Welcome to Booster!
Volume 19  August  2014
Letter from the Director
With the new academic year well underway, plans for the Center’s annual meeting this fall are actively ongoing. We sincerely hope that you will consider joining us for this important event as we head into the Center’s sixth year as a DHS Center of Excellence. The VACCINE Center Annual Meeting will take place on October 15th-16th, 2014 on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. (Registration information can be found in the upper right hand corner of this newsletter.)
Our annual meeting provides a public forum to discuss VACCINE activities and the challenges of visual analytics, data, and homeland security. The event will also include invited presentations, panel discussions and a technology showcase of decision-making tools with hands-on demonstrations of state-of-the-art technologies. U.S. Coast Guard, Department of Homeland Security, law enforcement, and emergency response personnel, as well as faculty and students from Purdue and our 26 member schools will be in attendance and actively participating in this event. We welcome attendees from any government, corporate, or non-profit agencies associated with public safety and homeland security or visual and data analytics issues to ensure a broad range of input and perspective on important challenges facing our nation's overall security. Distinguished keynote speakers include U.S. Congresswoman Susan Brooks as well as U.S. Coast Guard Vice Admiral William Lee and Vice Admiral Charles Michel. Planned panels to date involve “Organizational Information Sharing, Problems, and Bottlenecks;” “Social Media in Government and Safety;” and “Effective Decision Making for Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and Response.” Feel free to pass along this invitation to your colleagues so that they may also join us for this two-day annual meeting.
I hope you all had an enjoyable summer. We look forward to seeing you in October.
U.S. Coast Guard Visits VACCINE
Mr. Gary Rasicot, U.S. Coast Guard Director of Marine Transportation Systems; Captain Scott Smith, Deputy Director of Marine Transporation Systems; and Dr. Joseph DiRenzo, Senior Advisor to the Area Commander for Science, Technology and Innovation Coast Guard Atlantic Area (LANT-097), recently visited VACCINE to discuss what tools and capabilities the center has to assist the Coast Guard’s efforts in managing risk and improving operations. VACCINE’s numerous past successful projects with various Coast Guard sectors served as examples of ways in which the Center could also provide visualization expertise to the Coast Guard areas under Mr. Rasicot’s authority. 
Below: VACCINE team meets with U.S. Coast Guard members to explore joint projects. From left: Captain Scott Smith, Dr. David Ebert, Mr. Gary Rasicot, and Kaethe Beck.
VACCINE Hosts Public Safety Consortium
VACCINE hosted its kick-off Public Safety Consortium luncheon for the new academic year on August 28th. VACCINE hosts these monthly events for local and regional law enforcement, emergency, first-responder, and related public safety personnel to get together and share their challenges and explore ways in which VACCINE might be able to help solve them. It is also an opportunity to introduce existing VACCINE tools to this community and make them aware of some of the technology available to them. August’s topic of discussion was “Using Social Media for Early Detection and Forensic Analysis - SMART Presentation.” SMART is VACCINE’s social media analysis tool: Social Media Analytics and Reporting Toolkit.
 VACCINE’s GARI Program Featured at INGang Network’s Annual Training Conference
VACCINE’s Gang Graffiti Automatic Recognition and Interpretation (GARI) program was featured at the INGang Network’s Annual Training Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana on August 14th. Attendees included approximately 300 individuals from 81 different agencies. VACCINE researcher Professor Edward Delp gave a presentation about GARI at this event. Delp is the Charles William Harrison Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Professor of Psychological Sciences, as well as the Director of Purdue’s Video and Image Processing Laboratory (VIPER).
The Indiana Gang Network (INGangNetwork) is a statewide criminal gang intelligence database. INGangNetwork is a powerful tool that makes it easy to collect, analyze, and share gang intelligence in a central location with the intent of preventing and reducing gang related activity in conformance with the privacy and constitutional rights of all individuals. INGangNetwork previously implemented the (GARI) system which gives law enforcement handheld access to graffiti meanings and locations, allowing officers to track gang affiliation, growth, membership and activity.
 MSI Faculty Training Workshop a Success
The VACCINE Center, in collaboration with the Morgan State University Visual Analytics for Science and Technology (VAST) team, sponsored the 2014 MSI Faculty Training Workshop July 29-30, 2014 at Morgan State University. Faculty and staff participated in a two-day workshop that focused on visual analytics. The MSIs represented were from Arkansas Tech University, Bethune Cookman, Jackson State, Morgan State University, the University of Baltimore, and the University of the District of Columbia. The workshop was facilitated by Dr. Niklas Elmqvist, Assistant Professor at Purdue University. Drs. Timothy Akers and Kevin Peters, Co-PIs to the DHS visual analytics grant for MSI, assisted in facilitating the workshop. Learning topics and activities in the two-day workshop focused on: understanding the theory and foundation of visual analytics; integrating visual analytics into course curriculum; developing learning communities for interdisciplinary courses; hands-on instructor-supported tutorials on extracting social media and potential analysis; use of available visual analytic software; and a unique group designed application learning assignment. A highlight of the workshop was a visit by Ms. Stephanie Willett, DHS Director of University programs from DHS, who welcomed the group and discussed MSI programs at DHS. (This information is provided via courtesy of Morgan State faculty Dr. Timothy Akers and Dr. Kevin Peters.)
VACCINE Welcomes New HS-STEM Students
VACCINE hosted a luncheon on August 29th to welcome the Center’s new HS-STEM students for the current academic year. The “Homeland Security - Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Career Development Program” is designed to support undergraduate and graduate students in developing the skills to become preeminent scientists in the homeland security and technical community. This United States Department of Homeland Security funded program offers career development scholarships and fellowships with summer research and one year service commitments. New students include: Thomas Gorko, Brian Olsen, David Wiszowaty, and Kevin Xu.
Below: New HS-STEM students Kevin Xu, Brian Olsen, and David Wiszowaty meet with VACCINE Lab member Guizhen Wang during a project demonstration. (Not pictured: Thomas Gorko).
VACCINE Annual Meeting Registration
Event date:
October 15-16, 2014
Event location:
Purdue University
West Lafayette, Indiana
The detailed meeting agenda as well as event logistics/travel information will be made available soon on our website.
Please visit there for updates as we approach the meeting date. If you have any questions regarding this event, please e-mail: vaccine@purdue.edu.
- Congratulations to VACCINE Ph.D. students Abish Malik and Sungahn Ko on their graduation from Purdue University in August.
Malik’s Ph.D. thesis was entitled “Assisted Decision Making using Multivariate Spatiotemporal Data through the Application of Visual Analytics.” Ko’s thesis was entitled “Aided Decision-Making through Visual Analytics Systems for Large Multivariate, Spatiotemporal, Hierarchical and Network Data.”
- VACCINE’s summer SURF students participated in the SURF 2014 Student Research Symposium on August 7th along with students from other departments across Purdue University who were also in the program. SURF students from engineering, science, and agriculture disciplines conducted research alongside Purdue faculty members, post-docs, and graduate student members, and during the research symposium they shared their discoveries with the community. The day consisted of oral presentations organized by themes followed by a poster session.
VACCINE SURF student presentations included: Yuchen Chui (Social Media Analytics Reporting Toolkit), Isaac Sheeley (VAST 2014, Challenge One: Event Analysis Within Big Data), James Tay (Geospatial Crime Analysis), Justus Karenzi (Visual Feedback on the Effects of Temperature, Moisture, Relative Humidity, Solar Radiation, Wind and Precipitation on Growth and Production of Grapes), and Renjun Zheng (A User Study on Route Evaluation).
- The White House Liaison’s Office at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is looking for motivated students interested in an opportunity to participate in a part-time internship program. Fall interns will have an opportunity to work alongside DHS employees, gain critical work experience, and build invaluable relationships. The WHLO Intern Program provides a robust and exciting experience where participants feel challenged with substantive projects and are afforded unique exposure to various sections and components of the Department. Interested applicants should e-mail a resume, completed application, statement of interest, transcript and one recommendation to WHLOintern@HQ.DHS.GOV by midnight on Friday, September 12th, 2014. The resume must include GPA, work experience, community service, and updated contact information. 
- The University of Notre Dame announces a new rank-open special professional faculty position in Advanced Diagnostics & Therapeutics (AD&T) to serve as the Associate Director-Research.
Candidates should send a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and a detailed plan for research and professional development within the context of AD&T’s mission to Paul W. Bohn, Director, AD&T. Candidates must also arrange to have at least three letters of recommendation sent to the search committee via the application website.
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