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Baras addresses National Science Foundation's annual ERC meeting

Baras addresses National Science Foundation's annual ERC meeting

On Dec. 3, Professor John Baras (ECE/ISR) gave an invited plenary presentation to the National Science Foundation’s annual Engineering Research Center meeting on the history, current status and future of the Institute for Systems Research. Baras spoke at the “Sustaining the ERC after Graduation” workshop and also participated in the workshop’s panel and question and answer session.

Jim Williams, the former executive director of the Data Storage Systems Center at Carnegie Mellon University, moderated. In addition to Dr. Baras, panelists and speakers included Bob Lewis, University of Minnesota; and Bill Michalerya, Lehigh University. The workshop explored ERCs’ current status, staffing, funding and accomplishments; successful approaches to sustainability; how to keep cross-disciplinary, systems-level research and education alive after graduation; the effectiveness of NSF’s role in transition; and what can be done differently to facilitate the process.

Dr. Baras spoke about ISR’s history and development, the principles followed in its organization and progress through the years, its early-current-future research and educational programs and accomplishments, ISR’s current structure and industry collaboration programs, the ISR experience and strategies that led to a sustainable ERC, and ISR’s future, given the significance of systems science and engineering for so many critical applications.

“We should all be very proud for what we have accomplished at ISR through a quarter century of hard work and innovative thinking in research, education and administration,” Baras said. “It was evident to me at the annual ERC meeting that ISR enjoys tremendous respect by the community and the National Science Foundation as the longest self-sustained engineering research center, and as a pioneering institution for cross-disciplinary research, education, and industry-university-government collaboration.”

A PDF version of the Baras presentation is available from the Annual ERC Meeting here. Baras also authored a case study report on the history and development of ISR, which will appear in the forthcoming report from the NSF “Post-Graduation Status of National Science Foundation Engineering Research Centers” (by J.E. Williams and C. S. Lewis).

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