Big Data EdCon 2019

Cortnie Abercrombie
Founder AI Truth
Expert & Speaker on Artificial Intelligence, Data, and Analytics
Announced as one of “12 Brilliant Women in Artificial Intelligence & Ethics to Watch in 2018” by Medium and one of “10 Big Data Experts to Know” by Information Management, Cortnie Abercrombie is the founder of AI Truth, a nonprofit advocating for ethical and responsible AI systems creation and use. At IBM she pioneered AI solutions for Fortune 500 companies and is world-renowned for establishing Chief Data Officers and data-driven organizations. Her coverage includes Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Medium, CRN, KD Nuggets, The Cube, CEO Forum, and Chief Content Officer. Please visit to learn more about ethical and responsible creation and use of AI systems. 

Dr. Peter Aiken
Founder, Data Blueprint

Peter Aiken is an acknowledged Data Management (DM) authority. He is an Associate Professor of Information Systems at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), past President of the International Data Management Association (DAMA-I) and Associate Director of the MIT International Society of Chief Data Officers. As a practicing data consultant, professor, author and researcher, he has studied DM for more than 30 years. International recognition has come from assisting more than 150 organizations in 30 countries including some of the world's most important. He is a dynamic presence at events and author of 10 books and multiple publications, including his latest on Data Strategy. Peter also hosts the longest running and most successful webinar series dedicated to DM (hosted by In 1999 (before Google, before data was big, and before data science), he founded Data Blueprint, a consulting firm that helps organizations leverage data for profit, improvement, competitive advantage and operational efficiencies.


Dr. Kirk Borne Principal Data Scientist & Executive Advisor
Booz Allen Hamilton

Dr. Kirk Borne is the Principal Data Scientist and an Executive Advisor at global technology and consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton. In those roles, he focuses on applications of data science, data management, machine learning, A.I., and modeling across a wide variety of disciplines. He also provides training and mentoring to executives and data scientists within numerous external organizations, industries, agencies, and partners in the use of large data repositories and machine learning for discovery, decision support, and innovation. Previously, he was Professor of Astrophysics and Computational Science at George Mason University for 12 years where he did research, taught, and advised students in data science. Prior to that, Kirk spent nearly 20 years supporting data systems activities on NASA space science programs, which included a period as NASA's Data Archive Project Scientist for the Hubble Space Telescope, plus 10 years in management positions within NASA's Space Science Data Operations Office. Dr. Borne has a B.S. degree in Physics from LSU, and a Ph.D. in Astronomy from Caltech. In 2016 he was elected Fellow of the International Astrostatistics Association for his lifelong contributions to big data research in astronomy. As a global speaker, he has given hundreds of invited talks worldwide, including conference keynote presentations at many dozens of data science, A.I. and big data analytics events globally. He is an active contributor on social media, where he has been named consistently among the top worldwide influencers in big data and data science since 2013. He was recently identified as the #1 digital influencer worldwide for 2018-2019. You can follow him on Twitter at


Dr. Curtis B. Charles

Area Solutions Architect & Data Scientist
Microsoft EDU AI Ambassadors Initiative

Dr. Charles is a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Howard University, Northwestern University and Morgan State University. His degrees are in Predictive Data Analytics; Higher Education Administration, and Architecture. He is also a graduate of Harvard’s Institute of Education Management, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ Millennium Leadership Initiative, the Executive Leadership Academy, ACE Institute for New Presidents, and Hampton University Leadership Institute. In addition, Curtis completed leadership certificate programs in Big Data and Social Analytics (MIT); Performance Assessment in Higher Education (Harvard University); and Building, Leading, and Sustaining the Innovative Organization (MIT.)

Dr. Charles is a former College President with extensive background in Higher Education, Data Science, and Corporate Business Strategy and Change. Dr. Charles’ career spans across corporate as well as state systems of higher education and private institutions. For 20+ years, he held increasingly complex positions in higher education, from faculty, to Undergraduate and Graduate Department Head, to Senior Academic Officer, to Senior Associate Vice Chancellor, for Institutional Transformation.

Dr. Charles is currently a Data Scientist, Solutions Architect, and leads Microsoft’s EDU AI Ambassadors initiative. In this Data & AI realm, Dr. Charles engage Higher Ed customers in the “Art of the Possible,” to help them drive innovation, disrupt, and transform their business in the era of AI and 4IR.

Before joining Microsoft, Dr. Charles served as Vice President of Research, Development and Innovation at RLM Communications Inc. – a Department of Defense contracting firm. In this capacity, he was charged with teaming with Industry Partners, National Laboratories and University Researchers to address challenges of compelling interest to the competitiveness and security of the warfighter related in the areas of Artificial Intelligence (AI); Machine Learning (ML); Big Data Analytics; Predictive Analytics (PA); Cybersecurity; and Biometrics.


Dr. David Cox
MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab

David Cox is the IBM Director of the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab, a first of its kind industry-academic collaboration between IBM and MIT, focused on fundamental research in artificial intelligence. The Lab was founded with a $240m, 10 year commitment from IBM and brings together researchers at IBM with faculty at MIT to tackle hard problems at the vanguard of AI.

Prior to joining IBM, David was the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Natural Sciences and of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University, where he held appointments in Computer Science, the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and the Center for Brain Science. David's ongoing research is primarily focused on bringing insights from neuroscience into machine learning and computer vision research. His work has spanned a variety of disciplines, from imaging and electrophysiology experiments in living brains, to the development of machine learning and computer vision methods, to applied machine learning and high performance computing methods.

David is a Faculty Associate at the Berkman-Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School and is an Agenda Contributor at the World Economic Forum. He has received a variety of honors, including the Richard and Susan Smith Foundation Award for Excellence in Biomedical Research, the Google Faculty Research Award in Computer Science, and the Roslyn Abramson Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. He led the development of "The Fundamentals of Neuroscience" ( one of Harvard's first massive open online courses, which has drawn over 750,000 students from around the world. His academic lab has spawned several startups across a range of industries, ranging from AI for healthcare to autonomous vehicles.


Natalie Evans Harris Co-Founder and Head of Strategic Initiatives
BrightHive, Inc.

Natalie Evans Harris is a sought-after thought leader on the ethical and responsible use of data after nearly 20 years advancing the public sector’s strategic use of data, including a 16 year career at the National Security Agency, and 18 months with Obama Administration. Known for working with a broad network of academic institutions, data science organization, application developers, and foundations to advance the responsible use of data standards, APIs, and ethical algorithms to directly benefit people, Natalie co-founded and currently serves as Head of Strategic Initiatives of BrightHive, a data trust platform delivering a suite of smart data collection, integration, and governance products to social services providers for improved access to and usability of social sector data. She founded the Community-driven Principles for Ethical Data Sharing (CPEDS) community of practice with over 1200 active members focused on strengthening ethical practices in the data science community through crowd- sourcing of a Data Science Code of Ethics. Now the Global Data Ethics Project (GDEP), she serves as a Strategic Advisor in advancing the adoption of tools, techniques, and practices developed by the community. As a Senior Policy Advisor to the US Chief Technology Officer in the Obama Administration, she founded The Data Cabinet - a federal data science community of practice with over 200 active members across more than 40 federal agencies.

Dr. Elena Gortcheva
Program Chair of Master of Science in Data Analytics
University of Maryland University College

Dr. Elena Gortcheva is a Program Chair of Master of Science in Data Analytics at the University of Maryland University College (UMUC). She joined UMUC in 2003 after a 15-year computer-engineering career in academia as a professor/researcher and industry consultant. Her professional interests include machine learning, predictive analytics, deep learning, intelligent systems, artificial intelligence and emerging technology. In the last decade Dr. Gortcheva has employed her professional experience in career-relevant curricula development, focusing in industry partnership and supporting active job placement programs. She has implemented a wide array of advanced technologies and innovative approaches to support and enrich student’s learning experience including through course development, industry oriented research projects and open source software.

Dr. Gortcheva holds a Master of Science in electronic engineering and a PhD in computer engineering from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. The results of her research are published in a numerous articles, presented at scientific conferences and led to different commercialization products.


Patrick Hall
Senior Director of Products

Patrick Hall is senior director for data science products at where he focuses mainly on model interpretability and model management. Patrick is also currently an adjunct professor in the Department of Decision Sciences at George Washington University, where he teaches graduate classes in data mining and machine learning. Prior to joining, Patrick held global customer facing roles and research and development roles at SAS Institute.


Yuriko Horvath
Solutions Architect Manager
Amazon Web Services

Yuriko Horvath has mentored on the advantages of cloud computing to companies of all sizes from startups to enterprise in multiple sectors including government, education, finance, and publishing. Yuriko now works with a team of solutions architects at Amazon Web Services helping research focused universities learn the advantages of AWS from a business, operations, research, and innovation perspective. With over 10,000+ customer running machine learning workloads on AWS, Yuriko will review trends in Big Data and AI/ML customer use cases and why these customers chose AWS.

Yuriko has a background in software engineering from University of Pennsylvania with a focus on data strategy with high throughput web applications on the cloud. She was formerly CTO of a startup incubator, working with thousands of startups globally through curriculum programs, classes and individual mentorship.


Dr. Sameer Joshi
President / CEO
Datanova Scientific LLC

Dr. Sameer Joshi has a track record of implementing advanced ideas in real-world and production-grade applications. He has led numerous cybersecurity focused projects for National Intelligence, where he used advanced data unification, data fusion, and machine learning to show the big picture across large swathes of cyberspace. He has led numerous concepts from the drawing board to commercially successful products. He is a recognized expert in the areas of Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Semantics. He has authored multiple patents, academic papers, and code-bases. Dr. Joshi is the architect of the Big Knowledge Platform (BKP), a system that connects to various enterprise data sources, unifies, and fuses them – showing the big picture across all data. By standardizing the data-prep phase and by creating a single source of truth across many data sources, BKP creates an enriched data baseline to feed AI and machine learning. BKP is currently used in the government, national intelligence, banks, and healthcare. Dr. Joshi has a PhD in Computer Science with a dissertation on statistical machine learning theory. He has a master’s in computer science with dual emphasis on neural networks and natural language processing. He currently serves as the president and CEO of Datanova Scientific LLC.


William Kinsman
Senior Manager of Product Innovation

William Kinsman, Senior Manager of Product Innovation, manages Inovalon’s Artificial Intelligence team and the implementation of their products. In his first year at Inovalon, Mr. Kinsman has made it his goal to bring clinicians and this technology together by leading the development of the advanced natural language processing algorithms presently in Inovalon’s product offerings. He collaborates with Professors and Doctorial candidates from the University of Maryland and the New Jersey Institute of Technology to bridge the gap in healthcare data extraction and develop never before seen approaches in patient-centric healthcare, with a focus on patient gap detection and intervention optimization.

Mr. Kinsman has over 6 years of experience in the construction of machine learning algorithms. Prior to joining Inovalon, he led the development of several novel language processing algorithms as a contractor at the National Security Agency, but also has previous work experience as a developer at a high frequency trading firm and as an engineer at NASA. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Clarkson University in mechanical engineering prior to years of research in electrical materials research at Penn State University.


Michael Leahy
Secretary, Department of Information Technology
State of Maryland

Michael Leahy is the CIO for the State of Maryland responsible for information technology, data processing, telecommunications, and systems procurement, planning, and management for the executive branch of state government.

Mr. Leahy is a practicing attorney with over 20 years experience in land use/zoning, technology development and transfer, structured finance, administrative and privacy law in the medical, telecommunications and software fields. He is the founder of Ex Os, LLC, a company developing software market-based solutions to privacy and information tracking issues. He has varied experiences as an executive at the University of Maryland Medical Biotechnology Institute, Maryland National Bank, Koch Industries, Velox Communications and C1 Venture Partners; as an attorney at the Federal Trade Commission; and as policy and legal advisor to the County Executive of Anne Arundel County, Maryland.

Mr. Leahy has also served as counsel to the University of Maryland Professional Schools, member of the Anne Arundel County Board of Education, and member of the Maryland Transportation Authority Board and member of the Finance Committee. He specializes in many topics including land use, structured financial transactions, intellectual property development and management, privacy, government relations, business intelligence and providing counsel to entrepreneurs in enterprises big and small.


Javier Miyares President
University of Maryland University College

Javier Miyares is president of University of Maryland University College (UMUC), a constituent institution of the University System of Maryland, America’s largest public online university, and a premier provider of education services to the U.S. military. Since his appointment in 2012, President Miyares has expanded access and opportunities for adult learners through key initiatives and has been in the forefront of leveraging “big data” and analytics to fuel advances in learning science.

UMUC is a world leader in innovative educational models, with award-winning online programs in disciplines including biotechnology, cybersecurity, data analytics, and information technology that are in high demand in today's increasingly technical, global workplace.

 Acknowledging the university’s ongoing commitment to members of the military during his tenure, the Department of Defense has awarded new contracts to UMUC to continue educating U.S. troops in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, thus maintaining the university’s proud tradition of serving U.S. armed forces overseas since 1949. In 2015, UMUC’s service to veterans was cited by Military Times, which ranked the university #1 in its “Best for Vets: Colleges” list.
Miyares has often cited higher education as his gateway to the American Dream. Born in Havana, Cuba, he was taken out of the country by his Jesuit teachers on July 4, 1961, at age 14, after his father was taken prisoner by Fidel Castro following the Bay of Pigs invasion. Miyares later joined Operation Pedro Pan and eventually moved to Maryland, where he attended the University of Maryland, College Park, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sociology. He has been a mainstay of Maryland higher education for more than 30 years.
Miyares currently serves as a member of the boards of directors of the American Council on Education (ACE) and the Achieving the Dream Foundation, and as a commissioner with UMUC's accrediting agency, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.


Dr. Murthy Rallapalli
Professor of Practice, Augusta University

Dr. Murthy Rallapalli has been in IT industry for over 20 years specializing in the area of Information Security, Artificial Intelligence, and Data Privacy. He currently teaches AI and Cyber security courses at Augusta University's School of Computer & Cyber Sciences. In addition, he is a Quantum computing ambassador with IBM.

Dr. Rallapalli holds a Ph.D. from Stevens Institute of Technology in the area of Data Privacy and Systems Engineering. He holds several patents in the area of privacy and Analytics, authored several red books in the same domain.

Dr. Rallapalli is a 2019-2020 Fulbright Scholar in the area of cyber security and Data science.


Dr. Jerry Rosenbaum
Principal Data Architect
The Rose Group

Dr. Jerry Rosenbaum has over 50 years of experience, in private industry, non-profit, education, and government agencies. Industries include insurance, health care, finance, transportation, & manufacturing. Government agencies include DoD, SSA, CMS, Education, SEC, FEMA, FDA & HUD.

He has presented multi-day seminars and short talks on many aspects of data architecture. He has also been the president of DAMA NCR and DAMA Philadelphia.

Specialties: Data Architecture / Enterprise Data Management, Systems Migration, Data Warehousing, Business Intelligence, Metadata Management, Data Profiling, Enterprise Data Policies, and Standards, Data Modeling: Conceptual, Logical, Physical and canonical data models, Enterprise Architecture Planning.

Dr Rosenbaum received all of his degrees from Columbia University, School of Engineering and Applied Science.


Dr. Sylvia Spengler
Program Director, National Science Foundation

Sylvia Spengler is program director in the Division of Information and Intelligent System (IIS) within the Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Directorate at the National Science Foundation (NSF). She also served as program officer for the Biological Databases and Informatics in the Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO)/Division of Biological Infrastructure (DBI). Prior to joining NSF, she was Director of the Department of Energy (DOE) Human Genome Program Field Operations. She was a founder and served as co-director of Mathematics and Molecular Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Dr. Spengler was a senior fellow of the American Cancer Society. As a member of the DOE Ethical, Legal and Social Issues panels, she has been involved in evaluating the ethical, legal and social implications of human genome research. Dr. Spengler's many publications include co-authorship of the DOE's Primer of Molecular Biology.

Among current NSF programs are Information and Intelligent Systems: Advancing Human-Centered Computing, Information Integration and Informatics, and Robust Intelligence; Harnessing the Data Revolution (HDR), Algorithmic Fairness, and Smart and Connected Communities.