Stulberg, Lindsay, to Work with GTRI Teams on National Security Projects

Posted April 20, 2023

Two Sam Nunn School of International Affairs faculty members will help lead GTRI teams exploring the intersection of technology and national security issues as part of the GTRI Graduate Student Research Fellowship Program (GSFP).

Adam N. Stulberg, Sam Nunn Chair, will work with a team on research into deciphering intention in international relations. Associate Professor Jon Lindsay will co-advise a project examining the use of artificial intelligence in national security.

“By leveraging new data and visual analytical tools to mesh different types of discourse events, and numerical data, this project stands to bring a wide-angle perspective to uncovering empirical patterns into rival great power ‘ways’ of war,” Stulberg said of his project. “Explicating such patterns will lie at the crux of refining and devising new models for strategic interaction across policy domains in contemporary great power politics.”

The GTRI Graduate Student Research Fellowship Program (GSFP) is a competitive program for high-caliber Georgia Tech graduate students. Selected academic researchers and graduate students work on research aligned with GTRI strategic technology priorities. The GSFP fosters and cultivates long-term relationships between academic faculty and GTRI researchers to fulfill the mission of creating leaders who advance technology and improve the human condition. Find out more about the labs at GTRI.

“We really want connectivity to manifest through research collaborations, and it’s advantageous for us to reach into the broad wealth of and depth of talent across the academic schools,” said Mark Whorton, GTRI’s chief technology officer. “From the theoretical research done on campus into the applied research we do at GTRI, we’re seeking to take those great capabilities and bring applications into the national security space.”

Across the seven selected fellowship awards for the upcoming academic year, researchers from GTRI labs will work with Georgia Tech faculty members to co-advise students. This year’s projects hope to lead to innovations in electronic warfare systems, artificial intelligence/machine learning, autonomous systems, and protein sequencing to international policy.

Here is more detail about Stulberg’s and Lindsay’s projects:


Who: Jon Lindsay, Nicholas Nelson, Dennis Murphy

Units: School of Cybersecurity and Privacy, Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, and School of Public Policy; Electronics, Optics, Systems Directorate (EOSD)

Why It Matters: The use of Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML) in national security has the potential to enhance our ability to protect national interests greatly. However, there are also potential challenges and risks associated with this technology, such as the potential for bias or misuse. This research will engage in a multidisciplinary study that will bridge the gap between disparate research fields and reintroduce relevant security-related concepts from the social sciences. This will result in the generation of scientifically-grounded potential use cases for the technology in the support and protection of national interests.

“As AI/ML capabilities and use cases continue to evolve, it is critical for defense and national security actors to better innovate, scale, deploy, and integrate AI and autonomy-based technologies to form agile, system-wide solutions,” Nelson and Lindsay said.


Who: Adam Stulberg, Theresa Kessler, Megan Litz

Units: Sam Nunn School of International Affairs; Advanced Concepts Laboratory (ACL)

Why it matters: Unveiling the misperceptions of offensive and defensive signaling is needed in a time when offensive and defensive capabilities are becoming ever more difficult to decipher as technology is evolving. The goal of this research is to shed light on how misinterpreting states’ status can lead to international conflict and expand the initial scholarship that is starting to gain traction within the political science and security studies communities. Understanding and attempting to codify intention would be of great interest to U.S. strategists and tactical planners and aid in answering vital questions of National Security regarding the status of triad powers. Information of this nature will benefit U.S. leadership, departments, and inter-agencies that navigate relations with Russia and China.

“This fellowship will support the codification of offensive and defensive signals between Russian, Chinese, and American powers using an open-source literature repository,” said Kessler. “This will help unveil misperceptions and decipher intention.”

A version of this story first appeared as “GTRI Graduate Student Research Fellowship Program Continues to Expand for Third Year” on the GTRI website. Georgia Parmelee, Tess Malone, Charles Domercant, and Anna Akins contributed.

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Michael Pearson
Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts