The National Science Foundation (NSF) is a U.S. Government Agency established in 1950 for the purpose of funding research and education in all non-medical fields of science and engineering. NSF is responsible for approximately 20-percent of all basic research in all colleges and universities in the USA. NSF's annual budget for 2008 exceeded $6 billion dollars. The NSF Director, Deputy Director and the 24-member National Science Board are appointed by the President of the USA. NSF receives about 40,000 proposals for funding each year and awards around 10,000 grants. NSF national facilities include national observatories, Antarctic Research Center, high-end computer centers, oceanographic research centers and offers Graduate Research Fellowships. The main headquarters in Arlington, Virginia has over 1700 employees, which includes 150 full time scientists. NSF is pursuing advanced work in Nanotechnology, the Ecology of Infectious Diseases in their Crosscutting program initiated recently.
Firmer footing for robots with smart walking sticks
Anyone who has ever watched a humanoid robot move around in the real world—an "unstructured environment," in research parlance—knows how hard it is for a machine to plan complex movements, balance on uneven surfaces or ...
LSST lays first stone
A new ground-based telescope promises unprecedented information about distant galaxies, nearby asteroids and even the mysterious dark energy that is accelerating the expansion of our universe.
Road safety through snowflake imaging
The technology behind the camera that revealed the intricate, imperfect beauty of snowflakes can now expose their potential danger.
Using scientific methods to evaluate trade-offs of hydraulic fracturing
In Colorado, drilling for oil and natural gas using hydraulic fracturing, sometimes referred to as fracking, is big business. But, questions about its impact on the air and water are far from settled.
Sleeping sands of the Kalahari awaken after more than 10,000 years
Kalahari. The name conjures an arid, almost lifeless expanse, its red, iron oxide sands stretching to the horizon and beyond.
Technique enables energy-harvesting sensors to be miniaturized
Imagine a world where bridges, roads, heart valves or knee replacements could monitor themselves and send a warning signal before they fail. Imagine then, if these advanced pieces of technology could power themselves and ...
'Big data' more accurately models how people adapt to snowstorms and other disruptions
For Paul Torrens, wintry weather is less about sledding and more about testing out models of human behavior.
Experts identify easy way to improve smartphone security
What information is beaming from your mobile phone over various computer networks this very second without you being aware of it?
Good news and bad news for coral reefs
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 Monument "is the largest ...
How hot metal shards cast off by infrastructure ignite wildfires
Hot metal fragments can be created from power lines, overheated brakes, railway tracks or any other manner of metal-on-metal action in our industrialized society.