During a crisis event, bringing the right information, at the right time, to the right person, can significantly impact the quality of decision making for First Responders as well as the general public. Effective decision making during a crisis can be directly attributed to saving lives and property. The research team assembled by the Center for Emergency Response Technologies (CERT) believes that information technologies can enhance decision making abilities.
The goal of the center is new and innovative technology research. The focus will be on how technology will improve emergency response. At the system level: robust systems, resiliency in extreme situations. At the Information level: convert large-scale, multi-modal information into actionable information upon which decisions can be made. A layer of social science research provides the application context. Engineering research (e.g., transportation systems and alert systems) provide a specific lifeline for which the value of IT can be illustrated.
CERT will radically transform the ability of responding organizations to gather, manage, use, and disseminate information within emergency response networks and to the general public. Depending upon the severity of the crisis, response may involve numerous organizations including multiple layers of government, public authorities, commercial entities, volunteer organizations, media organizations, and the public. These entities work together to save lives, preserve infrastructure and community resources, and to reestablish normalcy within the population. The efficacy of response is determined by the ability of decision-makers to understand the crisis at hand and the state of the available resources to make vital decisions. The quality of these decisions in turn depends upon the timeliness and accuracy of the information available to the responders.
CERT will be an interdisciplinary effort that brings computer scientists, engineers, social scientists, and disaster science experts together to explore technological innovations in order to deliver the right information to the right people at the right time during crisis response. Joint research collaboration with Calit2 and the UCI School of Social Sciences is being sought in order to maximize the impact of the proposed ICS Center.
Upcoming Event: Southern California UICDS Consortium. In conjunction with DHS, First Responders, and other stakeholders, the CERT Team is planning a "kick-off" meeting to establish a UICDS Consortium and UICDS Core at UCI. Date and time TBA.
In March (2010), Prof. Chen Li received an NSF award to support research on powerful keyword search with efficient indexing structures and algorithms in a cloud-computing environment, especially in the domain of family reunification in disasters such as the Haiti Earthquake .
Distingushed Lecture (10 NOV 09): Yueting Zhuang Professor and Dean of the College of Computer Science, Zhejiang University: Digital Libraries and its potential in-depth applications. http://isg.ics.uci.edu/events.html
Workshop November 5th and 6th: DHS S&T / UCI CERT: Workshop on
Emergency Management: Incident, Resource, and Supply Chain Management
WPI Precision Personnel Locator Workshop: August 3-4, 2009. Dr. Chris Davison presented: SAFIRE – Technological Research and Solutions Impacting Situational Awareness for Firefighters
Distinguished Lecturer: Ron Eguchi, CEO ImageCat Inc., May 15, 2009. Topic: Earthquakes, Hurricanes and other Disasters: A View from Space.
Firefighter Forum: May 15, 2009. Special Topic: Wildland Fires. Location: Bren Hall, Room 4001, UCI