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DHS grant enables further work using physics to understand terrorist threats

The Howard University physicists who spent last summer at START will return this spring to continue their work using START data to develop algorithms that could eventually enable the prediction of terrorist threats.

Thanks to additional funding from the Department of Homeland Security Summer Research Team Minority Serving Institutions program, the team will make improvements to the machine learning algorithms developed for the Global Terrorism Database (GTD) and Profiles Of Incidents involving Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear by Non-state actors (POICN) database.

Led by Dr. Prabhakar Misra, Professor of Physics at Howard University, the team (which includes graduate students Raul Garcia-Sanchez and Daniel Casimir) will also conduct new research involving missing data in other START databases, such as Profiles of Individual Radicalization in the United States (PIRUS).​

“My team and I are so glad to be able to return to START,” Misra said. “We look forward to the opportunity to further engage in cutting-edge research involving machine learning algorithms. These algorithms may eventually enhance homeland security practitioners’ ability to make informed decisions and allow them to take appropriate action to thwart terrorist events before they happen.”


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