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Farmingdale State College is implementing a new education program that focuses on ways to protect numerous transits and other key infrastructures in light of the ongoing threat of terrorism. PHOTO CREDIT: TAYLOR ALESSI

By Nikita Ramos and Taylor Alessi

With the prevalent threat of terrorism today, sturdy infrastructures and reinforced security are the next areas of focus for Farmingdale State College.

In January, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo released that $6.6 million in Round IV NY SUNY 2020 funding would be awarded to create the Infrastructure, Transportation and Security Center (ITSC) at Farmingdale State College.

The education center will structure its new program around ways to protect numerous transits and other key infrastructures. The academics will include courses in topics such as airport, rail, port and shipping and road security, as well as computer security systems. 

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Peter Crescenti, Farmingdale’s spokesperson, said that the specificity of where the new faculty will be assigned is unknown since they have not been hired yet. 



“The project is consistent with the government’s strategy for improving infrastructure, reducing transport costs and improving safety,” Professor Mostafa Ardakani, one of the architects of the ITSC and a professor in the School of Engineering and Technology at Farmingdale State College, said.

Ardakani said that the long-term vision of the ITSC is to cover several areas of considerable economic and social significance.

Several of these areas will focus on operations and traffic management as well as safety and security, which all help to keep the program advanced and innovative.

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The ITSC at Farmingdale will run in partnership with Nassau Community College and Stony Brook University. Together, the three schools plan to contribute a total of $21 million to start up the new center.

“I do plan on being involved from the start of the new project,” Dimitris Samaras, a professor at the Computer Science Department at Stony Brook University, said. “Initially, we will work to establish a framework for courses in human computer interaction and image and video analysis, with an emphasis on transportation questions.”

Instruction offered through the ITSC will include graduate and undergraduate-level course in transportation, infrastructure, security as well as skill-based training and technology transfer.

Along with the new research and academic programs, Farmingdale State College plans to hire up to five teaching and research faculty in the next five years especially for the center.

“Students will gain practical research experience not only through the courses they take but through extensive collaboration between the institutions, industry and federal and state agencies,” Arie Kaufman, chair of the Computer Science Department at Stony Brook University, said.

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Samaras discussed how students could advance with the program and carry it with them in the future.

“It is important that the ITSC offers students advanced courses in related areas including human activity recognition, computer vision, and video analysis, visual analytics and cyber security,” Samaras said. “Students will gain the skills needed to be successful in their post-academic lives.”

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