Welcome to Booster!
Volume 23  January 2015
Guest Letter from VACCINE's Program Outreach Specialist
With a new year right around the corner, it is a time of energy and new activity for VACCINE’s Educational Outreach Program for 2015. As an important part of the overall mission of VACCINE, discussions and strategy sessions regarding the Center’s educational initiatives are well underway to organize plans for the coming year.
Some of these initiatives include continued efforts in partnering with Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) and integrating visual analytics into their curriculum, a process that in the past has proven to be successful and beneficial for all involved. New relationships with the American Military University are being built and will continue to expand in 2015. 
The Center will also be researching and assessing the development of certification programs for first responders and in doing so will be able to provide a valuable resource in the form of trainings for our partners. We will of course continue with our monthly Public Safety Consortiums throughout 2015 as a way to stay in touch with the training needs of the Center’s partners and to deliver the requested content to them.
Additional news about the Center’s outreach and education efforts will be shared throughout the year in this newsletter. In the meantime, I welcome any suggestions or ideas from our VACCINE partners regarding possible new educational initiatives that you feel would be most helpful to your mission. Feel free to contact me at christ81@purdue.edu. Happy New Year, and I look forward to working with you in 2015.
Jen Christopher, Program Outreach Specialist
VACCINE’s Social Media Analysis Tool Presented to the American Red Cross
VACCINE’s social media analysis tool SMART (Social Media Analytics and Reporting Toolkit) was presented to the American Red Cross in Burlington, Massachusetts during a meeting held at the George J. Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security on Northeastern University’s campus on December 3, 2014.
VACCINE was selected to participate in the meeting along with several other DHS Centers of Excellence whose tools have the greatest potential use and impact for the American Red Cross.
VACCINE’s Research Scientist Abish Malik as well as Program Outreach Specialist Jen Christopher attended the “executive table top exercise.”
They worked side-by-side with American Red Cross members to demonstrate how the use of SMART could enhance the early phase efforts (48 hours before a disaster strikes) and sustained operations efforts (arrival of disaster and the immediate 48 hours afterward) of the American Red Cross during a hurricane disaster scenario.
Pictured at right:
VACCINE's Program Outreach Specialist Jen Christopher meets in Burlington, Mass. on Northeastern University's campus for the Executive Table Top Exercise with the American Red Cross.She and Abish Malik presented the SMART social media analysis tool to Red Cross representatives.
VACCINE Visits Fellow DHS Center of Excellence
Program Outreach Specialist Jen Christopher visited fellow DHS Center of Excellence ALERT (Awareness and Localization of Explosives-Related Threats) located at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. The purpose of the visit was to advance relationships between both institutions, to develop a partnership between the Education Programs, and to identify ways to collaborate.
While there, Christopher met with Michael Silevitch, Center Director; John Beaty, Director of Technology Programs; Stephen McKnight, Education Program Co-Lead; and Kristin Hicks, Operations Manager.
Pictured below: ALERT’s Education Program Co-Lead, Stephen McKnight, explains materials in the High Tech Tools and Toys Lab during Jen Christopher's visit. The facility is a discovery-based educational laboratory that engages freshmen in hands-on learning activities using state-of-the-art technology products while creating an exciting problem-solving environment.
- VACCINE research was featured at the Cyber Security Division 2014 R&D Showcase and Technical Workshop that was held December 16-18, 2014 in Washington, D.C. The event was hosted by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science & Technology (S&T) Directorate Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA) Cyber Security Division (CSD). 
Following the R&D Showcase, a two-day technical workshop featured CSD Principal Investigators' (PIs) presentations of their research and technologies to other cybersecurity researchers and leadership from the government, international partners, private sector, and academia.
VACCINE Director Dr. David Ebert presented information about VASA (Visual Analytics for Simulation Based Action). VASA is a distributed component-based framework for computational steering of systems-of-systems simulations for societal infrastructure based on a visual analytics approach. VACCINE PI Ross Maciejewski also presented information on the Uncertainty of Identity Project of which both Dr. Maciejewski and Dr. David Ebert are representing the United States portion of the team. The goal of the project is to link information pertaining to human characteristics in real and virtual worlds in order to better understand and manage the uncertainties inherent in establishing human identity in different geographic locations.
- The 2015 kick-off of the VACCINE Public Safety Consortium Luncheon will take place in February. Please watch for an upcoming invitation and also information in the February newsletter for the confirmed date. The event will be held at the VACCINE Center on the Purdue University campus in West Lafayette, Indiana. The topic of the February meeting will be the use of social media in law enforcement as well as feedback regarding suggested features and enhancements on VACCINE’s social media analysis tool SMART.
- VACCINE Director David Ebert and Managing Director Kaethe Beck both completed the LaunchBox commercialization program offered through Purdue's Foundry. The Foundry is a hub to transform innovators into entrepreneurs by offering fast, effective ways for faculty, staff, and students to move their ideas to the marketplace. LaunchBox is a program offered through the Foundry and is a 10-module program with the goal of helping inventors and founders find the value proposition of their idea.
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