Tony Rivera is a Visiting Assistant Professor at SSRI as well as Assistant Professor of International Security at the College of International Security Affairs, National Defense University and Director of the Laboratory for Unconventional Conflict Analysis and Simulation (LUCAS), a computational security studies lab. The Lab is bi-located on Fort Bragg and Duke University. Rivera received his degree in political science and international relations from the University of Delaware.
Since 2010, he has been affiliated with the University of Chicago’s Computation Institute, where he has provided subject matter expertise on Iranian grand strategy and security policy for agent-based modeling. His work at the Computation Institute also included modeling the sovereignty disputes in the South and East China Seas. From 2009–2012, Rivera served as managing editor of the International Studies Association’s Compendium project.
James became LUCAS’s Lead Developer for the Resources and Resiliency project in May 2016 after joining the lab as a software developer in the previous fall. His work for the lab includes contributing to and managing the development of the Geospatial Analysis Toolkit (GAT,) directing the lab’s developing team, and working with the lab’s PI in grant writing and management projects. James is currently a Duke undergraduate student pursuing a B.S. in Computer Science and Statistics. His interests focus on applying Computer Science algorithms and techniques to interesting datasets that produce real world benefits.
Guan-Wun is a Master’s student in the joint program of Economics and Computer Science. She is interested in data analytics, econometrics and statistics in real world applications. Joining the team as a software developer, her work focuses on agent-based modeling, database implementation and statistical modeling.
Alok Grover is a graduate student at Duke pursuing Master of Engineering Management with specialization in Data & Decisions. He joined LUCAS in May 2016, and has been working primarily on Sentiment Analysis. He is currently developing algorithms to create strategic landscapes unique to the “orientation” of the decision-maker. He has a Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering, work experience of 3 years in different industries in varied roles like, Market Analyst, Patent Analyst, and Data Analyst, and an addiction to solving complex puzzles. He is a fitness enthusiast, and a story teller.
Teddy is a Junior studying ECE & CS and looking to work in the industry. He just joined the lab a month ago and is looking forward to the upcoming semester. In his free time, Teddy loves to hike, run, read, and explore the outdoors.
Vinay Kshirsagar is a sophomore at Duke Univesity, studying Computer Science. He is orginally from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. This is his first year at LUCAS, and in his role he will be developing the user interface and the dynamic PMESII-N landscape.
Bio under construction
“My experience at LUCAS in 2014 shaped my academic and career interests significantly. Working with the lab gave me exposure to analytical and research methods that were not covered in my academic courses. The familiarity with basic network analysis concepts that I developed at LUCAS gave me an added edge in applying for jobs and internships; I’ve rarely had an interview where I was not asked about the lab. The partnership that LUCAS fostered between Duke* undergrads and JSOMA students also introduced me to new ways of thinking about conflict research and the relationship between civilian researchers and the military.”
“As someone who arrived at Duke with aspirations to make a career supporting national security & defense, I can say convincingly that my involvement with LUCAS helped realize that goal. I’m now working as an intel analyst supporting DoD, in no small part because of the opportunities LUCAS afforded me. The intelligence community is no easy field to break into directly out of college. My time with LUCAS was therefore an invaluable experience I could point to in interviews, one indeed I often shared to showcase my analytical ability and area knowledge. It’s a job market where the master’s degree and/or prior military experience are the norm, but LUCAS was a unique credential that helped set me apart. In fact, I was ultimately hired when a recruiter came across my resume online; drawn in by my research for LUCAS on Iranian security strategy, he reached out to learn more. He was equal parts impressed and intrigued, commenting that my work entailed a level of depth typically reserved for students with an advanced degree. To me, that says a lot about the rigor of LUCAS’s work and the relevance of its mission. And so while the lab is still in its early years, I know full well that it will continue to serve as a hub for current and aspiring security practitioners to collaborate and produce high-value work. And it has a great leader in Tony Rivera, who genuinely wants his students to get as much out of LUCAS as they put in. I’m one such grateful beneficiary.”