NSF Launches New Undergraduate Expeditions
The National Science Foundation (NSF) Office of Cyberinfrastructure, Division of Mathematical Sciences, and Office of Multidisciplinary Activities have announced a $4 million competition for Expeditions in Training, Research, and Education for Mathematics and Statistics through Quantitative Explorations of Data (EXTREEMS-QED). Proposals are due by December 14, 2012.
The competition will be stiff, with four to six awards expected each year, so it is critical that applicants are familiar not just with the application guidelines but also with the philosophy on which the program is based. Elements that are “strongly encouraged,” such as the use of evidence-based instructional methods and the development of collaborations among all types of higher education institutions, should be treated as though they’re required.
NSF writes that “the new field of computational and data-enabled science and engineering (CDS&E) has emerged as a third pillar of scientific investigation that complements theory and experimentation.” Involving as it does applied mathematics, statistics, computer science, core science, and engineering disciplines, CDS&E is as complex as any scientific field in existence. This means CDS&E training is often “under-developed within the current structure of U.S. educational institutions.”
Therefore, all proposals must include strong plans not just for research but also for faculty development and student education and training. Over a project period of between two and five years, awardees will be expected to achieve these outcomes:
- Provide opportunities for undergraduate research and hands-on experiences centered on CDS&E;
- Result in significant changes to the undergraduate mathematics and statistics curriculum;
- Have broad institutional support and department-wide commitment that encourage collaborations within and across disciplines;
- Include professional development activities for faculty or for K-12 teachers; and
- Where appropriate leverage and advance the use of existing cyberinfrastructure resources (e.g. data archives, networks) for data exploration.
Review the solicitation carefully for additional details on required project elements, then direct specific questions to Jennifer Pearl in the Division of Mathematical Sciences or Mark Suchmanin the Office of Cyberinfrastructure.