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Defense Agency, Faulted for Scaling Back Computer Research, Gets New Leader

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University of Washington professor Edward D. Lazowska wants Regina E. Dugan, the new director of the U.S. Defense Department's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), to re-establish a close relationship with the computing research community. Under DARPA's previous chief, the agency scaled back funding for basic computer science research at universities in favor of projects that are classified or that offer a more immediate payoff. As a result, the relationship between the computing research community and DARPA became strained.

Lazowska says that computer researchers are "looking forward to restoring" a relationship whose deterioration is "bad for the field, bad for the nation, and bad for the nation's defense."

Cornell University professor Fred B. Schneider says previous DARPA leader Anthony J. Tether deliberately "stopped funding universities, started funding companies, stopped funding long-term work, and started funding short-term work." However, he notes that Dugan has not indicated whether DARPA would return to funding university projects. "That's going to be the next important move, to see whether she's going to get interested in return to funding university work, and return to funding university work in cybersecurity," Schneider says.

From The Chronicle of Higher Education
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Abstracts Copyright © 2009 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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