July 1, 2020

CAOE receives 3.7M continuation funding 

On June 30, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) approved funding for CAOE for a fourth continuous year of operation as a DHS Center of Excellence with a $3.7M award amount. 

This funding will continue the valuable research, education and transition work being done to improve efficiency throughout the Homeland Security Enterprise (HSE).

For Y4, the center will be starting several new projects within our research competencies of data analytics, operations research and system analysis, economic analysis and homeland security risks. The new projects for Y4 are being finalized and will be highlighted in the next newsletter in October 2020. Many of our projects will be continuing, such as Identification and characterization of malware behaviors and Improving airport checkpoints, which are featured in this issue with project updates including how our researchers are responding to challenges presented by COVID-19. CAOE also continues to transition our Y1 and Y2 projects, such as Improving detection of threats at border operations into useful software tools and knowledge products for DHS component agencies.

Improving airport checkpoints continues amid COVID-19 

While travel restrictions and changes to airport procedures have become the new normal during the COVID-19 pandemic, air travel continues. CAOE researchers from ASU and UTEP have been working closely on a project to improve airport checkpoints' efficiency with TSA and Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. An overview of the project can be viewed in the video below:


While work continues, many things have changed with the project since early 2020 in response to the pandemic. As lead researcher Jorge Sefair explains, "passenger behavior has changed since COVID-19. We are facing things that we have never seen before. People arriving way earlier because they expect more control procedures such as temperature checks or people are arriving very close to their flights to limit their time in the airport."  Read More

Student Researcher Spotlight

CAOE is highlighting a few students working on improving airport checkpoints. The project aims to provide the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) with tools to improve the agency's day-to-day operations to facilitate positive interaction between Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) and millions of air travelers.  Read More

CAOE holds virtual Board of Directors meeting 

CAOE's annual board meeting had been on the schedule for early 2020 at the ASU DC location. Due to COVID-19, the decision was made to move the Board Meeting to a virtual platform. This move proved to be highly effective with over 35 DHS stakeholders from a wide range of component agencies including; TSA, CBP, CISA, I&A and PIL, attending the May 6, 2020 meeting.

The topics discussed ranged from the results of the scientific and mission reviews of the current and proposed projects, ways to improve engagement with our DHS stakeholders, and the economic security research needs of DHS.

The outcomes of this meeting ensured that the current research and educational initiatives of CAOE are aligned with the operational mission of the DHS COE program and our major DHS sponsors and stakeholders.

CAOE researchers study darknet data to improve defense against cyberattacks 

Data cyberattacks present one of the most critical threats to the security of the nation's critical infrastructures and the safety of our citizens. Adversaries frequently target intellectual properties and financial assets of U.S. corporations through these cyberattacks. With the current worldwide efforts to develop medicines and vaccines for COVID-19, the efforts to help protect and mitigate these types of attacks have only increased, particularly in U.S. healthcare data networks. Read More

New Seminar Series

Truths and Myths: Exploring emerging trends and topics in computer science and data analytics 

As the use of computational technologies has become ubiquitous in the Homeland Security Enterprise, questions regarding current capabilities and emerging trends dominate the news cycle. In this seminar series, our goal is to examine some of the hot topic computer science issues, focusing on truths and myths while showcasing research that can help move technology forward. Each talk in this series is designed to provide a 10-15 minute overview of current computational "myths" followed by a 30-40 minute presentation on emerging research. Topics will focus on biometrics, deep learning, misinformation, cybersecurity and more.  Click for Schedule

CAOE 2019 annual report


Our 2019 annual report is now available for download. There are a limited number of printed copies available. If you would like a printed copy, please send a request to caoe@asu.edu. 


Summer Research Team Program for Minority Serving Institutions: Researcher Spotlight

The purpose of the Summer Research Team Program is to increase and enhance the scientific leadership at Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) in research areas that support the mission and goals of DHS. Professor Eduardo Perez and student researcher Logan Taunton are working with Dr. Jorge Sefair and other CAOE researchers on the project, Dynamic Workforce Management at a Network of Screening Facilities.

Eduardo Perez

Associate professor Eduardo Perez, Texas State University, is experienced in analysis, evaluation and optimization of large-scale service systems in healthcare. 

Originally from Toa Alta, Puerto Rico, USA, Perez has been educating and researching within the Texas State University system since 2004 and is currently an investigator for a project investigating the differences in urban and rural healthcare system responses to COVID-19. Read More

Logan Taunton

Student researcher Logan Taunton is studying Operations Research, Industrial Engineering at Texas State University, and plans to work as a systems engineer after graduation. For CAOE, Tauton is working on improving security checkpoints with lead project researcher, Jorge Sefair and summer faculty researcher, Eduardo Perez.  Read More

CAOE responding effectively to COVID-19 with federal agencies

When the spread of COVID-19 shifted from a looming threat to a full-blown pandemic in March, the Center for Accelerating Operational Efficiency (CAOE) at Arizona State University sprang into action. Working directly with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the center helps some of the agencies charged with responding to the pandemic plan for and overcome both anticipated — and unanticipated — challenges. Read More


COVID-19 Information

New CAOE projects to look at economic complexity of COVID-19

To mask or not to mask? Going out in public during the COVID-19 pandemic

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

​​​Tips for living well at home from ASU wellness experts
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