Friday, March 5, 2010

New Intelligence-related Wikipedia Articles (Wikipedia)

The logo of Wikipedia.Image via Wikipedia

Each year, I have my intelligence communications class write articles on intelligence or intelligence-related topics for Wikipedia (You can see previously published lists of these articles here and here).

I do this for a number of reasons and, if you are interested, you can read about those here.

This year's crop covers some pretty interesting topics (none of which have been covered in Wikipedia before):

Network Crack Program Hacker Group
Porter's Four Corners Model
Sergei Ogoltsov (Soviet Deputy Director Of State Security 1951)
War Plan Gray
Zomi Revolutionary Army
Bradley Heithold (Commander, Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency)
William Alvin Lloyd (Lincoln's personal spy)
US Bomb Data Center
Robert Lipka (Spy)
Spain's Technological Investigation Brigade

All of these articles have already begun to undergo the inevitable Wikipedia editorial process but much of the original effort is still there.

Finally, if you are interested in what makes a good Wikipedia article, there is some very interesting research that has just come out of The University Of Arizona that indicates that the quality of the article depends on the type and quality of the collaboration that produced it. (Thanks, Allen!)

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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Mark Your Calendars! US Intelligence Community's Virtual Career Fair 16 March! (

The US National Security Intelligence Community (IC) is about to hold a virtual career fair on 16 March, 2010. Nine of the largest agencies within the US IC will be represented and registration is free and open to anyone (though only US citizens can get jobs in the US IC).

Career opportunities in the following fields will be available:

  • Cybersecurity/Information Assurance
  • Engineering and Physical Science
  • Foreign Languages (Arabic, Dari, Farsi, Mandarin, Pashto, Somali, or Urdu are the top choices)
  • Information Technology
  • Intelligence Analysis
  • Law Enforcement
  • Many others (though not specified on the Virtual Career Fair website).
Registration is easy. Just go to the registration page and fill in the blanks (Note: When it asks for "Event Login ID" and "Event Password" those are things that you make up, not things you need to get from the event organizers):

There are some browser and plug-in issues so be sure to click on the Computer Requirements link to check out your system. Also don't rely on the text alone. Make sure you click on the System Check link. For example, the text says Firefox 1.5 and above is supported but when I clicked on the Check System link it told me my Firefox 3.5 system was no good.

According to some of the press releases about the Fair, if you can't make it on the 16th, the site will still be up for 90 days after the event but there won't be any recruiters there to chat with.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

10 Reasons You Want To Teach At Mercyhurst (We Are Hiring!)

The Department of Intelligence Studies at Mercyhurst College is looking to hire a new professor for the department. Here are the official details:

Mercyhurst College in Erie, PA invites applications for a one-year visiting assistant professorship in the Department of Intelligence Studies for the 2010-2011 academic year. The position begins August 26, 2010 and has the possibility of renewal as a full-time tenure-track faculty position. The successful candidate will teach undergraduate courses in intelligence and national security and an elective course at the graduate level. Applicants should possess a J.D. or Ph.D. in a discipline related to intelligence studies (ABDs are encouraged to apply). Special attention will be given to those applicants with practitioner experience and the ability to manage applied analytic projects. Instructional duties include curriculum development, service to the profession, and participation in college and department activities.

And here is what to do next:

Applicants must send a letter of interest, teaching philosophy, curriculum vitae, and transcripts to: Department of Intelligence Studies, Mercyhurst College, 501 East 38th Street, Erie, PA 16546, Fax: 814-824-2008 or e-mail
So, in reverse order, here are the top ten reasons you want to work at Mercyhurst College in general and within the Mercyhurst College Institute of Intelligence Studies in particular:

10. Low cost of living. If you were moving from DC, your groceries would be 9% less, your healthcare 11% less and your housing 62% less (That's right: You can actually afford a house on a professor's salary).

9. Great location. Its not DC. Really. Think about it. Yeah, if you want to be hip-deep in PDBs and NIEs, stay in DC but if you are going to teach, to research, to think, don't you deserve a little breathing room? Besides, Erie is in the center of things regionally (You are only a couple of hours away from Buffalo, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Toronto), DC is only 6.5 hours away and you can take the train to NY or Chicago.

8. Winter activities. Lots of people comment on "all the snow" in Erie. If you like skiing or hockey or tubing or any of a bunch of other winter activities, however, that makes this a great place. As for how much "all the snow" bothers us? My kids did not miss a day of school this year and have missed only one day in last seven years.

7. Summer activities. Sandy beaches, boating, tall ships, hiking, soccer, scuba diving, baseball, golf, top 100 spot in the US for hunting and fishing. The list goes on...

6. Good schools, good healthcare. The days of Erie being a heavy industry town are long gone. The top exports today are the students from the four local colleges and universities. The second largest group of employers is the collection of very good hospitals (including one of the top 100 hospitals in the country). The elementary, middle and high schools in our area are very good as well, producing some of the best students in the country (See #7).

5. Commute. Mine is 10 minutes door to door. The average for the area is 16.3 minutes.

4. Excellent facilities. The college has launched a campaign to build a new building to house intel studies because we have outgrown our current digs. We will be bringing all of our current capabilities and adding new ones in the next few years.

3. Exciting opportunities for growth. Professors here can pursue opportunities in almost whatever direction their interest takes them. If you want to do research, we actively pursue grants for that; if you want to do analysis, agencies and companies routinely come to us to do custom analysis; and if you want to do more teaching, we teach a wide variety of courses in locations all over the world.

2. Great colleagues, strong alumni community. Whatever intelligence community you belong to (business, law enforcement or national security), you have an unparalleled opportunity here to work with colleagues from the other communities (including growing international and non-governmental communities). In addition, our alumni network is large and always ready to help.

1. Great students. This is really the best thing about Mercyhurst. We have about 350 here on campus (300 undergrad and 50 graduate students) and another 100 or so in our graduate certificate program at any given time. These students have all self-selected to become intelligence analysts. They work incredibly hard in what we consider a challenging program. They are all genuinely eager to learn and each one is a real pleasure to teach.
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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

This Too Shall Pass (SAM Soundtrack)

Normally, I save this sort of thing for Saturday or Sunday but we have been on break for the last week and all the students are coming back today.

So, if you love Rube Goldberg devices (as I do) and you like OK Go (as I do), then welcome back (!) and don't forget...