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Dr. David A. Makin – Director

David A. Makin is an associate professor of Criminal Justice and Criminology and co-founder of the Complex Social Interaction lab (CSI). CSI is dedicated to developing technology and performance metrics to aid the public safety and security community.  CSI has a provisional patent on the use of audio analytics and machine learning for detecting intense police-community interactions. Additionally, using analytics (audio, video, and biometrics) and machine learning, the lab is working towards the development of technologies and process for early warning systems, post-event analysis, and incident flagging for a range of public safety and security stakeholders. CSI is also involved in the development of a wearable device for police officers.

In the role of principal investigator, Dr. Makin develops ways to apply analytics to meaningful real world situations. His research on predictive modeling, hot spot analysis, integration of disparate data systems, and performance metrics shows his commitment to integrating technology into the public safety and security community – with an emphasis on practical applications.

Dr. Dale Willits – Co-Investigator

Dr. Willits is one of the Co-Investigators for the Complex Social Interactions (CSI) Lab. Utilizing methods likes regression analysis, GIS and spatial analysis, social network analysis, text-mining, and qualitative comparative analysis Dr. Willits examines and researches subjects that include police organizational structure, policing outcomes, and policing data, and the relationship between place and crime. Before becoming a part of the CSI lab, his research has been funded by National Institute of Justice, the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission, and through internal grants at Washington State University. He has been published in Crime & Delinquency, Homicide Studies, Youth & Society, and Policing and Society. Dr. Willits’s work in the CSI Lab includes being actively engaged in developing the coding protocol and data management processes for the backend functions of the lab, composing several academic papers for publication, and securing future funding for the lab, as well as conducting data analysis. Dr. Willits received his PhD in Sociology from the University of New Mexico. His interest in research of this nature comes from pursuits in data quality to create policing, violence, and criminological theory.

Dr. Bryce Dietrich – Co-Investigator

Dr. Dietrich employs novel quantitative, automated and machine learning methods to analyze non-traditional data sources such as audio- or speech- data and video data. Dr. Dietrich uses theses to understand the causes and consequences of elite emotional expression in a variety of institutional settings, with a particular emphasizing on non-verbal cues, like vocal pitch. Dr. Dietrich’s work in the lab will include the collection and analysis of audio analytics by building automated software that finds stress indicators in voices. Dr. Dietrich’s dissertation “It’s Not What You Say, But How You Say It” won the Kathleen L. Burkholder Prize for best dissertation in political science from the University of Illinois. Dr. Dietrich’s research interests include American politics and political methodology. Before joining the CSI Lab his has received grant support from Amazon, C-SPAN, and the Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy. Dr. Dietrich received his PhD in Political Science from the University of Illinois and is currently an Assistant Professor of Social Science Informatics, holding appointments in the Department of Political Science and the Department of Sociology.


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Dr. Rachel Bailey – Co-Investigator

Rachel Bailey’s research program examines how biological imperatives interact with environmental circumstances to influence human behavior, information processing, and decision-making. Before joining the CSI Lab, Dr. Bailey developed a theoretical model of environmental circumstances that lead to automaticity in information encoding. Dr. Bailey has also built a strong record of research examining processing of motivationally relevant information, especially food stimuli, and food decision-making behaviors under various environmental constraints. Dr. Bailey is an expert in the use of peripheral psychophysiological methods and directs the Communication Emotion and Cognition Lab at Washington State University. As a CSI Lab Co-Investigator, she will be heading up the application of autonomic psychophysiological metrics in the lab’s multiple metric approach. This approach will allow the investigators to understand more accurately what is going on for officers in high stress circumstances rather than simply relying on self-reported perceptions and memories alone. Dr. Bailey received her PhD in Mass Communication from Indiana University in 2014. Her work is published in high-ranking communication and psychology journals.

Dr. Wendy Koslicki – Collaborator

Dr. Koslicki is an assistant professor of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Ball State University. She received her doctorate from Washington State University, and is continuing her role as a collaborator at the Complex Social Interactions Lab at Washington State University. She has previously published on police militarization and her research interests include police culture, police equipment and technology, and quantitative content analysis. She continues to assist the lab in the preparation of manuscripts for publication.

Dr. Bala Krishnamoorthy – Co-Investigator

Bala Krishnamoorthy and his Mathematics graduate students bring in expertise in machine learning and data analytics to the CSI Lab. Bala is an expert in topological data analysis (TDA), a suite of unsupervised learning and data analysis tools based on the mathematical field of algebraic topology. Using TDA, Bala and other CSI Lab members have been extracting insights from body-worn camera video data sets and police survey data sets that could not be discovered by traditional techniques.

Dr. Mona Ghandi – Co-Investigator

Mona Ghandi is an architect, researcher, and educator graduated from the University of California, Berkeley. She is an assistant professor of architecture and director of Morphogenesis lab at Washington State University. She has extensive experience in emerging technologies and their role in advancing innovative design and alternative models of building delivery to improve the quality of life. Her research focuses on Architecture of Emotive Intelligence which examines the role of AI, machine learning, robotics, and adaptive environments in improving sustainability and well-being in our buildings. She has taught both at the graduate and undergraduate levels at UC Berkeley, San Jose State University, and Ohio University. She has more than twelve years of professional experience ranging over residential, commercial, industrial, urban, and landscape projects. She collaborated with NADAAA, Emerging Objects, VAV Studio, and MEM Architecture.

Megan Parks – Lab Manager & Public Safety Research Fellow

Megan Parks is a doctoral student in the Criminal Justice & Criminology Department and is the lab manager of the Complex Social Interaction Lab (CSI Lab) at Washington State University. She has managed the CSI lab for the past year and is proficient in data management and annotation software development. Her research primarily focuses on police-community interactions, rural policing, and the influence of policy changes on police agencies’ resources and practices. Ms. Parks’ role is to train and monitor the research assistants in the CSI Lab. She is responsible for ensuring adherence to IRB requirements and to the proper coding scheme and annotating structure in order to provide reliable and accurate data.