2020 PEPI-G Fellows Selected

The Program to Empower Partnerships with Industry and Government (PEPI-G) supports faculty members, research scientists, postdocs, and graduate and undergraduate students (rising juniors and seniors as of 2020) from the 16 states that comprise the South Big Data Regional Innovation Hub (South BD Hub).

2020 Fellows

Dr. Elie Alhajjar is a research scientist at the Army Cyber Institute (ACI) and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the United States Military Academy (USMA) in West Point, NY, where he teaches and mentors cadets from all academic disciplines. His research interests include mathematical modeling, machine learning and network analysis. He has presented his research work in international meetings in North America, Europe, and Asia. Before coming to West Point, Dr. Elie Alhajjar had a research appointment at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, MD. He holds a Master of Science and a PhD in mathematics from George Mason University, as well as master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Notre Dame University.
Jasper Johnson is a doctoral candidate at the University of Minnesota. With an undergraduate degree in political science and Master’s in Geographic Information Science, his doctoral research revolves around machine learning. His academic studies involve convolutional neural network model attention interpretability for remote sensing, deployment on large datasets, and neuromorphic model development. Jasper notes that “It has been exciting and interesting to be in such a fast-moving field. Some of my favorite parts of the PEPI-G program so far have been the critical evaluation of proposed machine learning models, and envisioning policy/strategy related to machine learning. It’s been rewarding to deal with the real-world, applied side of machine learning.”
Lindsay Rand is a doctoral student at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy. Rand has a BA in physics and an MS in nuclear physics. Her previous work includes research experience at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics and the Carderock Naval Research Center. Rand’s current research is focused on nuclear and quantum technology governance; she began improving her policy skill base because she believes that policies related to science and technology must be rooted in a working technical knowledge. With the PEPI-G fellowship, Rand is interested in applying her technical and policy backgrounds to real world challenges related to quantum technology innovation. 
James Stevenson is an undergraduate student at Northern Kentucky University and is currently pursuing his degree in Information Technology with his focus being Cybersecurity. He’s a technologist at heart and enjoys everything related to cyberinfrastructure, social cybersecurity, the internet of things, and data manipulation. His goals for his senior year of college are to gain professional experience in his career field and to develop his technical skills. This fellowship provided by the Big South Data Hub will allow him to reach these goals.



2020 Partner

The Department of Homeland Security – Advanced Research Projects Agency (DHS-ARPA) DA-E lab infrastructure consists of industry-standard servers and network gear, custom appliances built on the premise, and commercial and private cloud capabilities.  

DHS’ identified Priority Areas:

  • Human Trafficking – Examining social media to aid in the fight against human trafficking focusing on Non-Text Data, Automating Search and Scalability
  • Real-time Analytics for Multi-party, Metro-scale Networks (RAMMMNets) – Data associated with the Internet-of-Things presents challenges to the analytic environments that inform human decision making.
  • Other Topics – Faculty fellows may propose other research topics for consideration.

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