Profile: National Science Foundation
Promoting Progress of Science
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 'to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…' With an annual budget of $7.3 billion (FY 2015), we are the funding source for approximately 24 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America's colleges and universities.
As described in our strategic plan, NSF is the only federal agency whose mission includes support for all fields of fundamental science and engineering, except for medical sciences. We are tasked with keeping the United States at the leading edge of discovery in areas from astronomy to geology to zoology. So, in addition to funding research in the traditional academic areas, the agency also supports 'high-risk, high pay-off' ideas, novel collaborations and numerous projects that may seem like science fiction today, but which the public will take for granted tomorrow. And in every case, we ensure that research is fully integrated with education so that today's revolutionary work will also be training tomorrow's top scientists and engineers.
NoteStreams By National Science Foundation
Giving athletic balance to robots is no small task, but University of Michigan students are up for the challenge.
National Science Foundation-sponsored research looks into how a changing technological landscape affects survey collection.
Researchers from the University of Washington identify vulnerabilities in automobiles and medical devices and design tools to prevent data tracking.
Category: Social Awareness
Technology from small business Mental Canvas reimagines drawing in the digital age.
Imagine you could reach inside your old Batman comic, grab the Caped Crusader by the shoulder, and spin the whole scene around to get a new 3-D view.
A new software platform from small business Mental Canvas may soon let you do just that.
Thunderstorms that form at night, without a spark from the sun's heat, are a mysterious phenomenon. This summer, scientists will be staying up late in search of some answers. From June 1 through July 15, researchers from across North America will fan out each evening across the Great Plains, where storms are more common at night than during the day.
Some good news for coral reefs: In 2014, President Obama expanded the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument in the central Pacific from about 87,000 square miles to 308,000 square miles.
The expansion of the monument is promising in light of benefits that may be provided by marine protected areas (MPAs). An MPA is a coastal or offshore marine area that is managed to protect natural and/or cultural resources.
But even while MPA status may provide protection from local threats, such as pollution or anchor damage, MPAs may remain vulnerable to global threats, such as climate change, which cannot be controlled at local levels.
A relentless global effort to shrink transistors has made computers continually faster, cheaper and smaller over the last 40 years. This effort has enabled chipmakers to double the number of transistors on a chip roughly every 18 months--a trend referred to as Moore's Law.
Transistor size will continue to decrease for a decade, reaching approximately 5 nanometers long and 1 nanometer (or about 5 atoms) wide in its critical active region. Beyond that point, what happens is harder to predict.
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