Software is critical for all branches of science and engineering and is a key component of the emerging global cyberinfrastructure. At the same time, science and engineering are becoming more collaborative. With few exceptions, multi-investigator teams with a diversity of expertise are now required to efficiently attack increasingly complex fundamental questions and processes. Scientists can no longer work in isolation because many local questions have become global questions in areas that include health, energy, weather, natural disasters, and the environment. Solving problems on a global scale requires both that scientists work together and that their software and related cyberinfrastructure interoperate.
Effective interoperation of two or more independently-developed soft (cyber) infrastructures is truly a grand challenge. Before any such interoperation is possible, and well before any "standards" are set, scientists and infrastructure specialists must learn to work together to discover what questions need to be asked and then develop proof-of-principle solutions. Prior to those discussions, potential collaborators must be introduced to one other and be given the opportunity to find common areas of true collaboration.
This workshop is the first of two planned workshops to explore and catalyze long-term scientific collaborations among researchers in China and the United States in three areas: trustworthy software, extreme-scale software, and software for emerging architectures. These workshops are supported by the US National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC). A second workshop will be held in March 2012 to expand on topics of interest from the first and move another step closer to developing collaborations among participants. The goal of these activities is to accelerate the formation of mutually beneficial collaborations of China/US bilateral research teams, and to accelerate the formation of substantive software research programs that are ultimately supported through NSF and NSFC peer-reviewed programs. More generally, it is hoped that these interactions will open the door to broader and deeper China-US collaborations in some critical areas of software and break down significant barriers between researchers in the world's two largest economies.
The first workshop will be held in Beijing in Fall 2011, while the second workshop will be held in San Diego in Spring 2012. Between the workshops small groups of participants and graduate students will meet to develop ideas from the first workshop, to be presented at the second workshop, and to be pursued after the end of this funded activity. The success of this activity will be measured in the research collaborations that persist beyond the second workshop.