research in computer vision conducted at the State University of New provided a precise test of our knowledge of the history and composition of the

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1Cover credits Background: © 2010 JupiterImages Corporation Inset credits (left to right): Courtesy Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; Gemini Observatory; Nicolle Rager Fuller, National Science Foundation; Zee Evans, National Science Foundation; Nicolle Rager Fuller, National Science Foundation; Zina Deretsky, National Science Foundation, adapted from map by Chris Harrison, Human-Computer Interaction Institute, Carnegie Mellon University; Tobias Hertel, Insti- tute for Physical Chemistry, University of Würzburg Design by: Adrian Apodaca, National Science Foundation

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1Introduction˜e National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all ˚elds of science and engineering. Congress passed legislation creating the NSF in 1950 and President Harry S. Truman signed that legislation on May 10, 1950, creating a government agency that funds research in the basic sciences, engineering, mathematics and technology. NSF is the federal agency responsible for nonmedical research in all ˚elds of science, engineering, education and technology. NSF funding is approved through the federal budget process. In ˚scal year (FY) 2010, its budget is about $6.9 billion. NSF has an independent governing body called the National Science Board (NSB) that oversees and helps direct NSF programs and activities. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 universities and institutions. NSF is the funding source for approximately 20 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America™s colleges and universities. Each year, NSF receives over 45,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes over 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards over $400 million in professional and service contracts yearly. NSF has a total workforce of about 1,700 at its Arlington, Va., headquarters, including approximately 1,200 career employees, 150 scientists from research institutions on temporary duty, 200 contract workers and the sta˛ of the NSB o˝ce and the O˝ce of the Inspector General. However, more than 200,000 people, including researchers, graduate students and teachers, are involved in NSF programs and activities nationwide. NSF is divided into the following seven directorates that support science and engineering research and education: Biological Sciences (BIO), Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE), Education and Human Resources (EHR), Engineering (ENG), Geosciences (GEO), Mathematics and Physical Sciences (MPS) and Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE). Some of the o˝ces within NSF™s O˝ce of the Director also support research and researchers. ˜ese o˝ces include the O˝ce of Polar Programs (OPP), which funds and coordinates all research e˛orts in the Arctic and Antarctic; the O˝ce of Integrative Activities; the O˝ce of International Science and Engineering and the O˝ce of Cyberinfrastructure.

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23Sensational 60During the past 60 years, we have seen incredible developments in science and engineering. NSF has played a role in that progress. As we celebrate the National Science Foundation (NSF)™s 60th anniversary, we can point with quiet pride to immeasurable ways work supported by NSF has served our society in practical, bene˚cial ways. Within the section that follows are 60 discoveries or advances that NSF believes have had a large impact or in˙uence on every American™s life. We call this list the fiSensational 60fl, in honor of the National Science Foundation 60th anniversary. Just as the path to discovery is seldom a straight line, so too is the process of selecting such a list. As in scienti˚c research, the selection process involved trial and error and strong doses of patience and vision. All items in the Sensational 60 are listed alphabetically, and listing here does not imply any ranking of one item™s importance over another. NSF invites you to learn more about our leadership in scienti˚c discoveries and the development of new technologies. We look forward to the next 60 years of discoveries and advances.

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23ContentsNSF Milestones Sensational 60 1. Alvin: Deep-sea Explorer (Alvin )2. Cataloging the Sign (American Sign Language Dictionary Development ) 3. Why You™ll Only Find Frozen Fish in the Freezer (Antifreeze Proteins ) 4. Designer Genes Arabidopsis style ( Arabidopsis ŠA Plant Genome Project ) 5. Ardi Reconstructed ( Ardi, the Earliest Hominid Found ) 6. Bar CodesŠ˜ey™re for Penguins too (Bar Codes ) 7. Dead CenterŠSuper-massive Black Holes at the Center of the Milky Way Galaxy (Black Holes Con˜rmed) 8. Sustaining the Power (Biofuels and Clean Energy ) 9. Developing New Technologies with Buckyballs (Buckyballs ) 10. Speaking Out: NSF Bringing Science to the Public ( Bringing Science to the Public ) 11. Developing Manufacturing InnovationsŠ CAD-CAM (CAD/CAM) 12. Water of Life (Clean and Adequate Water ) 13. Cloud Computing: Building a Platform to the Sky ( Cloud Computing) 14. Unlocking the Universe™s Origin (Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation ) 15. Into the Unknown: Dark Energy (Dark Energy ) 16. Deep-Sea Drilling Reveals Youthful Sea-˚oor Features (Deep-Sea Drilling) 17. Extra Solar Planets loom on the Horizon (Discovery of Extra Solar Planets ) 18. ˜e Fingerprints of Life (DNA Evidence ) 19. Eye in the Sky (Doppler Rader ) 20. Supply and Demand (Economics Research to Economic Policy ) 21. Fire and Brimstone (E˚ects of Acid Rain ) 22. Mother Nature Simmers with Latin Spice (El Niño and La Niña Predictions ) 23. Centers of Knowledge (Engineering Research and Science and Technology Centers )24. Extremophilia (Extremophiles ) 25. Solving the Insolvable (Fermat™s Last ˛eorem ) 26. ˜e Age of Enfllightflenment (Fiber Optics ) 27. Sleep Tight, Don™t Let the Bedbugs Bite (Fire˝ies and Fruit Flies Aid New Research Advances ) 28. X-Ray Vision Not Just for Superheroes (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging ) 29. A Burst of Heavenly Fire (Gamma Ray Bursts ) 30. ˜e Changing Earth and Sky (Global Climate Change ) 31. Just fiGooglefl It (Google ) 32. Educating Tomorrow™s Scienti˛c Giants (Graduate Research Fellowship Program ) 33. Ticks in the fiLymefl Light (Lyme disease ) 34. Science™s Global Generation (International Cooperation ) 35. Researchers Work Across the Globe (International Networking ) 36. Sur˛ng the Information Superhighway (Internet and Web Browsers ) 37. Harry Potter Science (Invisibility Cloaks ) 38. Kid™s Stu˝: Science and Technology Education (K-12 Science and Technology Education ) 39. Beyond the Falling Apple (LIGO and Advanced LIGO ) 40. ˜e Web of LifeŠAnd Ecological Research Too (˛e Long Term Ecological Research Network and the National Ecological Observatory Network ) 41. Come Fly with Us (Microburst Research ) 42. Life Before Life Was Known: Prehistoric Cells (A Model for the Earliest Cell ) 43. Good ˜ings Come in Small Packages (Nanotechnology ) 44. Looking to the Stars (National Observatories ) 45. Down and Dirty (Overcoming Soil Contamination ) 46. It™s a Bird! It™s a Plane! No, It™s an Ozone Hole ! (Ozone Hole )

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4547. All Access Pass (Persons with Disabilities Access on the Web )48. High-tech Auto Makeover (Reaction Injection Molding ) 49. Bionic Eyes: Better, Stronger, Faster (˛e Retina Chip ) 50. Spreading the Code (RSA & Public-Key Cryptography ) 51. With a Grain of Salt (Salt Toxicity) 52. Listen to the Ice (SHEBA Program ) 53. Friends and Neighbors (Social Science Databases ) 54. Computers Finally Speaking our Language (Speech Recognition Technology ) 55. Supercomputing Speed Demon (Supercomputer Facilities ) 56. Making the Cut (Surgical Innovations ) 57. Tissue Engineering 58. Cancer and the Cosmos (Tumor Detection ) 59. Shaking o˝ the Damage (Understanding and Mitigating Damage from Earthquakes ) 60. Volcanic Risk (Volcano Eruption Detection )

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671973 Nixon Administration abolishes White House O˝ce of Science and Technology; NSF Director H. Guyford Stever assumes new responsibility as science advisor. 1974 Research budget surpasses 80 percent of NSF™s total annual budget and has remained above that level ever since. NSF receives 13,000 proposals and makes 6,400 awards. Institutional Support Program closes out; the Foundation expends nearly $2 billion over 15 years. 1975 Internal and external scrutiny of NSF™s merit review process results in changes that open, clarify and codify its operation.1976 Congress establishes the O˝ce of Science and Technology Policy in the White House, terminating the dual role of the NSF director. 1977 RANN is phased out; programs go to other agencies and/or are incorporated into NSF research directorates. 1981 Engineering is elevated to separate NSF directorate; Directorate for Science Education is renamed the Directorate for Science and Engineering Education. 1982 First budget of the Reagan Administration dramatically reduces NSF budget for Science and Engineering Education. 1983 Major increase in research budget is proposed as the nation recognizes the importance of research in science and technology as well as education. A separate appropriation is established for the U.S. Antarctic Program. NSF receives more than 27,000 proposalsŠover 12,000 are awarded grants. 1984 Advanced Scienti˚c Computing Centers are established; ˚rst awards made in the Presidential Young Investigators Program. 1985 First awards made to new Engineering Research Centers. 1986 Various agency computer programs are organized under the new Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering. Proposals received climbed to over 30,000, with awards topping 13,000. 1987 O˝ce of Science and Technology Centers Development is established. 1988 Reagan Administration proposes ˚ve-year doubling of NSF budget. 1990 NSF™s appropriation passes $2 billion for the ˚rst time; Science and Engineering Education budget doubles over the past three years. 1991 ˜e new Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences is established. 1992 National Science Board establishes a Special Commission on the Future of NSF to examine how it can best serve the nation in the years ahead. ˜e commission recommends that a new vision of the role of science and engineering in society be part of the national agenda for change. Credit: Jonathan Berry, National Science Foundation

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671994 Fastlane project is launched, with the goal of automating and streamlining all business interactions between NSF and its external customers via the Internet. It is the ˚rst of its kind to automate interaction with the research and education communities. 1995 ˜e ˚rst publication of NSF™s Strategic Plan, NSF in a Changing World is released . It outlines the vision, goals and strategies for leadership and stewardship in scienti˚c and engineering research and education. 1997 National Science Board approves new merit review criteria to evaluate proposals submitted to NSF. ˜e new criteria mark the ˚rst change since 1981. 1999 NSF funding reaches a level of nearly $4 billion. 2000 ˜e Clinton Administration proposes a $675 million increase to the NSF budget. ˜is is double the largest increase ever proposed. 2003 NSF™s appropriation exceeds $5 billion. 2004 Almost 44,000 proposals are submittedŠa new high; less than one in four are funded. 2005 ˜e O˝ce of Cyberinfrastructure is established. 2007-08 NSF leads U.S. participation in 4th International Polar Year. 2009 ˜e American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provides $3 billion to NSF in addition to over $6 billion included in the appropriation. 2010 ˜e Obama Administration budget request for NSF is over $7 billion. Credit: © 2002 The Regents of the University of California Credit: Christine Hush, National Science Foundation

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89Sensational 601. Alvin: Deep-sea ExplorerAlvin , a deep-sea research vessel, and the world™s oldest research submersible, can carry two scientists and a pilot as deep as 4,500 meters for dives that can last up to 10 hours. In 1973, NSF assumed responsibility for the contract originally managed by the Navy to support the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution operation of Alvin .Since then, Alvin has been used in many scienti˚c expeditions including: Project FAMOUS (French- American Mid-Ocean Undersea Study), which was the ˚rst comprehensive use of a manned submersible in a major scienti˚c program, and con˚rmed the theory of plate tectonics and continental drift in 1974; the discovery of hydrothermal vents in 1977 and black smoker sul˚de chimneys in 1979; and the exploration of the wreck of RMS Titanic in 1986. Research in Alvin has also been essential in demonstrating the great diversity of life in the deep-sea. With funding from NSF, researchers designed a new, more capable HOV (Human Occupied Vehicle) as part of a collection of ocean research tools that include remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). ˜e improved speed and maneuverability of these new tools will make underwater exploration more e˝cient. 2. Cataloging the SignFor more than half of the 20th century, sign language was regarded by experts and the general public alike as some sort of inferior gestural system, more of a handicap than a help to the deaf who used it. ˜e reigning establishment in deaf education favored an fioralistfl approach, which emphasized teaching students to read lips and pronounce words without the use of signing. ˜at changed when William Stokoe, a young English professor at Gallaudet College (now Gallaudet University), the leading higher-education institution for the deaf, who had studied linguistics and American Sign Language (ASL), discovered that ASL was as complex and highly structured as spoken languages are. With an NSF grant, Stokoe and two colleagues at Gallaudet published the Dictionary of American Sign Language on Linguistic Principles (1965), which in turn drew the attention of the linguistic community to ASL. Further research by scientists, primarily supported by NSF, led to an understanding that ASL has all of the fundamental formal properties of a spoken language, including a visual counterpart to the phonology (sound structure). ˜is discovery opened up a whole new dimension in linguistic study and revolutionized deaf education in the United States. NSF continues to support research on ASL. At the same time, while recognizing that sign languages di˛er around the world, NSF has expanded its purview to include important cross-linguistic work, thus enriching our knowledge of sign languages and languages in general. Credit: Courtesy Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Credit: © 2010 JupiterImages Corporation

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893. Antifreeze Proteins: Why You™ll Only Find Frozen Fish in the FreezerIn the late 1960s, NSF-funded research discovered that antifreeze glycoproteins in the blood of Antarctic notothenioid ˚sh protect them from the dangers of freezing in subzero temperatures.ˆ ˜e compounds inhibit the growth of ice crystals, preventing damage to cells and tissues.ˆ After the discovery in Antarctic ˚sh, researchers found similar compounds in other cold-water ˚sh, insects, plants, fungi and bacteria.In 2006, the mystery of where the antifreeze glycoproteins originate in ˚sh was solved.ˆ Although many researchers had assumed that the antifreeze glycoproteins were produced by the liver, research funded by NSF and the University of Auckland discovered that the glycoproteins originated primarily from the exocrine pancreas and the stomach. Discovery of the antifreeze proteins has been a plus for some commercial industries. ˜e antifreeze proteins have commercial uses.ˆ Unilever produces ice cream with the proteins to prevent freezer burn.ˆ Some cosmetic companies use the proteins in makeup, claiming they protect skin from the cold.ˆ Companies have explored using the compounds to increase freeze tolerance of commercial plants; improve farm ˚sh production in cold climates; extend shelf life of frozen foods; and improve preservation of tissues for transplant or transfusion. NSF and the Department of Agriculture support research on the distribution, evolution, regulation and mode of action of antifreeze proteins. 4. Designer Genes, Arabidopsis style Genetic plant research can lead to improved food-plant productivity; more e˝cient use of water in growing crops; and an increase in the raw material for biofuels to replace dwindling fossil fuel reserves and lower carbon dioxide output.ˆ Genome research provides support for integrative plant research across many species.ˆ Some of the areas that have already proven to be promising are the identi˚cation of disease-resistant genes and environmental and hormonal responses. With NSF funding, biologists ˚rst mapped all of the genes of a model organism–identifying the sequence and location of each gene and then identifying the function of each of these genes.NSF began working with leaders in plant biology in the 1980s to foster a spirit of cooperation and to encourage the use of model plants in research. Arabidopsis thaliana was selected as the ˚rst model, because it is easily manipulated and genetically tractable, and researchers were already knowledgeable about it. By studying the biology of Arabidopsis, researchers could gain comprehensive knowledge about the structure, organization and functions of a plant. In 1990, NSF led a multi-agency, multinational project to identify all the genes in Arabidopsis by the end of 2000.ˆ Following that successful project, NSF established the Arabidopsis 2010 Project, which Credit: Randall Davis, Texas A&M University; images under autho- rization of Marine Mammal Permit No. 821-1588-01 -bara Corbett; Virginia T ech

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