HUGE win for NC State

We just can’t ignore a record breaking arrangement that is on the order of magnitude of 3 times bigger than anything that has ever happened in the University’s history.

NC State lands $60 million grant from NSA

As the field of “big data” continues to grow in importance, N.C. State University has landed a big coup – a major lab for the study of data analysis, funded by the National Security Agency.

A $60.75 million grant from the NSA is the largest research grant in NCSU’s history – three times bigger than any previous award.

The Laboratory for Analytic Sciences will be launched in a Centennial Campus building that will be renovated with money from the federal agency, but details about the facility are top secret. Those who work in the lab will be required to have security clearance from the U.S. government.

NCSU officials say the endeavor is expected to bring 100 new jobs to the Triangle during the next several years. The university, already a leader in data science, won the NSA contract through a competitive process.

NCSU university already has strengths in computer science, applied mathematics and statistics and a collaborative project with the NSA on cybersecurity. The university also is in the process of hiring four faculty members for its new data-driven science cluster, adding to its expertise.

“It is a big deal,” said NCSU Chancellor Randy Woodson. “It’s a natural fit for us because as an institution we’ve been about data analysis and big data for a long time. I think the National Security Agency realized that when they selected us as a university partner.”

It’s unclear exactly what kind of work will be done at the new lab, but Woodson said NCSU won’t be involved in the federal agency’s mass surveillance programs that have been the subject of controversy in the past few months.

“As a university, we’re not going to be involved in the operational intelligence work of the National Security Agency,” Woodson said. “Our partnership with them is really about the science of big data and data analysis. I don’t think there’s anything more difficult right now for both government and the private sector than making sense out of the deluge of data that we’re all swimming in every day.”


The chancellor said big data is important for national security but also many other fields. Those with expertise in data analysis are in high demand, he said. Graduates of NCSU’s master’s in data analytics have job placement rates of 90 percent and command starting salaries of over $100,000.

In the announcement from the NSA, the agency’s director of research, Michael Wertheimer, said NCSU is the ideal location for the new lab.

“We have chosen the Research Triangle area for its vibrant academic and industry interest in large data analytics, and NC State for having the nation’s first, and preeminent, advanced degree program in data analytics,” Wertheimer’s statement said. “By immersing intelligence analysts with NC State’s diverse group of scientists, we hope to discover new and powerful ways to meet our foreign signals intelligence and information assurance missions – giving us an edge to better protect the nation.”

NCSU already has a long history with “big data.” Business software giant SAS, which is based in Cary, traces its roots to N.C. State.

Billionaire co-founders Jim Goodnight, the company’s CEO, and John Sall met when they were graduate students at NCSU and started the business in 1976. The privately held company generated $2.87 billion in revenue last year and has 13,708 employees worldwide, including 5,159 in Cary.

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36 Responses to HUGE win for NC State

  1. Wufpacker 08/16/2013 at 9:59 AM #

    Good deal.

    Now, to whom do I talk in order to get them to toss in an algorithm to ignore visits to “those sites” on the internet?

  2. BAM 08/16/2013 at 10:23 AM #

    I’m not sure how I feel about this… Oh wait, yes I am, $%&! the NSA.

  3. Wpack222 08/16/2013 at 10:43 AM #

    Hot damn!…now we can really get the scoop on cheating over at the hole!

  4. El Scrotcho 08/16/2013 at 10:47 AM #

    Only NC State would win an NSA grant at a time like this.

  5. DC_wolf 08/16/2013 at 12:11 PM #

    I know it feels weird – w/ all that is currently in the news now concerning the NSA – but it is clearly an economic boost to a university that is, like it or not, in the shadows of the other triangle universities in regard to both athletics and academic “perception” (pls note quotations). I’ve read recently about USC, Princeton and Ohio State receiving 9-figure grants, so this will do wonders to enhance our research image…

    We should all be buying Woodson a steak dinner – just name your cut Randy.

    In retrospect, I guess we already are 😉

  6. bill.onthebeach 08/16/2013 at 12:27 PM #

    Mr. Dog….

    can you get one of your boys there in Rawlee to let us know when “that check clears the bank” ??


  7. packalum44 08/16/2013 at 12:29 PM #

    ^ LOL @ El Scrotcho.

    60 million dollars is incredible. NC State adding 100 WELL paying jobs to the triangle. Par the course.

    This is sort of comparable to a 60 million dollar gift…it is HUGE.

    I strongly detest any unconstitutional actions that the NSA is complicit in, though I lay blame at the feet of the executive/congressional/judicial branches that greenlighted secret legislation in a secret court to carry out secret breaches to our constitution on a pervasive scale the founding fathers literally could not have imagined. This would be science fiction to them.

    This does not mean I am morally opposed to taking their money to benefit my hometown and alma mater. It will happen anyway why let another school and town reap this windfall.

  8. WolftownVA81 08/16/2013 at 12:44 PM #

    At least I’ll know where to start looking if I need to see my old cell phone records.

    Seriously, this is a great win for the University.

  9. JasonP 08/16/2013 at 1:20 PM #

    Taking “their” money? Isn’t it taxpayer money? Part of the outrage as I understand it is that the NSA is using our own money to gather Intel on us. We’re essentially just getting a large slice of Gubmint pie.

  10. PoppaJohn 08/16/2013 at 2:42 PM #

    Great news!
    This will increase the profile of our Uni and put a chunk of change in the coffers.

  11. PackerInRussia 08/16/2013 at 3:43 PM #

    For some practice, I know of a place not too far away that could really use some help wading through data.

    And I had the same exact thoughts regarding timing. Next we’ll get a “like” on Facebook from the IRS or something. Seriously, though, glad to hear the news.

  12. MISTA WOLF 08/16/2013 at 3:55 PM #

    Epic. Maybe their first line of work will be dealing with the veneer nonsense over in shitland.

  13. MISTA WOLF 08/16/2013 at 3:56 PM #

    Epic. Maybe their first line of work will be dealing with the veneer nonsense over in Shiitland down the road.

  14. oceanman 08/16/2013 at 4:14 PM #

    To be rather than to seem. THIS IS OUR STATE!!

  15. oceanman 08/16/2013 at 4:19 PM #

    As a land grant university, it is the scope of the university’s endeavors to serve the nation and the State of North Carolina. We should be proud.

    From my military experience close to intelligence activities, I know that NSA’s function is not only to determine what our enemies are up to, but just important is determining what we and our friends are giving away in terms of intelligence. We must be ever vigilant, now more than ever.

  16. packalum44 08/16/2013 at 4:33 PM #

    “Taking “their” money? Isn’t it taxpayer money?”

    I’ll call you and raise. It is our childrens’ and grandchildrens’ money.

    But hey the Progressives know better than me. Just like they did 100 years ago when Woodrow Wilson and the like believed certain races were innately intellectually unequal. IQ tests, novel at the time, PROVED it they claimed! No matter that Black soldiers during WWI from Ohio and Illinois scored higher than their white counterparts from Mississippi and Alabama.

    Now similar regressions are run on all sorts of progressive agendas and unarguable assertions are made. If you challenge them based on no prove of causation then you are just racist, dumb or have no “heart”.

  17. highstick 08/16/2013 at 5:58 PM #

    Cool! My alma mater and my former employer “hooking up”!

    “In God We Trust…All Others We Monitor”!

  18. graywolf 08/16/2013 at 6:21 PM #

    I’m with BAM on this one..

  19. 13OT 08/16/2013 at 7:23 PM #

    I’m with BAM and graywolf also.

    The rich will continue to get richer, thanks to an administration in Washington that rants against the rich but doesn’t do what it says do.

  20. TheCOWDOG 08/16/2013 at 8:17 PM #

    Personally…I’d cash that check and move to Tahiti.

    The Apolitical Blues Lounge patrons have been spending a bit more time away from the dusk and smoke. Even though we were well aware of this sh.t many years ago, too much high strangeness is aforefront. Ain’t no political party comin’ to the rescue either.

    I’d prefer that State turn the money over to the Horticulture Department.

  21. Pack Mentality 08/16/2013 at 9:09 PM #

    F*** the NSA.

  22. fullmoon1 08/17/2013 at 4:54 AM #

    Great. So ncsu will be helping te NSA spy on citizens. Its Hard to be excited about ncsu being in bed with one of the most corrupt dictators to be.

  23. Pack Mentality 08/17/2013 at 8:31 AM #

    “NCSU already has a long history with “big data.””

    So “big data” is the new code name for big brother, which of course everybody already knew. I do not see this as a “win” at all for NC State.

  24. poorfarmer 08/17/2013 at 12:49 PM #

    Fullmoon1 i could not agree with you more! NCSU finally wins something and its something i wish they would give back! Don’t feel like a win to me. Screw the nsa!!!!

  25. Primewolf 08/17/2013 at 9:58 PM #

    This is a huge win. It is science, data analytics. Amazing we won over schools like MIT, GT, and many others.

    For you dumbasses that don’t understand what the NSA does and would rather turn the money back, I’d say head over to Chapel Hill and stick you head in the sand.

    I would like to see us get many science/research grantslike this from any government agency. It is what the best technical schools do.

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