IARPA in the News

The New York Times

Fingerprint sensors have turned modern smartphones into miracles of convenience. A touch of a finger unlocks the phone — no password required. With services like Apple Pay or Android Pay, a fingerprint can buy a bag of groceries, a new laptop or even a $1 million vintage Aston Martin. ...Still, the team’s fundamental finding that partial fingerprints are vulnerable to spoofing is significant, said Chris Boehnen, the manager of the federal government’s Odin program, which studies how to defeat biometric security attacks as part of the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity

New Scientist

The U.S. government wants a better way to get its hands on people’s fingerprints – and it has set up a contest to find it. The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity has launched a challenge that pits security companies and research groups against each other, in a bid to build a device that accurately captures every part of a fingerprint. This “nail-to-nail” scan covers the whole fingertip, from one side of a fingernail to the other.


The latest kind of advanced encryption could soon allow classified computing to be done on unclassified computer systems, a senior intelligence official said Thursday. “That’s really one of the next places [we’re] likely to look — Can we use homomorphic encryption to do secure multiparty computation?” Jason Matheny, director of the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, told the Billington Cybersecurity Summit.

REI Systems

On March 22nd, REI Systems and Johns Hopkins University​ held a Government Analytics Breakfast (GAB) Forum at the Johns Hopkins Washington D.C. Center. These year-round events bring together professionals from government, academia, and the corporate community to discuss how government analytics can enable real-world successes and support learning of critical lessons from actual experience....Audience members that attended, both in-person and over the livestream, participated in an engaging dialogue with Dr. Jason Matheny, Director of the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity.


It generally makes sense: more success is good; less success bad. Simple metric. Ensures taxpayers’ dollars are well invested. The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA)—all about “high-risk, high-payoff research programs to tackle some of the most difficult challenges of the agencies and disciplines”—turns that metric on its head. When it comes to research and development for the intelligence community, too much R&D success may spell failure.


Ask economists whether prediction markets or prediction polls fare better, and they'll likely favor the former. In prediction markets, people bet against each other to predict an outcome, say the chance of someone winning an election. The market represents the crowd's best guess. In a prediction poll, the guesser isn't concerned with what anyone else thinks, essentially betting against himself. The work stems from The Good Judgment Project, a group of faculty and students from Penn and elsewhere selected to participate in the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity's four-year forecasting tournament that began in 2011.

UT News

Salt, snowflakes and diamonds are all crystals, meaning their atoms are arranged in 3-D patterns that repeat. Today scientists are reporting in the journal Nature on the creation of a phase of matter, dubbed a time crystal, in which atoms move in a pattern that repeats in time rather than in space. This research was supported by the U.S. Army Research Office, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity and the Simons Foundation.