2nd Quarter 2018, Volume 31
Message from the Director

The start of Fall 2018 has been a busy time, and we are just now getting to you the highlights of our summer activities. It was quite a successful and productive summer among our team, one that saw changes in our staff as well. Dr. JingJing Guo was a postdoc over the summer and has now moved on to an industry position, and Dr. Morteza Karimzadeh joined our Purdue team as a postdoc after having completed his PhD with Dr. Alan MacEachren as part of the Penn State team.

I hope you are all having a great Fall and we’ll update you with our Fall activities shortly.


First Responders Group Luncheon

On May 31st, VACCINE hosted a luncheon for the First Responders Group to discuss refinements to SMART for future development and eventual commercialization, based on feedback from subject matter experts. Dr. Ebert and Ph.D. student Jiawei Zhang presented updates to SMART and discussed future plans for the program. 
The SMART presentation during the FRG Luncheon
Department of Homeland Security’s 2018 Center of Excellence Summit

On May 30th-31st, Dr. David Ebert and VACCINE Ph.D. student Calvin Yau attended the Department of Homeland Security 2018 Center of Excellence Summit at George Mason University in Arlington, VA. The COE Summit gives DHS Centers of Excellence the opportunity to showcase their research through exhibits and presentations, as well as a chance to collaborate with other researchers, other COEs, and members of Homeland Security. VACCINE’s exhibit included information on GARI, SMART, and VALET as well as potential future projects.
Dr. Ebert presents at the COE Summit
Sustainability Collaboration with UNSA Partners

On August 1-9, VACCINE participated in the 2018 Arequipa Nexus Institute’s technical training workshops, hosted by Discovery Park. As part of our work in sustainability and precision agriculture, Discovery Park and VACCINE have partnered with an interdisciplinary group of researchers and faculty from the Universidad Nacional de San Augustín (UNSA) in Arequipa, Peru to create the Arequipa Nexus Institute . The Institute’s goal is to facilitate collaboration on projects that will support the development of sustainable food, energy, and water systems in Peru.
Training workshop kickoff at Discovery Park
SMART (Social Media Analytics and Reporting Toolkit) Updates
VACCINE has continued to develop and deploy SMART through our partnerships with Davista Technologies and security and safety agencies across the country. Recent highlights include:
  • This summer, we have added 30 new users at 17 different first responder and law enforcement agencies across the country.
  • US Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay used SMART to monitor social media during the July 4th Independence Day celebrations along the Delaware River in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Camden, New Jersey.
  • US Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley Intelligence used SMART to monitor the River Fest end of summer event on the Cincinnati River on September 1.
SMART In the News
Fox59 and WLFI interviewed Dr. David Ebert and VACCINE Ph.D student Calvin Yau about Purdue’s use of VACCINE’s SMART technology to monitor social media during the first football game of the season on August 30th. Purdue’s police department has used SMART during games for the last three years to monitor possible emergencies, including alerting medical services to health issues caused by a heatwave and defusing potential fights.

The video interviews and accompanying articles can be viewed here (FOX59) and here (WLFI) on the original websites.
Dr. Ebert's interview with FOX59
Dr. Ebert's interview with WLFI
WTHR also interviewed VACCINE on September 12th about first responders’ use of SMART during recent natural disasters. Last year, the Coast Guard used SMART during the four hurricanes that made landfall; first responders have also used it during the recent wildfires in California.

The original interview and article can be viewed here on the WTHR website.
Finally, Dr. David Ebert was interviewed for Wired’s September 13th article, “How to Use Social Media Responsibly During a Hurricane”, about social media’s role in disaster management. The article also discusses SMART and its use by law enforcement and first responder agencies in preparation for Hurricane Florence. 
Staff Updates

In June, Dr. Morteza Karimzadeh joined VACCINE’s staff as a post-doctoral researcher. Morteza has a PhD in Geography, specializing in (geo)visual analytics, spatial analysis and geospatial data science. He joins Purdue from Ohio State University and works on a variety of VACCINE’s projects, from sustainable viticulture to social media analytics.
VACCINE Graduate Research Assistant Jiawei Zhang graduated from Purdue with his Ph.D. and has since started a new job at Facebook.

Three new Graduate Research Assistants have also joined our lab, Yi-Shan Lin, Luke Snyder, and Gourav Jhanwar, as well as four undergraduate student interns through the Discovery Park Undergraduate Research Internship (DURI) program. 
FEMA Region 6 Collaborative Meeting

Longtime VACCINE team member Dr. Louis Ngamassi, Associate Professor at Prairie View A&M, attended the FEMA Region 6 Higher Education Collaborative meeting in Houston, TX on August 15th, co-hosted by the University of Houston and Texas Southern University. His presentation discussed the role of social media analytics in disaster management.
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