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International conference on crisis response and management technology comes to Rochester May 20-23

Jan. 31, 2018
by Scott Bureau

Researchers and practitioners from around the world are coming to Rochester to better understand how to improve crisis response and disaster management.

The International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (ISCRAM) will be held May 20–23 at Rochester Institute of Technology. The 15th annual ISCRAM association conference will bring together nearly 300 academic researchers, students, industry professionals, government experts, humanitarian organizations and emergency management practitioners to present and discuss how information systems can advance the field of crisis response and management.

“It’s important for experts in this area to come together, because disasters don’t recognize political borders,” said Brian Tomaszewski, professor in RIT’s Department of Information Sciences and Technologies and co-organizing chair of the conference. “The tools and resources we are using to help in these situations can have real societal impact.”

ISCRAM members explore all kinds of events, from recent natural disasters, including Hurricane Harvey and California wildfires, to terrorist attacks. Using information systems—the ways that people or machines collect, filter, process, create and distribute data—experts can help control a crisis in real-time, mitigate damage and evaluate the effects after an event.

For example, geographic information systems (GIS) and GPS technology can be used to map an area before and after an earthquake or decision makers could use census data to identify an area’s most vulnerable populations. Information systems could also include the use of social media to better understand people’s perceptions of a disaster and how they are responding to relief efforts.

The conference will feature keynote speakers and vendor demonstrations of a wide variety of crisis response and management technology. Attendees will also take part in scientific paper sessions, poster sessions, workshops and tutorials.

The ISCRAM conference also includes an optional trip to Niagara Falls on May 23.

The ISCRAM conference is held annually around the world, with past conferences held in France, Belgium, Germany, Brazil, the U.S. and the Netherlands. The 2018 ISCRAM conference is being held in cooperation with the Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Computers and Society (ACM- SIGCAS). The special interest group within ACM—the world’s largest scientific and educational computing society—addresses the social and ethical consequences of widespread computer usage.

The early registration deadline is April 1. For more about the conference, including becoming a sponsor, go to