Bylaw for the NSF Spatiotemporal Innovation Center

Objective: The center bylaw is to provide a governing mechanism to ensure the effective and successful operation of the center under NSF, relevant university policies, guidelines and as agreed by all sites, NSF, and Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) members.


2.3.1 Policies and Guidelines


  • Article I. The Center. The center is chartered according to NSF I/UCRC program policies and supported by site hosting universities (Academic members), therefore, will abide by relevant NSF and university policies. The center is operated under the management from NSF as documented in NSF I/UCRC program, and research is mainly supported by IAB members. Center management decisions will be made by center directors in consultation with IAB members, NSF Program Managers, and University organizations. Center should involve as many graduate students as possible in project research and development, and try best to build in diversity by involving minorities as defined by diversity building.


  • Article II. The Center Directors. The center directors are responsible for the operation of the center through collaboration with members and NSF. Center directors will work with project PIs, IAB, evaluator, and NSF program managers to form center annual report, and support the evaluator to form center operational evaluations. Center directors should work closely with funded PIs, potential PIs, and IAB, in consultation with NSF program managers and evaluator to define workshop agenda for the bi-annual in person meetings. Center directors could only be changed if current director cannot perform the directorship with recommendation from current director and agreed by other co-directors and NSF program managers.


  • Article III. The Center Faculty. Center directors, director assistants and staff should be actively seeking outreach to potential IAB members and form new project ideas.The center director assistants are responsible for logistical support to the center directors for center operation. The project team should closely collaborate with IAB members who funded the project (i.e. funding members) to ensure the relevance of the project to industry project. Project technical decisions should be made by project PI in consultation with funding member and project members. Project management decisions which made by center directors, should be recommended by project PI in consultation with funding member and project members to center directors.


  • Article IV. The IAB Members. IAB members is encouraged to help brand the center and advertise to potential members. IAB members will decide with NSF program managers which projects to fund. The funding can be provided from members through either prepaid membership fee or membership fee paid based on project selected to specific university as defined in the membership agreement.


  • Article VI. Project research results. Project research results will be equally shared by sites conducting relevant research, and a free license should be given to relevant sponsoring members. Revenues received from industry by projects should be equitably shared by project participating sites. Project research results should be reviewed jointly by center directors, PI, and funding members before publication. If results are commercial sensitive, results may be patented or purchased by members with exclusive license and should not be published or publication are to be delayed for a reasonable period of time to allow intellectual property to be protected. (e.g., patents).




2.3.2 Center Organization


The proposed I/UCRC for spatiotemporal thinking and computing will include the diagramed structure:

  1. Center directors: a) GMU CISC for computing/software/tools development managed by center director Dr. Chaowei Yang, and b) the Harvard CGA for applications managed by center co-director Dr. Jason Ur. The three site directors will be responsible for the overall operation of the center and report to NSF and relevant university organizations.
  2. Relevant university organizations, such as GMU office of VP for research, will provide university policy, management, and infrastructural support to the center operations.
  3. NSF program directors will provide NSF advice to the operation of the center.

Invited scientists and Dr. Michael Goodchild as the scientific steering committee chair provide suggestion to the research direction of the center.

  1. An industry advisory board (IAB) will be formed with members to provide industry guidance for the center operation. The Industrial Advisory Board is comprised of one official liaison from each industrial member. The IAB meets at least twice per year at the bi-annual meeting. The officers of the IAB are the Chair and Vice-Chair. The Chair sets the agenda and conducts the business meetings of the IAB, acts as a spokesperson for the IAB, and represents the Center outside of the organization when appropriate. The Vice Chair works at the Chair’s direction. The election of officers occurs at the last IAB meeting of the calendar year. The officers are nominated by the last two IAB Chairs and the Director, or by nominations from the floor, and are elected by the IAB for a renewable one-year term beginning on January 1. Should the Chair resign, the Vice Chair becomes Chair until the next regularly scheduled election.
  2. Project Principal Investigators will manage specific research projects funded by the Center or Industry Members and will report directly to the appropriate Director, university administrator, and to the Industrial Member supporting the project. Project Principal Investigators will be identified in specific project proposals.
  3. Evaluator will work with directors, IAB and NSF program manager to evaluate the center progress and recommend to NSF program managers about the continuation of the center.
  4. Each site will have a partial management assistant to help center directors on managing the daily operation of the center.
  5. Project teams will conduct research by closely collaborating with funding members and reporting to the directors the progress of projects and other center activities.

2.3.3 Operational Procedures

The center’s operation includes bi-annual in person IAB meetings, teleconferences between directors every months, regular project meetings, on-call IAB business meeting, relevant conference participation, online news, reporting and content management site.

  1. The first bi-annual in-person meeting will be with members, NSF program directors, and the evaluator to:
    1. introduce I/UCRC objectives,
    2. review the center objectives,
    3. present & select projects to be funded,
    4. report on project progress and success stories
    5. attract new members and perform outreach
  2. The 2nd bi-annual in-person meeting will be with members, NSF program directors, and evaluator to
    1. report project progress
    2. interact with NSF program directors and evaluator
    3. post success stories and potential project ideas
    4. form annual and semi-annual report to NSF ?
    5. attract new members and outreach
  3. Ongoing research and collaboration among the sites and members will be managed by each project leader, coordinated by site directors to
    1. conduct research as defined
    2. hold meetings as needed among project team and sponsoring members
    3. hold bi-weekly teleconferences for cross site projects
    4. hold weekly meeting among site project members
    5. identify success stories
  4. An monthly teleconference will be held among site directors and persons as needed to discuss
    1. NSF policy update
    2. center branding strategies
    3. relevant project opportunities for potential proposals
    4. outreach to members and potential members
    5. report research progress at each sites and especially the collaborated project cross sites
    6. Logistical issues such as meeting organizing, personnel changes, and content management.
  5. Other activities of the center in organizing sessions, workshops, and participating in (potential) member meetings will be conducted as needed
    1. member annual meeting to show case success stories and research projects
    2. organizational meeting to broadcast research results and attract new members
    3. online media, such as Facebook, website, Twitter, and email list, for disseminating success stories and attracting new members
  6. The center post all information on an official website (stcenter.net) and two content management portal accessible through the official website
    1. Content are divided into the general information which is open to public and information which is secured by account control and only visible to IAB members
    2. Each project has a space on a documentation collaboration and archiving web portal
    3. A Git portal is used to managed all resulting source code from project and shared by all IAB members of the center

This five-aspect operational procedure will be repeated in each of the five years. In the last year, we will discuss the possibility of continuing the I/UCRC for spatiotemporal thinking and computing for a 2nd phase.

2.3.4 Research Project Selection Procedures

  1. A Center research project will usually require performance by one or more Academic Members and may be sponsored by one or more IAB Members. Therefore, membership fees from several Industrial Members may be used to support projects of common interest. The Center research projects will be conducted by faculty, researchers and/or students at one or more of the Academic Members.
  2. All Member Institutions may participate in the selection and evaluation of research projects. Industrial Members acquire a certain number of votes on the Industrial Advisory Board according to the corresponding membership category.
  3. Typically, Industrial Members will propose general industry-oriented research topics of interest to their organization. A portfolio of relevant research topics will be compiled based on the interests of the industrial Members. These research topics will be the basis for cooperative discussions among the faculty and all Industrial Members. Each Academic Member will develop a set of pre-proposals consistent with the goals of their group, the interests of the Industrial Members, and the mission of the Center. The pre-proposals will be discussed between Academic Members and Industrial Members prior to the first biannual Center Board Meeting each year and be revised according to the feedback from the Industrial Members. At the Industrial Advisory Board Meeting, faculty/student teams will present their proposals with the Industrial Advisory Board members. Industrial Members will fill the L.I.F.E forms during the Meeting with their interest of the presented projects.
  4. Industrial Members will vote to select the funded project according to the topics of interest of the Member institutions and return the voting result to center directors within one month after the first bi-annual center board meeting. Each member can split the votes into multiple projects.
  5. After the voting, Members of the Industrial Advisory Board will recommend funding of projects and will cooperate with the Center Director to establish an annual budget for each project.