The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) is an advisory group of the nation’s leading scientists and engineers, dating back to the Eisenhower Administration, who advise the President on science, technology, and innovation. This Administration’s PCAST is one of the most distinguished and diverse in history. Former Computing Community Consortium (CCC) Chair, Susan L. Graham from the University of California, Berkeley, is one of the current 19 members who give recommendations to the President.
Over the past eight years, this PCAST has accomplished a number of remarkable activities. The CCC as a whole, as well as individual CCC Council members, have enjoyed working with PCAST and playing a complementary role for PCAST contributions such as:
- Releasing a report on Independence, Technology, and Connection in Older Age, which looks at the technologies and policies that will help Americans live independently as they get older. As the average age of the American population increases, more Americans over the age of 65 are looking to live in their homes for as long as possible. Technology can play an important role in both increasing life expectancy and also increasing the quality of life, by maximizing Americans’ ability to function in their homes as they age.
- The CCC co-hosted an Aging in Place workshop with the National Institutes of Health to discuss challenges and opportunities and provide a research agenda regarding the next steps needed in the development and application of technology to home management of chronic diseases. The Aging in Place workshop report can be found here and was presented to the PCAST working group on Technology and Aging.
- Releasing a 2015 follow-up report on the progress of the Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) program. CCC members were involved in the creation of this, and past reviews of NITRD. In the report, the working group and PCAST members chose to closely examine eight specific areas that are critical to the future of IT: cybersecurity, health, Big Data and data-intensive computing, IT and the physical world, privacy protection, cyber-human systems, high-capability computing, and foundational computing research.
- The CCC has worked on many of the issues discussed in the NITRD Review, such as IT & Health, Big Data & Data-Intensive Computing, IT and the Physical World, Privacy, and High Capability Computing. In addition, the CCC co-hosted with the National Coordination Office (NCO) for NITRD a NITRD Symposium in February 2012, to explore the accomplishment and prospects of the agency.
- The final PCAST report was released in January, titled Ensuring Long-Term U.S. Leadership in Semiconductors. The report recognizes the importance of semiconductors—and semiconductor leadership—to modern life in a competitive world. The future leadership in semiconductors will need to move beyond Moore’s Law (twice the transistors every two years) to exploit innovations from applications down through computing’s software-hardware-technology “stack.” To stimulate such cross layer activity, the report advocates that the US government invest in one or more “moonshots.”
- The CCC held a Nanotechnology-inspired Information Processing Systems of the Future workshop in August 2016, which brought together a broad community of leading researchers from the areas of computing, neuroscience, systems, architecture, integrated circuits, and nanoscience. Participants thought broadly and deeply about ideas for designing information processing platforms of the future on beyond CMOS nanoscale process technologies that approach the energy efficiency and the decision‐making capacity of the human brain. The Executive Summary of the Visioning Workshop on Nanotechnology-inspired Information Processing Systems of the Future has been published.
See the PCAST blog to learn more about the Obama Administration’s PCAST accomplishments.