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Laura Freeman

Laura Freeman Headshot
Get to Know Me

I first discovered my passion for this work...
testing military systems in the DoD, ranging from submarines to aircraft. The complexity of the systems poses a lot of questions about risk and security. Adding ML/AI to the mix expands the challenge.

I find the most joy in my work when...
I am working with interdisciplinary, collaborative teams. Getting started is always hard because you have to figure out vocabularies, come to consensus on methods, etc., but once a team is up and moving, the research results can be outstanding and more than any one researcher could have developed independently.

The last time I stepped out of my comfort zone...
Nearly everyday. It can be exhausting, but if I am not trying new things I get bored quickly!

My favorite quote is...
"An approximate answer to the right problem is worth a good deal more than an exact answer to an approximate problem." — John Tukey

Current University
Virginia Tech

Research Area
Experimental methods for assurance of cyber-physical systems, data science, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML)

Research Summary
Laura Freeman develops new methods for the testing and evaluation of emerging system technologies, enabling their adoption.

Freeman, a research associate professor in the Statistics Department at Virginia Tech, is Deputy Director of the Virginia Tech National Security Institute.

She is also director of the Intelligent Systems Lab in the Hume Center for National Security and Technology and Assistant Dean of Research for Virginia Tech's College of Science in the National Capital Region where she works to shape research directions and collaborations across the college.

Previously, Freeman was the Assistant Director of the Operational Evaluation Division at the Institute for Defense Analyses. In 2017, she received the Andrew J. Goodpaster Award for Excellence in Research from the Institute for Defense Analyses. Freeman is a member of the International Test and Evaluation Association, the National Defense Industrial Association, and the American Statistical Association.

Alma Mater
Freeman received all of her degrees from Virginia Tech: a B.S. in aerospace engineering with a minor in mathematics in 2005; and an M.S. and Ph.D., both in statistics, in 2006 and 2010 respectively.