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Berkeley Lab Team Wins Data-Driven Scavenger Hunt for Simulated Nuclear Materials

Tuesday, Jul 17th 2018

Competing in a fictitious high-stakes scenario, a group of scientists at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) bested two dozen other teams in a months-long, data-driven scavenger hunt for simulated radioactive materials in a virtual urban environment.

The goal of this hackathon-styled event was both to improve the detection methods that could be applied to actual threats involving nuclear materials, and to create a platform to virtually vet out these methods.

Tenzing Joshi, an applied nuclear physicist in Berkeley Lab’s Nuclear Science Division, led the winning team in this Urban Radiological Search Competition created by the DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration. His teammates included Mark Bandstra, a senior scientific engineering associate, and UC Berkeley graduate student Kyle Bilton.

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