Discovery Park Undergraduate Research Internship Program

"DURI: Improved natural disaster response using social media"

About the Project

Project Time & Type:
Fall 2017 - DURI
Research area(s):
Disaster management, computer science, engineering, and/or public policy
Project Description:
In 2016, the United States alone faced fifteen natural disasters that each caused over $1 billion in devastation and damage. The ubiquity of smartphones has changed the way first responders, disaster managers, and the public communicates disaster information (e.g., whether to evacuate, the location of shelters, maps of road closures). The project’s goal is to determine how Social Media Analytics and Reporting Toolkit (SMART), an interactive visualization tool, can be implemented in domestic and international natural disaster response. In doing so, we aim to reduce the economic and social impacts of extreme weather events.
Expected Student Contributions:
1) Perform a literature review and synthesize the domestic and international research efforts to use social media in disaster response. 2) Identify geographic areas which are most vulnerable to natural disasters and identify their local government, regional government, federal government, and industry based efforts to use social media. 3) Develop a plan and identify challenges to implement SMART for domestic and international disaster response.
Related Website(s):
Desired Qualifications:
A background in disaster management, computer science, engineering, and/or public policy. Familiarity with VACCINE’s research and software is a plus.
Estimated Weekly Hours:
Department awards independent research credits for this project?
Yes, 3 credit hours

Professor in Charge

Surakitbanharn, Chittayong
electrical and computer eng

Student Supervisor

Chittayong Surakitbanharn
Research Analyst

Cooperating Faculty

David S. Ebert
Laurel Weldon