Compututational Social Science Seminar – The Creation of the Office of Naval Research’s Data & Analytics Lab – Zelnio

March 23, 2018 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Center for Social Complexity Suite 3rd Floor, Research Hall, Fairfax Campus
Karen Underwood

Computational Social Science Friday Seminar

Ryan Zelnio, Ph.D.
Chief Analytics Officer
Office of Naval Research

 The Creation of the Office of Naval Research’s Data & Analytics Lab

Friday, March 23, 3:00-4:30 p.m.
Center for Social Complexity Suite
Research Hall, 3rd Floor


The Office of Naval Research (ONR) coordinates, executes, and promotes the science and technology programs of the United States Navy and Marine Corps. It administers the Naval Research Enterprise (NRE) investment portfolio of $2B annually in Naval relevant science and technologies (S&T) ranging from basic research to technology prototyping. This portfolio covers over 3000 grant and contract awards annually over a large variety of technologies.  In FY2017 alone, the basic and applied research portfolio (which is less than 50% of its budget) funded 4,411 scientific articles, 2,732 conference papers, 343 theses, 204 books & book chapters and 88 patents. However, while this portfolio is large, it is a drop in the bucket within the global research & development (R&D) enterprise.  In an attempt to understand this vast amount of data being produced both within the NRE and globally, ONR recently stood up the Data & Analytics Lab.  Its mission is to support strategic decision making at the Office of Naval Research with in-depth analysis of the NRE portfolio to enhance mission effectiveness for U.S. Naval Forces. This new lab is led by Mr. Matt Poe and includes Dr. Ryan Zelnio (2013 GMU SPP grad) serving as the Chief Analytics Officer and LCDR Nick Benes serving as the Chief Data Officer.  This lab seeks to harness ONR’s investments in social network analysis, machine learning, natural language processing, data visualization, supervised and unsupervised clustering, and many other data science tools to support decision processes across the NRE. Their talk will cover the range of challenges facing their lab as they stand up their effort and discuss the broader move within the federal government to better apply the tools of data science to understand the complexity of the R&D enterprise.  They will also discuss future partnering and internship opportunities.