ACC Summer Cohort Program resumes

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Dana Tourtellotte
  • Air Combat Command Public Affairs

For the past 3 years volunteer Airmen, mostly contracted from the Department of Defense, have attended the Data and Tech Futures Division summer cohort program. 

This program is a 9-week seminar where contracted current college, graduate students or interns get to apply data science, computer science and software development capabilities to resolve real-world Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance (ISR) and cyber protection team’s barriers.

During their time in the program they attend informational briefings, academic sessions, and work closely with junior and senior mentors to apply skillsets and theories learned in their respective academic institutions.

“Cohort 2023 is providing capability to the Airmen that they are going to use in support of their missions directly as opposed to previous years where they worked stand-alone or research projects,” said Dr. Anthony Smith a Senior Data Scientist and cohort mentor.

This year’s five cohorts are U.S. Air Force Academy Cadet First Class Veer Singh (whom is a repeat cohort program attendant and currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree), a graduated DoD Cyber Scholar, Luis Monroig Perez, and three current students from Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico, Ms. Edna Chaar and Mr. Irving Santana Vega (who are both pursuing PhDs) and Rafael Charneco (who is pursuing his bachelors). 

Previous year’s problem sets were focused on notional, but related issues, where the cohort would tackle solutions for an isolated problem that mirrored issues being worked in the Air Combat Command’s Directorate of Intelligence.

“I was here during last year’s program and this year’s program has been a lot more mission focused and a better learning experience,” said Anvres Davila, a junior data specialist and on-site mentor for the Summer Cohort. “In regard to Perceptor, which is the program we anticipate being able to go live with this year, I was able to hand these cohorts the requirements from the field, having deployed twice with the 92nd Cyber Operations Squadron between iterations of the Cohorts program and we were better able to tackle the real-world needs of the operators.”

Additional information on the launch of the summer cohort Perceptor program details will be available after the live launch in a subsequent article.