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Principles and Practice of Scalable Systems (PPoSS)

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Important information for proposers

All proposals must be submitted in accordance with the requirements specified in this funding opportunity and in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) that is in effect for the relevant due date to which the proposal is being submitted. It is the responsibility of the proposer to ensure that the proposal meets these requirements. Submitting a proposal prior to a specified deadline does not negate this requirement.


A key focus of the design of modern computing systems is performance and scalability, particularly in light of the limits of Moore’s Law and Dennard scaling. To this end, systems are increasingly being implemented by composing heterogeneous computing components and continually changing memory systems as novel, performant hardware surfaces. Applications fueled by rapid strides in machine learning, data analysis, and extreme-scale simulation are becoming more domain-specific and highly distributed. In this scenario, traditional boundaries between hardware-oriented and software-oriented disciplines are increasingly blurred.

Achieving scalability of systems and applications will therefore require coordinated progress in multiple disciplines such as computer architecture, high-performance computing (HPC), machine programming, programming languages and compilers, security and privacy, systems, and theory and algorithms. Cross-cutting concerns such as performance, correctness and accuracy, and heterogeneity must be taken into account from the outset in all aspects of systems and application design and implementation.

The aim of the Principles and Practice of Scalable Systems (PPoSS) program is to support a community of researchers who will work symbiotically across the multiple disciplines above to perform basic research on scalability and correctness and accuracy of modern applications, systems, and toolchains built on heterogeneous architectures. The intent is that these efforts will foster the development of principles that lead to rigorous and reproducible artifacts for the design and implementation of large-scale systems and applications spanning the full hardware/software stack. Importantly, as described below, PPoSS specifically seeks to fund projects that span the entire hardware/software stack and that lay the foundations for sustainable approaches for implementing performant, scalable, and correct and accurate computing applications that run on heterogeneous platforms.

Program contacts

Damian Dechev
Program Director, CISE/CCF
ddechev@nsf.gov (703) 292-8910 CISE/CCF
Wei Ding
Program Director
weiding@nsf.gov (703) 292-8017
Funda Ergun
Program Director
fergun@nsf.gov (703) 292-2216
Alexander Jones
Program Director, CISE/CNS
alejones@nsf.gov (703) 292-8950
Mimi M. McClure
Program Director
mmcclure@nsf.gov (703) 292-5197 CISE/CNS
Seung-Jong Park
Program Director, CISE/OAC
spark@nsf.gov (703) 292-4383
Danella Zhao
Program Director, CISE/CCF
dzhao@nsf.gov (703) 292-4434 CISE/CCF
Melissa Cowan
Program Director, Intel Labs.
melissa.a.cowan@intel.com (503) 264-7469

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