Overview of Disaster Management Initiative

Uploaded by CMUsiliconvalley on 31.08.2011

Martin Griss: Carnegie Mellon came to the Silicon Valley in 2002,
to be a significant part of the ecosystem in Silicon Valley.
Several years ago we were looking for an application that really made a difference.
We realized that disaster management was poised to be changed-
by social media, by crowd-sourcing, and by mobile technology.
We decided that this was a great application area initially to try to apply the technology,
then realized that there is much more than that we could be involved in,
hence the creation of our initiative.
Michael Marlaire: The relationship between Carnegie Mellon and NASA Ames
is a long running one, only recently in the last ten years
augmented by the physical presence of Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley.
We have long term partnerships in R and D, and in education,
and the evolution of the Disaster Management Initiative is also part of our partnership.
Steven Ray: We created the program here for a couple reasons:
first, we have the geographic reason - Silicon Valley and the Bay Area itself
is very prone to natural disaster, so we have this disaster Disneyland, if you like;
a lot of issues, related to earthquakes, tsnunamis, wildfires.
Couple that with the innovation aspect of Silicon Valley and the extreme creativity of the students here at Carnegie Mellon,
we can apply that kind of creative instinct, innovation, computers science, software capabilities
to the disaster response problem.
Steven Rosenberg: Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley hosts an annual workshop based around disaster management.
And what we try and do during this workshop is two or three things.
We have three tracks - we try to bring together practitioners - people in the field who have authority or responsibility
for responding to natural disasters;
we try and bring together researchers to showcase some of the best research that is relevant to them;
and we try and bring also policy makers from different levels who are responsible for setting policy
for how the government responds, for how the state of California responds
and for how our local organizations, police and fire departments respond to disasters and how they are able to work together.
Jeannie Stamberger: The workshop is an essential part of contributing to DMIís goals because it integrates
these very disparate communities that really need to get together, and talk to each other.
and understand where each other are coming from.
Itís a great way to build moral and frankly, we had a ton of great ideas
coming from all different sectors that were being communicated across the board.
Martin Griss: So there are several things that academia can do to help out.
So one end is we run crisis camps, we are a flexible resource - we can bring talented people together
to respond fairly quickly to mapping needs, to language translation needs,
to listening on ham radio, to help out, thatís one aspect.
Another is we can go out with time and insight and do analyses of situations like the San Bruno.
In the public-private relationship we act as - lets call it a neutral party.
You know, weíre not the state, we donít set contracts with people, we donít have problems with contracting with one and not the other.
With respect to industry, we're a research organization that can look at technologies
and try alternative things that they may not choose to do.
So we're are kind of a bridge, at least that's the role that we see ourselves playing,
between the public sector, safety agencies and the private sector companies.
Steven Jordan: Weíve chosen Carnegie Mellon to partner to oversee the Research Center of the NDRC
because of the work that they are doing in the DMI. There are a lot of parallel paths
that they are working on, the initiatives in communication, and interoperability, common operating picture,
that parallels what we are trying to get done.
Once it was explained to us what the objectives were - to try and find answers to the interoperability problem -
communication being the number one problem that we have in disaster preparedness, in any type of emergency response,
it just seemed to make sense that this was something that we would want to sponsor.
Steven Ray: I think that one of the signature aspects of the Disaster Management Initiative
is that it is not just an academic research program. It has practitioners, it has researchers,
it has developers, all coming together; we meet weekly so that we can learn from each other.
We at Carnegie Mellon then learn from the practitioners - what are the problems they are facing.
They on the other hand learn from us what are the technologies that might be useful to them.
So it is very much a collaboration between different segments of society -
basically the software developers who could commercialize some of the technology coming out of CMU,
the practitioners who need the results and the researchers here at CMU,
and the students, who can provide some innovative solutions.