Adrion was program director of Theoretical Computer Science for the National Science Foundation (NSF) from 1976-1978. After a brief period with the National Bureau of Standards, Adrion returned to NSF in 1980 as program director of Special Projects in Computer Science. From 1982 until 1985 he was program director of Coordinated Experimental Research, and then served as deputy division director of Computer Research. For a short time in 1986 he was named chief scientist for CISE, and then left NSF to join the faculty of the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Adrion discusses the development of NSF programs relating to computer science, particularly those programs in which he worked. He begins by describing NSF's funding of cryptography during 1976-1978 and its relation to the National Security Agency. He gives a brief history of theoretical computer science in the United States and NSF's role in funding that area during the 1970s and 1980s, as well as a description of the leading academic centers and personalities. Adrion recounts his work with the Coordinated Experimental Research program, which grew out of a concern to retain good faculty and promote experimental research at academic institutions. Other areas discussed include computer networks, NSF's support of CSNET, the role of Kent Curtis in NSF, and the relationship between DARPA and NSF funding. The interview concludes with comments about the position of chief scientist and Adrion's decision to leave NSF.
W. Richards Adrion, OH 211. Oral history interview by William Aspray, 29 October 1990, Amherst, Massachusetts. Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. http://purl.umn.edu/104300
Transcript, 33 pp. Audio file available at http://purl.umn.edu/96115
Adrion, W. Richards.
Oral history interview with W. Richards Adrion.
Charles Babbage Institute.
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
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