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Experts Advisory: The Power of Big Data to Improve Intelligence for Homeland Security, Emergency Management

UAlbany President’s Forum Highlights Role of Data Analytics in Risk Assessment

ALBANY, N.Y. (February 16, 2016) -- With 75 million visitors entering the United States in 2014 alone, security analysts face a daunting task of determining potential threats to national security without disrupting the multi-billion-dollar travel industry. Whether it is the Transportation and Security Administration, institutions of higher education, or federal, state and local government, each sector can potentially benefit from utilizing data to improve intelligence and risk analysis for homeland security and emergency management.

The University at Albany will explore these issues at the President’s 3rd Annual Forum on Data, “Transforming Emergency Management and Homeland Security with Data Analytics.” The event will be held Thursday, Feb. 25, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the D’Ambra Auditorium, Life Sciences Research Building on UAlbany’s Uptown Campus. The forum will provide a platform to explore the role that data and data analytics play in better protecting the United States.

UAlbany is also home to the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity (CEHC), a first-of-its-kind college designed to help prepare for, protect against, respond to, and recover from a growing array of natural and human-caused risks and threats in New York state and around the world.

CTG Director Theresa Pardo
CTG Director and forum speaker Theresa Pardo

A number of faculty experts at the college and across the University explore how Big Data is enhancing emergency preparedness, protecting our homeland, bolstering extreme weather resiliency, and strengthening public health response. They are available to discuss a wide range of topics, including information sharing and integration, immigration issues, tracking terrorist threats, multimedia surveillance and the role of social networks and homeland security.

UAlbany’s data analytics faculty experts include:

  • Theresa Pardo, director of the Center for Technology in Government (CTG): Pardo, who is co-chair of the Forum and closing speaker, can discuss electronic records management and interagency and intergovernmental information sharing and integration. In addition to her role as director of CTG, Pardo is a research associate professor at the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy and an associate professor of Informatics at the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (CEAS) at UAlbany.
  • Tomek Strzalkowski, professor of computer science at CEAS: He can discuss tracking information about terrorists and information retrieval. In 2015, Strzalkowski was awarded $499,930 through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory's (ARL) Open Campus initiative to explore the manner in which new data capture techniques can help advance research in areas such as psychology, anthropology, linguistics, and sociology.
  • Özlem Uzuner, associate professor of computer science at CEAS: She can discuss natural language processing and its applications to real-world problems, such as emergency response during disasters or pandemics. Uzuner is an expert on medical informatics, electronic health records and digital government.
  • Sanjay Goel, associate professor information technology management, School of Business: He can discuss risk analysis, cybersecurity, hacking and information security. Goel serves as the director of UAlbany's digital forensics program, a multidisciplinary undergraduate degree program that educates students to deal with the evolving complexity of information systems. The program provides a high level of training to meet the information forensics and security demands for organizations in all sectors of the economy, including health care, government, financial services, and private industry. He is also an affiliate faculty member of CEHC.
  • Rey Koslowski, associate professor of political science: He can discuss homeland security, border security, and biometric identity management and international immigration. Koslowski is the author of Migrants and Citizens: Demographic Change in the European States System (2000); Real Challenges for Virtual Borders: The Implemention of US-VISIT (2005); and co-editor of Global Human Smuggling: Comparative Perspectives (2001).
  • Pradeep Atrey, assistant professor of computer science, CEAS. He is available to discuss how big data can be used to improve multimedia surveillance for homeland security, as well as privacy issues in multimedia surveillance systems, multimedia data security and forensics, and multimedia data mining. Atrey’s research examines issues related to homeland security and privacy, including large data analysis in online social networks.

Check out UAlbany’s full roster of faculty experts.

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About the University at Albany
A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.