U.S. Department of State Announces the Winners of the "Innovation in Arms Control Challenge"

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
March 4, 2013

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance is pleased to announce the winners of the first Innovation in Arms Control Challenge. This Challenge, which received interest from more than 500 potential solvers, sought creative ideas from the general public to use commonly available technologies to support arms control policy efforts.

Ms. Lovely Umayam, a graduate student from the Monterey Institute of International Studies at Middlebury College, located in Monterey, California, has been awarded the first prize of $5000. Ms. Umayam developed “Bombshelltoe,” an online education platform that examines the intersection of culture and nuclear issues in order to facilitate better public understanding of basic nuclear and arms control-related issues. Mr. Allan Childers, an aerospace/defense industry consultant from Florida, has been awarded a runner-up prize of $2500. Mr. Childers’ proposal was a mobile application that provides a platform for users to connect and interact, as well as a rewards program for sharing information on various arms agreement regimes. Dr. Rudolph “Chip” Mappus, a research scientist at Georgia Tech Research Institute working on computational neurology and brain-machine interfaces, has also been awarded a runner-up prize of $2500. He proposed a unique geographically based online social game for verifying treaty compliance. Experts post detailed tasks online, and citizens complete tasks for rewards using photographic and human report data using smartphones and/or consumer grade hardware.

The Innovation in Arms Control Challenge is one way that the U.S. Department of State is exploring new ideas to help reshape its approaches to the security challenges in the 21st century. In creating opportunities for public participation, we aim to harness the networks, technologies, and human potential that can help of combat the threats in our increasingly interdependent and interconnected world.

Media Contact: Jamie Mannina, ManninaJF@state.gov.

PRN: 2013/0240