business, government, and personal applications, many new questions must be answered: Are current IT R&D programs sufficient in scale and scope to support society's increasing reliance on IT systems? Do additional areas of IT research need greater attention? Are existing mechanisms for supporting and conducting IT research well-suited to the kinds of IT research that will be needed in the future? If not, what new organizational structures may be needed?

To help answer these questions and help guide future endeavors, the National Science Foundation (NSF) asked CSTB to conduct a study of IT research that would examine ongoing trends in industry and academic research, determine the possible effects of those trends on the well-being of the nation's IT industry and the nation as a whole, and explore options for strengthening the research base. Of particular interest is support for research that advances fundamental understanding of capabilities, architectural designs, and principles that can have a pervasive influence on innovation throughout the IT industry (i.e., "fundamental research") rather than advancing a single product, process, or service (i.e., "applied research"). The project examines promising approaches to filling in gaps in the nation's IT research portfolio and the types of institutional approaches might be the focus of experimentation.

Committee Members

Samuel H. Fuller, Co-Chair
Analog Devices Inc.

David G. Messerschmitt, Co-Chair
University of California at Berkeley

Paul Baran
Com21 Inc.

Linda R. Cohen
University of California at Irvine

John A. Copeland
Georgia Institute of Technology

Albert M. Erisman
The Boeing Company

Daniel T. Ling
Microsoft Corporation

Robert L. Martin
Lucent Technologies Inc.
Joel Moses
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Norine E. Noonan
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

David A. Patterson
University of California at Berkeley

Stewart Personick
Drexel University

Robert Sproull
Sun Microsystems Laboratory

Mark Weiser (deceased)
Xerox Palo Alto Research Center

Patrick Windham
Windham Consulting

Irving Wladawsky-Berger
IBM Corporation



Jerry R. Sheehan, Senior Program Officer (Study Director)
Lisa L. Shum, Project Assistant (through August 1998)
D.C. Drake, Project Assistant (after August 1999)
Marjory S. Blumenthal, Director


National Science Foundation