The Laboratory for Analytic Sciences (LAS) was founded in 2013 by the National Security Agency to be a mission-oriented, translational research laboratory in support of the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community.  We focus on satisfying the short and long-term future needs of intelligence analysts who must make sense of large volumes of data and share information in new ways. We are a unique organization that works at the intersection of mission and technology and works to develop new analytic tradecraft, techniques, and technology that help intelligence analysts better perform complex, integrated analysis.  We do this by bringing together researchers, technologists, and practitioners from government, industry, and academia to deliver tools, techniques, technologies, and tradecraft that are informed by mission needs, advance the state-of-the-art, and create demonstrable results against real-world mission challenges.  Our work covers the spectrum from basic science to applied solutions.

To help integrate near-term solutions and long-term scientific progress, LAS researchers and analysts often identify the best practices and technologies from government, industry, and academia across multiple disciplines. We use an immersive collaboration model that brings together researchers and mission analysts with multidisciplinary teams from social sciences, humanities, design, math, engineering, computer science, and others to create tradecraft, tools, and techniques that are used to discover, understand, and report key insights across the IC.  We are also engaged in research to better understand human cognition, decision-making, and sensemaking to support design of analytic techniques and technical capabilities that will improve analysts’ ability to interpret, analyse, and assess large volumes of often disparate data. These teams of industry, academic, and government partners work side-by-side to create results that enhance how analysts defend and protect the nation through integrated and innovative analysis.

LAS researchers and analysts identify the best practices and technologies from government, industry, and academia across multiple disciplines, to help integrate both near-term solutions and long-term scientific progress that will enable future results. In the short term, LAS aims to exist at the nexus of rapid technology insertion and prototyping/productizing, where the capabilities become widely accessible and are often combined in novel ways to achieve new breakthroughs. LAS development efforts for mission-inspired technology have touched many domains ranging from tactical military, cyber, force protection, indications and warning, and large international events, such as the Rio Olympics. Aligned with the ODNI and Information and Intelligence Strategic plans, LAS efforts also include a strong focus on direct knowledge sharing, training, and hands-on support to empower the analytic work force with the skills they need to succeed in this new environment.

Why NC State?

Through a highly competitive selection process, NC State was chosen for this partnership with NSA due in large part to the university’s national leadership, expertise, and long history in data analysis along with its strong existing partnerships with industry, universities and government agencies.   NC State is a leading research institution in analytics, formal and physical sciences, behavioral and social sciences, and the arts.  Equally as important, NC State has an ingrained culture of partnership and collaboration with government, academia, and industry which is particularly evident on its Centennial Campus. The geographic proximity to the “big data” cluster economy in the Research Triangle and a land-grant culture driving faculty to conduct “use-inspired” research across colleges and domains solidified NC State as the ideal host for the LAS.

With its pioneering programs and expertise in analytics, along with its existing industry and government partnerships, NC State is uniquely positioned to be a national leader in the important, emerging field of “Big Data.”   As the source of the second largest sponsored research contract in the history of NC State, LAS will further solidify NC State’s global impact in this important research area.

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LAS aims to bring together a multi-disciplinary group of academic, industry, and government researchers, analysts and managers together to re-engineer the intelligence analysis process to promote predictive analysis. LAS will do this by conducting both classified and unclassified research in a variety of areas of research. The research done in this area will serve as the foundation for mission effects and integrated back into the enterprise.

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