Newsletter
Volume 24   August 2016
Message from the Director
We would like to welcome our new VACCINE Managing Director, Eugene W. Jones.  Gene joins our team after four years as a new product introduction (NPI) platform engineer at Caterpillar where he coordinated the development of new designs with component engineers, the building of prototype engines and the validation activities (design, build, test).  Prior to his employment at Caterpillar, Eugene served nearly 30 years in the US Navy.  Although the Navy provided him an opportunity to exercise his leadership, operational and management skills in a variety of roles, his primary warfare specialty was submarines and naval nuclear propulsion.
Gene has three decades of experience leading organizations that vary in size, geographical distribution and technology focus.  He also has a solid background in program/project management and new product introduction.  Having served with a NATO staff in Belgium, Eugene has experience leading an international team of people.  In short, he has all of the attributes that we sought in a managing director, and we are excited to welcome him to VACCINE.
Heather Connell has taken a position with DHS S&T working on transition.  As you all know, Heather was our Transition Manager and then moved up to Managing Director. In this new role, she’ll be able to capitalize on her experience and success at VACCINE leading our transitioning technology to the Homeland Security Enterprise. Please join us in thanking her for her great work at VACCINE and wishing her success in her new position.
Sincerely,
David
VACCINE thanks First Responders
Our staff would like to express our sincere appreciation to all of our First Responders, especially our police officers. We recognize that you have a tough job, working long hours in sometimes dangerous circumstances.  Despite the risks, each of you respond to our calls for help.  Your professionalism, dedication to duty and courage inspires us.  At VACCINE, because we understand the challenges that you face, we are motivated to create tools that increase situational awareness, provide real-time intelligence analysis and enable First Responders to operate more efficiently.  
Florida International University (FIU) Minority Serving Institution (MSI) Faculty Workshop
The VACCINE Center launched the summer of 2016 with another very successful MSI Visual Analytics Faculty Workshop. For the past four years, VACCINE has conducted these workshops at MSI partner universities Jackson State University, Morgan State University, and Bethune-Cookman University. This year the well-attended workshop was hosted by Professor Shu-Ching Chen at Florida International University in Miami, Florida.
The focus of the workshop was to prepare MSI faculty across various disciplines, with the tools needed to incorporate visual analytics into their existing programs. The first day of the workshop opened with presentations from Dr. David Ebert, VACCINE Center Director, Dr. Shu-Ching Chen, Associate Professor, Florida international University, and Dr. Louis Ngamassi from Prairie View A & M University.  DHS representatives were also in attendance and they provided important updates within the DHS Minority Serving Institution programs and initiatives. Participative, instructor-supported tutorials were led by Associate Professor Ross Maciejewski from Arizona State University.  Day two of the workshop was designed as a group breakout session which allowed MSI faculty to brainstorm ideas and strategize ways of creating these learning modules that can easily be implemented into existing curriculum.
Morgan State University (MSU) Undergraduate Summer Workshop
As a part of our goal to build a diverse, highly capable, technical workforce for the Department of Homeland Security enterprise, students from Morgan State University recently completed a week-long summer workshop on the science of visual analytics from July 24th-30th. The workshop included instructor led discussions on the science of visual analytics and hands-on training exercises on a wide range of topics (e.g., statistical modeling, information visualization techniques, document and cluster analysis methods, programming exercises). The students also participated in engaging seminars on Gang Graffiti Recognition and Analysis (GARI), the Use of Social Media for Disaster Management, and Global Network Cameras and Public Safety presented by faculty members.  Additionally, student-led demonstrations of our tools and technology were conducted.
Above: Dr. Louis Ngamassi from Prairie View A & M University presents "The Use of Social Media for Disaster Management" to MSU undergraduates and SURF students
VACCINE Center and American Military University Achieve One Year Milestone
The VACCINE Center and American Military University achieved a one year milestone of the launch of the live webinar series designed to focus on specific dialogue topics related to homeland security technology. Our most recent webinar on July 29th, featured a discussion on Social Media and its Many Uses: From Information Collection to Humanitarian and Disaster Assistance, and more,” and was co-presented by Dr. Louis Ngamassi, Assistant Professor of Management Information Systems at Prairie View A&M University, College of Business, and Dr. James Hess, Faculty Director and Associate Professor, American Military University. These live webinars foster an environment of open dialogue between the presenters and participants. Join us for future webinars as we innovate, foster, and challenge new ideas.
Dr. Louis Ngamassi from Prairie View A & M University Visits VACCINE
Dr. Louis Ngamassi, who is an Assistant Professor of MIS, College of Business at Prairie View A & M University, spent a week at the VACCINE Center to continue developing his research project on “Improving Disaster Management through Enhanced Social Media Visual Analytic Tool”, which he began last year while participating in the DHS MSI Summer Research Team Program.  Dr. Ngamassi has successfully integrated visual analytics into his fall course on Crisis Informatics and will begin to incorporate SMART, VACCINE Center’s Social Media analysis tool, into his curriculum as well. During his visit, Dr. Ngamassi also participated as faculty presenter for the Morgan State University summer workshop on visual analytics, and was co-presenter for the VACCINE/American Military University webinar series on July 29th during which he discussed social media and its countless uses.
Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program
For the past several summers, the VACCINE Center has hosted a group of students who participate in Purdue University’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program, which is designed to help students across the STEM disciplines investigate and present research discoveries, and develop the professional skillset needed to properly present their research to the public at a final symposium. The SURF program allows students to conduct research and work closely with our graduate students and research assistants in the VACCINE Center Lab. This year, the Center hosted four undergraduate students who enhanced the functional capabilities of several VACCINE Center tools. 
Social Media Analytics and Reporting Toolkit (SMART) was used at the RNC Convention to Monitor for Safety and Security Related Incidents
 The VACCINE center collaborated with multiple law enforcement departments throughout the Greater Cleveland, Ohio area to assist in their support of security efforts  for the Republican National Convention which was held in Cleveland in July 2016.  SMART was utilized by several public safety and law enforcement departments to monitor Twitter posts in order to assist in their safety and security monitoring. SMART provides users with scalable and interactive social media data analysis and visualization tools that include real-time monitoring of social media channels, extraction of trending and abnormal topics, density based spatial clustering, and task-tailored interactive message categorization. SMART can provide actionable intelligence and early warning indicators of potential demonstrations and acts of violence or disruptions during an event. The departments using SMART during the event make up the largest suburban communities and largest number of hotel rooms outside of the downtown Cleveland area. These large suburban departments along with many smaller ones were responsible for not only securing the hotel sites, but also the delegations and the events taking place within their communities. The departments using SMART during the event included the Independence PD, Independence Fire and Rescue, North Olmsted PD, Twinsburg PD, Westlake PD, Rocky River PD, Solon PD, Brecksville PD, and the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority. 
April 2016
Dr. David Ebert gave the Capstone address at the  Alan Touring Institute (ATI) Symposium on Theoretical Foundation of Visual Analytics at The British Library in London on April 6, 2016 “Evolving Foundations & Understanding of Visual Analytics Theory”
VACCINE develops technology that harnesses network cameras to improve public safety
 VACCINE Center Graduates
Congratulations to our fellow VACCINE students:
- Brian Olsen
- David Wiszowaty
- Phillip Forsberg
- Frederick Green



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