Innovation in INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

Computer Science and Telecommunications Board

Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, D.C.
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Innovation in INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY Innovation in INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY Computer Science and Telecommunications Board Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu

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Innovation in INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The projects that are the basis of this synthesis report were approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committees responsible for the final reports of these projects and of the board that produced this synthesis were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. Support for this project was provided by the core sponsors of the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB), which include the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Cisco Systems, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Department of Energy, Intel Corporation, Microsoft Research, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Institute of Standards and Technology, National Library of Medicine, National Science Foundation, and Office of Naval Research. Sponsors enable but do not influence CSTB's work. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provide support for CSTB. International Standard Book Number 0-309-08980-8 (book) International Standard Book Number 0-309-52622-1 (PDF) Copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055, (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 in the Washington metropolitan area; Internet: http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2003 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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Innovation in INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org

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Innovation in INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY COMPUTER SCIENCE AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS BOARD DAVID D. CLARK, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Chair ERIC BENHAMOU, 3Com Corporation DAVID BORTH, Motorola Labs JAMES CHIDDIX,** AOL Time Warner JOHN M. CIOFFI, Stanford University ELAINE COHEN, University of Utah W. BRUCE CROFT, University of Massachusetts at Amherst THOMAS E. DARCIE, University of Victoria JOSEPH FARRELL, University of California at Berkeley JOAN FEIGENBAUM, Yale University HECTOR GARCIA-MOLINA, Stanford University SUSAN L. GRAHAM,* University of California at Berkeley JUDITH HEMPEL,* University of California at San Francisco JEFFREY M. JAFFE,** Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies ANNA KARLIN,** University of Washington WENDY KELLOGG, IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center BUTLER W. LAMPSON, Microsoft Corporation EDWARD D. LAZOWSKA,** University of Washington DAVID LIDDLE, U.S. Venture Partners TOM M. MITCHELL, Carnegie Mellon University DONALD NORMAN,** Nielsen Norman Group DAVID A. PATTERSON, University of California at Berkeley HENRY (HANK) PERRITT, Chicago-Kent College of Law DANIEL PIKE, GCI Cable and Entertainment ERIC SCHMIDT, Google Inc. FRED SCHNEIDER, Cornell University BURTON SMITH, Cray Inc. TERRY SMITH,** University of California at Santa Barbara LEE SPROULL, New York University WILLIAM STEAD, Vanderbilt University JEANNETTE M. WING, Carnegie Mellon University MARJORY S. BLUMENTHAL, Director KRISTEN BATCH, Research Associate JENNIFER BISHOP, Senior Project Assistant JANET BRISCOE, Administrative Officer DAVID DRAKE, Senior Project Assistant * Term ended June 30, 2001. ** Term ended June 30, 2002.

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Innovation in INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY JON EISENBERG, Senior Program Officer RENEE HAWKINS, Financial Associate PHIL HILLIARD, Research Associate MARGARET MARSH HUYNH, Senior Project Assistant ALAN S. INOUYE, Senior Program Officer HERBERT S. LIN, Senior Scientist LYNETTE I. MILLETT, Program Officer DAVID PADGHAM, Research Associate CYNTHIA A. PATTERSON, Program Officer JANICE SABUDA, Senior Project Assistant BRANDYE WILLIAMS, Staff Assistant STEVEN WOO, Dissemination Officer NOTE: For more information on CSTB, see its Web site at <http://www.cstb.org>, write to CSTB, National Research Council, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20001, call at (202) 334-2605, or e-mail the CSTB at cstb@nas.edu.

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Innovation in INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY Preface The health of the computer science field and related disciplines has been an enduring concern of the National Research Council's Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB). From its first reports in the late 1980s, CSTB has examined the nature, conduct, scope, and directions of the research that drives innovation in information technology. Ironically, the success of the industries that produce information technology (IT) has caused confusion about the roles of government and academia in IT research. And it does not help that research in computer science—especially research relating to software—is hard for many people outside the field to understand. This synthesis report draws on several CSTB reports, published over the course of the past decade, to explain the what and why of IT research. It was developed by members of the board, drawing on CSTB's body of work and on insights and experience from their own careers. This synthesis is kept brief in order to highlight key points. It is paired with a set of excerpts from previous reports, chosen either for their explanation of relevant history or for their compelling development of core arguments and principles. David D. Clark, Chair Computer Science and Telecommunications Board

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Innovation in INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY Acknowledgment of Reviewers This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council's Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Frederick P. Brooks, Jr., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Linda Cohen, University of California at Irvine, Samuel H. Fuller, Analog Devices Inc., Juris Hartmanis, Cornell University, Timothy Lenoir, Stanford University, David G. Messerschmitt, University of California at Berkeley, Ivan E. Sutherland, Sun Microsystems Laboratories, and Joseph F. Traub, Columbia University. Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by John

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Innovation in INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY Hopcroft, Cornell University. Appointed by the National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring board and the institution.

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Innovation in INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY Contents     SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS   1  1   INNOVATION IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY   5      Universities, Industry, and Government: A Complex Partnership Yielding Innovation and Leadership,   5      The Essential Role of the Federal Government,   9      The Distinctive Character of Federally Supported Research,   15      University Research and Industrial R&D,   20      Hallmarks of Federally Sponsored IT Research,   22      Looking Forward,   26  2   EXCERPTS FROM EARLIER CSTB REPORTS   30      Making IT Better: Expanding Information Technology Research to Meet Society's Needs (2000),   31      The Many Faces of Information Technology Research,   31      Implications for the Research Enterprise,   33      Funding a Revolution: Government Support for Computing Research (1999),   37      Lessons from History,   37      Sources of U.S. Success,   44      Research and Technological Innovation,   46      The Benefits of Public Support of Research,   47      Maintaining University Research Capabilities,   48

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Innovation in INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY      Creating Human Resources,   49      The Organization of Federal Support: A Historical Review,   50      1945-1960: Era of Government Computers,   51      The Government's Early Role,   52      Establishment of Organizations,   53      Observations,   57      1960-1970: Supporting Continuing Revolution,   58      Maturing of a Commercial Industry,   58      The Changing Federal Role,   60      1970-1990: Retrenching and International Competition,   67      Accomplishing Federal Missions,   67      Evolving the High Performance Computing and Communications Initiative to Support the Nation's Information Infrastructure (1995),   68      Continued Federal Investment Is Necessary to Sustain Our Lead,   68     WHAT IS CSTB?   71