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Association for Computing Machinery
Advancing Computing as a Science & Profession
Contact: Virginia Gold Cameron Wilson
(212) 626-0505 (202) 659-9711
ACM PRESIDENT SAYS WHITE HOUSE COMMITMENT TO INCREASED
EDUCATION, R&D INVESTMENT REFLECTS TECH COMMUNITY PRIORITIES
Patterson Cites Focus on Technology as key to Nation's Continuing Innovation
Washington, DC, February 1, 2006 - David Patterson, president of ACM, the largest
membership organization of computer educators, researchers, and professionals, said the White
House's commitment to increased investment in education and basic research is the key to
sustaining innovation. In a statement issued today in response to the President's American
Competitiveness Initiative in his State of the Union address, Patterson said the Administration's
renewed focus on funding for education and research reflects the priorities of the technology
"Innovation deserves a prime place in the national agenda because of its ability to create new
industries and new jobs," said Patterson, professor of computer science at the University of
California, Berkeley, and founding director of the recently announced Reliable, Adaptive and
Distributed Systems Laboratory (RAD Lab) at Berkeley. "But the only way to assure continuing
innovation is to focus on improving science, math and technology education, and to increase
funding for fundamental research programs at the Federal level.
Patterson noted that he and the leaders of the tech community have been widely promoting this
point as they watched in dismay at signs that the nation was losing its technological edge. Citing
historical precedents, he said that innovation is necessary to sustain the magnitude of technology
advances that are critical to economic growth and competitiveness in the global environment.
Patterson pointed to improved educational instruction, increased scholarship opportunities,
curriculum upgrades, and teacher training and support among the initiatives that are essential to
reinforcing the quality of education necessary for sustained innovation.
He noted that IT research has been critical to this nation's leadership in technology, and has
driven innovation with results that reach well beyond the IT sector. He cited the personal
computer, the Internet, and search engines as examples of benefits derived from investing in
"In an increasingly competitive world, innovation is required to create new industries, new
processes, and new jobs," he noted. "The benefits to society of investing in research for IT and
the rest of science and engineering are at least as important for the 21st century as they have
already proven for the 20th century."
ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery http://www.acm.org, is an educational and scientific
society uniting the world's computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue,
share resources and address the field's challenges. ACM strengthens the profession's collective
voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical
excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for
life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.