James's page

About Me

Name: James N Robinson III
Email: jnrobinsoniii@gmail.com
Home Institution: Albany State University
Project: Protecting Vulnerable Communities from Targeted Violence and Mass Casualty Attacks

About My Project

The overarching goal of the Miller Center for Community Protection and Resilience (Miller Center) and its partners is to assist vulnerable communities, particularly communities of faith, to enhance their safety and their standing in society by improving their relationships with law enforcement, with other government agencies, and with other vulnerable communities.

The Center is in the process of developing an online guide of best practices to better protect vulnerable communities in the United States from mass casualty attacks and targeted violence. We will assist in updating this guide by employing quantitative analysis to assess the levels of preparedness and resilience demonstrated by houses of worship and vulnerable communities. We will analyze social media and other components to further understand the relationships and networks between vulnerable communities, law enforcement, the public and the private sector in protecting communities and preventing incidents. We will also assist in an effort to assess the impact of the Miller Center's training programs on communities served (e.g. Brussels, Belgium; Whitefish, Montana). This will include the development of survey instruments, qualitative interviews with program participants, and assessment of quantitative and qualitative data.

Research Log

Week 1

This week I introduced myself to the DIMACS REU, learned how to make a webpage on the DIMACS REU site with MobaXterm, and had a meeting with my mentors to discuss the overview of the project. Dr. Clark sent 23 interview transcripts and the report of the RESILIENCE model to build resilience for vulnerable communities. I read the report and started reading the interviews to find notable quotes to include in the report.

Week 2

This week I worked with my team to create a presentation that summarized our project. I completed the "Importance" and "Goals" portion of the interview.

Week 3

This week, we met with Dr. Clark to learn about the research we were to complete regarding the Pandemic model for vulnerable communities.

We were to designate a region of the USA to each fellow on the team. I was assigned the majority of the states in the South. We were to gather COVID-19 pandemic related data in order to assess the state response, including the demographics, rural-urban breakdown, workforce statistics, healthcare status, the state response to COVID-19, their COVID-19 statistics, and how communities of faith were affected. We were to create a template that we could all use for each state.

This challenge was exacerbated by a medical emergency, as I spent a day in the ER and a few days recovering.

Week 4

We continued to work on the Pandemic model for vulnerable communities. Dr. Clark gave us his own template for all of the states based on our own templates for the states. I continued to work on my states, completing Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina. I still experienced medical issues and fell behind my peers, who finished up their states this week.

Week 5

I completed all of my state reports and started on the data science portion of the project. Taking inspiration from Yuquing's Michigan infographic that presented the data for Michigan in a visually appealing infographic, I created a Shiny web application that presents the historical COVID-19 data of every state and territory into an interactive chart and table. From the original CSV file, I only took the daily increase of positive cases and deaths, the total positive and negative tests, hospitalizations, deaths, recovered, and total tests. I took the data from the COVID Tracking Project. I chose to use Highcharter htmlwidget to present my data. I did not know how to create a Shiny app and I was barely familiar with programming in R, because it was a small part of a class in the Fall of 2019. Also, I did not know hot to use htmlwidgets or flex dashboards. I learned how to use these things from the tutorials on their respective websites. I also drew inspiration from a finished apps in the Shiny User Showcase - "An App to Visualize and Share My Dogs' Medical History" app by Jenna Allen. I used a similar layout as her app: a sidebar layout that controlled the display in the main panel. I also used a tabs in my main panel to further separate my information. Most importantly, I liked the interactivity of her timeline. You can click on a data point to find more information in panels underneath the chart, like visit details, tests performed, prescribed medications, and even the PDF of exam notes from that visit.

In my sidebar panel, I included 4 inputs: State, Outcome, Date Range, and a checkbox to show the federal level. The main panel contains 2 tabs that plot the data into a line chart and a table. So far, the plots only react to a change in State and Outcome.

This was a big accomplishment and I am very happy with the results so far. This is more like what I wanted to do all along. I loved grinding away hours and hours just to figure out how to make this thing work, especially so that I could present it in our meeting on next Tuesday.

Week 6

When I presented the web app to Dr. Clark and team members they were impressed. Dr. Clark instructed me to continue working on the app. I added a functionality where if you click on the line graph it takes you to the COVID-19 Tracking Data webpage for that state.

Mentors' Websites

Here are my mentors' website, and the REU website: