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Hamming Award Recipient Recognized for Interdisciplinary Studies in Big Data

NPS Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Associate Professor James Scrofani is the winner of the 2018 Richard W. Hamming Faculty Award for Interdisciplinary Achievement.

Dr. James Scrofani, Associate Professor in the NPS Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and founding director of the university’s Center for Multi-INT Studies (CMIS), is the winner of the 2018 Richard W. Hamming Faculty Award for Interdisciplinary Achievement.

“I am very honored to receive this recognition, particularly since it reflects interdisciplinary achievement. For the difficult technical challenges faced by the Navy and DOD, there is a need to lead and connect across schools, departments and institutions at NPS,” said Scrofani, who was also presented with a replica of Hamming’s signature red plaid jacket to recognize the accomplishment.

“The intellectual capacity is resident everywhere across campus, but it takes leadership and fostering an environment of collaboration with a compelling connection to the mission. The CMIS team has worked very hard in creating and nurturing such an environment.”

Scrofani joined the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department in 2012, and currently works out of NPS’ National Capital Region (NCR) office in Washington, D.C.

Along with a handful of other NPS faculty, Scrofani has helped lead the charge on a campus-wide push for interdisciplinary activities. He helped spark the establishment of the Center for Multi-Intelligence Studies and has led the center since 2013.

“The proliferation of ubiquitous data and the associated collection, processing, storage and distribution technologies is revolutionizing all aspects of Navy and DOD operations and business practices.  In an attempt to realize strategic advantage from this disruptive change, the Naval Postgraduate School, and centers like the Center for Multi-INT Studies, have been pursuing academic and research activities that will prepare future naval leaders and government civilians with the technical depth necessary to leverage big data and engineer the right systems and analytic approaches to enable the Navy team to stay ahead of our adversaries,” Scrofani added.

As CMIS founder, Scrofani has helped foster campus-wide involvement in a number of relevant research areas, culminating in more than 30 individual, faculty-led student research projects. His efforts have also been instrumental in NPS’ data science educational offerings, and he executed the first-ever Data Science Certificate Program to a cohort of students in the DOD Space Community in academic year 2017.

Scrofani is currently executing the second cohort of students in a Space Systems Design graduate certificate program, bringing together faculty from the university’s Space Systems Academic Group to impart critical knowledge to the DOD space community.

Both certificate programs required an interdisciplinary approach to ensure he capitalized on NPS’ ability to meet a sponsor’s requirements. He brings this same approach to research.

“My research focus, embodied by the activities of the Center for Multi-INT Studies, is focused on solving very complex problems that challenge the Navy and DOD. Solutions to these problems require bringing together the right mix of technical expertise and operational experience,” he said.

“Faculty-led student research has been the foundation for this success.  The students at NPS have experienced the very problems we are working on and bring a wealth of operational insight to the mix.  They find that being part of the NPS academic and research mission is very rewarding, because we offer them an opportunity to contribute in very tangible ways to positively impact the security of the nation.”

The Richard W. Hamming Faculty Award for Interdisciplinary Achievement, named after NPS professor emeritus Dr. Richard W. Hamming, highlights one faculty member annually that demonstrates a commitment to interdisciplinary scholarship and exceptional teaching skills. Hamming's dedication to teaching and research are well known, specifically in the mathematics, computer science and telecommunications fields of study. Hamming taught at NPS as an adjunct Professor from 1976 to 1997.

Scrofani, and all of the quarter’s award winners, will be recognized at the Winter Quarter Graduation Awards Ceremony, March 20 at 3:00 p.m. on the NPS Quarterdeck.
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