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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University July 7, 2008 | Vol. 37 No. 39
JH Scientist Wins DoD Award to 'Revolutionize Data Analysis'

By Susan Leibtag
Human Language Technology Center of Excellence

A Johns Hopkins faculty member is one of the first six grant recipients in a new Department of Defense program aimed at supporting outstanding U.S. university scientists and engineers as they advance defense technology research in core science and engineering disciplines.

Carey Priebe, a professor of applied mathematics and statistics in the Whiting School of Engineering, will receive up to $3 million over five years through the new National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellows Program. He and the five other awardees were selected from more than 350 applicants.

Priebe, who also is a lead research scientist at the Johns Hopkins-based Human Language Technology Center of Excellence, hopes to use his grant to "revolutionize the future of data analysis."

Supported by the federal grant, Priebe will seek ways to make predictions about research that scientists are conducting or planning to conduct, leading to forecasts that are not immediately apparent from their published work.

For example, a mathematical or computer model would analyze a journal article and compare it to work of various scientists and engineers, finding connections that could not otherwise be made about social networks and the propensity to perform certain kinds of research. This technique could help the Department of Defense foresee technological innovations and avoid being caught by surprise when researchers announce new findings. An added benefit to the world of research, Priebe said, is that this social networking could identify scientists who are researching a problem and link them with those who could have a solution.

In an announcement of the grant awards, William Rees, deputy undersecretary of defense for laboratories and basic sciences, said the new program will provide scientists outside the federal government with opportunities to "participate fully in the DoD research enterprise and share their knowledge and insight with DoD military and civilian leaders, researchers in DoD laboratories and the national security science and engineering community."


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