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Center Against Trafficking of Commodities and Humans, CATCH, San Diego State University
Geospatial analysis of massive databases through time and space, near real-time analysis of social media like Twitter, innovative database query of massive databases, mapping patterns of life and aberrations and alerting, collaboration with Mexican Law Enforcement and government, collaboration with Law Enforcement in countries such as Vietnam, India, Somalia, South Africa, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia; border optimization

Faculty Members
Eric G. Frost, Geospatial visualization
Akshay Pottathil, Database query algorithms, GIS
Steve Price, Cloud Computing, web services
Dave Henderman, Criminal Networks

Contact Info
Primary Contact: Eric Frost, Prof., Co-Director, Center Against Trafficking of Commodities and People, CATCH
College of Sciences
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego State University
San Diego, CA 92182-1012
Phone: 619-417-2982
Website Address:

Center/Researcher Information
  • Number of Faculty: 10
  • Certified in Human Subjects Training (e.g., citi tran): Yes
  • Justice Agencies likely to collaborate with:
    ATF, DEA, Asset Forfeiture, US Marshals, Office of Violence Against Women, SMART, NIJ, Executive Office for Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces

  • Type of Outreach/Activities Engages In:
    Actual work with agencies, building templates for data analysis, teaching, work along US-Mexico border including south of the border, work internationally

  • Grant Writing Expertise: Yes

  • Past sources of research funding:
    Just formed, but group has been funded by DHS, NRL, ONR, ONDCP, US Navy, NORTHCOM, and SPAWAR including several government agencies working outside US

  • Current Projects:
    Center Against Trafficking of Commodities and Humans, CATCH, is working on data analysis of dozens of data sets to build templates for law enforcement including appropriate use of social media like Twitter to assist in documenting trafficking of goods such as drugs, guns, money, pharmaceuticals, and terrorists and using human trafficking as an integrally related though more despicable activity by criminal networks, gangs, and transnational organizations

  • References:
    If Professional references, available if needed; if journal references, also can provide

  • Indirect Cost Rates:
    49.5% Federally negotiated rate on direct costs, though move as much as possible to related sub-contractors where overhead is only on first $25K and the rest is pass through

  • Organizational policies on the use of collected data:
    Much of the data is hosted on off-campus commercial assets for ultra-high availability and security as well as redundancy and operational security

  • Organizational policies on publications:
    University does not require us to publish in open literature, so that most of our work is reported directly to the agencies involved as monthly and final reports.

  • Number of Graduate Research Assistants: Project su
  • Number of Administrative Assistants and Staff: Project su
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