[Note that the following description is not an actual current NSF program, but it captures the flavor of many past and present NSF initiatives.]
Recognizing that many of the most creative endeavors in history have been accomplished by very young people, the Federal Government has decided to offer ITRG graduate awards. These awards are intended to support highly innovative research in information technology primarily conceived by students under the age of 25 that is high risk, but has high potential payoff. Grants of up to $100K (and possibly more) are available to support investigations into basic information technology or its applications that have the potential to produce revolutionary contributions in areas of national public interest, including (but not limited to) industrial productivity, energy production, transportation, security, defense, law enforcement, housing, urban development, workforce utilization, medicine, health care, education, communication, environment.
Find the NSF web page, and read up on the CISE program, including what is expected in a proposal, and the evaluation criteria. The old ITR program no longer exists, but you can still find a description of it if you look around.
Write a 2-5 page proposal summary describing an idea for innovative ITRG research, its potential benefits, an outline of a research plan, and what resources you need to to get the project going. For this excercise you do not need a complete budget or detailed references and background. The written proposal is to be handed in, and made available for viewing on your web site.
You will have five minutes to sell the idea to the ITRG committee (the rest of the class), using your voice, chalk, an overhead projector, and anything else you can carry into the room that does not require any setup time.
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