McArdle, ADJ students present research before experts in Washington, D.C.
Ten administration of justice students working as assistant researchers with their professor, Jennifer McArdle, joined her in Washington, D.C. recently to share their findings in defense technology innovation, artificial intelligence and military training with experts in policymaking, cyber defense and the military.
The students joined McArdle in meetings at the American Foreign Policy Council, Microsoft, Govini, Air Education and Training Command at the Pentagon, CAE, and the Center for Naval Analysis (CNA). Two of the students joined McArdle for an interview with artificial intelligence experts at CNA and as a result, the University’s research will be featured May 10 on “AI with AI,” one of the nation’s top artificial intelligence podcasts.
At the Pentagon, the students piloted simulators, essentially flying virtual aircraft like the F-35 and F-16 over cities as diverse as Washington, D.C., Boston, San Francisco, and even the pyramids outside Cairo.
Participating student researchers were Maria Hendrickson, Gabrielle Cusano, Abigail Verille, Erin Rorke, Saurav Chatterjee, Allegra Graziano, Santiago Durango, Eric Baucke, Mackenzie Mandile and John Crooks. They were selected following a competitive process to assist McArdle throughout the semester on two of her research projects.
“Working as research assistants on a policy-relevant problem that will shape the debate in Washington, D.C. provides a real value-add to ADJ students,” McArdle said. “These students get to build in-depth research skills while influencing defense-technology policy.”
Half of the students assisted McArdle and AI experts on an “Artificial Intelligence Strategic Primer” that will be published by the American Foreign Policy Council (AFPC) this summer. The AFPC has been producing strategic primers for about five years to help educate Congressional members and staffers on complex technical topics so that they can make more informed decisions when making policy.
The other five students assisted McArdle in producing a thought piece on how trust can be built in select artificial intelligence applications via synthetic environments. The piece will be published this month in “War on the Rocks,” a defense policy outlet.
“Working as a research assistant gave us such an opportunity to grow within the disciplines we are so passionate about,” Cusano said.
McArdle said the trip to Washington gave students an opportunity to build a network across the highest levels of government, industry and the defense policy communities. “Through their conversations, students are building an understanding of how their research can drive positive change, while also envisioning careers in public service that they may not have previously considered,” McArdle said.
“D.C. was life changing for me,” Graziano said of the experience. Mandile agreed: “Working as a research assistant this semester and the opportunity to go to D.C. has easily been the highlight of my time at Salve.”