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Creativity: Where Art and Engineering Meet

Creativity: Where Art and Engineering Meet

At first glance, creativity might seem like the ability to make something from nothing. That isn’t actually true, but creativity does require an active imagination and the ability to judge what, among all the imagined things, might have value, given what you’re trying to accomplish. Creativity in engineering and in the arts requires the ability to generate a wide variety of ideas that relate to the goals of the effort, often the more ideas the better. Judgment is then used to evaluate the merits and flaws of each idea.

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Emotional Resilience in Professional Life

Emotional Resilience in Professional Life

Regular sources of stress in our lives can arise from challenges at work, challenges in personal life such as with partnership and parenting, and challenges from societal divisions at home and abroad, among many other factors. With one public crisis after another appearing in the news to add to what’s happening directly in our lives, these stress factors may pile on and conspire to make well-being hard to maintain.

Project Demodocus: Bringing Accessibility to the Masses

Project Demodocus: Bringing Accessibility to the Masses

Every year countless Americans with disabilities interact with government resources for everything from receiving benefits to registering to vote. But not all websites are created equal, and even fewer are designed with the disabled community in mind. Enter project Demodocus, a new automated approach to test websites of all kinds on how usable they really are for those who need more than just a keyboard and mouse.

Symptoms, Systems, and Soap

Symptoms, Systems, and Soap

On the evening of April 13, 1970, there was a loud “BAM!”, then “Houston, we’ve had a problem.”

Apollo 13 had “lost” the moon because an oxygen tank explosion that wasn’t predicted caused a series of systems failures in propulsion, electrical power, and life support, and the world focused on how three isolated men over 200,000 miles from Earth would get safely home.

Better Practices for Explainable Decisions: A Discussion of Explainable AI

Better Practices for Explainable Decisions: A Discussion of Explainable AI

In November 2019, a customer of Apple Card complained when he and his wife separately applied for Apple Card credit, and his wife was given a credit limit twenty times lower than his despite the fact that they jointly owned all assets in a community property state. According to Neil Vigdor in an article in the New York Times, an Apple Card representative checked into the matter and came back with the explanation that “It was the algorithm.”

Recognition for Knowing What MITRE Knows

Recognition for Knowing What MITRE Knows

The American Productivity & Quality Center (APQC) has honored MITRE with its 2020 Excellence in Knowledge Management (KM) award, recognizing us as one of the top organizations in the world for our mature KM capabilities. MITRE scored a level five—the highest possible score—in most of the areas the association assessed.

AI for All is for Everybody

AI for All is for Everybody

As graduating seniors at Florida International University (FIU), Charlie Ramirez and Sephora Jean-Mary headed into their final semester aiming to find a real-life business problem they could solve. Their senior design capstone project was supposed to enable these two front-end developers to display what they’d already learned as computer science students.

Improve Your Resiliency Without Wearing Camouflage

Improve Your Resiliency Without Wearing Camouflage

Military members and first responders learn early in their training how to deal with stress because of the inherent danger of their occupation. Although stress certainly comes with being in harm’s way, they may also experience stress that comes with facing the unknown, time pressures, and challenging tasks.

Turkeys vs Swans, with Imanuel Portalatin

Turkeys vs Swans, with Imanuel Portalatin

Despite our modern world, many systems aren’t built with uncertainty in mind. Alas, these unexpected events may become the new normal. Fortunately, Imanuel has been leading the charge to re-examine how we design and implement systems with new approaches that make them more resilient to the unexpected. Listen in as we explore how his work is helping the world prepare for the next natural disaster or global pandemic.

Let’s Maintain Agility After the Coronavirus Crisis

Let’s Maintain Agility After the Coronavirus Crisis

It’s an understatement to say that we’ve all experienced a lot of change during the coronavirus pandemic. Despite the challenges, some positives have come out of this situation, especially when it comes to how federal agencies and other organizations have quickly adapted to keep the government running and work moving. Organizational agility has been a goal for many years now, with numerous agency mission statements highlighting the need for it.

Justin Brunelle: Lessons from MITRE’s Innovation Program

Justin Brunelle: Lessons from MITRE’s Innovation Program

Agencies call on MITRE to help navigate all manner of unique challenges, but not all projects are lean enough for the innovations that agencies seek. That’s where Justin Brunelle comes in. Justin has developed a reputation as division technical integrator, helping pair trail-blazing research with government use cases.

A Story of the Game-Changing Value of Tacit Knowledge: “Is There a Doctor in the House?”

A Story of the Game-Changing Value of Tacit Knowledge: “Is There a Doctor in the House?”

MITRE’s talents for strategic modernization (e.g., enterprise planning, organizational change, business innovation, technology transitioning) are informed by both our explicit knowledge and our tacit knowledge. Explicit knowledge is what we objectively know. Explicit knowledge can be readily articulated, codified, stored and accessed, and transmitted to others, and represents an estimated 20% of our knowledge (e.g., plans, reports, data analysis). Implicit or tacit knowledge is more subjective.

Dimensions of Collaborative Innovation

Dimensions of Collaborative Innovation

A recent discussion with colleagues on intriguing approaches and paths to innovation triggered my systems thinking habits – to explore and understand challenges systemically. What I ended up discovering were multiple dimensions of innovation, particularly for collaborative innovation.

Taking a Look at Risk

Taking a Look at Risk

Delve into the history and meaning of risk, and you may be surprised to find that the word risk has an uncertain etymology. Depending on the domain, definitions of risk may be based on probability, danger, uncertainty, or chance.

A MITRE Innovation Project Headlines in Las Vegas

A MITRE Innovation Project Headlines in Las Vegas

Every year, MITRE’s independent research and development program receives over 1000 research project ideas from across the organization and selects approximately 200 for funding. When Dr. Shelley Kirkpatrick received funding from the MITRE Innovation Program (MIP) in 2017 to research the principles of organizational agility, little did she know that three years later her work would be a big hit in Las Vegas.

Preparing for the Future by Knowing How to Take a Punch

Preparing for the Future by Knowing How to Take a Punch

Most organizations typically plan for one type of opponent (one future) even though a better approach would be preparing for multiple opponents (multiple futures), building in the much-needed resiliency. One approach that helps build this resiliency into organization is Strategic Foresight, an approach developed by Herman Kahn in the 1950s to help the US contemplate and plan for various outcomes of the Cold War including Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) using applications from game theory.

Dan Frisk and Paula Randall on bringing innovation to government

Dan Frisk and Paula Randall on bringing innovation to government

When you’re a large government organization, it can be hard to be innovative. You have a lot of moving parts and not a lot of time or resources. You can always lean on an innovation organization to help you along the way, but the question remains: “How do you know you’re really innovating?” Fortunately, Paula and Dan are on the case.

Field of teams: Building it so they’ll come with change management

Field of teams: Building it so they’ll come with change management

“Field of Dreams” is a delightful movie. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and curl up on a do-nothing night and watch it. But even if you haven’t seen “Field of Dreams”, I’m sure you’ve heard the most famous line from it, “if you build it, he will come.” But since language is more fluid than the ocean, and changes to suit the context du jour, you more than likely have heard it as, “if you build it, they will come.”

An introduction to interoperability in healthcare

An introduction to interoperability in healthcare

We’ve all been there—sitting in the waiting room of a doctor’s office, filling out redundant forms with our healthcare history. Each time, we sit with silent frustration, wondering why we must complete the same paperwork every time we visit our healthcare provider.

We wonder: It’s 2019. Shouldn’t transmitting health information from one place to another be seamless?

Supporting sponsors to solve their own challenges: Moving from exulted expert to guide

Supporting sponsors to solve their own challenges: Moving from exulted expert to guide

Sponsors turn to us for our expertise and expect us to have the answers and to make recommendations. This role of guide can be liberating. As guides, we no longer need to have all the answers. Instead we ask provocative questions to our sponsors to elicit their own answers. (Feel free to start playing the song “Let it go” in your head.) This change in role may push both us and our sponsors out of our proverbial comfort zones. Let me tell you how this has worked in real life.

Interview with Julie McEwen on why privacy is key

Interview with Julie McEwen on why privacy is key

Privacy engineering involves injecting legal, policy, and ethical requirements into technology. It takes perspective to effectively manage privacy risk while keeping the big picture in focus. Fortunately, Julie McEwen, MITRE’s Privacy Engineering Capability Area Lead, is on the case. She and her team provide policy and technical privacy support to MITRE’s sponsors while managing privacy operations in support of MITRE’s Chief Privacy Officer.

The person at the other end of the data

The person at the other end of the data

A woman who has always identified as Ashkenazi Jewish received a DNA testing kit from one of the ancestry services and participates on a whim. Surprise! Turns out her father was actually a non-Jewish sperm donor. It’s one of many fascinating and recent cases of renegotiating identity, along with stories about an adopted child finding their true birth family, or even individuals tracing their ancestry back to someone practicing witchcraft.

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