The director of the nation’s intelligence research agency visited UCF this week and was introduced to several projects in modeling, simulation, photonics, electro-optics and engineering, and computer science.

Peter Highnam, the director of the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) program which operates under the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, toured research labs and spoke at a Florida Center for Cybersecurity (FCC) meeting at the Institute for Simulation & Training. He stressed the need to address the growing problem of cyber threats to business and national security. He also shared his thoughts on key research areas at IARPA and how UCF can meet those challenges.

UCF is a member of the FCC, a State University System initiative to develop workforce and research in cybersecurity.

At IST, Highnam viewed work in human computer interaction with robots being conducted by Stephanie Lackey. The research focuses on how the humans operate in complex environments and how robots can best collaborate with people. He also saw the lab of Zenghu Chang, a physics and optics researcher who has created the world’s fastest attosecond laser. Chang discussed how the laser is being used to understand the basic science of how electrons transition and move in materials.