Illinois CS Part of $30 Million Homeland Security Research Center

January 2010
by Nancy Komlanc

  • Illinois computer science researchers study data analysis methods for homeland security threats
  • Center will work on new tools with applications to info analysis, situational awareness, decision support, and information sharing
  • Tools will help analyze large data sets from disparate sources to detect threats to nation, infrastructure, and the health of the US population

The University of Illinois’ Department of Computer Science has been selected by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to receive more than $5 M over the next 6 years as part of a Rutgers’ led DHS Center of Excellence – the Command, Control, and Interoperability Center for Advanced Data Analysis (CCICADA). This DHS Center of Excellence will conduct research and develop technologies, tools and advanced methods for the Data Sciences with applications to information analysis, situational awareness, decision support, information sharing and cyber infrastructure protection.

CCICADA and its partnering CCI center, Visual Analytics for Command, Control, and Interoperability Environments (VACCINE), led by Purdue, aim to create enduring technologies to analyze vast amounts of information from disparate sources to detect threats to national security, the nation’s infrastructure, and the health of the U.S. population.

Illinois computer science researchers will be conducting research as part of the overall CCICADA effort to address present and emerging homeland security threats through new data analysis methods.

The CCICADA Center of Excellence (COE) celebrated its inauguration with a kick-off event at Rutgers University on December 9th and 10th. Illinois computer science researchers, students and staff descended on the Rutgers campus to participate in the $30 M Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Research Center award kickoff meeting. Representing Illinois computer science was Professor Dan Roth, grant co-PI; Nancy Komlanc, grant co-Director of Education; and CS graduate students Quang Do and Yue Lu. Federal and state public officials and leaders from the 14 partner institutions were also on-hand to officially launch the effort.

Directors of the six attending DHS COEs talked about their data analysis problems and described joint CCICADA projects with the START Center on analytics for the Global Terrorism Database; with the FAZD Center on bio-surveillance; and with the CREATE Center on port resiliency. The day finished with discussions of education programs, technology transfer, and reactions from CCICADA’s Advisory Committee. 

Practical data analysis problems were presented by speakers from the Port Authority of NY/NJ, Coast Guard, FBI Cybersquad, NJ Department of Health, National Maritime Intelligence Center, CDC, and NJ Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness.

The event culminated in a ribbon cutting ceremony of leaders from CCICADA and DHS (photos coming soon).