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Dr. Stacey Dixon, IARPA Director

Dr. Stacey Dixon became IARPA’s fourth director in September 2018, after serving as the deputy director from January 2016 to August 2018.  Before joining IARPA, Dr. Dixon served as the deputy director of the InnoVision directorate at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, where she oversaw geospatial intelligence research and development. Prior to InnoVision, she served as NGA’s chief of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs in the Office of Corporate Communications. From 2007 to 2010, she worked on the U.S. House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence staff, and from 2003 to 2007, for the Central Intelligence Agency, assigned to the National Reconnaissance Office’s Advanced Systems and Technology directorate. Dr. Dixon holds both a doctorate and master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University. She was also a chemical engineering postdoctoral fellow at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Dixon is a native of the District of Columbia where she currently resides.

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Ms. Marianne Kramer, Chief of Technology Transition

Marianne Kramer is IARPA’s chief of technology transition. She joined IARPA in December 2017 from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency where she held the position of Technology Transition Lead for NGA Research. Prior to that, Ms. Kramer served as the Division Chief for Planning and Transition in InnoVision at NGA. Ms. Kramer represented NGA or its predecessor organizations (National Imagery and Mapping Agency and Defense Mapping Agency) by supporting geospatial intelligence and research efforts while stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio from 1995 – 2015. During that span, she spent two years with the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Central Measurement and Signature Intelligence Office. Ms. Kramer holds a master’s in analytical geography from Binghamton University and a master’s in leadership and change from Antioch University. She received her bachelor’s in humanities and anthropology from Providence College. Currently she is pursuing a doctoral degree in leadership and change at Antioch University. In 2017, she received the Sharon Parish Leader Award from NGA and she was party to an Intelligence Community Science and Technology team award in 2013.

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IARPA was created in 2006 to conduct cross-community research, target new opportunities and innovations, and generate revolutionary capabilities, while drawing upon the technical and operational expertise that resides within the intelligence agencies. IARPA’s structure was modeled on that of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. IARPA’s programs are uniquely designed to anticipate the long-term needs of, and provide research and technical capabilities for, the Intelligence Community. Agility is key in the IC and IARPA’s approach is to always look for, and seek out, new innovative ideas and perspectives.

Computing focuses on the IC's ability to operate freely and effectively in an often hostile and increasingly interdependent and resource-constrained environment. Key research focus areas include information assurance, advanced computing technologies and architectures, quantum information science and technology, and threat detection and mitigation.

Current Research | View Past Research

ProgramResearch AreaProgram Manager
C3 Advanced/alternative computing technologies, superconducting microelectronics Bill Harrod
HECTOR Secure multiparty computation, homomorphic encryption, verifiable computing, compilers, programming languages, automated security analysis  Mark Heiligman
LogiQ Advanced/alternative computing platforms, quantum information sciences, qubit systems Brad Blakestad
MICrONS Theoretical neuroscience, computational neuroscience, machine learning, connectomics, brain activity mapping David Markowitz
MIST Polymer science, synthetic biology, synthesis technology, sequencing technology, storage controller technology, error-correcting codes David Markowitz
QEO Quantum annealing, combinatorial optimization, quantum error correction, non-stoquastic quantum interactions, multi-spin entanglement, classical annealing, Quantum Monte Carlo, population annealing, parallel tempering, adaptive annealing schedules with measurement feedback Brad Blakestad
RAVEN Microelectronics, nondestructive analysis, nanoscale imaging, hardware assurance  Bill Harrod
SuperCables Superconducting electronics, photonics, cryogenics, optical communications Bill Harrod
SuperTools Superconducting electronics, advancements/alternatives to semiconductor-based exo-scale computing, cryogenic computing  Mark Heiligman
VirtUE Computer virtualization, operating systems, cyber security, vulnerability analysis, insider threat remediation and detection, active defense, big data analytics, sensor fusion, user interfaces, anomalous event detection Kerry Long

Past Research

ProgramResearch Area
CAT Cybersecurity and information assurance, hardware assurance, microelectronics 
CSQ Advanced/alternative computing platforms, quantum coherence, coherent qubit, quantum information sciences
MQCO Advanced/alternative computing platforms, quantum information sciences, qubit systems 
QCS Quantum information sciences
SPAR Secure multiparty computation, private information retrieval, privacy and civil liberties protections
STONESOUP Cybersecurity and information assurance, software assurance, vulnerability detection and mitigation
TIC Cybersecurity and information assurance, hardware assurance, microelectronics

The goal of collections research is to dramatically improve the value of collected data from all sources by developing new sensor and transmission technologies, new collection techniques that more precisely target desired information, and means for collecting information from previously inaccessible sources. In addition, IARPA pursues new mechanisms for combining information gathered from multiple sources to enhance the quality, reliability, and utility of collected information.

Areas of interest include:

  • Innovative methods or tools for identifying and/or creating novel sources of new information
  • Sensor technologies that dramatically improve the reach, sensitivity, size, weight, and power for collection of broad signal or signature types
  • Methods for combining different measures and/or sensors to improve performance and accuracy of systems
  • Approaches for assessing and quantifying the ecological-validity of behavioral, neuro- and social science research
  • Secure communication to and from collection points
  • Innovative approaches to gain access to denied environments
  • Tagging, tracking, and location techniques
  • Electrically small antennas and other advanced radio frequency (RF) concepts
  • Agile architectures that intelligently distill useful information at the point of collection
  • Innovative means and methods to ensure the veracity of data collected from a variety of sources
  • Automated methods for sensor data fusion without predefined interface descriptions
  • Approaches to enable signal collection systems to conduct more effective targeted information acquisition rather than bulk collection
  • Tools to identify and mask signal streams and records that contain personal information to avoid unauthorized collection and dissemination.

Current Research | View Past Research

ProgramResearch AreaProgram Manager
Amon-Hen Space situational awareness, optical interferometry, fiber optics, image reconstruction, computational imaging, small aperture telescopes, adaptive optics, astrometry, astronomy, optical sensors, optics, optical design  Merrick J. DeWitt
FELIX Biological detection, systems biology, synthetic biology, genome editing, bioinformatics, evolutionary biology Amanda Dion-Schultz
Fun GCAT Bioinformatics, DNA sequence screening, functional genomics, systems biology, infectious disease, and synthetic biology Chris Pope
HFGeo Communication systems, ionosphere, antennas, geolocation, electromagnetics, radio frequency Torreon Creekmore
Ithildin Sorbent chemistry, polymer chemistry, encapsulation, nanotechnology, micro-engineered materials, reaction kinetics, chemical analysis techniques Kristy DeWitt
LHO Low acoustic small UAV aircraft, novel access, acoustic perception & minimum infrastructure Sam Wilson
MAEGLIN Chemical detection and identification (including standoff, remote, and ultra-compact/low power approaches), spectroscopy/spectrometry/chromatography, optical sensors, novel laser designs, frequency combs, nonlinear optics, fiber optic sensors/lasers/devices Kristy DeWitt
MOSAIC Behavioral science, cognitive psychology, human performance, mobile computing, context sensing, signal processing, data fusion, machine learning, data privacy and security Alexis Jeannotte
Odin Biometrics, presentation attack, machine learning, computer vision  Lars Ericson
Proteos Proteomics, single amino acid polymorphisms, genetically variable peptides, genomics, statistical analysis, molecular biology, human identification, forensic analysis, trace evidence samples Chris Pope
SHARP Cognition, psychometrics, fluid reasoning and intelligence, neuroscience, human performance Alexis Jeannotte
SILMARILS Chemical detection and identification (including standoff, remote, and ultra-compact/low power approaches), spectroscopy/spectrometry/chromatography, optical sensors, novel laser designs, frequency combs, nonlinear optics, fiber optic sensors/lasers/devices Kristy DeWitt

Past Research

ProgramResearch Area
ATHENA Cybersecurity
BEST Biometrics, facial recognition, sensors, perception
BIC Weapons of mass destruction, chemical/biological warfare, human biomarkers, emerging biotechnologies
GHO Low acoustic aircraft propulsion, low acoustic power generators, novel access, sensors, perception
SLiCE Communication systemts, geolocation, electromagnetics, radio frequency
TRUST Interpersonal trust, neurophysiology, behavioral science, advanced data analytics, social science

Anticipatory intelligence focuses on characterizing and reducing uncertainty by providing decision makers with timely and accurate forecasts of significant global events. This research explores or demonstrates the feasibility of revolutionary concepts that may deliver real-time indications and warning, in context, to support rapid, nuanced understanding by intelligence consumers.

Our programs are technically diverse, but each program:

  • Develops technologies to generate timely forecasts for well-defined events and their characteristics (e.g., who, what, when, where, and how).
  • Uses a rigorous, open and ongoing test and evaluation process.
  • Has metrics that include lead time, accuracy, false positive and false negative rates, and are calculated by comparing forecasts to real-world events.
  • Communicates forecasts in context.

Key research areas include forecasting events related to science and technology (S&T); social, political, and economic crises; epidemiology and biosecurity; counterintelligence; and cybersecurity.


Current Research | View Past Research

ProgramResearch AreaProgram Manager
CAUSE Cybersecurity, cyber-event forecasting, cyber-actor behavior and cultural understanding, threat intelligence, threat modeling, cyber-event coding, cyber-kinetic event detection Robert Rahmer
CREATE Forecasting, logic and critical thinking, human judgment Steven Rieber
FOCUS Counterfactual reasoning, evidence-based approaches to lessons-learned analyses, analytic tradecraft, cognitive biases Seth Goldstein
HFC Forecasting, human judgment, machine learning, decision making, human/machine interfaces, text analysis Seth Goldstein
Mercury SIGINT analytics, event forecasting, machine learning, streaming data, data fusion, weapons of mass destruction, chemical/biological warfare, human biomarkers, emerging biotechnologies John Beieler
SAILS AI security, model inversion, membership inference, machine learning theory John Beieler
SCITE Engineering enterprises that detect low probability events with low accuracy sensors, innovative research methods to evaluate analytic and forecasting tradecraft, innovative statistical methods to estimate performance of systems addressing complex analysis and forecasting problems, scientific research on organizational lessons-learned methods, evidence-based forecasting methods, inductive logic, probabilistic reasoning and its application to analytic tradecraft Steven Rieber
TrojAI AI security, Trojan detection, explainable AI Jeff Alstott

Past Research

ProgramResearch Area
ACE Forecasting, human judgment, machine learning, logic, critical thinking
ForeST Forecasting, human judgment, machine learning, technical emergence, text analytics, big data, natural language processing
FUSE Technical emergence, text analytics, knowledge discovery, big data, social network analysis, natural language processing, forecasting, machine learning
OSI Large/errorful data sets, forecasting, public health, machine learning

Analysis focuses on maximizing insights from the massive, disparate, unreliable and dynamic data that areor could beavailable to analysts, in a timely manner. We are pursuing new sources of information from existing and novel data, and we are investigating innovative techniques that can be utilized in the processes of analysis. Our programs are in diverse technical disciplines but have common features:

  • Involve potential transition partners at all stages, beginning with the definition of success;
  • Create technologies that can earn the trust of the analyst
    user by providing the reasoning for results;
  • Address uncertainty and data provenance explicitly.

Current Research | View Past Research

ProgramResearch AreaProgram Manager
BETTER Human language technology, natural language processing, information extraction, information retrieval, active learning, multilingual processing John Beieler
CORE3D Mulit-view satellite image processing, multi-modal information fusion, deep learning, remote sensing, photogrammetry, image segmentation and classification, multispectral imagery processing, and geospatial volumetric 3D data representation methods  Jeff Alstott
DIVA Machine learning, deep learning or hierarchical modeling, artificial intelligence, object detection, recognition, person detection and re-identification, person action recognition, video activity detection, tracking across multiple non-overlapping camera viewpoints, 3D reconstruction from video, super-resolution, stabilization, statistics, probability and mathematics  Jeff Alstott
Janus Computer vision, image processing, pattern recognition, biometrics, facial recognition, identity intelligence, computer graphics Lars Ericson
MATERIAL Natural language processing, machine translation, cross-lingual information retrieval, domain recognition and adaptation, multilingual ontologies, Multilingual speech recognition, cross-lingual summarization, keyword search algorithms, low resource languages, automatic language identification, machine learning, rapid adaptation to new languages, domains and genres Carl Rubino

Past Research

ProgramResearch Area
Aladdin Video Image, photgraph, video, multimedia, computer vision, natural language processing, image processing, big data, video analytics, machine learning, speech processing
Babel Multilingual/multidialectal speech recognition, keyword search algorithms, speech recogntion in noisy environments, low resource languages, rapid adaptation to new languages and evironments, machine learning
Finder Geolocation, localization, geospatial fusion, data fusion, machine learning, big data, image processing, image, photograph, video, multimedia, computer vision, natural language processing
ICArUS Knowledge discovery, brain, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, cognitive bias, judgment, decision making, behavioral science, human factors, training, tradecraft, data sense-making
KDD Ontologies, alignment, information extraction, clustering, natural language processing, social network analysis, summarization, query expansion, document similarity, machine learning
KRNS Knowledge discovery, brain, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, cognitive bias, judgment, decision making, behavioral science, human factors, training, tradecraft, data sense-making, linguistics, language, semantics, culture
Metaphor Natural language processing, cognitive science, cognitive linguistics, conceptual metaphors, metaphors, culture, automatic cultural insights from metaphors
Reynard Social media, online games, virtual worlds, socio-cultural and linguistic factors
Sirius Analytic insight and productivity, serious games, judgment, decision making
SCIL Natural language processing, sociology of groups, sociolinguistics, group behavior, social groups, online interaction, social roles
SHO Usability of analytic products, visualization

IARPA had a record year in 2016, including:

  • 12 new multi-year research programs covering diverse technical fields, including biosecurity, chemical sensors, underwater autonomy, biometrics, video analysis, and machine translation
  • 2 new public challenges offering cash prizes to innovators across the country
  • 46 technical workshops with over 2,700 attendees
  • Over 250 peer-reviewed publications from IARPA-funded research
  • 22 transition agreements to transfer IARPA-funded technologies to other Government agencies

Highlights from IARPA-funded research include:

  • IARPA’s MQCO program set multiple world records in quantum computing, including encoding the world’s largest system of individually controllable neutral-atom qubits, and the most advanced multi-quantum-dot-qubit platform. MQCO has resulted in more than 500 publications, 46 of which were in Nature or Science, 24 patents, and work that contributed to the Nobel Prize in Physics.
  • As part of the President’s BRAIN Initiative, IARPA funded multi-disciplinary research to advance our understanding of cognition and computation in the brain. IARPA’s MICrONS program is funding research to improve the performance of neural networks by reverse-engineering the structure and function of the cortex. IARPA’s SHARP program  investigates the potential to improve cognition using a combination of cognitive training and noninvasive neuro-stimulation.
  • The White House selected IARPA as a foundational research and development agency for the National Strategic Computing Initiative. IARPA’s C3 program leads the world in the development of superconducting electronics for logic and memory, and is laying the groundwork for energy-efficient supercomputers.
  • IARPA’s Babel program developed a process for building a new speech recognition system for any language in less than a week.
  • IARPA’s Aladdin Video program developed tools that can search through large volumes of video, without keywords, using only the content of the videos.
  • IARPA’s Janus program leads the world in facial recognition under real-world conditions of off-pose, low-quality, obstructed images.
  • IARPA’s TIC program demonstrated that split-manufacturing can be used to securely produce microelectronics at substantial cost-savings.
  • IARPA’s ACE program  demonstrated that crowdsourcing can reduce the error of geopolitical forecasts by more than 50%.
  • IARPA’s OSI program developed automated tools that provide early warning of societal instability and disease outbreaks, a week or more earlier than traditional methods.
  • IARPA’s CAT program provided state-of-the-art circuit analysis tools to the Counterfeit Detection Center (CDC) at Sandia National Laboratories.
  • IARPA’s Multi-View Stereo 3D Mapping Challenge rewarded solvers who were able to convert satellite images into accurate 3D point-clouds, attracting over 1,000 registrants and 248 submissions.

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