Steve Dennis

Steve Dennis

Principal Investigator, Research Initiatives

Steve Dennis began his career in computer engineering focusing on the basics of architecture, designing systems with micro-controllers, and creating Very Large Scale Integrated (VLSI) processors to meet the needs of parallel computing applications. He then used these tools and knowledge to explore a variety of applications in machine learning, language processing and pattern recognition for image data. During these years he worked with a wide variety of research architectures and evolving programming languages. He contributed to design and implementation of a variety of chips, computing blades, and systems to better understand the contribution of emerging computing architectures within a multi-disciplined problem-solving domain.

After gaining experience with a wide variety of large-scale computing applications, Steve collaborated with experts from a wide variety of backgrounds in government, academia and industry to develop and deliver new technologies that improve society and simplify our lives. He collaborated with Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and other federal agencies to manage research in large scale information retrieval, information extraction and machine translation technologies across media. During this time, he served as Technical Director for media processing research leading effort in text, speech, image and video understanding involving multiple research agencies, academic institutions, non-profit and industry research labs.

As the Office of Homeland Security transitioned into a Department, Steve was asked to join the Science and Technology Directorate where he served as research portfolio manager for information analytics. He later served as Technical Director for the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA). In this role he provided technical and programmatic guidance to a wide variety of highly innovative efforts to advance counter-terrorism and public safety capabilities for the operational components and public safety agencies. He led efforts to automate trade enforcement operations, miniaturize chemical sensing networks and create new methods for leveraging a wide variety of information sources to improve situation awareness for high consequence events.

As the leader for the DHS Advanced Computing Technology Center, Steve created strategies that delivered relevant capability to a wide variety of missions. This work led to significant and measurable innovations for Department operations, as recognized by the Secretary of Homeland Security and a Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious service.  As technical executive, Steve represented DHS at the White House and with Congressional staff to develop and promote national strategies that leverage computing and emerging technology frontiers.

Steve’s current research interests include the development of strategic methods for characterizing the impact of emerging technologies on society, information sharing and privacy controls, language and media understanding, and process automation. He is generally interested in the intersection of advancing technologies with real world problem solving and economic development. Recent advancements in computing have led to wide variety of opportunities to improve our world.

Steve is now working with a variety of organizations as a consultant for the development and execution of emerging technology strategy. He is a director and advisor for technology startups, a University of Miami Institute for Data Science and Computing Fellow and a Principal Investigator at the International Computer Science Institute.