technical support, and advice on current developments in mathematics, computing, and telecommunications.


CAML's strategic plans (as presented in the annual briefing reports of CAML and its divisions and offices prepared for the fiscal year 1993 site visit) provided an overview of CAML's objectives. In some instances, the detail was insufficient to allow for full assessment. For example, CAML's Strategic Plan for NIST for Computing and Communications (NIST, February 1993) had clear objectives and schedules for providing upgrades and extensions to central computing services; however, budgetary support was not clear. In contrast, the manufacturing application component of the National Information Infrastructure initiative for fiscal year 1995 included both implementation and budgetary details.

The Statistical Engineering Division's strategic plan outlined important objectives and projects to be carried out in collaboration with other NIST laboratories but did not address funding options.

The Applied and Computational Mathematics Division (ACMD) did not provide a separate strategic plan. ACMD's planning information in CAML's Description of the Laboratory and Its Operations (May 1993) was inadequate for assessment purposes. For example, the acquisition of an instrument for massive parallel processing, the Paragon from Intel Corporation, by NIST's Computer Systems Laboratory could provide ACMD with an opportunity for experience with scalable parallel processing; however, the panel saw no ACMD plans for research using the Paragon for simulating physical problems.

CAML is in an awkward position. The Strategic Plan for NIST for Computing and Communications (NIST, February 1993) states under “Critical Issues” (p. 14) that “the NIST scientific program is entering a very dynamic period which may well lead to significant program expansion and changes of emphasis. . . .” These program expansions and changes are based on major federal initiatives such as the multiagency HPCC program (first described in the High-Performance Computing Act of 1991 and again in the Information Infrastructure and Technology Act of 1993). However, CAML's funding level has not been set. Clearly, waiting for funding assurance to add critical staff will not achieve the timely results anticipated nationally. Parenthetically, the panel is not certain that current staff are working on problems of highest strategic priority.

If funding materializes along with opportunities to collaborate with other laboratories within NIST and with external organizations, projects could proceed simultaneously with staff buildup. To retain CAML' s scientific integrity, partnerships must be based on true intellectual collaboration. Timely response to opportunities and adaptability to new projects and

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