Science and Technology News

Saturday, March 17, 2018

DoD Leaders Encourage Women Seeking Information Technology Careers

By Marine Corps Sgt. David Staten DoD News, Defense Media Activity

ARLINGTON, Va., March 16, 2018 — Two senior Defense Department officials shared their paths to success with other women aspiring to succeed in the information technology field during a Women in the Department of Defense Luncheon hosted by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association.

Navy Vice Adm. Nancy A. Norton, director of the Defense Information Systems Agency, and Bonnie M. Hammersley, DoD’s deputy chief information officer for resources and analysis, spoke with the women in a “fireside chat” setting at the Army-Navy Country Club.

“I think it's really important to have this opportunity to recognize Women's History Month and what that means and actually taking the opportunity and time to reflect on the accomplishments of women across our nation and in all fields,” Norton said. But bringing this group together to talk about the accomplishments of women in the IT industry is really a terrific opportunity.” said.

Norton likened her career journey to her hobby of hiking.

Focusing on Footsteps

“When you're young and thinking about your future, it's really easy to stand back and look at the top of the mountain and say, ‘I want to hike to the top of a mountain,’” she said. Hiking that mountain, she said, is a matter of focusing on your footsteps, making sure that you're able to traverse the path without stumbling or tripping on rocks and tree roots.

The admiral said she looks for a challenge in her roles and positions and turns those into opportunities to learn and get better, just as hikers need to stop and reflect on what they have learned and have on that path, as well as where they’re going next.

“I very much want to encourage people to look at, every time you make those choices, to think about ‘What is it that I want to accomplish -- not necessarily for the rest of my life, but for the next section of the trail that's ahead of me?’ and ‘Am I prepared for that, and is this really what I want to do?’ And ultimately, that will lead you to the top of the mountain,” she said.

Hammersley recalled the commander’s development program she entered when she joined the Navy. She was in the program for three years, but it felt more like 15 years,” she said.

“The [program] gave me a look into all of all levels of the Navy and outside of the Navy,” she said. “So if you have an opportunity to get into a developmental program, look for those opportunities, because it's a good ride and it's what you make of it.”

Value of Mentors

After Norton and Hammersley talked about taking opportunities and running with them, they spoke of the importance of mentorship.

“Don't be afraid to approach someone and say, ‘Hey would you mind giving me 10 minutes of your time? I'd like to tell you my story, and here's where I'd like to go and just see what you think’,” she said.

Both women were asked about key leadership principles have learned and why they think it helped to prepare them for their future as leaders.

Norton said it’s important for leaders to understand the strengths and weaknesses of their team and how best to encourage and enable them to be successful.

“Help them to do the things that they might have a hard time doing, then give them the full commitment and confidence you have in their ability to do that, so they can grow their own confidence and be ready to not just do the job they're doing today, but be prepared to move on to the next step,” she added.

Hammersley’s advice was never to forget where you came from. “When I can remember back when I was in their shoes, I'm in a better position to understand what the trials and tribulations were, and I can help them do their job,” she said.
“My key takeaway for all of you would be to not just be a mentor, but really look for how you can enable the women and how you can build an environment that enables them to be successful,” Norton said.  “Look for those people and build the path ahead for them, help to encourage them and give them the advice they need to be successful, so they really can strive for the summit every day and be successful at doing that.”

U.S. Faces Global Science, Technology Competition, Official Says

By Terri Moon Cronk DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, March 15, 2018 — The United States is in an era of constant science and technology competition from countries such as Russia and China, a senior Pentagon official said on Capitol Hill yesterday.

Mary Miller, performing the duties of the assistant secretary of defense for research and engineering, along with Steven H. Walker, director of the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, testified before the House Armed Services Committee’s panel on emerging threats concerning the fiscal year 2019 budget request for the Defense Department’s science and technology programs.

“We see nations like China and Russia investing heavily in research trying to close the technology gap with the [United States],” she said. “We see high-end military technology that has diffused to many countries that would have been unable to develop it themselves, even reaching some nonstate actors.”

Speed is Vital

In a world with near-equal access to technology, speed is becoming the discriminator, Miller told the panel -- not just the speed of discovery, but also speed of delivery. “How fast we can develop, adopt or leverage technology to meet the warfighter's needs and get it into their hands will determine our ability to outpace our adversaries.”

In such a competitive environment, DoD must pay much more attention to future readiness and ensure its conventional overmatch remains on overtime, she said.

“We must be willing and able to tap into commercial research, recognize its military potential, and develop new capabilities and operational and organizational constructs to employ them faster than our competitors,” Miller noted.

Such effort would not be possible without DoD scientists and engineers, who are doing groundbreaking and innovative work, she said. “They are embracing these hard challenges our military faces every day, seeking to better understand the warfighter's problems and working diligently on affordable and effective solutions.”

DoD Addresses Gaps

The Defense Department is addressing critical technology and capability gaps through a combination of adaptation of existing systems such as efforts conducted through its Strategic Capabilities Office and the development and introduction of innovative new technologies through its labs and centers, such as DARPA, and Defense Innovation Unit Experimental, she said.

“We recognize that our adversaries present us with a challenge of sophisticated evolving threats,” Miller told the House panel. “We are prepared to meet that challenge and restore the technical overmatch of the United States armed forces through focus and innovation.”

DARPA in Line With White House, DoD

Walker, the DARPA director, said his priorities for investment are aligned with President Donald J. Trump's National Security Strategy and with Defense Secretary James N. Mattis' National Defense Strategy.

“So, my priorities for investment in the future are defending the homeland, No. 1, from varied threats to include developing cyber deterrence capabilities, bio surveillance and bio protection technologies and the ability to sense and defend against weapons of mass terror,” he told the panel.

DARPA’s No. 2 priority is deterring and prevailing against peer competitors in Europe and Asia, which will require new thinking, Walker said.

“The [United States] can no longer be dominant across all scenarios, but it needs to be highly lethal in select ones,” he noted. “Realizing new capabilities across all the physical domains will be important and hypersonics will be a key technology there. But we also have to look at space and the electromagnetic spectrum domains. They're going to be very important for that fight.”

Fighting Differently

DARPA’s No. 3 priority is effectively prosecuting stabilization efforts across the globe, which requires the United States to become better at fighting differently and in different environments, Walker said.

“Capabilities to address gray zone and 3-D city-scale warfare, along with the development of rigorous and reliable models to predict adversarial moves will be critical,” the agency director added.

The No. 4 priority is what Walker called foundational research in science and technology, which he said would underlie all of DARPA's “grander pursuits” and makes possible never-before-seen capabilities. “We must continue to do what I think DARPA does better than anyone, and that's to follow where technology can lead us to solve the country's toughest challenges,” he said.

“[DARPA] promises to continue to be a bold risk-tolerant investor in high-impact technologies,” Walker said, “so the nation can be the first to develop and adopt the novel capabilities made possible by such work.”

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Criminal Justice Technology in the News

KSP Says Addicts Can Come to Them for Help Without Fear of Arrest
WPSD, (03/06/2018), Leah Shields
The Kentucky State Police have launched a statewide Angel Initiative, a program under which drug users can come to any Kentucky State Police barracks and ask for help without penalty. KSP will help these individuals find the service and assistance they need, provided they are not registered sex offenders or sex felons and have not been convicted of three prior drug-related offenses.
Link to Article

Schools Across Northwest Indiana Update Their Safety Plans in Wake of Latest School Shooting, (03/07/2018), Carmen McCollum
In response to a wave of school security threats in the aftermath of the shooting at Florida's Stoneman Douglas High School, school districts across Northwest Indiana have begun working closely with local police departments and holding joint active shooter trainings in school buildings. The schools are working on updated safety and security plans as well.
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How to Remarket Patrol Vehicles
Police Magazine, (02/07/2018), Thi Dao
This article profiles how some agencies remarket their used patrol vehicles. Methods vary, but the key remains keeping the equipment out of the wrong hands.
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Officers Learning New Ways to Respond to Emotional Crisis
WGN, (03/08/2018), Katharin Czink and Dina Bair
Officers in DuPage County, Ill., are taking a 40-hour Crisis Intervention Team training course that includes simulations to help them learn to de-escalate calls involving persons with mental illness. Individuals take part in simulated scenarios and receive feedback from mental health professionals after each drill. More than 200 officers have taken the training in the past year.
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Washington, D.C., Launches 'Crime Cards' Search Tool
StateScoop, (03/09/2018), Colin Wood
The new Crime Cards tracking system recently launched by the city of Washington, D.C., is designed as a responsive website that citizens can access from mobile devices via a fill-in-the-blank system. The system replaces a 12-year-old crime mapping technology and allows users to create precise charts, graphs and maps of the data that interests them.
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Perryville Police Will Run Bike Radar
Herald and, (03/14/2018), Lisa Tome
In the past five years, the police department in Perryville, Md., has expanded its bike patrol unit from one bicycle officer to four, which the department sees as a cost-cutting measure that also promotes a spirit of community policing. One officer recently became certified in bike repair, which will save the department an estimated $1,000 annually in maintenance costs. The department plans to have bike officers start running radar as soon as the department receives cordless units.
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Corrections News

Yoga and Aromatherapy Behind Bars? Pa. Prisons Try Wellness Initiatives, (03/01/2018), Mari A. Schaefer
Pennsylvania is trying out low-cost ideas generated by correction officers, chaplains, nurses and food service staff that include yoga, aromatherapy and linens in an earthy shade of green in an attempt to decrease violence and time spent in solitary confinement. Pilot projects are underway at 25 of the commonwealth's correctional institutions.
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City Program for Youth on Probation Successfully Reduces Recidivism: Study
Times-Ledger, (03/06/2018), Bill Parry
According to the New York City Department of Probation, participation in the Arches Transformative Mentoring reduces one-year felony reconviction by 69 percent and two-year felony reconviction by more than half. Arches, which began operation in 2012, uses curriculum-based interactive journaling, group mentoring and individual mentoring to connect high-risk young people ages 16 to 24 on probation to mentors in their own neighborhoods. The Urban Institute and the Mayor's Office for Economic Opportunity have partnered on research into the program's success.
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Seattle Teens Teaching Former Prisoners How to Use Technology
10News, (03/10/2018), Taylor Mirfendereski
Three high school students in Seattle are working on a project to create a series of short videos that will help formerly incarcerated individuals accommodate to the new technology they find outside prison walls. The teens are meeting with focus groups to help them develop a YouTube channel that will start with basics such as attaching a file to an email. The teens will receive community service hours for their partnership with the If Project, which focuses on helping incarcerated men and women with life skills both while they're in prison and after release.
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Teleconferencing Will Speed Up Jail Evaluations
South Whidbey Record, (03/10/2018), Jessie Stensland
Four counties in Washington state – Island, Snohomish, Yakima and Grays Harbor – will take part in a pilot program to see how well telehealth technology works with mental health evaluations. The goal is for teleconferencing to cut down on the time it takes inmates to receive court-ordered competency evaluations from Western State Hospital.
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