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Last modified: Monday, April 16, 2012

IU informatics dean named to NSF's lead advisory panel on technology, engineering policy

Appointment comes on heels of White House accolade for efforts to recruit females to IT

April 16, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University School of Informatics Dean Bobby Schnabel has been appointed to the National Science Foundation advisory committee responsible for providing strategic planning and policy formulation recommendations in the area of computer and information science and engineering.

Robert B. Schnabel

Bobby Schnabel

Print-Quality Photo

Schnabel will sit on the Advisory Committee for the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering, which gives advice on the impact of support policies and programs on the CISE community; provides oversight on program management and performance; and offers advice to the assistant director on special issues, forming ad hoc subcommittees to carry out needed studies.

"The importance and centrality of our discipline continue to grow, and this environment provides both exciting scientific opportunities and major policy challenges for our directorate," said NSF assistant director of Computer and Information Science and Engineering Farnam Jahanian, who made the appointment. "NSF relies heavily on the advice received from its advisory committees, thus the deliberations and recommendations from the advisory committee have been and will continue to be a core part of CISE's strategic planning and policy formulation process."

Schnabel also has agreed to serve as co-chair of the CISE Education and Workforce Development Advisory Subcommittee. This subcommittee will help the CISE directorate oversee its activities in education, broadening participation, and workforce development, including the CE21 (Computing Education for the 21st Century) program, which integrates educational research, computing curricula and pedagogy design, and efforts to engage and retain diverse student populations; and the CS 10K Project, which aims to get rigorous, academic curricula into computing courses in 10,000 high schools, taught by 10,000 well-trained teachers.

CISE supports investigator-initiated research in all areas of computer and information science and engineering, helps develop and maintain cutting-edge national computing and information infrastructure for research and education generally, and contributes to the education and training of the next generation of computer scientists and engineers.

The CISE Advisory Committee supplements NSF knowledge by providing up-to-date information on the state of the field, performing specialized policy-informing functions facilitating the NSF's response to rapid changes in the CISE sub-disciplines and the balance between them, and identifying situations requiring policy attention. Included on the committee with Schnabel are scholars and researchers from California Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University, Google, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Microsoft Research, Princeton University and Stanford University.

IU President Michael A. McRobbie was appointed to a similar, two-year term on the advisory committee in 2001 while serving as IU's vice president for information technology.

"The CISE directorate of NSF is the primary source of research support for the computing community and an influential leader in developing new national directions in computing research and education," Schnabel said. "I am honored to have been asked by Director Jahanian to join an illustrious group that provides advice to CISE, as well as to provide advice in the areas of education, broadening participation and workforce development, which have been major emphases in my career."

Schnabel became dean of the IU School of Informatics in 2007. He is co-founder and executive team member of the National Center for Women & Information Technology, a national nonprofit organization aimed at increasing the participation of women and girls in information technology education and careers. He also serves as chair of the Association for Computing Machinery Education Policy Committee and chair of the advisory committee for the Computing Alliance for Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and was a co-founder of the Alliance for the Advancement of African-American Researchers in Computing. He served as founding director of the Alliance for Technology, Learning and Society Institute at the University of Colorado at Boulder, the headquarters of the National Center for Women & Information Technology, from 1997 to 2007.

In December he was one of 12 people honored at the White House as a "Champion of Change" for his efforts to recruit and retain girls and women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.

For more information or to speak with Schnabel, please contact Steve Chaplin, IU Communications, at 812-856-1896 or Tweeting IU science news: @IndianaScience.