Research and Development in Networking and Information Technology8 identified four major recommendations for “initiatives and investments” in networking and information technology (NIT) to “achieve America’s priorities and advance key NIT research frontiers.” Three of those initiatives are dependent on ongoing research in areas of the mathematical sciences. First, the mathematical sciences are fundamental to advances in simulation and modeling:
The federal government should invest in a national, long-term, multi-agency, multi-faceted research initiative on NIT for energy and transportation. . . . Current research in the computer simulation of physical systems should be expanded to include the simulation and modeling of proposed energy-saving technologies, as well as advances in the basic techniques of simulation and modeling.9
Second, the mathematical sciences underpin cryptography and provide tools for systems analyses:
The federal government should invest in a national, long-term, multi-agency research initiative on NIT that assures both the security and the robustness of cyber-infrastructure
—to discover more effective ways to build trustworthy computing and communications systems,
—to continue to develop new NIT defense mechanisms for today’s infrastructure, and most importantly,
—to develop fundamentally new approaches for the design of the underlying architecture of our cyber-infrastructure so that it can be made truly resilient to cyber-attack, natural disaster, and inadvertent failure.10
Third, the mathematical sciences are strongly entwined with R&D for privacy protection, large-scale data analysis, high-performance computing, and algorithms:
The federal government must increase investment in those fundamental NIT research frontiers that will accelerate progress across a broad range of priorities . . . [including] research program on the fundamentals of privacy protection and protected disclosure of confidential data . . . fundamental
8 PCAST, 2010, Report to the President and Congress: Designing a Digital Future: Federally Funded Research and Development in Networking and Information Technology, p. xi. Available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/pcast-nitrd-report-2010.pdf.
9 Ibid., p. xi.
10 Ibid., p. xii.