Ron and José have written a description of the motivation and goals of the workshop.
The radical changes in information and communication technologies that have swept the globe in the past decade are having a profound effect on the way people learn about and interact with the world, in the way business people do business and the way in which scientists and engineers do research. We are moving in rapid steps toward an age of a single, global economy and a single, global scientific enterprise.
Although professional and national competition is as vital as ever, cooperation and shared goals are gaining increasing importance. Efforts to protect ecosystems and the natural environment are just one aspect of the recognition of the importance of setting objectives higher than individual gain in order to provide for societal gains: Common market efforts, trade agreements, international recognition of intellectual property rights, and international efforts at educational reform are also reflections of the same spirit.
Today, we can only glimpse the changes that further advances in information and communication technologies will bring. But as scientists who are involved in the development of these technologies, we need to look ahead and begin to create frameworks that will be successful in guiding and managing these changes as we enter the next millennium.
While the United States maintains a leadership position in most areas of information and communication technologies, federal agencies supporting computer science and engineering research have been slow to consider and implement new policies to support international collaboration. For example, within NSF CISE, procedures for funding international collaboration differ from country to country, when such opportunities exit at all. Given the global changes in communication, commerce and collaboration driven by the growth of the Internet, now is a good time to consider whether new policies should be considered, and if so, what issues an integrated, comprehensive policy must address.
As a start toward understanding the globalization of science and engineering, and specifically of computer and communication research, NSF has recommended support for this Workshop on International Collaboration in Computer Science. The workshop brings together recognized leaders and visionary young investigators to discuss what is happening internationally, what is anticipated, and what steps should the community in general, and NSF in particular, take to guide rather than be swept up (or aside) by the forces of globalization. Our hope is to arrive at a deeper understanding of the benefits of international collaboration, the benefits and costs associated with these activities, and to recommend ways to increase opportunities and optimize future benefits.
Among the questions that will be considered at the workshop are:
The workshop participants will produce a report summarizing their discussions, and providing detailed set of recommendations on ways to advance knowledge through international collaboration. Examples of recommendations that may be considered include: