ICTAS: IDAC Expands to Arlington

IDAC Expands to Arlington

February 20, 2014

In January 2014, Virginia Tech’s Discovery Analytics Center expanded its presence into the National Capital Region, Arlington. The center is supported by the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science at Virginia Tech.

Naren Ramakrishnan, center director and the Thomas L. Phillips Professor of Engineering, relocated to the National Capital Region, along with a group of 10 Ph.D. students. Ramakrishnan mentioned that "[the relocation] brings the center closer to many significant collaborations in the intelligence analysis, national security, and health informatics domains, both industrial and academic."

The Discovery Analytics Center will continue to have a strong presence at the Blacksburg campus. Chris North, associate professor of computer science, will serve as associate director of the Blacksburg-based center. Chang-Tien Lu, also of computer science, continues as associate director at the Falls Church campus of Virginia Tech.

One major effort of the center is the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity  Early Model Based Event Recognition using Surrogates project, where public data sources are monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week; mined to yield emerging trends; and developed into forecasts of significant societal events (e.g., disease outbreaks, protests). These forecasts are generated in real time, without a human in the loop, and emailed for evaluation by Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity. The scope of the Early Model Based Event Recognition using Surrogates project is focused on countries in Latin America. The project has successfully forecast several key events such as the June 2013 protests in Brazil.

The Discovery Analytics Center’s mission is to integrate multiple areas of expertise to attack knowledge discovery problems in multiple science and engineering domains. It brings in researchers from various disciplines, including computer science, electrical and computer engineering, statistics, and mathematics. Faculty and students from these disciplines work together to formulate problems that can be solved with a "big data" approach. Learn more at http://dac.cs.vt.edu.

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