Hacking for Defense: Changing the Face of Security Problem Solving

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From kamikaze drones to prototypes using facial recognition technology to help protect troops, a group of Georgetown University students enrolled in a class dubbed, “Hacking for Defense,” spent a semester developing innovative solutions to rapidly solve major national security problems.

On Monday, four teams took to the stage to present their final projects for the course dedicated to trying to find viable products the Department of Defense could use to combat real-world issues. Government agencies — called “problem sponsors” — brought several challenges to the Georgetown students, such as the inability to identify persons of interest in crowds and problems analyzing large amounts of social media data. The teams then spent the semester looking at the commercial sector, visiting key government agencies, and then developing prototypes to try to tackle the most pressing problems facing the U.S. military.

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