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FastLane: Managing Science in the Internet World

FastLane: Managing Science in the Internet World

by Thomas J. Misa, Jeffrey R. Yost

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The unique history and development of FastLane, the central nervous system of the National Science Foundation.

Since 2000, the National Science Foundation has depended upon its pioneering FastLane e-government system to manage grant applications, peer reviews, and reporting. In this behind-the-scenes account Thomas J. Misa and Jeffrey R. Yost examine how powerful forces of science and computing came together to create this influential grant-management system, assessing its impact on cutting-edge scientific research.

Why did the NSF create FastLane, and how did it anticipate the development of web-based e-commerce? What technical challenges did the glitch-prone early system present? Did the switch to electronic grant proposals disadvantage universities with fewer resources? And how did the scientific community help shape FastLane?

Foregrounding the experience of computer users, the book draws on hundreds of interviews with scientific researchers, sponsored project administrators, NSF staff, and software designers, developers, and managers.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781421418698
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 01/15/2016
Series: Johns Hopkins Studies in the History of Technology
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 224
File size: 3 MB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Thomas J. Misa is the director of the Charles Babbage Institute at the University of Minnesota, where he holds the Engineering Research Associates Land-Grant Chair in the history of technology. He is the author of Leonardo to the Internet: Technology and Culture from the Renaissance to the Present. Jeffrey R. Yost is the associate director of the Charles Babbage Institute and a faculty member in the history of science, technology, and medicine department at the University of Minnesota. He is the coauthor of Computer: A History of the Information Machine.

Thomas J. Misa (LOPEZ ISLAND, WA) is the author or coauthor of many books, including A Nation of Steel: The Making of Modern America, 1865–1925 and FastLane: Managing Science in the Internet World.

Table of Contents

1. Managing Science
2. Origins of E-Government
3. Developing a New System
4. Principal Investigators as Lead Users
5. Research Administrators as Lead Users
6. NSF Staff as Legacy Users
7. Legacies, Lessons, and Prospects
Appendix A. University Site Visits
Appendix B. Interview Summary Statistics
Essay on Sources

What People are Saying About This

Joseph A. November

"This fundamentally important book for historians of science and technology uses the testimonies of scientists and computer experts to demystify the workings and construction of NSF's FastLane grant application system. Skillfully drawing from more than four hundred interviews and an impressive range of archival sources, Misa and Yost have masterfully crafted an accessible, engaging, and frank history."

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