Newsletter
4th Quarter 2016,  Volume 25   
Message from the Director
With U.S. Thanksgiving last week, I’d like to take the opportunity to thank all of you for your support of our Center over the past 7 years. We also thank you for the work that you each do in increasing the safety and security of our country or in creating tools to empower our extended homeland security enterprise. The time, energy, creativity and work of our collaborators, network of researchers and students has led to VACCINE’s success to date. At our annual meeting earlier this month, we had the opportunity to thank many of you as well as engage you in insightful and stimulating discussions (see below for more details). Many of the discussions were inspiring, thought provoking, and very timely, especially given very large predictive data analytics failures during the past year. Highlights of the topics include new data-driven and visualization-driven policy and decision making, the role of social media and new technologies in homeland security and investigations, and what should be our goals and measures for success. Reflecting on our annual meeting discussions and  our central principal that the knowledge, experience, and insight of the decision maker is the main tool for effective decision making with effective data analysis supporting and enhancing their capabilities, validates once again that our approach and tools are the best approach for managing complex problems.
For those who we haven’t had a chance to personally thank recently, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you. I’d also like to thank our great staff that has worked so diligently over the years and take this opportunity to introduce you to our newest staff member, Amanda Cho, who joined us this fall as our chief administrative assistant just in time to help make our annual meeting so successful. 
Sincerely,
David
2016  VACCINE Center Annual Meeting
VACCINE held the 2016 Annual Meeting on November 2nd and 3rd in West Lafayette, Indiana.
Our staff would like to express our sincere appreciation to all attendees of the VACCINE 8th Annual Meeting.  It was an outstanding gathering of professionals from  a wide range of disciplines including government officials, public safety officers, academics, and corporate representatives.  In addition to the interesting keynote speakers and engaging panel discussions, attendees had an opportunity to network with others engaged in the homeland security enterprise. 
Our annual meeting was designed to present and engage the attendees with relevant homeland security issues related to data visualization and the impact on policy development.  The first day of the meeting consisted of four panels that covered Digital Forensics, Visualization and Data Driven Policy Analysis, Criminal Investigations and Emerging Sources of Information and New Product Transition. Additionally, Dr. John Dargan, Director of DHS S&T Operations and Requirements Analysis Division, provided a keynote address titled “Data Driven Policy Analysis” in which he emphasized the need for data analysis while exploring DHS capability gaps presented to the Joint Requirements Council (JRC).  The second keynote speaker was Ms. Sue Lane, a recently retired DHS senior executive with significant experience in US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).  Her keynote address focused on “A Holistic Approach to Big Data” in which she stressed the need for a thoughtful evaluation of the metrics that we use to drive our policy decisions. The second day of the annual meeting was dedicated to training public safety officers in the VACCINE lab.  Our Research Scientist, Dr. Abish Malik, and the research assistants provided “hands-on” training on SMART, VALET and JIGSAW.  
Dr. John Dargan, Keynote Speaker, presents on Data Driven Policy Analysis
Ms. Sue Lane, Keynote Speaker, presents on A Holistic Approach to Big Data
Attendees networking at the Conference
Day Two: Hands-on training in the VACCINE lab 
How The SMART Tool is Used in Current Events
The Piloting/Transition of SMART to public safety end-users was accelerated by a recent presentation and demonstration at the Analytic Seminar on Social media and Open Source in Oklahoma City. As a result of the presentation, requests to pilot SMART came from the following organizations to support large community events. 
The Oklahoma State Fusion Center used SMART at the State Fair from September 15 to 25. An analyst was able to find two suspicious tweets related to safety and security using SMART and she commented that SMART allows users to interactively filter to messages of interest which is something that many commercial tools are unable to do.  
Sgt Garcia stated the following: “I find myself using it (SMART) more and more as well as learning more of the program.”  
SMART is also being piloted in Oceanside, California at the Mira Costa College Police Department. Sergeant Ralf J. Garcia Jr. states “I like monitoring the geo message table a lot as it helps to see what’s going through.” 
SMART Bring’s its "A" Game to the Battle of Bristol
SMART was deployed at the VA Tech vs. University of Tennessee college football game and provided Twitter "traffic flow" information to an intelligence analyst at the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security.  Utilizing Twitter data, a heat map of the spatial distribution of “twitting” people revealed traffic flow (whether in a car or walking to the stadium) information.  The Intelligence Analyst stated that the heat maps corroborated and supported the reality on the ground where certain areas were experiencing a higher volume traffic.  Additionally, Twitter key words were highlighted on the map along with the traffic flow arrows.  
Dr Abish Malik Shares his Product Development and Transition Experience at the Research and Transition Workshop 
Dr. Abish Malik 
This workshop, conducted at the Food Protection and Defense Institute – University of Minnesota, was geared toward providing Centers with guidance on how best to identify transfer or commercialization pathways for DHS funded research. Concepts central to software development and the business models conducive to software and data analytics were the focus of workshop.  Speakers provided guidance regarding leveraging university resources to meet various technology development needs, and intellectual property and industry efforts to develop new capabilities and conducting business with the public sector. 
VACCINE Participates in Plugfest 
Plugfest took place during the Maritime Security 2016 West Annual Conference, from Sept.20-22, 2016 in Everett, WA. Plugfest is a DHS exercise that allows different solution providers of sensors, analysis and decisions support tools to integrate their products in real time during on-water simulations of different scenarios. Multiple radar and tracking devices were setup around Possession Sound (see picture 1) by DHS and other vendors, and data were uploaded to a web service our system was able to collect and display. We shared a booth with DHS S&T, demonstrated cgSARVA (see picture 2), a modified version of VALET for displaying these collected data and calculated clusters and anomalies, and gave a short talk on what role our visual analytics systems could play in different hypothetical scenarios mentioned. Some other vendors with graphical user interfaces have shown interest to our systems, and we have received positive feedback from other attendees and the DHS S&T group
Picture 1 
Picture 2
New Enhancements to VALET were introduced at the Public Safety Consortium Presentation and Luncheon 
On Friday, September 30, a demonstration of two new enhancements to the Visual Analytics Law Enforcement Toolkit (VALET)  was provided to the Lafayette PD, West Lafayette PD and others. This presentation showcased how VALET filters through crime-related activities within various areas of our community and selects officers to be sent to the corresponding locations based upon their performance ranking. 
Dr. David Ebert welcomes all attendees
The Lafayette Police Chief discusses the relationship of VALET and the correlation to crime related activity
The VACCINE Center and the United States Air Force Academy's Workshop Collaboration "Takes Off"
On October 13-14,  VACCINE and the United States Air Force Academy hosted a Service Academies Faculty workshop on Visual Analytics at the Air Force Academy campus in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The purpose of the workshop was to create a network of collaborators who see the need to develop and educate the Department of Defense (DOD) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) personnel on the value of visual analytics. It is anticipated that analysts and decision makers will place an increased emphasis on predictive analytics and the visualization of data in the future.  Visualization specifically will become a more important skill and tool for analysts.  In fact, analysts and decision makers will stop viewing static displays of data in presentations and start interacting with data “live” in a visual format, as a result, there is a need to understand and educate undergraduates on visual analytics.
Approximately ten USAFA faculty and four United States Coast Guard faculty were in attendance at the workshop, which included an introduction to visual analytics followed by group discussions led by VACCINE researchers with the intent of developing outlines for visual analytic teaching modules.  These modules will be designed so that an instructor can easily adopt them for a one or two lesson sequence in their course.  The design of the modules will also be flexible enough to be used in a wide range of disciplines such as mathematics, management, computer science, and political science. 
The Air Force Academy Campus in Colorado Springs

The GARI Tool Stands Out at The Indiana Law Enforcement Academy Training Coordinator’s Conference 
The GARI team from Purdue University was invited by the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) to present Gang Graffiti Automatic Recognition and Interpretation Tool (GARI) at the ILEA Training Coordinator’s Conference on November 2, 2016. GARI has been developed to recognize and interpret gang graffiti and gang tattoo images. This project is funded by the Department of Homeland Security’s Visual Analytics for Command, Control and Interoperability Environments (VACCINE). Key concepts such as overall system, main functions, and image processing techniques used to analyze gang graffiti and gang tattoo images were introduced, along with real-time demonstrations. During the demo, we showed the audience of law enforcement how to utilize the GARI app on a smartphone and a desktop. As a result of the presentation, several law enforcement entities requested access to the GARI tool.
Congratulations to... 
Dr. David Ebert for being awarded the 2016 Visualization Technical Achievement Award in recognition of his foundational work in visual analytics, both through development of fundamental predictive techniques and as Director of the Purdue/DHS Visual Analytics Center of Excellence. 
The IEEE VGTC Visualization Technical Achievement Award was established in 2004. It is given every year to rec­ognize an individual for a seminal technical achievement in visualization.


Dr. Shu-Ching Chen was elected as an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow.  Election as a Fellow honors members whose efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications in service to society have distinguished them among their peers and colleagues.



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