On Tuesday, Sept. 23, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine joined Dr. Timothy Sands, President of Virginia Tech, to tour the Virginia Tech Research Center in Arlington and learn about some of the university’s research initiatives.
“It is important for me to see first-hand the great research projects that are being funded through the partnership you have with different federal agencies because I can use this knowledge during budget deliberations,” said Kaine. “It is especially important for Congress to pass two-year budgets that invest in research and give people better space to plan without the worry of sequester cuts and imminent layoffs.”
During the visit, Kaine received an overview of the work done by the Hume Center for National Security and Technology, which leads Virginia Tech’s research and education programs focused on cyber and national security technologies. In addition to conducting research for the federal defense and intelligence communities, Hume’s educational training programs have helped address the shortage of qualified U.S. citizens to serve in federal cyber and intelligence roles.
Kaine also learned about the work of the Discovery Analytics Center, which is a university-wide big data effort that feeds the Early Model-Based Event Recognition (EMBERS) System – a fully automated 24/7 forecasting system that predicts significant societal events, such as flu outbreaks and civil unrest, by mining through and analyzing large amounts of publicly available data.
Kaine’s visit concluded with an overview of Virginia Tech’s Virginia Bioinformatics Institute/Network Dynamics and Simulation Science Lab (NDSSL), which creates informatics tools for the modeling and simulation of very large complex systems. Most recently these tools were employed to estimate the propagation of the Ebola virus in West Africa.