The increasing availability of new sequencing technologies has dramatically reduced the cost of obtaining genomic data from biological threats. Similarly, the recent development of new technologies for the analysis of chemical samples, such as gas chromotography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and liquid chromotography-multi-stage mass spectrometry (LC-MSn), has increased the availability and complexity of data on chemical threats. This deluge of information creates the need and the opportunity for the mathematical sciences community to develop technology for controlling and reducing the threat from biological and chemical attacks. This proposal aims at securing funding for the participation of student and postdoctoral researchers in two DTRA/NSF algorithms workshops. The first one of these workshops will be held in Boston, between June 6 and June 10, 2011, and the second will be held during the summer of 2012. The purpose of these workshops is to provide a forum for scientists and mathematicians that have interest in this NSF/DTRA sponsored program to share their results, and to foster interaction between experts in innovative algorithm development and experts in the sensor R&D community.
The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) have recently formed a partnership to support the development of the next generation of mathematical and statistical algorithms for the detection of chemical and biological threats. The result is a new program within the Division of Mathematical Sciences (DMS), which is called "ATD: Algorithms for Threat Detection". This proposal seeks to secure travel support for students and postdoctoral researchers who will participate in the 2011 and 2012 NSF/DTRA Algorithms Workshops. Providing this type of funding is critical for the training of the next generation of mathematical scientists. In particular, by providing opportunities for students and postdoctoral researchers to be exposed to problems of chemical and biological threat detection, the NSF creates incentives for junior researchers (and specially those from underrepresented groups) to focus on this important and timely area of research.
The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) have recently formed a partnership to support the development of the next generation of mathematical and statistical algorithms for the detection of chemical and biological threats. The result is a program within the Division of Mathematical Sciences (DMS), which is called "ATD: Algorithms for Threat Detection". Since its inception, an integral part of the ATD program has been the annual Algorithms workshop. These workshops, typically held during the summer, have four main goals: 1. Introduce researchers in the mathematical and statistical sciences to the types of prac- tical problems that arise within the DoD research community. 2. Foster the interaction between experts in innovative algorithm development and experts in the sensor R&D community. 3. Provide a forum for scientists having interest in the ATD program to share the results and discoveries of their research. 4. Provide an opportunity for the next generation of mathematical and statistical scientists to present their work and discuss it with established researchers. This project funded the participation of graduate students and postdocs affiliated with the research projects funded by this program to participate in the conference and present their work. These helps fulfill the fourth goal mentioned above, as these junior researchers were unlikely to attend the workshop without the financial support provided by this award. The award helped fund a total of 34 students and postdocs for the 2011 ATD workshop (held in Boston, MA) and, thanks to supplemental funds from award 1308074, 28 more students for the 2012 ATD (held in San Diego, CA). Average expenditures per students were around $1,200 per student/postdoc, but individual expenditures varied depending on physical location and availability of other funds.