Open Source Intelligence Lab


The Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) Lab at Virginia Tech combines the complementary strengths of crowdsourcing human intelligence and artificial intelligence (AI) to conduct ethical and effective investigations in domains such as journalism, human rights, and national security.


Faculty and Staff

Graduate Student Researchers

Undergraduate Student Researchers

Emily Altland, Developer
Emily Altland is a senior in computer engineering with a networking and cybersecurity focus. She has done research for Virginia Tech’s Hume Center for National Security and Technology for the past 3 years working on a couple different projects. She also had an internship with NAVSEA in the summer of 2020.

Ryan Bui, Analyst
Ryan Bui is a junior who is majoring in BIT – Cyber. He is also minoring in Computer Science. He has an interest in Cybersecurity Engineering, specifically software security. Ryan had experience working at Ashburn Consulting, where he learned how networking works in a data center.

Charles Ezra Cabauatan, Developer
Charles Ezra Cabauatan is an undergraduate student at Virginia Tech majoring in Computer Science. He has varied experiences with his academic and independent projects, and he is motivated to learn more through constant exposure to new technologies and techniques. His primary focus is full stack application development.

Katie Fanz, Analyst
Katie Fanz is a senior double majoring in National Security & Foreign Affairs and Russian with a minor in Geographic Information Systems. She has research experience working with OSINT information on the dark web and federal clients, and hopes to pursue a career in intelligence.

Alex Howell, Analyst
Alex Howell is a senior at Virginia Tech majoring in Business Information Technology with a concentration in Cybersecurity Management and Analytics. He is interested in developing tools that support national security objectives in the United States. Committed to the value of integrity outside of research, Alex serves as an Honor Council Delegate for the undergraduate honor system at Virginia Tech.

Yunis Hussein, Analyst
Yunis Hussein is currently a sophomore at Virginia Tech majoring in Computational Modeling and Data Analytics with an intended minor in Mathematics. He currently serves as a core team member on the Google Developer Student Clubs Virginia Tech Chapter. He is also a part of the first inaugural cohort of the Calhoun Discovery Program where he works on transdisciplinary teams with industry partners to solve big technological issues that are relevant today.

Mariela Jardon, Developer
Mariela Jardon is a senior at Virginia Tech majoring in computer science and minoring in cyber security and mathematics. She will continue her studies with a masters in cyber security and will work full-time at CACI.

Rissa McGill, Analyst
Rissa McGill is a senior at Virginia Tech majoring in National Security and Foreign Affairs. She will be working as an Enterprise Security Architect at Booz Allen next year. She also serves as a Fundraising Executive for The Big Event.

Brandon Nguyen, Analyst
Brandon Nguyen is a senior at Virginia Tech majoring in National Security and Foreign Affairs and minoring in Russian. He is a first generation Vietnamese American and a first generation college student. Nguyen has previously worked with the Kuwaiti Embassy and State Department as part of the Washington Semester program offered by VT’s School of Public and International Affairs. During his junior year, he worked with a small research team to create and refine a global database on gray zone conflicts for DARPA. He and his team also wrote and published a paper under the guidance of Dr. Aaron Brantly on their research and findings. This is his second year as a Hume Scholar and IC CAE Associate.

Raymar Raya, Developer
Ray Raya is junior at Virginia Tech studying Machine Learning. He is consistently learning foundational and technical skills. He has worked on various Web Development projects to improve and learn front end technologies such as React and Redux. He has 2 years of coding experience with Java, and is proficient with efficient algorithms and data structures. He collaborates well within teams, and learned valuable leadership experience from school involvements such Design Teams and Technical Clubs.

Sophia Pentakalos, Developer
Sophia Pentakalos is a junior at Virginia Tech majoring in Computer Science. She is an undergraduate researcher at the VT Machine Learning Lab and is a teaching assistant for a software design class. She is primarily interested in applications of artificial intelligence, especially in cybersecurity.



CrowdSolve: Managing tensions in an expert-led crowdsourced investigation
Sukrit Venkatagiri, Aakash Gautam, Kurt Luther
CSCW 2021 Paper

CrowdTrace: Visualizing provenance in distributed sensemaking
Tianyi Li, Yasmine Belghith, Chris North, Kurt Luther
VIS 2020 Paper

GroundTruth: Augmenting expert image geolocation with crowdsourcing and shared representations
Sukrit Venkatagiri, Jacob Thebault-Spieker, Rachel Kohler, John Purviance, Rifat Sabbir Mansur, Kurt Luther
CSCW 2019 Paper

Dropping the baton? Understanding errors and bottlenecks in a crowdsourced sensemaking pipeline
Tianyi Li, Chandler J. Manns, Chris North, Kurt Luther
CSCW 2019 Paper

It’s QuizTime: A study of online verification practices on Twitter
Sukrit Venkatagiri, Jacob Thebault-Spieker, Sarwat Kazmi, Efua Akonor, Kurt Luther
HCOMP 2019 Poster

CrowdIA: Solving Mysteries with Crowdsourced Sensemaking
Tianyi Li, Kurt Luther, Chris North
CSCW 2018 Paper

Supporting Image Geolocation with Diagramming and Crowdsourcing
Rachel Kohler, John Purviance, Kurt Luther
HCOMP 2017 Paper

Crowdsourced Image Geolocation as Collective Intelligence
Rachel Kohler, Kurt Luther
CI 2017 Poster


  • CS 4984/5984: Open Source Intelligence Lab (Spring 2021)



National Science Foundation

Virginia Tech Data and Decisions Destination Area