NSF's Cyberinfrastructure Vision for 21st Century Discovery   [open pdf - 3MB]

"Today's scientists and engineers need access to new information technology capabilities, such as distributed wired and wireless observing network complexes, and sophisticated simulation tools that permit exploration of phenomena that can never be observed or replicated by experiment. Computation offers new models of behavior and modes of scientific discovery that greatly extend the limited range of models that can be produced with mathematics alone, for example, chaotic behavior. Fewer and fewer researchers working at the frontiers of knowledge can carry out their work without cyberinfrastructure of one form or another. The comprehensive infrastructure needed to capitalize on dramatic advances in information technology has been termed cyberinfrastructure. Cyberinfrastructure integrates hardware for computing, data and networks, digitally-enabled sensors, observatories and experimental facilities, and an interoperable suite of software and middleware services and tools. Investments in interdisciplinary teams and cyberinfrastructure professionals with expertise in algorithm development, system operations, and applications development are also essential to exploit the full power of cyberinfrastructure to create, disseminate, and preserve scientific data, information, and knowledge."

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