DAC and BI lead DARPA’s Next Generation Social Science Project

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Brian Goode (left), from the Discovery Analytics Center, and Chris Kuhlman, from the Biocomplexity Institute at Virginia Tech, collaborate on developing models for large-scale social behavior.

DAC and the Biocomplexity Institute are leading a $3 million grant awarded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) as part of the Next Generation Social Science (NGS2) program.  DAC and BI will conduct research that will streamline modeling processes, experimental design, and methodology in the social sciences. A major objective of the project is to make social science experiments rigorous, reproducible, and scalable to large populations.

Graduate certificate in urban computing approved

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Left to right: Hesham Rakha and Huthaifa Ashqar work on a simulation of speed harmonization algorithm on I-66 using INTEGRATION; Scotland Leman and Matt Slifko discuss spatial relationships in the housing market.

New interdisciplinary certificate in urban computing, part of National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Traineeship UrbComp Program, is now available to all Virginia Tech graduate students. Administered through the Discovery Analytics Center, the 12-credit certificate program weaves interdisciplinary applications through new courses and a novel “tapestry” curriculum.

These courses are designed to train students to become competent problem solvers by developing computational models of urban populations from disparate data sources and posing and answering what-if questions via machine learning and visualization methodologies. Students are also trained in the ethical and professional implications of working with massive datasets.  Click here to read more about the certificate.

DAC Director Naren Ramakrishnan explores big data analytics to plan for smart cities


Naren Ramakrishnan, DAC director and professor of computer science.

DAC director, Naren Ramakrishnan, takes part in a VT Engineering team leading a three-year, $1.4 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to develop a new planning framework for smart, connected, and sustainable communities.  The team wants smart cities to features zero energy, zero outage, and zero congestion.  They are utilizing big data and interdisciplinary technology as tools to meet that goal.  Click here to read more about the project.

Coverage of DAC Ph.D. student Yaser Keneshloo’s research with Washington Post


The summation chain around pulleys on Tide Predicting Machine No. 2.

Great coverage of DAC Ph.D. student Yaser Keneshloo’s research in collaboration with the Washington Post on applying data science to predict the popularity of news articles.  Keneshloo and the Post are working on a popularity prediction experiment, they are doing clickstream analysis and producing a pipeline for processing tens of millions of daily clicks, for thousands of articles. Click here to read more about Keneshloo’s project.



DAC faculty Chandan Reddy wins Best Student Paper at IEEE

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Chandan Reddy (left) and his collaborators from the the Korea University (right).

Congratulations to Chandan Reddy, DAC faculty member and associate professor of Virginia Tech – Computer Science, whose paper in collaboration with Korea University, Boosted L-EnsNMF: Local Topic Discovery via Ensemble of Nonnegative Matrix Factorization, received the Best Student Paper Award at the IEEE Conference on Data Mining! Click here for a full list of awards.

DAC PhD student Saurav Ghosh published in Nature Scientific Reports


Flow chart depicting the sequential modeling process of EpiNews

DAC PhD student Saurav Ghosh’s work was published in Nature Scientific Reports. His research explores relationships between news coverage and modeling of infectious disease outbreaks

The research is in collaboration with Boston Children’s Hospital and University of Washington, Seattle. Click here to read more about Ghosh’s research.

DAC director Naren Ramakrishnan receives grant from Army Research Lab

ece_article_161221_internet_of_battlefield_articleWalid Saad, assistant professor in electrical and computer engineering, and Naren Ramakrishnan, and professor of computer science and director of DAC, are leading a $324,000 U.S. Army Research Laboratory grant that is laying groundwork for the Internet of Battlefield Things.

They are developing a planning framework that would present mathematical tools to understand how to transform existing battlefield capabilities into a large-scale IoBT. Click here to read more about the project.

DAC recognized for project in workforce analytics

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Left to right at the Governor’s Workforce Innovation Challenge Datathon 2016 are computer science Ph.D. student Rupinder Paul Khandpur; Virginia Secretary of Technology Karen Jackson; and Wanawsha Hawrami, manager of operations for DAC.

DAC has been recognized for its contributions in a project focused on workforce analytics for Governor Terry McAuliffe’s Open Data, Open Jobs portal.  DAC is playing a key role in the governor’s commitment to improving the labor market in Virginia.

Open Data, Open Jobs is a real-time curation, analysis, and visualization of advertised job postings in Virginia. All curated jobs are published on the DAC’s open data portal, accessible through a publicly available API in machine-readable format, with a unified job posting schema that eliminates the need to navigate separate public and private listings dispersed across multiple sites, such as Monster or LinkedIn.

DAC was on-board from the onset, providing necessary support to harvest, clean, and enrich individual datasets to create the new workforce data product. The dataset was created in large part by DAC Ph.D. student, Rupinder Paul Khandpur, who was also in the governor’s data internship program. Click here to read more about the Open Data, Open Jobs project.

DAC faculty Ed Fox awarded new grant from NSF

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Ed Fox (right) and his Ph.D. students (left).

Ed Fox, DAC faculty member and professor of computer science, takes part in Coordinated, Behaviorally-Aware Recovery for Transportation and Power Disruptions project which was just awarded a Critical Resilient Interdependent Infrastructure Systems and Processes (CRISP) Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The grant is to study behavioral adaptation during disruptive events affecting power and transportation. Click here to read more about the project.

DAC Director Naren Ramakrishnan named Inventor of the Month


Members of the staff of the Discovery Analytics Center. Left to right are Nathan Self, Patrick Butler, and Naren Ramakrishnan.

DAC and director, Naren Ramakrishnan, are featured as this month’s Virginia Tech​ Inventors of the Month by the Office of Research and Innovation for work in Early Model Based Event Recognition using Surrogates (EMBERS) software project.

EMBERS is a fully automated system for forecasting significant societal events, such as influenza-like illness case counts, rare disease outbreaks, civil unrest, domestic political crises, and elections, from open source surrogates. To read more about EMBERS click here.