Thursday, May 24, 2012

Geospatial Analysis Of Gerrymandering In Pennsylvania (An Advanced Analytic Techniques Project)

One of my students, Karl Gustafson, used an interesting combination of geospatial and political data to create a video (see below) that examines some historic cases of gerrymandering in Pennsylvania.  He used this as background for looking into what appears to be some pretty clear cases of gerrymandering in the making.

While the production quality on the video is none too slick, Karl does a good job of using a series of overlays, a clear, direct script and the features of Google Earth to explain what gerrymandering is and how it has been used ion the past and how it is currently being used to literally re-shape Pennsylvania politics.

You can see Karl's evaluation of the methods and processes he used here.

Monday, May 21, 2012

DC Based CI Courses Now Open For Registration (Shameless Self Promotion)

How would you like to take counterintel courses for graduate credit from some of the most experienced CI professionals in the world?  Now you can...

Mercyhurst University has been teaching counterintelligence courses in the DC area for a number of years.  Traditionally, we have done this in coordination with a government or private partner.  Last year, though, we opened these classes up to qualified students throughout the DC area.

These courses (there are three of them) make up our Graduate Certificate in Counterintelligence.  All of the classes are accredited, of course, and are taught one per quarter for three quarters.  If you want the certificate, you would need to take all three and take them in series.  If you are just interested in learning more about the CI field, then you could opt to take just the first course -- it is entirely your call.

The first course in this series will be offered in early September and run for approximately 10 weeks.  The course is not offered online and will meet once a week in the evening at a location in the vicinity of Tyson's Corner.  There are no pre-requisites other than a bachelors degree from an accredited university.

The courses are taught by Ray Batvinis, Bob Stephan and Tim Almon.  Stephan is the author of Stalin's Secret War and has over 20 years experience with CIA, DIA and the USAF; Batvinis spent 25 years at the FBI working on CI issues at the highest levels, Almon spent 25 years at the FBI before becoming the Director of Counterintelligence and Security Programs on the National Security Council Staff for Presidents Clinton and Bush.

Because of their experience and contacts, one of the unique aspects of these classes are the kinds of guest speakers they can draw.  For example, they have been able to bring together Plato Cacheris and John Martin (the defense attorney and the federal prosecutor in the Robert Hanssen case) for a one-of-a-kind roundtable.

This brief note cannot do either this course or the guys teaching it justice.  If you want more information, please do not hesitate to contact the director of our online and distance learning programs, Linda Bremmer, at 814 824 2170 or lbremmer at mercyhurst dot edu.

Registration is now open!