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JSC Data Science Day 2.0 Speakers

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Jeffrey Williams

NASA Astronaut

Having completed his fourth mission in 2016, Expedition 48 Commander Jeff Williams officially spent more time in space than any other U.S. astronaut. Williams has spent 534 days in space, making him first on the all-time NASA astronaut list. Williams, a native of Wisconsin was a Flight Engineer and lead spacewalker for STS-101 in 2000, Flight Engineer for Expedition 13 in 2005 and Expedition 21 in 2009, where he worked as Flight Engineer and then as commander for Expedition 22. Selected as an astronaut in 1996, he graduated first in the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School class 103 in 1993.

More about Jeffrey Williams...
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Lisa Vaughn

Meteorologist Fox 26 News and Data Scientist

Lisa Vaughn is an on-air meteorologist at Fox 26 in Houston and is a native of Spring, TX. Lisa previously worked as a meteorologist in Jackson, MS and West Palm Beach, FL. She is happy to be back in her hometown, forecasting the weather she knows best.

Lisa earned a B.S. in mathematics from the University of Houston, a Master's of Statistics from Rice University and a Master's of Geosciences from Mississippi State University.

Since social media has become an enormous part of her job, she uses her background in statistics and computer coding to analyze her own social media accounts via R (and the Rfacebook and TwitteR packages). She uses her inferences to decide which type of posts engage the most viewers. Interestingly, the best social media posts have nothing to do with weather. Zero.

In addition, Lisa writes VBA programs to pull weather data from various internet sources that are then mapped to the weather graphics you see on her TV weathercasts.

More About Lisa Vaughn...
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Cameron Adams

NASA Johnson Space Center

Cameron Adams is an intern in the Knowledge Management Office through the University Space Research Association. He is also a student at the University of Houston - Clear Lake pursuing a degree in Computer Science.
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Susie Adams

Federal Chief Technology Officer

Susie Adams is the Chief Technology Officer for Microsoft’s Federal Government business and brings with her over 30 years of IT experience. Susie joined Microsoft in 1999 and has held several leadership positions in Microsoft including the Director of the Microsoft Reston Virginia Technology Center and most recently the CTO of the Federal Civilian Business. Prior to joining Microsoft, she spent 16 years in the consulting arena working with customers in both the commercial and government sectors. She held a variety of management and leadership roles including practice manager, systems analyst and software developer. Susie was named as a Fed100 award winner in 2011 and has authored several books on the topics of software integration and web development. Susie is a graduate of George Mason University where she received a BS in Information Systems.
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Ryan Boyd

Software Engineer

Ryan Boyd is an SF-based software engineer focused on helping developers understand the power of graph databases. Previously he was a product manager for architectural software, built applications and web hosting environments for higher education and worked in developer relations for twenty products during his 8 years at Google. He enjoys cycling, sailing, skydiving and many other adventures when not in front of his computer.
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Cody Bryant

Data Scientist

Cody is a data scientist and INCOSE SEP supporting the Office of Knowledge & Quality Management Systems at Johnson Space Center's Safety and Mission Assurance Directorate.
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Frederick Campbell

Graduate Student
Rice University

Frederick is a graduate student in Statistics at Rice University working with Dr. Genevera Allen. His work focuses on developing new statistical machine learning methods with applications in medical research.
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Cindy Chin

CLC Advisors, LLC

Cindy Chin is a member of the 2016 NASA Datanauts program. She is an entrepreneur, venture strategist, and management consultant with over 20 years of experience in research, operations and strategy with companies across several different knowledge sectors. She is an advisor and board member to several tech startups, and an opportunity scout for venture capitalists and investors. She is passionate about social impact, smART cities, public-private sector partnerships and getting key stakeholders together to build great companies. Cindy is based in New York City. Twitter @cindylchin

More about Cindy Chin...
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Alex Corley


Alex Corley has over 20 years of professional programing and IT experience over a wide range of industries and problem sets. After a long line of helping build hyper scale startups in Austin Texas using Amazon Web Services he is now contributing to the Public Sector via State and Local Government & the Justice and Public Safety markets. His passion is in bringing the DevOps philosophies to Continuous Governance and Compliance for automated security and configuration remediation to state agencies and local municipalities.
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Paul DeCarlo

Microsoft Technology Evangelist
Professor for the Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston

Paul DeCarlo is a Microsoft Technology Evangelist and Professor for the Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston. His current technology interests focus on Internet of Things, Cloud Applications, and Cross-Platform mobile app development. He is also an experienced startup founder for WinCoder LLC ( http://wincoder.co ) which focuses on Windows application development. On weekends Paul performs as lead vocalist in Houston’s Tool Tribute band – Spiral Out (spiraloutband.com)
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Noemi Derzsy

Research Associate
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Noemi Derzsy is currently a postdoctoral research associate at Social Cognitive Network Academic Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a NASA Datanaut. Holding a PhD in Physics and research background in Physics and Computer Science, her interests revolve around the study of complex systems through data. Noemi's work spans from analyzing and modeling cascading failures and controllability of systems with underlying network structure to studying and modeling social systems and criminal activities from real-world data. As a NASA Datanaut she uses Network Science and Data Science techniques to tackle questions/problems using open NASA data.
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Dr. John Elder

Chair, Elder Research, Inc.

John Elder leads America’s most widely experienced Data Science consultancy. Founded in 1995, Elder Research (www.elderresearch.com) has offices in Charlottesville VA, Washington DC, Baltimore MD, and Raleigh NC. The team has solved problems in investments, business, and science by analyzing data in tables, text, and links. Dr. Elder co-authored 3 books (on data mining, ensembles, and text mining), two of which won “book of the year” awards in Mathematics or Computer Science. John has created analytics tools, was a discoverer of ensemble methods, chairs international conferences, and is a popular keynote speaker. Dr. Elder earned Engineering degrees from Rice and UVA, where he is an Adjunct Professor. He was honored to be named by President Bush to serve 5 years on a panel to guide technology for national security.
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Michael Endres

Data Science Postdoctoral Fellow
Harvard Crowd Innovation Lab

Michael Endres is a data science postdoctoral fellow in the Crowd Innovation Lab/NASA Tournament Laboratory at Harvard University. His research interests span multiple areas, including algorithm development, high performance computing, and computational physics. He has growing interests in machine learning and computational biology. Michael holds a PhD in particle and nuclear theory from the University of Washington, and has held postdoctoral researcher positions at Columbia University, RIKEN, and MIT prior to joining the laboratory.

More About Michael Endres...
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Shannon Gatta

Data Science Intern
NASA Johnson Space Center

After her deployment to Afghanistan with the Army National Guard as an Intelligence Analyst, she moved to Seattle from Texas to attend the University of Washington for their Informatics program to build a specialization in Data Science. Her field of interest is in space exploration, whether it be travel, the materials that come from it or things we can only see with telescope. With that broad field, she wants to utilize the grand scale of data that goes untouched to build predictive models which will visualize the answers that no amount of searching could uncover in our lifetime.
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Justin Gosses

NASA OCIO Technology and Innovation Division Data Analytics Team

Justin is a developer and analyst with a geoscience background. He works on a variety of projects that cross financial, human resource, project management, and other domain spaces using JavaScript and Python to produce interactive data visualizations, analytical predictions, and innovative web development products.
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Sharon Goza

Manager, Integrated Graphics, Operations, and Analysis Laboratory (IGOAL)
NASA Johnson Space Center

Sharon is a 30+ year veteran of NASA and current manager of the Integrated Graphics Operations and Analysis Laboratory. She has been developing and managing the production of software for most of those years in the Software, Robotics and Simulation Division in the Engineering Directorate. She is the Project Manager of several mobile applications developed for the ISS Program Office such as the Space Station Research Explorer, and Space Science Investigations which are publically available on iTunes and Google Play.
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Mahshad Haeri

Solutions Engineer

Mahshad Haeri is a Solutions Engineer with Google Cloud, who is focused on modernizing the US Government and educating the industry on how to best use Google cloud services. She has been with Google for over 6 years. Prior to that she worked as a developer and technical lead, creating custom applications for variety of government agencies.
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Christopher Hakkenberg

NASA Earth and Space Science Fellow and Academic Scholar
Rice University

Chris Hakkenberg is a NASA Earth and Space Science Fellow and Academic Scholar at Rice University’s Kinder Institute. His research employs techniques in the fields of geospatial statistics, landscape ecology, and remote sensing to model forest properties at multiple scales, as well as spatio-temporal dynamics of land cover land use change (LCLUC). Chris will receive a PhD from UNC-Chapel Hill in spring 2017. He received a master’s degree from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree from Reed College.
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Svetlana Hanson

Tietronix Software

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Chad Hawkinson

IHS Markit

Chad is the global Senior Vice President and General Manager for the Engineering & Product Design division of IHS Markit providing enterprise software and data analytics to help engineers make better decisions across energy/oil & gas/process industries, aerospace and defense, automotive, and construction industries. Chad is also responsible for Technology, Media & Telecom division providing insight and analytics on IoT, 5G and other high growth markets. Chad has served in multiple roles focused on technical and engineering solutions including VP of Product Strategy at Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC) and Product Management at Intel. Chad has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech and a MBA from MIT's Sloan School of Business.
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Andy LaMora


Andy is a partner at Topcoder, responsible for the public sector and higher ed business lines. A Topcoder since 2005, Andy has over a decade of experience in challenge design and crowdsourcing, and is responsible for many of Topcoder's key data science programs including Harvard University, NASA, DigitalGlobe, and others.

More About Topcoder Team...
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Yulan Lin

NASA Headquarters – OCIO

Yulan Lin is a developer and data analyst working with the OCIO Data Analytics lab. Her background includes bioinformatics, nonprofit data analytics, and event operations. Outside of work, she can be found co-organizing the Houston Data Visualization and Girls Coding Club meetups.
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Karen Lopez

Data Evangelist

Karen Lopez is a Data Evangelist and Project Manager at InfoAdvisors www.datamodel.com. She is a Mentor for the 2017 NASA Datanauts program and a chronic volunteer. Karen is a Microsoft Data Platform MVP. She loves all things data. As a speaker, Karen covers topics such as Graph Databases, NoSQL, Cloud Technologies, Data Quality, IT methods and relational database design. She is @datachick on Twitter.
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Sean Lopp


Before RStudio, Sean worked at the National Renewable Energy Lab and Alteryx. Projects ranged from modelling autonomous vehicle fuel economy to analyzing infant sleep dynamics. At RStudio, Sean works with R users and IT professionals to enable RStudio, R Markdown, and Shiny. He also works closely with RStudio's engineering and product management teams.
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Leslie McIntosh, PhD

Director, Center for Biomedical Informatics
Washington University, St. Louis

More About Leslie McIntosh...
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David Meza

Chief Knowledge Architect
NASA Johnson Space Center

David Meza currently serves as the Chief Knowledge Architect at NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC). During his tenure at NASA, he has worked in all aspects of the Information Technology field developing and deploying several IT systems in use at JSC. His desire to improve IT processes and systems lead him to earn Master’s certificates in Project Management and Six Sigma in addition to becoming a NASA certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt. In his current role at JSC, he established the Knowledge Architecture framework, promoting a viewpoint of organizational leadership that stresses the use of knowledge management, informatics and data science as method to turn data into actionable knowledge. Mr. Meza is conducting research on Automatic Classification algorithms, domain specific search interfaces, topic modeling, data driven visualization and a Bayesian network model for risk analysis. He holds a Master’s in Engineering Management from the University of Houston Clear Lake where he is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Education.
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Nigel Packham

Manager, Flight Safety Office
Safety and Mission Assurance Directorate
NASA Johnson Space Center

Nigel serves as the Associate Director, Technical, of JSC’s Safety and Mission Assurance Directorate. He also serves as the Manager for the Flight Safety Office in the same organization, which has responsibility for implementation of the Governance Model (Technical Authority) for all Human Spaceflight Programs. Prior to his current role, he served as the Chief of the Environmental Factors Branch of the Space Life Sciences Directorate, whose office had responsibility for the oversight of environmental quality (water, air, microbiological, radiation and acoustics) for all for all Human Spaceflight Programs. He started his career at NASA in the Engineering Directorate working on Space Shuttle, International Space Station and Advanced Life Support Systems. In this position he also served as the Commander of a four-person crew that spent 91 days inside a 6-meter diameter chamber to demonstrate the capabilities of advanced systems for air, water and waste recovery for long-duration missions.
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Jin Paik

Director of Research and Project Development
Harvard Crowd Innovation Lab

Jin H. Paik is the Director of Project and Research Development at the Crowd Innovation Laboratory (CIL)/NASA Tournament Laboratory (NTL) at Harvard University. In his role, he serves as the lab’s general manager. He works to develop strategic vision at the lab and directs project and research activities. He oversees the development of open innovation projects through partnerships with NASA, federal government agencies, partner academic institutions, and research institutes. He advises organizations and firms on adoption innovation strategies and prize-based contests for solving complex problems. He has worked extensively on programs ranging from improvements NASA’s International Space Station to machine learning uses for medical imaging. He currently works to shape impact on precision medicine through contest development with the Harvard Medical School and the Broad Institute.

More About Jin Paik...
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Rose Paradis

Data Integration & Analytics Directory (HHPC) & Data Scientist
NASA Health & Human Performance

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Ram Pisipati

Data Integration & Analytics Directory (HHPC) & Data Scientist
NASA Health & Human Performance

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Steve Rader

Deputy Manager, NASA Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation
NASA Johnson Space Center

Steve Rader currently serves as the Deputy Manager of NASA’s Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation (CoECI), which is working to infuse challenge and crowdsourcing innovation approaches at NASA and across the federal government. CoECI focuses on the study and use of curated, crowd-sourcing communities that utilize prize and challenge based methods to deliver innovative solutions for NASA and the US government. Mr. Rader has Mechanical Engineering degree from Rice University and has worked at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX for 25 years. He has worked in flight operations as a mission controller, engineering as flight software developer, and Constellation Program office as a systems engineer. Mr. Rader joined the Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation as the deputy manager in 2013.
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Carolina Restrepo

Aerospace Engineer, Integrated GN&C Analysis Branch
NASA Johnson Space Center

Carolina Restrepo is currently the deputy project manager of the COBALT (Co-operative Blending of Autonomous Landing Technologies) project. She works in the Integrated Guidance, Navigation and Control branch at the Johnson Space Center. Previous work includes GN&C design and analysis work as part of the Orion Orbit MODE Team, and development of precision landing sensors and algorithms as part of the ALHAT (Autonomous Landing and Hazard Avoidance Technology) Team. Carolina earned degrees in Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University and started working at the Johnson Space Center as a co-op student in 2003.
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Victoria Rutledge

Media Manager, Search

Victoria is an advertising professional for Pearson and a NASA Datanaut, Class of 2016. Victoria enjoys making data-driven decisions that impact the education industry. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the University of Central Florida and is pursuing an Online Master’s in Business Intelligence from Full Sail University. Connect with her on Twitter @itstorrie
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Steve Wilson

Lead Researcher for the Strategic Business and Partnerships Office
NASA Johnson Space Center

Steve serves as Lead Researcher for the Strategic Business and Partnerships Office (XB) within JSC’s Exploration Integration and Science Directorate (EISD). Prior to that, he served as NASA’s Commercial Crew Program Cost Estimating Project Lead and Constellation Program’s Joint Confidence Level (JCL) & cost estimate integrator. He is the recipient of four JSC Center Director’s Awards for Innovation: an individual award for his work on Constellation and agency JCL methodology, a team award for his leadership of Commercial Crew’s nascent cost estimating effort (for which he also received NASA’s Cost Estimating Team of the Year award), and two team awards for contributions to Constellation’s cost estimating and JCL work. In 2016, he served as the schedule and JCL analysis lead for the Radiation Budget Satellite’s SRB independent programmatic analysis team, which also received the top agency cost estimating team honor. He is a member of NASA’s F.I.R.S.T. leadership development program’s 2011 class, and in 2007 was named NASA’s Cost Estimating Rising Star. He entered the agency as a JSC co-op in 2006. Apart from his NASA sphere, Steve is an avid skier, co-founder of Houston’s most creative brewery, Buffalo Bayou Brewing Company, and a current statistics graduate student at Rice University.

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Curator: SMA Web Development

Contact Us: David Meza or Julie Barnes

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