Silicon Valley, Calif. --
Airmen from the 9th Intelligence Squadron are working with
Stanford University students to gather ideas on how to make the Optical Bar
Camera mission more effective.
Hacking for Defense, a non-profit organization working to generate
problem solving cooperation between academia industry and Department of
Defense, introduced a problem-solving methodology. Working to solve national
defense challenges, H4D pairs Stanford students with partners in the DOD or
adjacent industries to build a relationship between two entities in hopes of
producing innovative technological solutions to defense issues.
H4D students separate into groups of four and choose a
problem set that interests them most. This requires a hands-on approach and
close engagement with DOD and other government agencies.
The class seeks to apply Silicon Valley entrepreneurship methods
in military-industrial contexts. Students create what is similar to a “lean
startup”, which emphasizes a process of need-finding and problem-solving.
This process helps
individuals with the problem receive a newer, fresher idea on something they may
have never thought of before, while also revealing that students are capable of
contributing to solutions to real-world problems.
“We work with wet film. “This is an excellent
opportunity to couple one of the oldest sensors in the DoDs inventory with the
latest advances in technology,” said Chief Master Sgt. Ian Eishen, 9th IS
superintendent. “Our thoughts are that computer vision may provide a solution,
but the team may find something that would be a better fit.”
The students learn entrepreneurship while they are engaged in
a national public service, which is one of many opportunities to make the world
safer by teaming with the DOD and other government agencies.
“My best friend joined the Marines,” said Austin Bushree,
Stanford student. ”I decided to go to college, and it was interesting to see
the divergence in paths. I’ve always admired his dedication to service and to
the country, so I really respect him for all that he is doing. I look at what
he is out there doing and I don’t see how I would owe any less to my country
and the people who live in it. We have completely different skillsets, but I
saw this as a way to commit myself to a legitimate problem doing something
bigger than myself.”
This unique collaborative program began in April
2018 and last approximately 3 months. Stanford students will visit Beale Air
Force Base for an up-close look at equipment and processes involved with the
problem solving requirements. In return, Beale Airmen will have the opportunity
to engage on the university campus as the subject matter experts during the
problem solving process.