NSA to open data analysis lab at NCSU

Posted August 15, 2013

— The National Security Agency plans to create a data analysis lab on North Carolina State University's Centennial Campus, officials said Thursday.

The $60.75 million NSA grant to fund the Laboratory for Analytic Sciences is the largest sponsored research contract in the university’s history, officials said, and the lab is expected to bring 100 jobs to the Triangle over the next several years and attract related government and industry projects.

Other details for the new lab weren't disclosed for security reasons, officials said. Access to the lab will be restricted to people who have government security clearance, but some of the fundamental research will be conducted at the unclassified level in existing faculty labs, they said.

“We appreciate the confidence of the National Security Agency to select N.C. State for this groundbreaking endeavor," Chancellor Randy Woodson said in a statement. "Not only will it enhance the academic experience for our students and faculty, it will also add to the economic prosperity of our community through new jobs, new industry and new partnerships.”

A key goal of the lab is to promote advances in the science of data analysis through collaborations among industry, academia and government, officials said.

N.C. State’s expertise in handling "big data" ranges from its Institute for Advanced Analytics, which offers an intensive 10-month master's degree – the first program of its kind – to its Center for Innovative Management Studies, which examines the trends and technologies surrounding big data. The university also has traditional strengths in computer science, mathematics and statistics and is hiring four faculty members for its new data-driven science “cluster.”

The university already has a major collaborative project on cybersecurity with the NSA, and it has numerous research contracts with the Department of Defense, from technology that can best help soldiers identify improvised explosive devices from a distance to fire-protection research to help soldiers and first responders to a language training center that works to improve the language skills, regional expertise and intercultural communication skills of military personnel.


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  • btneast Aug 16, 2013

    1984 is here, apparently "Minority Report" is as well.

    .... its been here for years, it's just finally becoming "general public" knowledge.

  • sonoluminescence Aug 16, 2013

    Based on the average commenter to this story, the response is, "This is bad." 11 comments in support, 37 comments against, 13 comments in humor, 2 comments strange. So there goes that argument.

    Data analysis is not a new industry. It's been going on for centuries. Big data analysis where you have to sort through gigabytes of data every second is new.

    Common tater, you can make anything safer by treating everyone as a criminal. Just try going to an NFL game this year.

  • sonoluminescence Aug 16, 2013

    Our government doesn't have to lie about what it does to be effective. That NCSU wants to associate with an organization whose leader lies to Congress is wrong. Lying is still wrong. Ignoring principals "because jobs" is wrong. These aren't 100 private sector jobs or 100 jobs created because of an endowment, these are 100 tax funded jobs. In the defense industry no less, whose proper mission is to destroy. We can do that plenty well already.

  • rocket Aug 16, 2013

    "Its extremely funny to hear comments from the conspiracy theorists up here."

    It's not a conspiracy when the government admits to it. Keep your head buried though. Ignorance is bliss.

  • aightCPA Aug 16, 2013

    Average person response to this article: Good for NCSU! Research dollars coming in to allow better manipulation of data for mining efforts. There may be other stuff going on in there that they will probably not tell us about but its still good and 100 new jobs.

  • sonoluminescence Aug 16, 2013

    If you want to tell the quality of a NCSU degree, look at all these alumni fawning over a contract with the NSA. If you thought the were merely obsessed with football over engineering and building a golf courses for some modicum of prestige, well here is NCSU selling out for an organization that has been caught repeatedly lying about what is does. Guess what students, whether DARPA or the NSA, they're going to say its just research, but if you don't bother to think how the research will be used one day, you're complicit in it. Centennial Campus and what it stands for shames all the benefit that came from an institution that once devoted to agriculture and good, technical education.

  • aightCPA Aug 16, 2013

    Its extremely funny to hear comments from the conspiracy theorists up here.

  • Parthenon Aug 15, 2013

    Great news for NCSU, Raleigh, NC, and Centennial Campus. As an NCSU alum I am proud that we are bringing such high level research to the campus.

  • jgrabau Aug 15, 2013

    This is a great thing for high-tech Centennial Campus. This a great thing for NCSU and the RTP area. This area keeps getting better and better !!!

    John G

  • wattsun Aug 15, 2013

    More Youth Indoctrination This country is in Big trouble.