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Second phase of DAIS ITA doctoral training alliance begins

12 February 2018

Image of city with wifi sybols above each building to illustrate the digital connections.

The Distributed Analytics and Information Science International Technology Alliance (DAIS ITA) has recently begun its second phase, with a significant expansion of at least eight new Computer Science & Informatics postgraduate research students joining the project at the Crime and Security Research Institute.

The goal of DAIS ITA is to perform fundamental research on how people and computing devices can work together in rapidly changing situations, such as major disasters, to make people safer.

The $80M Alliance was established in 2016 by the US Army Research Laboratory (ARL) and the UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and is intended to run for up to 10 years. It brings together leading scientists from academia, industry and the US and UK government sector with an aim to carry out groundbreaking research in how data analytics can inform decision-making in front-line situations.

DAIS ITA members infographic map
DAIS ITA Members are based in the US and UK in an international collaboration.

A key element of the Alliance is to fund a cohort of postgraduate research students across the ten partner universities:

  • Cardiff University
  • Imperial College London
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Purdue University
  • Stanford University
  • University College London
  • University of California at Los Angeles
  • University of Massachusetts at Amherst
  • University of Southampton
  • Yale University
A close up image of people's hands holding a laptop, phone and pen to demonstrate working together
DAIS ITA offers a unique training opportunity for its PhD students, allowing them to benefit from experience of three research cultures – academic, industrial and government.

The new PhD students will work in close collaboration with industry team members from IBM, Airbus, BAE Systems, and Raytheon/BBN Technologies, and government scientists at Dstl and the US Army Research Laboratory. Crime and Security Research Institute Co-director Prof Alun Preece said, "DAIS ITA offers a unique training opportunity for PhD students, allowing them to experience three research cultures – academic, industrial and government – as well as benefiting from the interdisciplinary research environment offered by the Crime and Security Research Institute.”

The second phase of the programme will see at least eight PhD students engaged in the research at the Crime and Security Research Institute, with topics including:

  • making artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies more transparent and able to explain their reasoning to human decision makers;
  • envisioning a large-scale network of mobile computing devices and sensors in a front-line situation as a “distributed brain”;
  • analysing social networks to better understand how groups evolve in conflict situations.

The programme is led at Cardiff by Prof Alun Preece (Crime and Security Research Institute / School of Computer Science & Informatics) and involves colleagues in Computer Science & Informatics and the School of Engineering.