Skip to main content

COE Summit 2018 Innovation and Research

When you set some of the brightest minds in academia to solving national security challenges, the results are innovative solutions that equip operators and inform policy makers 

Those results were on display at the Department of Homeland Security Centers of Excellence Summit hosted by George Mason University May 30 - 31, 2018 in Arlington, Virginia 

The specific problem set for securing the borders, facilitating legitimate trade and travel, and ensuring the integrity of the immigration system was addressed by researchers and staff from our Institute. The summit consisted of plenary panel sessions, an innovation showcase and a student poster competition.  

As an example of facilitating legitimate trade and travel, Ben Melamed, Ph.D. and Wei Wei Chi, Ph.D., both from Rutgers University, presented their Port of Entry Simulation System. The system creates detailed, 3D and 2D models layered over realistic geographic data of the specific port being modeled. The flows of traffic for both personal vehicles and commercial vehicles are then animated allowing POE managers and operators to see a real-time simulation of the port. Additionally, the analysts and port directors can inject scenarios into the simulation, allowing them to plan for "what if" scenarios that will affect the movement through their port.  

As an example of securing the borders, Ioannis Kakadiaris, Ph.D., with the University of Houston, presented his Artificial Intelligence based facial recognition software. The current phase of his software can accurately match photographs with a variety of facial angles to an "on file" facial photograph such as a passport or driver's license photograph. The next step of the project is to test the software in an environment in which the facial captures are from trail cameras in various light conditions. This will allow operators at along the border to quickly and accurately identify people crossing the border in unauthorized areas.  

During the plenary panel themed around cross-border movement of people and goods, Victor Manjarrez, Jr., associate director of the Center for Law & Human Behavior at University of Texas at El Paso, discussed the cross-border movement of people and goods in today's environment.  

Two students associated with the BTI Institute presented during the student poster competition.  

Victor Reyes, Jr., from the University of Texas at El Paso, presented his research project, Homeland Security Symposium SeriesThe series brings subject-matter experts from a variety of disciplines to present trends from the ever-changing environment of homeland security to practitioners and first-responders.  

Katie McKeon, from Rutgers University and the Command, Control, and Interoperability Center for Advanced Data Analysis, a DHS COE, presented her project, The Modified Online Delphi Process SoftwareThe project lays out an equation from which, by combining observed data and expert analysis, an improved estimate of unobserved instances of unauthorized movement of goods and people can be calculated. This would allow operators to better resource and anticipate changes in trends.