Science Policy & Funding
The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) has announced a new funding opportunity in applied mathematics entitled “Mathematical and Statistical Methodologies for DOE Data-Centric Science at Scale”. This announcement is open to universities, industry, non- profit organizations, and Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs), including the DOE National Laboratories.
The university/industry announcement is here. Under search criteria, select “reference number” and enter “DE-FOA-0000918”
The DOE National Laboratory announcement, LAB 13-918, is here. Scroll down and look under “Program Announcements to DOE Labs” on the right sidebar.
Pre-applications are required and are due by June 3, 2013, 5:00 p.m. ET.
The increasingly complex scientific and social problems faced by the nation demand innovative solutions and require a workforce that is trained to meet these challenges. To best position mathematics and statistics departments and students to meet 21st century needs, the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) and the American Statistical Association (ASA), in partnership with the American Mathematical Society (AMS) and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematicians (SIAM), are bringing together thought leaders to develop strategies for future investments in training at the graduate and undergraduate levels. The INGenIOuS project (Investing in the Next Generation through Innovative and Outstanding Strategies), will establish a community of stakeholders from academic institutions, professional societies, government agencies, and industry. The INGenIOuS project is funded by the National Science Foundation and will be facilitated in collaboration with a team from Knowinnovation. Read the rest of this entry »
Two NSF-supported advanced computational infrastructure facilities have been formally declared open for use by the science and engineering research community at-large.
Stampede at the University of Texas at Austin’s Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) was dedicated on Wednesday, March 27, 2013, and Blue Waters at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was dedicated on Thursday, March 28, 2013. Read more about these dedications from the NSF’s releases at the above links.
These two facilities are part of NSF’s comprehensive strategy for advanced computing infrastructure to enable transformative foundational research in computational and data-intensive science and engineering across all disciplines.
On March 21, the U.S. House of Representatives approved H.R. 933, the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2013. The bill completes the fiscal year (FY) 2013 appropriations process and will continue operations of the entire federal government through September 30, 2013. The final bill lives within the overall discretionary spending cap of $1.043 trillion approved in the Budget Control Act of 2011 (debt-limit agreement). However, in order to stay within this overall level of spending, some funding in the bill is subject to across-the-board reductions of 2.5 percent or less.
The National Science Foundation received strong bipartisan support–the NSF will be supported at the FY 2013 requested level for all accounts except the Education and Human Resources (EHR) account, which will receive $20 million above the FY 2013 request. Despite the strong bipartisan support for NSF, social science remains under attack as an amendment to cut the Political Science Program within the Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE) was introduced. However, a compromise of the amendment was incorporated into the bill, preventing NSF from supporting political science grants unless they are deemed “as promoting national security or the economic interests of the United States.” Read the rest of this entry »
The Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) encourages Principal Investigators (PIs) of current MPS awards to support one (additional) Ph.D. student per award, through a partnership with the Division of Human Resource Development (HRD) in the Directorate of Education and Human Resources (EHR).
This opportunity is available to PIs with current MPS research awards whose institutions and/or academic units are either currently participating in the EHR-sponsored “Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate” (AGEP) program; or whose institutions and/or academic units have participated in the AGEP program in the past (AGEP Legacy institutions). Such PIs may apply to MPS for a supplement to defray the costs for: stipend, tuition, benefits and indirect costs for a graduate research student working on the MPS-funded research. For the purposes of this Dear Colleague Letter, this funding opportunity will be abbreviated to: AGEP – Graduate Research Supplements (AGEP-GRS). Read the rest of this entry »
At the request of the MPS Advisory Committee to SIAM and the other societies in mathematical sciences (including statistics), SIAM put out a call to US-based SIAM members seeking comments related to support data science, including several specific questions that had been formulated by the committee.
The SIAM responses were summarized in a cover letter, which was sent along with the complete responses to the MPSAC where they will become part of the formal record of the committee. The summary, written by Past President Doug Arnold, concludes that:
“The most persistent theme is an emphasis on the highly interdisciplinary nature of data science. Several responses suggest offering grants that require the formation of teams involving mathematicians, statisticians, computational scientists, biologists, etc. Several emphasize the importance of better integration of computing and statistics. Various conclusions concerning the support of data science at NSF are drawn from this….”
The cover letter and full report may be found here.
SIAM in DC
· SIAM Action Alert: Call and Urge Your Senators and Representative to Support Balanced Deficit Reduction and Protect Research Funding
· SIAM Committee on Science Policy Holds Fall Meeting in Washington, DC
· Sequestration: SIAM Signs onto Community Letter to the Administration and Congressional Leadership to Protect Research Funding in Fiscal Cliff Negotiations
· NSF: Subra Suresh Responds to SIAM Letter on OCI/CISE Merger Read the rest of this entry »
A new report from the Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences (CBMS), titled, The Mathematical Education of Teachers II (MET II), highlights the knowledge and skills that mathematics teachers need to have and how mathematicians can aid teachers in acquiring this knowledge. The report, which updates The Mathematical Education of Teachers (published in 2001), includes current research and experience and extends its scope from preparation to professional development in the context of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics.
The report focuses on intellectual substance in school mathematics at every grade level and emphasizes that proficiency with school mathematics is necessary but not sufficient mathematical knowledge for a teacher. One of the central themes of the report is that mathematical knowledge needed for teaching differs from that of other professions, and should grow throughout a teacher’s career.
The audience for the report include all who teach and are responsible for mathematics education of teachers–including mathematicians, statisticians, mathematics educators, department chairs, educational administrators, and policy-makers at the national, state, school-district, and collegiate levels.
The Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences (CBMS) is an umbrella organization consisting of sixteen professional societies whose primary objective is the increase or diffusion of knowledge in one or more of the mathematical sciences.
Earlier this summer, when it was revealed that officials from the General Services Administration, the agency that oversees the business of the federal government with a $26.3 billion annual budget, spent more than a quarter-million on a lavish, one-day awards ceremony, the Obama administration tightened budgets and placed restrictions on the amount of money that can be spent on similar events.
This, however, has caused constraints in the science and technology community, as restrictions were also imposed on conference and travel expenses for representatives from government agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Energy, NASA, and the Defense Department, including government labs. This impedes scientific discussion and collaboration that routinely occurs at scientific and technical meetings between government agencies and researchers from private organizations and institutes.
On September 10, SIAM along with the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the Computing Research Association (CRA), and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, Inc. – USA (IEEE-USA) sent a joint letter expressing concern over new restrictions on conferences and travel expenses in three pieces of legislation that are currently under consideration by Congress (GSA Act, DATA Act, and the 21st Century Postal Reform Act). The letter was sent to House and Senate leadership, Sponsors of the bills (Reps. Joe Walsh and Darrell Issa, Senator Lieberman), Chair and Ranking Member of the committees of jurisdiction (House Oversight Committee, Reps. Issa and Cummings; Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Senators Lieberman and Collins), White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director John Holdren, and White House Office of Management and Budget Director Jeffrey Zients. The letter requests exemptions for any new restrictions for recognized scientific, technical, and educational meetings from the proposed limits.
The New York Times reported on the joint letter and the concerns expressed by the scientific community this week.
A copy of SIAM’s joint letter to Dr. Holdren can be found here.
SIAM in DC
SIAM Sends Letter Expressing Concerns with CISE/OCI Merger
SIAM Signs on to Joint Society Letter Expressing Concerns with Restrictions on Scientific Conference Expenses
Notable Funding Opportunities
NASA: NASA Announces Space Technology Graduate Research Fellowships
NSF Announces New Interdisciplinary Hazards Research Program Along with Dear Colleague Letter Seeking Involvement from Mathematicians and Statisticians
DOD: Office of Naval Research Releases Two FY 2013 Broad Agency Announcements
Sustainability: NSF Announces New Cyber-Enabled Sustainability Program
Federal Agency News
NSF: Fleming Crim Selected as Next Assistant Director for Mathematical and Physical Sciences
OMB: OMB Issues Sequester Report Outlining Potential Across-the-Board Spending Reductions in Early January 2013
Innovation: National Academies Releases Report on U.S. Innovation Policy for the Global Economy
Grand Challenges: DARPA and OSTP Release Request for Information on Grand Challenges of the 21st Century Read the rest of this entry »