IARPA in the News

Nextgov

A new system for tracking weapons of mass destruction in the field, a project to put tablet devices in the hands of Peace Corps volunteers decamping overseas and a $6 billion effort to better secure the dot-gov domain.

Those are just some of the projects recognized Monday at the second annual Bold Awards.

Photonics.com

A prototype graphene photodetector is capable of detecting terahertz frequencies quickly and at room temperature, possibly enabling a new generation of see-through imaging.

The device operates on the hot-electron photothermoelectric effect, making it “as sensitive as any existing room-temperature detector in the terahertz range and more than a million times faster,” according to Dr. Michael Fuhrer, a professor of physics at the University of Maryland, College Park, and Monash University in Australia.

Nextgov

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity plans to hold its first industry day since its founding in 2006.

The Conversation

Graphene – an atom-thick sheet of carbon – has been touted as a new wonder material: it is stronger than steel and conducts electricity better than copper.

In the journal Nature Nanotechnology today, my colleagues and I show how graphene can be used to build a detector of long wavelength (far infrared or terahertz) light that is as sensitive as any existing detector, but far smaller and more than a million times faster. The detector could improve night-vision goggles, chemical analysis tools and airport body scanners.

Wall Street Journal

Analysts for the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency and more than a dozen other government organizations depend on their ability to forecast national and global events to help ward off various threats to the country, but old-style approaches can produce flawed results.

To improve quality, the government has taken the unusual step of running tournaments that invite people outside the intelligence community to develop better ways to forecast world events, and several have produced notable results.

 

Financial Times

Billions of dollars are spent on experts who claim they can forecast what’s around the corner, in business, finance and economics. Most of them get it wrong. Now a groundbreaking study has unlocked the secret: it IS possible to predict the future – and a new breed of ‘superforecasters’ knows how to do it....

The entire exercise was given the name of the Good Judgment Project, and the aim was to find better ways to see into the future.

The early years of the forecasting tournament have, wrote Tetlock, “already yielded exciting results”....

The Chronicle of Higher Education

Around about 2005, you couldn’t shake a stick in Washington without hitting a political consultant who was focus-grouping your stick-shaking metaphor to see whether it provided better "framing" than his opponent’s. The inspiration for the framing craze, George Lakoff’s book Don’t Think of an Elephant!, argued that the Democrats lost in 2004 because they ignored the importance of frames: subconscious structures that determine why people vote the way they do, and that can be activated through abstract linguistic triggers like "family values" or "death tax."