Sunday, September 6, 2015

Eager to Start Work on our NSF EAGER Collaborative Research Project

The good news came just as our 4 year National Science Foundation (NSF) project was coming to a close last month. That project: NeTS: Large: Collaborative Research: Network Innovation through Choice, was a great collaboration with the PI, my colleague, Professor Tilman Wolf of the College of Engineering, who is also an Associate Dean, and fellow Co-PIs: Professors Ken Calvert and Jim Griffioen of the Department of Computer Science of the University of Kentucky, and Professors Rudra Dutta and George Rouskas of the Department of Computer Science at North Carolina State University, and Dr. Ilya Baldine of the Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) in Chapel Hill, NC.

This project involved the development of ChoiceNet: An Economy Plane for the Internet and, together and individually as well as with our students, we wrote a series of papers, many of which are on the ChoiceNet site. 

The ChoiceNet project was one of five Future Internet Architecture (FIA) projects selected by NSF.

This project helped to support, in part, 3 of my female doctoral students: Sara Saberi, Shivani Shukla, and Dong "Michelle" Li, who I am very happy received her PhD from UMass Amherst with a concentration in Management Science from the Isenberg School in 2015  and is now an Assistant Professor. She's already completed 2 weeks of teaching and is very happy to be an academic.

Our new NSF grant:  EAGER: Collaborative Research: Enabling Economic Policies in Software-Defined Internet Exchange Points has as the PI (Principal Investigator) Professor Tilman Wolf of our ChoiceNet project, and we will continue to work with our University of Kentucky colleagues, Professors Calvert and Griffioen. 

We have completed all of the followup internal processing paperwork on this grant (thanks to all the administrators for signing off so quickly) and the official start date of our project is October 1, 2015. The EAGER program at NSF is for Early Concepts Grants for Exploratory Research  According to the NSF website: the EAGER program  provides a funding mechanism that can be used to support exploratory work in its early stages on untested, but potentially transformative, research ideas or approaches. This work could be considered especially "high risk-high payoff" in the sense that it, involves radically different approaches, applies new expertise, or engages novel disciplinary or interdisciplinary perspectives.

As we did for our NSF FIA ChoiceNet project, we will be having regular (typically, weekly) teleconferences in which we brainstorm and discuss our ideas with focused, intense period of work for research, computing, and writing.

I very much appreciate the confidence that NSF and our program officer have in us and we will do our best to aim for transformative research results. Specifically, we expect that in terms of the broader impacts that the results from this research have the potential for a transformative impact on how inter-domain routing---which is at the core of economic interactions between network providers in the Internet---is implemented and used to provide novel services in networks. The interdisciplinary nature of this work---crossing the boundaries of engineering and economics---presents particular challenges in developing solutions that are technically sound and can be adopted in practice. The work involves an education component. Results from our work will be disseminated in the form of open-source toolsets and publications.

Nice way in which to begin the new academic year!