Graham to present first McMurtry Lecture on Feb. 22

In recent years, the rise of mobile technologies and analytic support tools has set the stage for instantaneous reporting and analysis. Col. Jake Graham, professor of practice in Security and Risk Analysis (SRA) at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), will give a lecture next week in which he will discuss an innovative pedagogy to train future intelligence analysts.

Graham, a retired colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps., will give the first annual McMurtry Award Lecture, "Using Analytic Decision Games to Teach Security and Risk Analysis in the College Classroom,” at 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22, in room 208 in the IST Building on the University Park campus of Penn State.

“Spurned by a decade of war and an expanding digital civilian market, our instant gratification of knowledge has been made possible by a host of rapid technological advances,” Graham said. “Tools that support information/intelligence collection, analysis and dissemination are placing data at our fingertips at an alarming rate. However, it is unclear if we human analysts are able to keep up with the digital tsunami and whether we are actually being made smarter along the way.”

Graham is the recipient of the 2011-12 recipient of the George J. McMurtry Excellence in Teaching and Learning Faculty Enhancement Fund. The fund recognizes IST faculty members at University Park who provide an exceptional learning environment for undergraduates in the classroom or online environments through their innovative teaching, commitment to student learning and creative interface with students.

During his lecture, Graham will discuss the use of the Analytic Decision Game (ADG) as a learning tool for students who are interested in pursuing intelligence as a career. The ADG is an adaptation of the Tactical Decision Game or military war-game simulations and was developed to promote exercise-based instruction for teaching and practicing the broad aspects of structured analytic techniques to SRA students.

“The ADG is adaptable to a wide range of analytic issues and can be scaled to fit any classroom environment or learning objective,” Graham said. “ADGs can be large or small, ranging from one hour, limited objective problems to multi-week command-post exercises.”

To illustrate the concept of instantaneous communication enabled by emerging technologies, Graham cited the take-down of the Osama bin Laden compound on May 1, 2011. The entire operation was viewed live by President Barack Obama and his National Security staff in the White House Situation Room, from nearly 7,000 miles away. “ Whether trading stocks, covering a news-beat, or conducting military operations, CEOs, share-holders, and military commanders alike expect not only a bird’s-eye view of operations as they occur, but a play-by-play analysis of operational effectiveness,” he said.

Last Updated January 09, 2015