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Chess Project Proposal



The science of computation has systematically abstracted away the physical world. The science of physical systems has systematically ignored computational limitations. Embedded software systems, however, engage the physical world in a computational manner. We believe that it is time to construct a Modern Systems Science (MSS) that is simultaneously computational and physical. Time, concurrency, robustness, continuums, and resource management must be remarried to computation.

At UC Berkeley (UCB), the Center for Hybrid and Embedded Software Systems (CHESS) was founded with the explicit mission to build and disseminate MSS. At Vanderbilt University (VU), the Institute for Software Integrated Systems (ISIS) is the leading proponent of model-integrated computing, a paradigm that is central to MSS. At the University of Memphis (UM), the Mathematical Sciences Department conducts groundbreaking research on phase transitions in computational complexity, which has fundamental importance in dynamic, embedded computing applications.

We propose a program that includes the long-term, high-risk, high-reward, basic scientific research necessary to build the foundations of MSS, and a sustained effort to create a new generation of engineers that are comfortable with the juncture of computation and physical phenomena. The research will be carried out by UCB-CHESS, VU-ISIS, and UM. Educational outreach programs will include the California community college system, which feeds many of the engineering students to UCB and other State Universities, and HBCUs and universities with high minority populations in the South. The proposal to the NSF-ITR has the potential of high leverage from other activities of the participating organizations paid for by other means, such as university and state investment and industry funding.

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