GLSEC 2017


The theme of our conference this year is "Big Data".  Our goal is to explore how organizations across a variety of industries are collecting and utilizing big data to drive organizational behaviors.

May 22, 2017 | Eberhard Center, Grand Rapids, MI

8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Registration is open

$275 general registration

$35 student registration (limited number of tickets!)

It's going to be a 'big' conference!

Confirmed GLSEC17 Speakers

Jad Abou-Maarouf

Head of Independent Agents Enterprise Data and Business Intelligence

Jad is the head of Independent Agents Enterprise Data and Business Intelligence at Farmers Insurance. Graduate of Grand Valley State University (GVSU) with an MBA and BS in Information Systems. Over 14 years in digital and data business transformation and multiple years focus on M&A Integration. GVSU Seidman Alumni Board Member, West Michigan Tech Talent Board Member, Michigan Analytics Consortium Co-Founder & Member . "I love to travel with my family and learn about our world cultures, languages and cuisines."


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Carolyn Phillips

Data Scientist, Capital One

Dr. Carolyn L. Phillips is a Data Scientist at Capital One, part of a technology team building a next generation customer matching platform that is designed to operate for millions of customers.  Previously she was a Lead Data Scientist at a startup using machine learning to detect fraudulent and manipulative behaviors in the financial markets, a staff scientist at Argonne National Laboratory in the Mathematics and Computer Science Division, and a Fellow of the Computation Institute at the University of Chicago.

Dr. Phillips’ research has focused on designing algorithmic solutions to find patterns in complex systems.  Her research has covered topics from liquid crystals to superconductors, from nanoparticle clusters to quasicrystals, and from machine learning to study self-assembling crystals to algorithms for solving the mathematical filling problem.  

She received a BS in Mathematics from MIT, a MS in Mechanical Engineering from MIT, and a MSME in Mechanical Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate Program. She received a PhD from the University of Michigan in Applied Physics and Scientific Computing as a Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship.  She then joined Argonne National Laboratory as the Aneesur Rahman Postdoctoral Fellow with a joint appointment in the Computational Institute at the University of Chicago. 

Joseph Roth

Software Engineer, Machine Perception, Google Inc.

Joseph is a software engineer with the PittPatt team at Google.  In this role, he focuses on understanding humans in photos and videos.  Prior to Google, Joseph was a research assistant in the computer vision lab at Michigan State University and a software developer for Atomic Object focused on mobile applications.

Joseph earned a Ph.D. from Michigan State University, where he received the Fitch Beach Award for the most outstanding graduate researcher within the College of Engineering.  He earned a bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Grand Valley State University, where he graduated with great honors..


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Dr. Allaa Hilal

Innovation Director, Intelligent Mechatronic

Allaa Hilal is the Director of the innovation and emerging technology team at IMS, a world-renowned leader in connected car technology and in the Internet of Things space. Dr. Hilal has been recognized as one of the most influential women in the world of IoT by the connected world magazine. She is an active researcher and a subject matter expert with more than 12 years of experience in data intelligence, ambient intelligence, wireless sensor networks, autonomous systems, and embedded and fog computing, backed by versatile experience in academia and the tech industry in proactive innovation, solution development, and turning novel ideas into revenue-generating products. She has her Doctorate degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Waterloo and a Master’s degree from the German University in Cairo. Dr. Hilal has been recognized and awarded numerous prestigious scholarships, most prominent of which are NSERC IRDF, NSERC CGS, Fulbright, DAAD, and OGS. She has also been recognized by the Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship as a Google scholar for her active role and leadership in supporting women in technology. She has been recognized as a champion in a Women in Technology Peer2Peer group, where professionals in the Waterloo region explore challenges and share insights to encourage retention and advancement of women in technology.


Amen Ra Mashariki

Chief Analytics Officer, New York City

Dr. Amen Ra Mashariki is the City's Chief Analytics Officer and leads the Mayor's Office of Data Analytics (MODA). Dr. Mashariki is an accomplished leader within government, private sector and academia with experience in bringing Big Data processing and analytics for large and complex data management efforts. He started his professional careers as a software engineer at Most recently; Dr. Mashariki served as Chief Technology Officer at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Dr. Mashariki previously worked at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab as a computer scientist and research scientist where he led a team working on data mining and data fusion projects in the bioinformatics domain. Prior to that, he served as the Associate Director of Informatics at the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Research Center. In 2012 Dr Mashariki was appointed by a Presidential Commission to serve as a White House Fellow in Washington D.C.

Dr. Mashariki holds a Doctor of Engineering from Morgan State University, a Master of Science in Computer Science from Howard University, and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Lincoln University. Amen is a Brooklyn native and attended Brooklyn Tech High School.



Venu Vasudevan

 VP of Data Science and Machine Learning at Lightpad

Venu is a technology entrepreneur with track record of successful products at the intersection of Data, User Experience and Intelligent Systems. He was the data architect of the Iridium satellite system, collaborated with Dag Kittlaus (co-creator of Siri) to create the mobile industry's first zero-click interface for mobile, and led an ARRIS Big Data and Video product recently acquired by Comcast. In the past, he also worked on a $50M government research initiative on Intelligent Agents for distributed enterprises. He is currently VP of Data Science and Machine Learning at Lightpad, a consumer IoT company aiming to create best-in-class intelligent lighting controls, and an adjunct faculty at Rice University's ECE department working on AI and context-awareness. Venu holds a Ph.D. (Databases & Artificial Intelligence) in Computer Science from The Ohio State University.

Brian McKeiver

Co-Owner at BizStream

Brian McKeiver is Co-Owner at BizStream, a software development company in Allendale, MI. He has over 14 years of experience leading his company that employs 25+ technologists. In addition to his expertise in development, integration, and digital marketing, Brian is also active with the tech community via his blog at When he's not working he loves spending time with his wife and kids and is an avid sports geek.


Rachael Miller

Software Developer & Consultant at Atomic Object

Rachael Miller is a Software Developer & Consultant at Atomic Object. Prior to joining Atomic, she worked with the University of Michigan 3D Lab as a human-centered computing consultant, where she worked with various artists, researchers, and technologists to build interaction systems for complex data and simulations in virtual reality. Today, she builds custom software at Atomic Object, with a focus on accessibility and usability. She continues to explore emerging technologies in virtual and augmented reality, and is excited to see how these powerful tools will impact our daily lives. Outside of technology she is an avid tabletop gamer and aspiring aerialist.

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Shannon McCormick

Marketing Analyst, Meijer

I am currently working at a Marketing Analyst at Meijer. I graduated from Grand Valley State University with my Masters Degree in Biostatistics in August of 2016. My undergraduate degree was in Biopsychology. I am interested in a variety of statistical topics including predictive modeling, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.

Tom Stoepker is currently a Senior Software Developer at CQL Corp specializing in User Interface and Web Service Development. He is very interested in understanding the intersection of business objectives and software as well as crafting enjoyable and intuitive software for end users. When not writing code, he turns to writing and recording music.

Dr. Kevin Kesseler

AdderStone Predictive Analytics

Dr. Kesseler received his PhD in mathematics from Duke University.  In his thesis, he identified the phenomenon of biological heterodyning in mathematical models of coupled nephrons in the kidney.  His postdoctoral research and the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill involved pioneering large models of biochemical pathways, including a model of nucleotide excision repair, the body’s first line of defense against UV-induced DNA damage with Dr. Aziz Sancar, who won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on nucleotide excision repair.   Since the end of his postdoc in 2010 he has been working to demonstrate viable business applications of his research, leading to the creation of a company, AdderStone Predictive Analytics, to foster scientific innovation and facilitate its technological implementation and commercialization.  Among his other interests are poker and tai chi and he is a practicing Buddhist.