Los Alamos National LaboratoryInformation Science and Technology Institute (ISTI)
Implementing and fostering collaborative research, workforce and program development, and technical exchange

The Information Science & Technology Institute

The Information Science and Technology Institute (ISTI) is one of the six strategic centers organized under the National Security Education Center at Los Alamos. ISTI is chartered to foster high-quality research efforts, specialized recruiting, and strategy development that will enable LANL’s Information Science & Technology (IS&T) Pillar and advance new IS&T ideas. 

ISTI sponsors opportunities for strategic research as well as training and development for students, postdocs, and staff at Los Alamos National Laboratory. These activities include summer school programs, student and postdoc fellow programs, LDRD funded rapid response calls for proposals, university collaborations, training workshops, and seminar talks.

In addition, ISTI supports events that bring researchers together  - often from various fields – to develop novel technical approaches, build communities, or develop road maps, proposals, or white papers.  Contact istisupport@lanl.gov with ideas, organization, or sponsorship requests for workshops.  (these can be outreach activities which we fund for the community)

Please click on the tabs above to learn more about ISTI’s activities.

IS&T Researcher Spotlight

Shawn M. Jones - ISTI Postdoctoral Research Associate

Shawn Jones

Shawn M. Jones has been working for LANL since 2015 when he started as a Graduate Research Assistant. He grew up in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and moved to New Mexico as part of his academic journey. In 2021, he finished his PhD in Computer Science at Old Dominion University (ODU). That October, Shawn began working as a postdoc for Diane Oyen of CCS-3. Before his time at LANL, Shawn had an 18-year career as a software engineer working for the United States Navy.

Shawn has published several works in information visualization, automatic summarization, digital preservation, information retrieval, and scholarly communications. He has also contributed to the blogs of the Web Science and Digital Libraries Research Group at ODU and the International Internet Preservation Consortium. His PhD topic centers on the intersection of automatic summarization and visualization so visitors can quickly understand collections of thousands of documents. Today, Shawn is continuing his automatic summarization work with ISTI. His long-term goal is the development of automatic summaries that help us understand the world’s current state of knowledge relevant to a specific scientific or technological concept. Such summaries would not just be text but intended to incorporate the full multimedia capabilities available to us in our current digital age.



News & Announcements

The 2022 IEEE SciVis Contest

Wildfire behavior is a result of complex nonlinear interactions between a variety of physical processes and chemical reactions. Understanding the coupling between these components and the ways in which their interactions are influenced by their surrounding environment is a challenging undertaking. The 2022 IEEE SciVis Contest is focused on the visualization and analysis of simulations of wildfires from LANL's Higrad/Firetec simulation codes. More specifically, we explore a recently-identified phenomena known as vorticity-driven lateral spread in hilltop and canyon environments.

Details regarding the contest and data can be found at https://www.lanl.gov/projects/sciviscontest2022/. If you have any questions, please contact Divya Banesh at dbanesh@lanl.gov.

Northern New Mexico Community Data Sprint connects local nonprofit and education organizations with LANL data scientists to solve data-related problems for the benefit of Northern New Mexico.

ISTI congratulates the organizers of the first Northern New Mexico Community Data Sprint held last summer. Eleven LANL data scientists worked jointly with Northern New Mexico College, Santa Fe Community College, and Rocky Mountain Youth Corps to help these organizations analyze their data to gain useful information and insights about their programs. Two teams of data researchers from LANL spent an intensive week on projects proposed by the organizations. The colleges' project focused on improving student retention rates by analyzing risk factors and signs of academic and professional success. Rocky Mountain Youth Corps provides workforce development training and educational programs to young people in New Mexico, and its staff requested assistance in reviewing its data to understand the general impact of its programs as well as its performance in gender diversity.

More details about the Northern New Mexico Community Data Sprint can be found in the October 2021 edition of LANL’s Community Connections newsletter.

ISTI is pleased to sponsor this effort in collaboration with the LANL Community Partnerships Office. ISTI thanks project organizers Lissa Moore and James Wernicke along with their team of data scientists for their efforts to assist these Northern New Mexico organizations.

LANL Hosts Successful Winter Wildfire Camp Targeting Native American Students

ISTI was proud to support the successful Winter Wildfire Camp held on December 7-18, 2020. Twelve undergraduate students, the majority of whom were Native American, participated in this two-week event that taught them how to use data analysis and visualization software to develop wildfire simulations. The camp is part of a multi-year initiative led by LANL’s Student Programs Office to increase the number of Native American student interns at the Lab. 

ISTI congratulates camp organizer Cassandra Casperson of the Student Programs Office, camp technical leaders Rod Linn in EES-16 and John Patchett in CCS-3, and all of the mentors who participated in the event for their work to create a rewarding experience for the students who attended. 

For more information, please see the February 2021 edition of LANL’s Community Connections newsletter.

To receive announcements on ISTI seminars and other activities, go to: register.lanl.gov--> mailing lists--> subscribe to a list and input istiseminars@lanl.gov. Alternatively, send an email to istisupport@lanl.gov