Visual Analytics for Command, Control, and Interoperability Environments

Homeland Security - Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Career Development Program

This program is designed to support undergraduate and graduate students in developing the skills to become preeminent scientists in the homeland security specific and technical community. This United States Department of Homeland Security funded program offers career development scholarships and fellowships, as well as forgivable loans with summer research and one year service commitments.  The VACCINE Center at Purdue University has received multiple HS-STEM grants since 2007.  


Current HS-STEM Students      


       Jeff Avery
       Computer Science
       Advisor: Dr. Gene Spafford







Jeff Avery is a first year PhD student in Computer Science at Purdue University.  He is interested in information assurance and security and is conducting research on phishing defense. He graduated with a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in 2012 where he was a Meyerhoff Scholar. Upon earning his PhD, he plans to work in the government sector researching  topics in security.


      Scott Carr
      Computer Science
       Advisor: Dr. Jan Vitek           






Scott is a doctoral student in the Department of Computer Science.  He received his BS in Computer Engineering from Lawrence Technological University and MSE in Computer Engineering from University of Michigan - Dearborn.  Scott has work experience in the automotive and aerospace industries. His research interests include embedded systems, programming languages, and virtual machines.  Currently, Scott is a research assistant advised by Dr. Jan Vitek in the Secure Software Systems Lab, where his research project is a distributed wind farm control system with the goal of improving performance and reliability.



          Phillup Forsberg
          Nuclear Engineering









Phillip Forsberg is a graduate student in the School of Nuclear Engineering at Purdue University. He completed his B.S. in Nuclear Engineering at Purdue in May of 2012. His research interests include nuclear detection, nuclear forensics, and health physics. He is a member of the American Nuclear Society and the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management. Phillip would like to work as a member of the Radiological Assistance Program (RAP) teams after graduation.


2010 Recipients:

RachelFrederick Greene
Advisor: Linda Naimi








Fred is a doctoral student in the College of Technology, Department of Technology Leadership and Innovation. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Kentucky State University and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Notre Dame. His research interests are at the intersection of Law, Technology and Society. These interests include: technology transfer issues, the intended and unintended consequences of technology on the legal and criminal justice system, and the nexus  between national security issues and legal and technological developments.




Whitney HuangWhitney Huang
Advisor: Hao Zhang









Whitney is a  PhD student in the statistics department and is working on Statistics for Spatio-Temporal data. Before joining Purdue, he received a BS in Mechanical Engineering from National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan, in 2006.  He  then received an MS in Statistics in 2009 from the  University of Akron in Ohio. He currently works as a research assistant in the Purdue University Rendering and Perceptualization Lab (VACCINE) and also works as a consultant in the Statistical Consulting Servicer.  Whitney’s research area is in methodology in spatial and spatio-temporal statistics, hierarchical statistical modeling and computational strategies in data assimilation for complicated multiscale systems.




Matthew LevendoskiMatthew Levendoski
Technology/Cyber Forensics
Advisor: Marcus Rogers








Matt is a current graduate student from LaPorte, Indiana, pursuing his Master of Science in Cyber Forensics. He  also received his Bachelor of Science from Purdue in Computer and Information Technology with a focus in software development. His current research focuses on the attainment of evidence from solid state drives and identifying the errors that occur during the acquisition process. He also works closely with the Department of Defense’s Cyber Crime Center (DC3), in which he conducts research on solid state drives and their use of garbage collection and TRIM routines. He has developed and taught several seminars for training law enforcement officers in digital forensics. Along with training law enforcement he has assisted with digital investigations that include everything from burglary to terrorism. His skill set includes the ability to reverse engineer and analyze everything from hard drives to mobile devices. He enjoys several indoor and outdoor activities including biking, swimming, basketball, and soccer.




Rachel SitarzRachel Sitarz
Computer Technology/Cyber Forensics
Advisor: Marcus Rogers






Rachel is originally from Crown Point, IN and completed her undergraduate studies at Purdue, where she was also a four-year letter winner of the Purdue Swim Team. She is currently working on her PhD in the Cyber Forensics program. Rachel is also a Criminal Intelligence Analyst for the Indiana State Police and a member of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Her studies and research revolves around crimes against children, and understanding online predators; she is very passionate about finding out who these predators are, and cutting down on the incidences of child exploitation by means of technology. Rachel is very involved in cancer fundraising and advocacy and volunteers with non-profit cancer advocacy programs. She also enjoy sports, working out, being active,  and cooking.





2008 Recipients:

RachelRachel Suzanne Beard
Advisor: Erik Barton






Gammaherpesviruses (yHV) cause various types of cancer in immunocompromised individuals. Due to the species specifically of human yHV, studying the human diseases caused by these viruses is difficult. Murine gammaherpesviruses 68 (MHV68) provides a working animal model to study these viruses in each stage of the viral life cycle. Her research focuses on elucidation of a Type I Interferon (IFN&alpha&beta function during latency of yHVs using the MHV68 system). This information can be used to provide new methods of treatment for these viruses and ideally bring about the prevention of the cancers caused by these viruses.




Daniel RichardsonDaniel Richardson
Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Robert Lucht




Lasers can be used to detect specifc chemicals and track concentration levels. Daniel is focusing on a technique called Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Spectroscopy (CARS) using ultra-short (femtosecond) pulses of light. This technique could be used for explosive, chemical, and biological threat detection.


2007 Recipients:


SamuelSamuel Liles
Advisor: Marcus Rogers






Samuel researches cyber warfare as a form of low intensity conflict.






HS-STEM Alumni


2007 Alumni-- Degree/Employment


David Blunck—Mechanical Engineering, Air Force Research Laboratories

Karla Ann Combs—Biological Sciences, Public Health Emergency/Bioterrorism Coordinator

Laura Hughes—Biological Sciences, Emory Vaccine Center

Ross Maciejewski—Electrical and Computer Engineering, Faculty Member at Arizona State University

Shawn McKay—Mechanical Engineering, Rand Corporation

Bryan Sims—Nuclear Engineering, Purdue University doctoral student




2008 Alumni—Degree/Employment


Nwokedi Idika—Computer Science, MIT Lincoln Labs





VACCINE is dedicated to creating methods and tools to analyze and manage vast amounts of information for all mission areas of homeland security.

View VACCINE Information:

VACCINE Newsletters

     Volume 20: September 2014

     Volume 19: August 2014

     Volume 18: July 2014

     Volume 17: June 2014

     Volume 16: May 2014

     Volume 15: April 2014

     Volume 14: March 2014

     Volume 13: February 2014

     Volume 12: January 2014

     Volume 11: December 2013

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