New NSF program: Algorithms in the Field

Research Opportunity from NSF for Algorithms in the Field

Guest post from Tracy Kimbrel, NSF Program Director for Computing and Communication Foundations

The National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Computer Science and Engineering (CISE) recently announced a new program solicitation, Algorithms in the Field (AitF), which aims to promote collaboration between theory researchers and those in more applied areas.

The program originated from interest and excitement among the theory community and researchers in many applied fields during a well-attended workshop held in May 2011.

Bridging the gap between theory and practice in the design, analysis, implementation, and evaluation of algorithms can lead to new fields as well as broader cutting-edge applications. The premise is that by working jointly “in the field” researchers from these different communities will continually inform each other, innovate in their respective areas, and forge algorithms that are simultaneously validated by theory, systems, and applied communities.

The program synopsis reads as follows:

Algorithms in the Field encourages closer collaboration between two groups of researchers: (i) theoretical computer science researchers, who focus on the design and analysis of provably efficient and provably accurate algorithms for various computational models; and (ii) applied researchers including a combination of systems and domain experts (very broadly construed – including but not limited to researchers in computer architecture, programming languages and systems, computer networks, cyber-physical systems, cyber-human systems, machine learning, database and data analytics, etc.) who focus on the particular design constraints of applications and/or computing devices. Each proposal must have at least one co-PI interested in theoretical computer science and one interested in any of the other areas typically supported by CISE. Proposals are expected to address the dissemination of the algorithmic contributions and resulting applications, tools, languages, compilers, libraries, architectures, systems, data, etc.

I want to emphasize that lists of possible “field areas” such as those in the synopsis and other parts of the solicitation are not exhaustive and do not imply any limitation on scope.

NSF looks forward to the new research that will be supported through this endeavor.  The deadline for submissions is February 9, 2015.  Please read the full program solicitation for more information. A webinar will be held December 18, 2014 at 3 pm ET; details will be provided soon on the AitF page.



  1. think this is a really great idea/ fusion in line with the mainstream directions of CS research & am looking fwd to reading the project writeups in the area. have been studying the connection between theoretical & applied CS for many yrs and its clearly an area of increasing interaction sometimes bordering on paradigm-shifting and/or revolutionary potential. see also great moments in empirical/ experimental math/ TCS research

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