Complex Systems Colloquium

Jake Graham, Professor of Practice & Director of the Center for Network Centric Cognition and Information Fusion, Pennsylvania State University College of Information Sciences and Technology

Monday, March 4, 2013, 3:00pm

Cummings 200

Using Analytic Decision Games to Teach Security and Risk Analysis in the College Classroom

Hosted by Professor George Cybenko; free and open to the Thayer community; refreshments will be served.


The study and practice of human reasoning has undergone significant changes in recent years from both a theoretical and methodological perspective. Ubiquitous communication fueled by mobile technologies coupled with advances in computing and a plethora of analytic support tools has set the stage for instantaneous reporting and analysis. This notion is particularly prevalent across the various analytic communities. Whether trading stocks, covering a news-beat or conducting military operations, CEOs, share-holders and military commanders alike expect not only a bird’s-eye view of operations as they occur, but a play-by-play analysis of operational effectiveness. This notion was demonstrated most prominently during the May 1, 2011 take-down of the Osama bin Laden compound. The entire operation was viewed live by the President and his National Security staff in the White House Situation Room from some 7,000 miles away.

Spurned by a decade of war and an expanding digital civilian market, our instant gratification of knowledge has been made possible by a host of rapid technological advances. Tools that support information/intelligence collection, analysis and dissemination are placing data at our fingertips at an alarming rate. However, it is unclear if we human analysts are able to keep up with the digital tsunami and whether we are actually being made smarter along the way.

Graham will discuss the use of the Analytic Decision Game (ADG) as pedagogy to train tomorrow’s analyst. The ADG is an adaptation of the Tactical Decision Game or military war-game simulations popularized by military planners and tacticians to increase the understanding of tactical awareness and decision-making. The ADG was developed to promote exercise-based instruction for teaching and practicing the broad aspects of structured analytic techniques to students of Security and Risk Analysis in the College of Information Sciences and Technology at The Pennsylvania State University. The ADG is adaptable to a wide range of analytic issues and can be scaled to fit any classroom environment or learning objective. ADGs can be large or small, ranging from one hour, limited objective problems to multi-week command-post exercises.


About the Speaker

Jake Graham
Professor Jake Graham

After retiring from the Marine Corps with 26 years of active service, Colonel Jacob L. Graham joined the IST faculty in October, 2007. He has extensive operational experience at all levels of warfare (tactical to strategic). An attack helicopter pilot by military occupational specialty, Col Graham has operated across the globe as an attack helicopter commander, mission commander and Aviation Weapons and Tactics Instructor. Col Graham has served in various roles throughout his military career, including intelligence officer, electronic warfare officer, air planner and strategic planner. He has completed two Pentagon tours, one as a Political-Military Affairs analyst and another at Headquarters, United State Marine Corps as the Assistant Inspector General. He retired from the Office of the Secretary of the Navy where he was the President of the Naval Discharge Review Board. In his last operational overseas tour he was the Non-Strategic Nuclear Force Advisor to the Commander, U.S. European Command and the Mission Commander for the EUCOM Airborne Nuclear Command Post. In this capacity, he was also the senior U.S. advisor for U.S. NATO nuclear operations. He went forward during the Iraqi war as the Operations Officer (J-3) for Joint Task Force North, US EUCOM/Central Command, whose mission was to facilitate the movement of combat forces across Turkey into northern Iraq. He has been both a squadron commander and an airbase commander. Col Graham also completed a 4-1/2 year White House flying tour supporting Presidents George H. W. Bush and William J. Clinton. Graham teaches in the Security and Risk Analysis major at IST and his passion is writing and facilitating Analytic Decision Games.

For more information, contact Louise Cullen at 603-646-8794 or