Nuclear nonproliferation and proliferation detection encompasses many networks: mining, milling, conversion, enrichment, power generation, reprocessing, and storage. Financial, industrial, transportation, communications, sensor, knowledge, and accountancy networks all tie in, as do political, social, and professional networks. Nonproliferation is a mesh of networks and inter-dependencies.
The idea challenge is to formulate a problem in nonproliferation, proliferation detection, or treaty monitoring and verification that could potentially be solved with a network science approach. The problem should be one that would be otherwise difficult to approach.
You don't have to be a nonproliferation expert to have good ideas. For many nonproliferation-relevant activities, your common sense is a decent guide. For instance, for a clandestine underground test, there needs to be a location, a deep hole in the ground, equipment for emplacement, sensors for measurement, personnel, and so on. There is good material about the nuclear fuel cycle and nonproliferation available on the Web.
Unlike most challenges (and courses), you’re being asked to formulate the problem as well as sketch the solution. Thinking of interesting problems and then framing them so they can be rigorously investigated is a central skill if you choose a career in research. This is a chance to exercise it.
Submissions are due July 15, 2017. Download the challenge prompt for more information.