This proposal, expanding activities geared to attract and retain Native American students, aims at developing a solid collaborative research backbone, enhancing its educational program, and improving participation of a diverse student population in computer-related disciplines. The backbone, enabling a cooperative research efforts in the Computer Science Department, fosters research and educational collaborations with other departments (specifically Biology and Psychology) and with other research institutions. The proposed research backbone is articulated in four inter-dependent threads:
Data structures and methodologies for efficient parallel execution of logic and constraint programming languages
Languages and methodologies for the design of knowledge based systems
Application of knowledge-based technology in Semantic Web, Universal Accessibility, and Computational Biology
Automated debugging and component-based programming for knowledge-based applications Enhancement of the educational program is expected to lead to improved recruitment and retention, increased transition towards graduate programs, and a stronger integration between research and education at the graduate and undergraduate level. These goals will be accomplished through the introduction of a pathways system throughout the undergraduate curriculum, where different pathways will accommodate the diverse student backgrounds. Focusing on an educational model for the training of Native American students in Computer Science, the institution expects to improve participation of a diverse student population in computer-related disciplines, with particular focus on the creation of an educational model for the training of Native American students in Computer Science. The proposed infrastructure provides research support, in the form of computing equipment (e.g., a 64-processor Beowulf platform, HP shared memory platform, robotic equipment) and human resources support (for faculty, students, and visiting scientists). The educational infrastructure includes the creation of a new computing classroom and provides human resources for the development of the new educational programs. A research team, consisting of 14 investigators, will benefit from this infrastructure by strengthening their interdisciplinary research through cross-fertilization of new ideas.