Levi Razics, at the start of his career as a U.S. Air Force imagery analyst.
Levi Razics is an intelligence researcher and director of intelligence surveillance reconnaissance (ISR) at Parallax Advanced Research. He works on projects that aim to provide government agencies with automation with more in-depth, convenient, and time-efficient analysis.
At the start of his career, Razics was a U.S. Air Force imagery analyst. Next, Razics worked for various Dayton-based companies in the field of automated target recognition (ATR) and helped prioritize different types of targets for analysts to make better-informed intelligence products.
Razics joined Parallax in 2017 and today leads the organization’s ISR subject matter expert (SME) team, whose efforts are spread across three different projects that support the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Sensors Directorate ( /RY) and Human Performance Wing.
The ISR team consists of four SMEs, totaling over 80 years of expertise between them. The team provides expertise in geospatial, all source, weather, and other types of intelligence. They’ve also been able to adapt and learn new sources of data beyond their expertise, enabling them to work with analysts of all types and sources.
“Our team considers ourselves blue-collar SMEs,” said Razics. “We were all enlisted in the U.S. Air Force under different intelligence jobs. We bring our network of teammates and folks that we've worked with in the past to work on our projects. We conduct outreach to figure out how and where we can improve tools for the intel community.”
According to Razics, outreach is a critical attribute of research.
“Rather than just doing research for research’s sake, our team actively tries to make the research relevant to operators in the field. Therefore, a lot of what we do is connect the dots by delivering the research and tools we're developing to where they are critically needed, therefore impacting functionality,” said Razics.
The ISR team is researching different types of data sources in the ISR community to do more automation with those data sources to help intelligence analysts in the field. Additionally, the team is working on bringing other sources of data together to find information hidden within the layers of ISR data.
“We're aiming to help analysts be analysts and not data miners. If we help them by automating the data mining, they have all the data they need to concentrate on effectively and efficiently creating their products.”
The SMEs have proposed and obtained external funds to augment Air Force Research Laboratory funds, enabling research to directly impact operations.
“Our roles have been very significant in bringing in funding from external agencies that allows us to develop better tools and deliverables,” said Razics. “In the last three or four years, our team has done a great job with our partners in writing proposals and bringing in money to help us further along our efforts and even define new projects going forward.”
Parallax’s ISR team has brought in close to $4 million in external funding to help with these efforts and is assisting with writing proposals to bring in another 9 to 10 million dollars in FY23 to continue the research.
Razics believes that the reason behind the team’s success is that they, along with their partners, combine perspectives of SMEs with human factors experts and with engineers.
“The value we bring is our teamsmanship. Parallax’s SME team, along with its partners, understand the new problem set before we develop the tools, and we bring the users into the development process to ensure that we're developing according to their needs. Right from the outset of our efforts, our team’s focus is on fulfilling analysts’ needs. To this end, Parallax hires experts to build the right team that enables us to work successfully with analysts,” said Razics.
Parallax’s ISR team’s short-term goal is to earn additional funding to continue their projects. Their long-term goal is to deliver tools to the warfighters that can help them with decision-making and policy change and hopefully deter future wars.
About Parallax Advanced Research
Parallax is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that tackles global challenges by accelerating innovation and developing technology and solutions through strategic partnerships with government, industry, and academia across Ohio and the Nation. Together with academia, Parallax accelerates innovation that leads to breakthroughs. Together with the government, Parallax tackles critical global challenges and delivers new solutions. Together with the industry, Parallax develops groundbreaking ideas and speeds them to market.