August 2005
The Coming Era of Low Power, High-Performance Computing — Trends, Promises, and Challenges
Conference Report
Fran Berman, SDSC
Ruzena Bajcsy, UC Berkeley

Workshop Framework

The Workshop combined distinguished plenary talks from Dr. Arden Bement, Director of the NSF, Dr. Dan Atkins, Chair of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Cyberinfrastructure, and Dr. Nikolaos Kastrinos, Office of Directorate General Research of the European Union Commission, as well as a set of intensive break-outs and report-outs. The group interactions were designed to focus discussions so that the participants could start developing a roadmap for how both social scientists and computer scientists can better impact the design, organization, processes, policies, and impacts of Cyberinfrastructure, as well as how they can improve the relevancy and usefulness of Cyberinfrastructure for the social, behavioral, and economic sciences. Breakout sections focused on the following areas:

  • Cyberinfrastructure-mediated Interaction (co-chaired by Computer Scientist Ruzena Bajcsy and Psychologist Philip Rubin) How is Cyberinfrastructure-enabled interaction changing relationships? This session focused on the issues involved in developing Cyberinfrastructure-enabled communication mechanisms and their effect on the conduct of science, interpersonal relationships and social networks, and the mediation of cultural and national boundaries.
  • Cyberinfrastructure Tools for the Social Sciences (co-chaired by Political Scientist Henry Brady and Computer Scientist Allan Snavely) What tools are needed to facilitate social science? This session focused on developing a set of needs and requirements for social scientists as well as a focus on the characteristics and distribution of effective tools.
  • The Economics of Cyberinfrastructure (co-chaired by Economist Jeff Mackie-Mason and Computer Scientist Rich Wolski) The session focused on two framing questions: What can economics contribute to CS research about efficiently building and operating Cyberinfrastructure?; and How can computer science help identify ways in which to effectively use Cyberinfrastructure to answer economic questions?
  • The Organization of Cyberinfrastructure and Cyberinfrastructure-enabled Organizations (co-chaired by Computer Scientist Fran Berman and Public Policy Professor Jane Fountain) How will Cyberinfrastructure transform organizations and how can effective organizational approaches transform Cyberinfrastructure? The session focused on the models, frameworks, incentive structures and other mechanisms for advancing the organizational use and structure of Cyberinfrastructure.
  • Malevolent Uses of Cyberinfrastructure (co-chaired by Statistician Stephen Fienberg and Engineer Shankar Sastry) How can we protect Cyberinfrastructure from intended or unintended malevolent use? This session examined the broad spectrum of security, policy, privacy, confidentiality and other issues critical to ensuring the safe and secure use and development of Cyberinfrastructure.
  • The Impact of Cyberinfrastructure on Jobs and Income (co-chaired by Economist John Haltiwanger and Computer Scientist Stephen Wright) How has and will Cyberinfrastructure change the workplace? This session focused on the impact of Cyberinfrastructure in the workplace and the implication for firms, markets, and competitiveness.

The almost 100 participants (including roughly 20 participants from the National Science Foundation) felt that the Airlie Workshop constituted the beginning for a critical and important community of Cyberinfrastructure designers, builders and users. The workshop Final Report2 provides a comprehensive summary of the issues and discussions at the workshop. Arden Bement commented “This SBE-CISE workshop broke new ground by enabling these communities to explore key issues and opportunities for collaboration in designing, developing and delivering better information infrastructure. The final report leverages the immense expertise of NSF communities to develop useful and usable Cyberinfrastructure to support breakthrough science and engineering research and education for the 21st century.”

The report is expected to become a key document in the development of NSF’s Cyberinfrastructure plan and serves to outline a broad agenda of participatory research, infrastructure, and educational opportunities for both Social Scientists and Computer Scientists.

Pages: 1 2 3

Reference this article
Berman, F. and Bajcsy, R. "Cyberinfrastructure and the Social Sciences," CTWatch Quarterly, Volume 1, Number 3, August 2005. http://www.ctwatch.org/quarterly/articles/2005/08/cyberinfrastructure-and-the-social-sciences/

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