Dr. Stephanie Paal :: Augmenting existing civil engineering practices with artificial intelligence: bringing forth the next generation of “physics-based models

A fundamental understanding of the knowledge that can be gained from artificial intelligence when applied within the realm of civil engineering will have a translational impact on the analysis, design, maintenance, and construction of civil infrastructure. With models firmly grounded in real-world data, material and structural properties and behavior can be precisely predicted from each other without computationally expensive analytical or empirical evaluations. Moreover, by integrating artificial intelligence and physics-based models, transformative insights into the behavior of materials and structures and their relation to one another can be discovered, actuating next-generation modeling approaches, experimental methods, empirical relations, designs, and construction methods. In this presentation, a general framework for AI-based understanding of structural performance will be demonstrated and novel AI models aimed at predicting the seismic performance of reinforced concrete components, even when large amounts of data are not available will be introduced. A comprehensive comparison of the novel AI-based approaches with traditional empirical and modeling approaches popularly used in the field will also be presented, and integration with more advanced emerging technologies such as UAS will be discussed.

Dr. Paal is a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&M University. She joined the faculty at Texas A&M in the Fall of 2016 after completing a three year post-doctoral fellowship in the School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL). She received her Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Civil Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta,
Georga in 2011 and 2013, respectively. Additionally, she received a B.S. in Architectural Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 2011. Dr. Paal has extensive background knowledge and expertise in machine vision and machine learning and applications of these technologies in infrastructure and structural condition assessments and other infrastructure-related practices.

Dmitriy Shatalov :: Optimizing public school’s tech budget while creating jobs in our community.

The goal is to present a business model that will save public schools and other educational facilities money on buying, maintaining and upgrading computer equipment. While doing so, the business will provide jobs (and internships in the summer) in the Bryan/College Station area.

In conjunction with the business model, we will also discuss the Right to Self-repair movement ( ) and I will provide some (mostly unknown) household tips and tricks about maintaining and repairing you own computer at home.

Dmitriy Shatalov graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in Mathematics and Physics. He previously worked as a Programmer and Manager at M4C (Texas A&M), Technical Support Representative in Wifi Networks (ViaSat) and High School Teacher. Dmitriy currently works as a Project Coordinator at AdventGX and Technical Advisor at the Fronds in Zanzibar Resort project.


Clint Arnett :: TEEX

Clint Arnett is Training Manager at Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) Emergency Services Training Institute and he also manages the Urban Search & Rescue Response Technology Program.

Marci Corry :: SAFE 2 SAVE

After a student lost his life from a driver texting in College Station, Texas, Marci Corry decided to make an impact on safe driving in communities throughout Texas. After researching behavior change and observing that her young children responded well to positive reinforcement, Corry decided to encourage people in a positive way to stay off their phones while driving- thus creating the app, Safe 2 Save.

JULY 2019

STEM-VRSE (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics – Virtual Reality in Supporting Education) exists as a 501(c)(3) organization to address the development of a STEM literate population by supporting early career STEM researchers and empower STEM teachers. STEM-VRSE currently acts as a non-profit in College Station, TX, providing cutting-edge support for early career STEM researchers as well as empowering STEM teachers in the K-University education system. As a result, STEM-VRSE possesses access to both early career STEM researchers and pre-service and in-service STEM teachers. The vision of STEM-VRSE centers on the support of early career STEM researchers and the empowerment of STEM teachers in the K-University education system. Our vision, although limited at this time in the scope of working with only a handful of researchers and teachers, anticipates working with thousands of researchers and teachers in both the US and internationally. Our mission allows us to support early career STEM researchers in University and other research environments as well as empower STEM teachers in the K-University education system. Our core values include community building, distributed expertise, and integrity-based interactions with all actors involved in STEM research and education.

Katherine Crabill

Katherine Crabill is a specialist in teaching and conducting research in the physical sciences. Obtaining her MS in Oceanography from Texas A&M University in 2017, her professional experiences include teaching undergraduate oceanography courses at Texas A&M University, managing several physical science laboratories and assisting graduate students in research and presentations. Her current research interests combine her studies of the physical world and the influence of virtual reality to further knowledge and understanding for consumers of research.

Dr. Dane Bozeman

Dr. Dane Bozeman has specialized in human cognition during his career. He completed the PhD in Education, Curriculum, and Instruction in 2010 from Texas A&M University. He has published in peer-reviewed journals, textbooks, and government reports – as well as spoken at multiple conferences – on science education policy, social cognition, and research methods. His current research interests center on the use of augmented and virtual reality in social cognition systems and works with early career STEM researchers to integrate AR and VR in research and education.

JUNE 2019

Dr. Deanna Kennedy :: Using Lissajous information to navigate dangerous landscapes: A guide for performing complex bimanual tasks.

Dr. Deanna Kennedy is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health and Kinesiology and the Director of the Motor Neuroscience Lab at Texas A&M University. Her research addresses theoretical questions related to motor synergies and bimanual coordination as well as more applied questions that have important implications for stroke rehabilitation and aging. Dr. Kennedy has over 20 published manuscripts in such journals as: Experimental Brain Research, Neuroscience Letters, and Psychological Review. In addition, she has over 30 national and international presentations. Dr. Kennedy currently teaches Developmental Issues in Motor Neuroscience, Lifespan Motor Development and Motor Learning.

The ability to coordinate movements between two or more limbs is important for many activities of daily living. Bimanual coordination patterns are difficult to effectively perform when the two limbs are required to perform different movement patterns, move at different velocities and/or move different amplitudes. However, when participants are provided Lissajous information they can quickly tune-in complex bimanual patterns once thought to be difficult or near impossible to perform. The use of LIssajous figures to guide the performance of complex bimanual task will be discussed.

Anthony Marrical :: Blazor 

MAY 2019

Ed Grannan :: Introduction to Agile with Scrum

The introduction to Agile with scrum is a high-level overview of the Agile manifesto and guiding principles. The overview also dives a little deeper into the Scrum methodology with guidance on format, implementation, and deliverables. This presentation is for anyone whom would like to learn how to manage a project of any type utilizing the Agile with Scrum methodology.

Ed is an experienced Project Mentor specializing in the Software Development Life Cycle process. Ed has assisted multiple organizations develop repeatable, sustainable and time/cost effective SDLC, QA, and delivery processes. Ed has over 30 years experience in Hardware/Software Test and Quality Assurance. He has supported projects in a variety of industries to include Department of Defense, travel, automotive, insurance and financial. Ed has several years of experience in setup up Software Quality Assurance and Test groups, practices and processes from the ground up for both start up and established companies. He has is a CSP with the Agile Alliance and a PSM with

Tom Peck :: NoSQL Databases

NoSQL, or non-relational, databases are very popular these days. How do they work? What are they good for? How can they scale so well? Is SQL obsolete? Tom will answer these questions and more in this talk about when and how to use a NoSQL database in your application.

Tom is a software developer with over 30 years experience building commercial software applications. He currently works as an AWS consultant.

APRIL 2019

Dr. Francis Quek :: Supporting Distance for Hands-On Physically-Oriented Learning through TelePresence Robotics with Augmented Reality

Distance learning has enjoyed explosive growth, promising to provide both general and professional learning opportunities to anyone with the interest, motivation, and access to an Internet connection. However, while MOOCS and video-based instruction can work quite well for lecture and conceptual subject matter, distance instruction for more physically predicated learning that requires hands-on teaching is more difficult with current distance communication technology.

We have been conducing a project at the Texas-Mexican border where TAMU-based personnel mentored and instructed high school students in a pre-engineering program that required significant hands-on knowledge. This project uncovered the limitations of screen-based telecommunications technology for such instruction and learning. We surmised that the lack of embodied presence and language (including instructional gestures) support contributes to the disconnect experienced by our instructors and the students. We posited that supporting a more embodied-form of communication through a telepresence robot and augmenting this with visual gestural displays can help to ameliorate this disconnect. We conducted a set of short pilot experiments to explore this hypothesis and produced as set of recommendations for future distance robot and augmented-reality designs.

Francis Quek is founding director of the Texas A&M Institute for Technology-Infused Learning (TITIL) and Professor of Visualization, and Computer Science and Engineering and Psychology – by courtesy. He joined Texas A&M University as an interdisciplinary President’s Signature Hire to bridge disparities in STEM. Formerly he has been the Director of the Center for Human-Computer Interaction at Virginia Tech.  Francis received both his B.S.E. summa cum laude (1984) and M.S.E. (1984) in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan.  He completed his Ph.D. in Computer Science at the same university in 1990. Francis is a member of the IEEE and ACM.

He performs research in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), learning sciences and technology, embodied interaction, embodied learning, HCI for accessibility (especially for individuals with blindness), multimodal verbal/non-verbal interaction, multimodal meeting analysis, vision-based interaction, multimedia databases, medical imaging, assistive technology for the blind, human computer interaction, computer vision, and computer graphics.

MARCH 2019

Kentaro Iio :: Visualizing the Invisible

The world is full of “invisible” phenomena. Kentaro talks about three dimensions of data visualization through SAFE 2 SAVE’s recent GIS application and transportation safety.

Kentaro Iio is a graduate student seeking a Master of Science in Civil Engineering at Texas A&M University. He studied behavioral science at Osaka University and has experience in producing raster and vector graphics for more than 10 years.

Steven Jones :: Impact of Technology and Advertising on Television

There is a simple question that has become more and more difficult to answer over the last decade…What is television? Steven, will share insights on how advertising has impacted the evolution of television and illustrate what is in store for the future. LogoBar is a patented digital advertising technology that was created by a consumer who identified a major problem: advertisers are wasting billions of dollars a year on ads that consumers aren’t watching. LogoBar brands the components of streaming media players and empowers advertisers to interact with viewers while a video is playing and without disrupting or delaying the content.

As Chief Strategy and Operations Officer, Steven B. Jones is responsible for the vision, strategic direction and delivery of LogoBar’s products and services. Previously, Jones was one of the co-founders of AdoTube, an industry leading global video advertising technology at the forefront of in-stream advertising that pioneered the “Polite Pre-Roll,” which influenced dismissible feature as a digital ad industry standard. After AdoTube was acquired in 2011 by Exponential Interactive, Steven scaled AdoTube across more than 25 countries before taking on the role of Executive VP overseeing Advertising Operations and Solutions for Exponential’s digital media divisions (AdoTube, AppSnack, Firefly Video, and Tribal Fusion) servicing brand advertisers globally. Earlier in his career Steven held various different roles at major advertising agencies (360i, OMD, Deutsch, Lowe) leading digital media strategy and buying for Fortune 500 brands (i.e. NBCU, Viacom, Bank of America, J&J, AOL, Monster, ING, and more). Steven graduated from the University of Michigan.


Bernie Acre :: Cyber Security Awareness Program – Why? Where to Start? How do we get Where?

Bernie Acre will talk about what a Cyber Security Awareness Program is. One of the key elements to remember is that an awareness program really is not about “awareness.” An awareness program is about training and changing employee behavior enough that it increases your team’s ability to consciously make more secure decisions.

Bernie Acre is the Chief Information Officer at the City of Bryan. He has been involved at numerous levels of technology for 38 years. Bernie Acre served in the USAF for 20 years, all in technology, and spent 18 years working in the government administration industry, in a combination of municipal and electric utilities. He is skilled in Budgeting, Operations Management, Analytical Skills, Government, and Contractors.

Dave Jones & Chris Zimmerman :: Docker

Dave Jones and Chris Zimmerman will speak about Docker.  They will discuss the problems Docker solves for businesses and institutions, and they will demonstrate a sample Docker deployment.  If your business or institution could benefit from better testing platforms, improved scalability, DevOps efficiency improvements, reduced downtime or more realistic development environments, Docker may be part of the solution.  Docker is freely available, and was rapidly adopted by the software engineering and systems administration communities as “state-of-the-art” after its 2013 release.

Dave has more than twenty five years of professional experience in programming, software design and general consulting.  Chris is a recent (2017) graduate of Grove City College, with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science — while in college he developed a strong interest in DevOps, distributed systems and scalability issues and was part of a team that won college-level entrepreneurship awards, all of which contributed to his interest in Docker.  Dave and Chris are both on the technical staff at Knowledge Based Systems, a consulting firm headquartered in College Station, with offices around the country.


Scott Smith :: Cybersecurity Differences in OT and IT

This talk will highlight some of the differences between Operation Technology (OT) and Information Technology (IT) and how traditional IT security practices may not work in OT environments.

Scott Smith is the Chief Information Security officer for the City of Bryan. He is responsible for cyber security as well as compliance for the NERC CIP, PCI DSS, and CJIS standards requirements. His expertise is in Information Security Management, Physical Security Management, IT Compliance Management, CIS Controls and Benchmarks and Critical Infrastructure Protection.
Prior to this position, Mr. Smith spent the previous 11 years as the Manager of IT Operations for Bryan Texas Utilities overseeing the utilities infrastructure, security and compliance programs. He lead a highly technical and business critical IT Operations division, responsible for managing technical aspects of multi-million dollar projects. Scott is a member of Infragard, ISSA, ISACA, and holds active CISSP, CGCIO and ITIL Foundations certifications.
Scott is a graduate of Texas A&M University where he was a student-athlete playing on the 1993 Southwest Conference Champion and College World Series baseball team.

Rajat Rajbhandari :: Blockchain: A Trust Protocol That Will Change Commerce

This talk will give a high-level overview of blockchain fundamentals and then dive into a few specific use cases.

Rajat Rajbhandari, PhD is a CEO and Co-founder of a startup dexFreight that is building a decentralized logistics platform built on blockchain technology. Prior to dexFreight, he spent over a decade at Texas A&M Transportation Institute, the largest university -based transportation research institute. He is an expert in transportation and logistics systems, connected transportation as well as blockchain technology. He has spoken about blockchain fundamentals at over dozen events to over 3000 people including SxSW. Automated Vehicle Symposium, ETH Memphis, Blockchain in Oil and Gas, Blockchain in Transport Alliance, Blockchain for Supply Chain. He has also appeared in Wall Street Journal, IBT, USA Today, Journal of Commerce, Yahoo News, FreightWaves, Bitcoin Mag, CoinReport and more.


This month, we will host 8 teams of Texas A&M computer science students who will present their Digital Entrepreneurship class project. Dr. Paula deWitte’s Digital Entrepreneurship class introduces Computer Science students to the concepts and practices of technology entrepreneurial thinking to develop and transition innovative software concepts and ideas into viable products.

Team 1 – Amazing Travel :: Sarra Bounouh, Hayley Eckert, William Newman, Lasse Starklit

Team 2 – IDLE :: Julian Alvarez, Amir Karimloo, Jace Key, Julio Maldonado Guzman

Team 3 – Travelocal :: Vinayak Chetlapalli, Jasmin Cho, Anthony Paulino, Ethan Wright

Team 4 – Fair Breeze :: Patrick Condra, Aman Goyal, Courtney Walker

Team 5 – Banano Empires :: Jonathan Burk

Team 6 – Team Litehouse :: Jonathan Brosnan, Zachary Hudnall, Bishop Lopez, Rishub Mishra

Team 7 – Digital Hangar :: Maxwell Melcher, Haaris Padela, Rishi Vaze

Team 8 – D.I.G. :: Austin Dauzat, Sarah Lenox, Alexis Martinez


James Kimrey :: Developing the Texas A&M Bus Routes System: A Public/Private Problem

Public/Private Partnerships are currently all the rage, but what happens when a public university has a private transit system?  This talk will detail the evolution of the Texas A&M Bus Routes system from a tightly coupled web application leveraging GoogleMaps to a service oriented architecture leveraging Esri GIS.

James O. Kimrey, III began his fascination with computers at age 11, when he asked for an Atari 800 for Christmas. In 2001 he received his degree in Computer Science from Texas A&M University, and began working professionally for the Sterling C. Evans Library. While at the library he developed a lost books web application that assists Librarians in the process of identifying and tracking replacement of lost books within the main campus library branches. In 2010 he accepted a position at Transportation Services, where he designed, implemented, and maintains his most well-known web application, Bus Routes. The Bus Routes system averages 40,000 hits per day, with spikes up to 280,000 on the first day of class.


Brian Gibbs and Matthew Faulkner :: Technological Woodworking: Digital Fabrication of an Executive Conference Table

Located in the main conference room of Texas A&M University’s Provost & Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Offices, the executive conference table was designed and built to compliment and represent the impressive nature of the offices it serves. Using richly stained mahogany, strong furniture joinery, and integral power supplies with both standard receptacles and USB connections, audio/video connections, and a main communications control center, the conference table is built to serve the office for many years to come. The conference table’s primary and most impressive design feature is a recessed display case featuring an LED backlit scale model of Texas A&M University’s main campus protected under 1/2” tempered glass. In collaboration with the University’s College of Architecture, a detailed 3D digital model of campus was generated and used to create the laser etched and cut site model. Each building was individually detailed and 3D printed as a thin shell allowing each building to glow from the backlit LEDs. At the time of installation in April 2015, the campus model was one of largest implementations of 3D printed site models in the United States.

PACT Design Studio, LLC, a full-service, award winning architecture firm with over 150 completed projects throughout the Brazos Valley, Texas and the country, was co-founded in 2012 by Brian Gibbs and Matthew Faulkner. The PACT Design Studio team understands the unique scheduling and deliverable requirements for both public and private sector clients and is committed to providing outstanding design on schedule and within budget.


Tom Peck :: Lambda Deep Dive

Software development practices are switching more and more to Serverless computing as a way to control costs. Amazon’s solution to Serverless computing is called Lambda. In this talk, you will learn how to use Lambda and other AWS features to build your web back end without servers. Tom will demonstrate the the structure of a Lambda function, how to trigger it from a web URL, how to get input parameters and return data. From there, we will look at other uses for Lambda functions.


Dr. Anthony Knap :: “What if the past were a poor guide to the Future?”

The climate is changing naturally with anthropogenic forcing. It is predicted that as the mean changes the extremes will as well. This talk will focus on what we know about the ocean, how we measure it and what we will need to do in the future. One focus will be what we are trying to learn from the 2017 storm Hurricane Harvey from its rapid intensification to the fact it is one of the first major storms to make landfall on the US in the longest major hurricane drought for 150 years.

Dr. Anthony Knap: Director, Texas A&M Geochemical and Environmental Research Group. Professor Department of Oceanography. James Whatley Endowed Chair of Geosciences

Sarah Knight :: “Protecting Software-based Innovation”

Mobile App and Artificial Intelligence considerations, Open Source, Patents, and Design Aesthetics.

Sarah Knight is a patent attorney and founder of Talem IP Law, an Intellectual Property Law boutique in Gainesville, FL. She holds a Bachelors and Masters in Electrical Engineering and represents clients in high tech industries including commercial software products, medical imaging, and computer processors.

MAY 2018

Kwasi Perry :: The Journey from Non-Developer to Mobile App Developer.

Kwasi Perry, Founder of UAV Survey Inc and his new company AppDev77 will speak on his ongoing journey from a non-developer to a mobile app developer. In his talk he will speak on the reasons why he got into app development and detail the challenges and obstacles experienced on the way. The software used, code examples, educational resources, best practices, design and programming techniques will all be discussed from the perspective of a new professional. Seasoned software developers will be amused, and potential future developers will leave emboldened and inspired.

Kwasi Perry is the Founder of UAV Survey Incorporated, a company that provides drone based services such as infrastructure inspection, mapping, aerial surveying, consulting, and training. UAV Survey Inc has clients in Oil and Gas, Law Enforcement, State Government, and Commercial Real Estate among others. One of the company’s biggest projects to date was providing drone based damage assessment for the State of Florida’s Emergency Response Team for Hurricane Matthew as well as a drone mapping project in Haiti for the University of Notre Dame. Kwasi is a graduate student in the Geoscience Department at Texas A&M on hiatus, as well as a former intelligence analyst at the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency where he provided geospatial intelligence support in Afghanistan and Washington D.C.

Chris Taylor :: MAD taco – Exploring the advantages and disadvantages of architecting a custom cloud based platform

After getting an Applied Mathematical Sciences degree from Texas A&M University, Chris was looking for a way to “apply” his knowledge. He decided to learn how to build computers, manage networks and write software. After gaining some valuable on the job experience, he decided to open Connect Technologies in January of 1991 and has enjoyed creating solutions for a wide variety of businesses ever since. He loves to solve problems and make things work with a “get it done” attitude.

Chris and his wife, Sara, have three kids. They are done ushering their kids through college and starting the journey of being grandparents. He continues to challenge himself by studying the Bible, singing and playing the guitar, and running to stay fit. They love being long-time residents of College Station, Texas.

APRIL 2018

Josh Rizzo :: Automate Anything with IFTTT!

If-This-Than-That is an automation tool for connecting apps, services, and devices that do not normally integrate with each other.  IFTTT is easy enough to be used by anyone, but powerful enough to be useful even to DevOps veterans.  In this talk, we will learn how to make simple “recipes” in IFTT and explore what this tool can really do.

Josh is a Senior Consultant for Improving, with over a decade of experience in .NET, Java, and various other technologies and platforms.  Josh focuses on Scrum, web technologies, the.NET framework, Object Oriented Design, and maintaining legacy code.  He uses IFTTT to automate portions of his own to-do system, as well as his home appliances.

Jason Getz :: Challenger Center

In the aftermath of the Challenger accident, the crew’s families came together, firmly committed to the belief that they must carry on the spirit of their loved ones by continuing the Challenger crew’s educational mission. Their efforts resulted in the creation of Challenger Center for Space Science Education. Challenger Center and its global network of Challenger Learning Centers use space-themed simulated learning and role-playing strategies to help students bring their classroom studies to life and cultivate skills needed for future success, such as problem solving, critical thinking, communication and teamwork.

Jason Getz joined Challenger Center as Director of Community Relations after a long career in marketing and fundraising. Jason got his start in the fundraising world while attending Penn State University. After finishing his degree at Penn State, he followed his passion for fundraising to the University of Connecticut where he served as the Call Center Manager. Jason then moved to Washington D.C. where he worked in fundraising at Catholic University Law School and George Washington Law School. He spent the next decade of his career raising funds for the World Wildlife Fund before moving on to the UN Refugee Agency where he developed and launched the organization’s direct mail program.

Jason holds a Bachelor of Arts from Penn State University and a Master of Arts from George Washington University, as well as an advanced certificate in Wine from WSET. He is a native of Northeast PA, but now calls DC home.  He takes full advantage of living in Washington where he embodies the E.B. White quote: “I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.”

MARCH 2018

Michael Green :: Texas A&M, Emerging Tech, and Immersive Storytelling

With emerging tech, audiences can now have interactive brand experiences on their own time and in their own homes. On the new digital battle field, the race is on to see who can integrate VR and other new tech into the traditional marketing mix. Texas A&M is working hard to tell its incredible wealth of stories in interesting and immersive ways. Come learn about what A&M is doing to reach new audiences in disruptive ways.

Michael is passionate about telling the Texas A&M University story in innovative and disruptive ways through emerging technologies and well-designed brand experiences. Growing up in Aggieland, he has worked as a student tour guide, was part of the team who revamped admissions marketing, and now works for the Division of Marketing & Communications doing whatever crazy ideas he can get away with. When he isn’t at his desk, he is traveling and writing about flag design.


James Wilson :: Technology in the Makerspace

A presentation on how we use technology in the Engineering Innovation Center. From computers, lasers, robotics to drones, RFID and additive manufacturing.

Jim Wilson is a USAF veteran who received his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from LeTourneau University. He received his Masters at Texas A&M university in Education Technology. Jim has been facilitating and building academic labs for 25 years. He built the current Engineering Innovation Center in 2014 that presently serves over 4000 engineering students. Jim is currently supervising the construction of the Fischer Engineering Design Center in the Zachry Engineering complex which will open in the summer of 2018. Currently Jim serves as the Director of the Engineering Innovation Center at Texas A&M University.

Ian Soares :: Leading Not Just Managing

As Project Managers, we are often tasked with managing teams and individuals that we have no direct authority over.   Even in those instances where we do have authority, we are often required to manage more than just time, scope, and costs.  We need to manage expectations and attitudes for our teams, our clients, and our stakeholders as well.

In this session we will define what it means to truly lead.  We will discuss the benefits of leadership and demonstrate some tools, techniques, and best practices for gaining the confidence of our teams & stakeholders, managing expectations, and moving beyond being a manager and towards being a leader.

Ian Soares is the IT Project Manager for the City of Bryan and Bryan Texas Utilities, where he has worked for nearly 3 years. Previously he was the IT Project Manager for Brazos County where he worked for over 10 years. Prior to his career in government, he was the Vice President of Dynamic Information Systems, a private IT firm that specialized in providing technology solutions and services to community banks throughout the state of Texas. Ian also worked as a business analyst at Hewitt Associates, where he served Halliburton Energy. Ian is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a degree in History and a minor in Management Information Systems. He received his Masters Certification in IT Project Management as well as a Masters Certification in Business Analysis from George Washington University. He attributes his unique combination of Liberal Arts and technical training to his success as an analyst and project manager. Ian has always had a passion for problem solving but appreciates the value of strong communication, research, and documentation.


Quantum Robotics :: Engineering a VEX Competition Robot

The Quantum Robotics team will delve into their engineering process as well as the difficulties involved with designing and constructing a competition-ready robot, and give a demonstration of the competition, their achievements this current season, and their latest robot’s abilities in a competition environment.

Quantum Robotics is a 10-person team from College Station High School who compete in the yearly competition VEX Robotics, and their third year is in full swing. Four members will be presenting, including Scott Lenox, Danielle Payne, Joseph Ntaimo, and James Pate.


Travis Ward :: WordPress Multisite

WordPress Multisite is a fantastic tool for many cases.  See how it’s leveraged in the University environment and if it might be the right tool for your next big project.

Travis is a Bryan resident working with Texas A&M AgriLife managing hundreds of WordPress sites. He also runs a baseball-oriented startup, coaches youth bike racing, mines Ethereum and is finishing a Master UX certification through the Nielsen Norman Group.



Derek Burgman :: Angular For the Web

A condensed dive into Angular Web development that will explain the key ideas behind Angular. We’ll also explore the technologies and software design choices that are key to Angular, such as Typescript, Webpack, Dependency Injection, and Ahead of Time Compilation.

Derek Burgman is a local entrepreneur and software developer who is currently focused on web and cloud development using Angular and Google App Engine.


Nick Madincea & Marjorie Ferrone :: A Guide to Drone Racing from Industry Bellwethers


Allow Nick and Marjorie, CoFounders of Drone Parks Worldwide to take you on a journey as you follow the exploding sport of drone racing. Learn where it came from, where it is today, and how Drone Parks Worldwide is the future of everything drone.

Nick Madincea is a twenty year old aspiring entrepeneur from Houston, Texas. Nick’s path to founding Drone Parks Worldwide began when he attended his first Formula One race at the age of 2. Next Nick took to the skies at the age of 12 flying small airplanes. In the summer of ’15 Nick had the idea for worldwide drone stadiums while working at a Houston lawfirm. At the age of 18 he decided to forego college and build the future of everything drone.

Marjorie Ferrone is a 24 year old aspiring entrepreneur from Houston, Texas. Marjorie’s path to CoFounding Drone Parks Worldwide began while she was a midship woman at the United States Naval Academy where she first learned of drones in the military context. As Marjorie transferred to UPenn she continued to follow drone technology and it’s transition into the civilian market. Today, she is foregoing a career in law to pursue the future of everything drone.



Tom Peck :: Serverless

Serverless computing is the latest trend on Amazon Web Services. You can now run your business logic code without creating and maintaining virtual machines. Tom will describe three new services: Cognito, Lambda and API Gateway. These represent a new way to build web applications and back-ends for mobile apps. Your apps will have better security, lower costs, higher scalability and be easier to maintain.

Tom is a software developer with over 30 years experience building commercial software applications. He currently works on software for monitoring enterprise data centers.


Dean Brundage :: Break Out of The Loop

Learn how to use C++ classes to improve your arduino programming. Write more maintainable code. Dean Brundage guides us through multitasking on the arduino with independent, succinct classes that perform specific actions.  You should have an understanding of object-oriented concepts such as classes & inheritance in C++.

Dean Brundage was a software developer and system administrator in a former life.  It all started with Logo and Lego.


Agnes Flemal :: ATOM-IT

Given the fact that Internet of Things (IoT) is getting more and more importance to our digital economy, WSL wishes to stimulate the emergence of a strong dynamics related to IoT and data science in Wallonia. Atom-IT is an initiative whose aim is to offer integrated services that spans all the chain of value for products related to IoT and/or data science:
  • Prototyping and production of connected hardware
  • IoT and M2M networks
  • Cloud infrastructures
  • Data analytics solutions, including machine learning
Agnes Flemal is the Director of WSL, a Startup Advisory Service in Wallonia, Belgium that coaches persons or companies with entrepreneurial projects in areas related to engineering sciences.


Charlie Lindahl :: MergeVR Cube: the hologram you hold in your hand

Presentation of the $15 MergeVR Cube, a rubber cube covered with AR (Augmented Reality) markers. With the cube and appropriate apps it is possible to “hold a hologram in your hand”. Very interesting possibilities for AR demonstrations and applications. See website at

Charlie Lindahl is a lifetime technology geek/programmer experienced in a wide range of interests including AI (Artificial Intelligence), embedded systems, DevOps, and all facets of graphics including AR, VR, and MR(Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Mixed Reality).


Mason Crowson :: Web layout development

Mason Crowson will be discussing web layout development. A brief discussion over the history of web development and an introduction to CSS Grid.

​Mason Crowson has been in the hospitality industry for the last 7 years. He is a certified sommelier, a hobbyist, and a proud cat-dad.



Matt Leonard (TSTAR), Dr. Joseph Morgan (MISL) & the MARS team :: From Strata-1 to Hermes.

Their mechatronics team is presenting a brief overview of their Strata-1 Experiment, an astromaterials experiment that recently returned to downtown Bryan from 1 year of operations on the International Space Station and the follow-on experiment Hermes.


Patrick Smith :: Hiring App Job Loop

Job Loop is a swipe app that connects college students with local, part-time employers.


JULY 2017

Cody Marx Bailey :: Introduction to Blockchain with a Focus on Ethereum

Ethereum is a blockchain implementation that is made up of many complex systems. We’ll attempt to cover how the chain functions and pulls off the many promises that Smart Contracts and Digital Currencies promise. Buckle up, though, there’s a lot of content to cover.

Cody Marx Bailey, a former Bryan resident, has nearly 25 years of programming background, 15 years of community development, and was an early adopter of many technologies. Today, he lives in Dallas, TX and manages a cryptocurrency hedge fund when he’s not eating tacos in Mexico.

JUNE 2017

Robert Warden :: Existential Resonance of Heritage

Our material heritage became precious when technologies of building separated us from our past.  Over the last 30 years new technologies have provided new opportunities to connect with our past material heritage and their histories.  This presentation explores various technologies utilized in recording our heritage and the issues they present in understanding the truth of their stories.

Robert Warden, is a registered architect, electrical engineer, and educator.  As an educator, Professor Warden has used his own interdisciplinary background as a model for research, education, and practice, assembling interdisciplinary project teams to tackle problems in Historic Preservation, engineering, heritage tourism, and design. He is currently Interim Department Head of Architecture at TAMU.


Andrew Erwin :: MVC Tools and Applications

Andrew Erwin will outline the history of the MVC architecture and give some examples of moderns frameworks that use it. He will also give a short demonstration of Laravel, a popular PHP MVC framework.

Andrew Erwin has been a web and application developer for more than 15 years.  He has worked with many platforms, frameworks and languages. Currently he is working as a freelancer.


MAY 2017

Kwasi Perry :: Drones – They’re More Than Just Toys

Kwasi Perry will speak about the current uses for drones in the commercial, research, and academic realms, as well as future use cases for them. The discussion will include both qualitative and quantitative information and will help the audience have a better understanding of what UAVs bring to the table.

Kwasi Perry is the Founder of UAV Survey Incorporated, a company that provides drone based services such as infrastructure inspection, mapping, aerial surveying, consulting, and training. UAV Survey Inc has clients in Oil and Gas, Law Enforcement, State Government, and Commercial Real Estate among others. One of the company’s biggest projects to date was providing drone based damage assessment for the State of Florida’s Emergency Response Team for Hurricane Matthew as well as a drone mapping project in Haiti for the University of Notre Dame. Kwasi is a graduate student in the Geoscience Department at Texas A&M on hiatus, as well as a former intelligence analyst at the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency where he provided geospatial intelligence support in Afghanistan and Washington D.C.


Dave Jones :: Python Tools and Applications

Dave Jones will present some practical Python tools that will be of interest to both programmers and non-programmers. Tools covered will include Anaconda, Jupyter and NumPy.  Applications will include physical and financial calculations.

Dave has been a professional software developer for more than twenty three years — working with languages ranging from 4GLs to “ones and zeros”, and working with machines ranging from mainframes to embedded systems.  He presently works as a software developer, researcher and consultant at Knowledge Based Systems, a nationwide consulting firm headquartered in College Station, Texas.


APRIL 2017

Adam Houghton :: Growing a Software Company: 9 years in the App Store

The App Store launched in July 2008 with 500 apps. ForeFlight was there on day one and has been one of the top grossing apps on the App Store ever since.  ForeFlight helps pilots plan and navigate their flights, with customers in all segments of aviation. Adam Houghton is one of the ForeFlight founders and helped grow the team from a small 2-person office at Coulter Field in Bryan to a 130 person company with offices in Houston, Austin, Maine, and Denmark. Adam will talk about challenges in scaling a software company, both the technology and the people.

Adam Houghton started his first company at age 5, making custom greeting cards on an Apple IIc. Since then, he’s built software for the US Treasury, Radio City Music Hall, and the Texas State Prison System. Adam is the EVP Engineering at ForeFlight and is based out of Austin. He holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Trinity University in San Antonio, and has previously lived in College Station and Durham, North Carolina.

Pierce Primm :: A Real-time Web Dashboard Experiment Using the ESP8266 and MQTT protocol

Introduce the MQTT protocol and demonstrate one of its use-cases by creating a real-time dashboard showing LED levels generated from wireless ESP8266 micro-controllers.  We’ll attempt this with a live demo showing the responsiveness of using MQTT on the device and MQTT over websockets in the browser.  We’ll have several ESP8266 demo boards for attendees to participate.

Pierce Primm, Sr. is a graduate of TAMU with a BS in Engineering Technology and has worked internationally with industrial automation and controls and software development.  He currently works in Home Automation, writes software for business automation and IoT services and is interested in working with companies in the industrial IoT arena.


MARCH 2017

Thomas Paulger :: Teaching Vulnerability Assessment using cloud service providers for student labs

This presentation is a snapshot of how Norwich University online courses (both Graduate and Undergraduate) use cloud services where individual student labs are required. The examples shown are used in Vulnerability Assessment courses.

Tom Paulger is a cyber security subject matter expert at Norwich University Applied Research Institute. He served as Battalion Commander for the Army’s first Information Operations Training Battalion. He began his career in information assurance as a trooper with the Vermont State Police, as part of the team that implemented a statewide law enforcement records and dispatch system. His last 13 years at the VT Department of Public Safety involved system and network administration, training, business process re-engineering, program management and information security in all its aspects. He holds numerous IT certifications, including the CISSP, SANS Forensic Analyst, Penetration Tester and Intrusion Analyst and is a Certified Cisco Academy Instructor.



Dr. Bruce Gooch :: Why Jonny Can’t Draw

Cameras are everywhere. Odds are you are carrying a camera on your person and even more likely one is pointed at you right now. However, even with all these cameras at our disposal most of the images humans create are artistic rather than photographic. I will talk about building software to scaffold artistic creation, specifically creating comics. I will then touch on how algorithms created for aesthetic purposes can be used to solve “real world” problems in agriculture.

Dr. Bruce Gooch is a Computer Science professor at Texas A&M University. He earned a Ph.D. in 2003 from the University of Utah specializing in Computer Graphics. While a faculty member at the University of Victoria, British Columbia Gooch ran a start-up incubator in his lab. Over 20 companies come out of the program. Here are two examples of companies started by his graduate students, ( ) Dr. Gooch’s current research is in Agriculture. He is building software and systems for high throughput phenotyping to aid plant and animal breeders.


Egan Gyldenege :: Why robots – The Current and Future State of Robotic Manufacturing

Egan Gyldenege will present the current state of affairs when it comes to robotic manufacturing, focusing on productivity and the People/Skill Gap; and the push to “Lights Out” Automation. He will then share his insights on what he expects to be the future evolution of robotic manufacturing and talk about collaborative Robots and Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV’s).

Egan Gyldenege is the Regional Automation Manager at Acieta LLC. His career has been split between ROV’s (Sub-Sea Remotely Operated Vehicles) for the Oil and Gas Industry and Robotic Automation in the industrial manufacturing field, focusing on the operations arm with business development playing a side role.



Dale Kubenka & Jerry Henry

City of Bryan Regional Mobile Command Vehicle

The MobMCPile Command Post (MCP) is owned by the City of Bryan, operated by the Bryan Fire Departments Emergency Management and maintained by the City of Bryan’s Fleet Services.  It is a regional asset purchased through Homeland Security Grant and available to the Brazos Valley Council of Governments Members.  The MCP is designed to assist an organization with Command Operations and depending on the incident, flexible enough to meet most any organization’s needs.

Dale KubenkaDale Kubenka is the Geographic Information System (GIS) Supervisor for the City of Bryan.  He has been in the field of GIS for 18 years and is currently in his 9th year at the City.  He is a Certified Geographic Information Systems Professional with the GIS Certification Institute.

Jerry HenryJerry Henry is the Emergency Management Coordinator for the City of Bryan.  He has worked in the fire service for many years and have been with the City of Bryan for 10 years.  Prior to his positon at the City of Bryan, Jerry was the Emergency Management Coordinator for Robertson County.


David Blankinship

BW_David_BlankinshipDavid is an old grey beard (literally) in the Public Safety Technology market. Originally a geospatial IT person with Utilities – he ended up spending about a dozen years on the front lines of the Operations & Technology intersection with Colorado Springs Fire before co-founding Intterra. Intterra is an analytics firm whose focus is integrating data from every system in Public Safety. For deep analysis, tactical situational awareness and seamless remote sensing and sensor integration. Intterra provides all the enterprise geospatial integration and situational awareness for the United States through the National Interagency Fire Center. They also run state systems and link many local and regional agencies together into one open, seamless ecosystem.



Joey Ficklin

Making after dark:  The other singularity and a Maker Faire.

joeyficklin headsho

The maker faire franchise has become a great show and tell of the maker movement and culture.  In this presentation we have put together a display of projects and ideas that are taking the darkened room at Maker Faire Austin from a celebration of making into a congregation of grass roots tinkering with product to market designers.

Joey is a trade carpenter and director of Maker Faire Austin. He is the master of the jig, the helper of repetitive tasks and the dance. He also enjoys making interactive art, crowds, and carrying things for other makers.


Brad Dressler

Factoring in Organic SEO Influencers


Brad Dressler, Partner and Director of Pro Social Media Coaching and Marketing, will discuss some of the components and metrics that influence organic SEO. He will talk about how those play a role in website or app development. He will also discuss how to manipulate those organic SEO components to your advantage. There will also be time for Q&A about SEO or general digital/ social media marketing questions.

Brad Dressler has over 20 years of expertise in marketing, branding, graphic design, web development and digital strategy. He has worked in senior management roles for 12 years, including marketing for Texas A&M University. Brad founded Pro Social Media Coaching and Marketing eight years ago and works with clients globally, especially in the areas of SMB, tech, and entertainment. He is also a big fan of emerging tech, startups, film festivals, graphic novels, and an advocate for diversity and equality.



Victor Ugaz

Lab-on-a-drone: an innovative platform for portable biomedical diagnotics


There is currently an urgent need for inexpensive, portable, and rugged biomedical diagnostic tools that can be rapidly deployed and operated in the field.  We have been working to address this need by developing an autonomous ultra-portable mobile laboratory platform that enables rapid sophisticated in-flight diagnostics via consumer-class quadcopter drones. This platform also leverages smartphone-based analysis to deliver extraordinary connectivity, making it possible to tap into existing communication networks for real-time delivery of analysis results.

Victor Ugaz is a Professor in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University. His research interests include transport and flow in microfluidic systems, convectively driven biochemical reactions for DNA replication, microsystems for DNA analysis, and materials and processes for construction of microfluidic environments. A native of Kerrville Texas, he has been a faculty member at Texas A&M since 2003.


Mike Hinkle

Wow Tech: The Powerful Potential Of Web Beacons

 Mike Hinkle

Web beacons based on BLE 4.0 are being pulled off the back shelf to power a big step forward for IoT applications. Google’s Eddystone standard will be the accelerator for this enabled by foundation services embedded in current releases of Android and Chrome (and iOS). We will do a quick dive into Eddystone beacon technology to explore how it works and can power new IoT apps. A lot of powerful technology has been made available to us — what can we do with it?

Mike is a life-long maker — a hands-on creative inquisitive inventive doer. With broad experience in all things digital, he enjoyed a 30-year career in the energy industry culminating in the role Global IT Architect for Royal Dutch Shell. His current professional focus is makerspace education consulting and leadership of the Houston (Mini) Maker Faire. Motto: “passion and curiosity can make up for the lack of a plan any day”.



Alfredo Costilla Reyes & Zachary Burke

BitGrange: an internet-enabled device, to grow vegetables indoors.

BG Photo small

According to the recent market forecast, as a new growth engine, the Internet of Things (IoT) is expected to add USD 1.5 trillion in value to the global economy by 2020. Among many IoT application areas, urban agriculture is key area with endless opportunities for innovation. In this presentation we will talk about BitGrange’s motivation and challenges towards helping solve the sustainability issues surrounding modern agricultural practices by removing the barriers of entry for people to grow their own food with an intuitive plant-growing experience.

BitGrange was the brainchild of Alfredo who conceived of the idea originally in 2015 after being one of the projects selected to participate at the 3 Day Startup event, hosted by Startup Aggieland at Texas A&M University. Zach joined BitGrange during the Fall of 2015 after a chance meeting sparked his interest. Since then, the duo have been developing the technology behind their prototypes as they take their work to design competitions at Texas A&M University and the surrounding areas.


Colby Ryan

The DSTR Robot: Using TI’s SensorTag for STEM Outreach


The CC2650 SensorTag, developed by Texas Instruments, allows quick and easy prototyping of small wireless systems. The DSTR, pronounced “Disaster”, is the first robot platform to be powered by the SensorTag. Using TI-RTOS, the SensorTag can manage BLE communications to send out sensor data while receiving motor controls and changing motor outputs to reflect the incoming data.

Colby Ryan is the student lab manager at the Mobile Integrated Solutions Laboratory in the ESET department at Texas A&M University. MISL is an undergraduate research lab in which students get the opportunity to apply the concepts learned in class to hands-on tasks and projects with real-world applications for the public and private sector. This includes several STEM outreach programs, space-oriented projects, and electronic systems for various customers in the industry.


JULY 2016

Kyle Parrott
KubOS: Flight Software for Cubesats


The small satellite industry is booming. With so much growth there are numerous hardware vendors, with frequent newcomers to the market. Currently each vendor develops their own software APIs. For missions that combine hardware from multiple vendors, flight software developers face the often painful and time consuming task of integrating each hardware specific API. KubOS is an open source flight software platform that simplifies the developer’s task by providing abstract hardware APIs as a single simple and easy to consume API.

Kyle Parrott is a software developer at Kubos working on the open-source Kubos SDK and is the founder and developer of a commercial automated mobile app delivery service. He graduates this Fall with a degree in Software Engineering from the University of Texas at Dallas. His interests include cycling, hiking and tinkering with all types of electronics.


Sam White
Behind the Curtain – anatomy of a redundant, concurrent, highly-secure data center

Sam White

Tier II. Tier IV. Colocation. Uptime. SLA. The hybrid Cloud. What does it all mean? A primer on data centers, risk management, what you don’t see and why you should care.

Sam White is the marketing director for FIBERTOWN Data Centers and Disaster Recovery Offices. White came to College Station from New Mexico in 1983 to study at Texas A&M University. An adjunct for Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service since 2006, White formerly served as an instructor, check airman and captain for Continental Airlines and is a rated Flight Engineer and Airline Transport Pilot. He resides in College Station with his wife Sondra and son Quentin.


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JUNE 2016

John Romero

The anatomy of ransomware – insider’s look into an exploit.


A quick 20 minute breakdown into the ransomware called Locky viewing some key features and variants and how this software encrypts an unsuspected user’s files.

John M. Romero holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Texas A&M University with a minor in Geographic Information Systems. Before getting his computer science degree, he served in the U.S. Air Force as an Electronic Warfare System Specialist. For more than 20 years, John has been designing, developing, managing and directing software application database development. He is also a part-time instructor for the Department of Homeland Security teaching cybersecurity. John is currently the Program Director of the Knowledge Engineering Center (KEC) specializing in eLearning web application development and Cybersecurity training and assessments.


Andrew Jarrett
TaskForceTracker: A command and accountability system for first responders.

andrew jarrett

ResponderX Inc. is proud to present TaskForceTracker, a wearable command and accountability system for first responders. This exciting new technology brings digital safety and accountability into the hands of first responders at an affordable price and in an innovative easy to use package. Come listen to our story as we present our work and spotlight our development partners from Arrow Electronics, NXP Semiconductors, and local emergency services agencies.


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MAY 2016

This month, the Software Developer’s Cartel will be hosting a series on game design.

Morgan Jenks

Game Controllers in Audiovisual PerformanceMorgan Jenks

Morgan Jenks was born in Bryan Texas. Having moved away for undergraduate studies at SHSU and the California Institute of the Arts, he returned in 2011 to pursue an MFA at the TAMU Department of Visualization. Morgan is passionate about emerging technology and nature, and he works in both visual and sonic media to create distinctly high tech experiences which bring people to consider humanity’s place in the Universe, amidst the complex beauty of the natural world including the seemingly inexhaustible possibilities afforded to us.

This talk presents some of Morgan’s creative work in live electronic music performance where he employs the Microsoft Kinect and Nintendo Wiimote as input devices. Technical demonstration and survey of resources.


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Alex Cantrell, Brandon Zhao and John Martin

Maker: 3D Printing and Programming a Quadcopter


Students enrolled in A&M Consolidated High School’s Information Technology program take an in depth look at the challenges and successes faced in designing, creating, and programming a 3D printed quadcopter. Topics include, but are not limited to, designing the 3D models and assembling the parts, assembling the hardware and programming the quadcopter by using a variety of platforms to achieve the overall design goals.


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Jake Lenzen and Chase Hardy

Game Design and Education

Chase HardyJake-Lenzen-1

Jake Lenzen and Chase Hardy will speak on how Game Design principles can be used to create fun Educational Games. Topics included are introduction to Game Design, LevelDesign, and their application to Educational games.

Jake and Chase work at Triseum, a local learning game development studio, creates high-quality learning video games, empowering players to learn through fun, engaging and immersive experiences. Triseum’s games are known for being meticulously handcrafted, fully tested and evaluated to provide the ultimate educational experience.


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APRIL 2016

Tommy Dew

Defense Against the Dark Arts: Network Security Monitoring 101

tommy dew
It’s the Golden Age of Hacking. It’s a game of cat-and-mouse, and the defender — that’s you — is one (or even many) steps behind. However, defenders need not despair! Armed with Network Security Monitoring, you will be prepared to detect network intrusions, respond rapidly and efficiently mitigate threats.


andrew jarrett

Andrew Jarrett
Cyberterrorism and Critical Infrastructure
Andrew Jarrett, a Cybersecurity and Cyberterrorism instructor for the National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium, will cover current threats to our nation’s critical infrastructure and how IT personnel from the private sector can contribute to the defense of the nation.


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MARCH 2016

Patrick Zeinert


Zero to “Hello world!” in 600 Seconds with WordPress — A Presentation in Three Acts

There’s something for everyone with a ten-thousand foot view of WordPress in three parts; beginners, users, and developers. Each section will be approximately 10 minutes of some of the more important items working with WordPress. The talk will be demonstrative of the ease with which you can bootstrap a site of your own.


Bronius Motekaitis


What the Drop? Newcomers Field Guide to the World of Drupal

Understanding the whole Drupal ecosystem. Think like Drupal to understand Drupal. Intro to devops in Drupal. Understanding configuration versus content. A few of my favorite Drupal modules and capabilities.

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This month, the Software Developer’s Cartel hosted Javascript Panel on the following topics:

1. Intro to javascript, quick history and very high level by Josh Masterson
2. A node web server in 8 lines of code by Charlie Lindahl
3. Google Web toolkit overview by Tom Peck
4. ECMA Script 6 changes  by Matt Michalka
5. Javascript Quirks by John Kossa and Wesley Konderla
6. Spinning up an Angular Application by John Walter

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Our own Texas Space Technology Applications and Research (T STAR) has partnered with Texas Instruments, NASA JSC-Control and Data Handling Branch, the Electronic Systems Engineering Technology Program (ESET), and DVDT, the capstone team from Texas A&M’s ESET Program and will present:

Modular Integrated Stackable Layers (MISL)

 A fast way to do rapid product development! 


T STAR and ESET have collaborated on many projects.  ESET presented this work to TI, another major supporter of their program and based on that, TI has provided ESET a generous gift allowing the ESET Program to procure a number of the most popular MISL Architecture Layers in quantities that will significantly reduce the cost associated with a “starter kit” (Power, Intelligence, Communications, Breakout) of these space qualified, rack-and-stack printed circuit boards.  By “stacking” the layers, software developers can be developing and testing code on day one.  This talk will provide a background on the MISL Architecture, how it is being supported through the NASA/ESET development partnership, the TI support of the propagation of the technology to hi-reliability environments, the use of the architecture in project such as T STAR’s TSat and STRATA-2 projects and the plan to support the deployment of the kits by ESET.

Watch here

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Making Music with E-Textiles by Ryan Bledsoe and Julian Patterson
 Microcontrollers and conductive fiber make embedding sound and light into textile projects possible. Creating e-textile music instruments allows many new ways for people of all ages to interact with sound. Join us as we talk about our projects and the implications for music making, coding, and design.

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Jeffery Cicolani
Challenge Accepted; Developing and Autonomous Robot for AVC

In an effort to challenge themselves and inspire others, three amateur robotics hobbyists are developing a fully autonomous navigating robot for Sparkfun’s AVC contest. Using a commercially available chassis, and off-the-shelf parts the team will build a robot leveraging ROS for localization and path planning. It’s a tall order and well outside any of their comfort zones, but that’s the point.

Watch here

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Brian-Noyle(1)Brian Noyle
Maps, apps, and services: Spatial industry trends
Brian’s history as a GIS and web software professional has led him to the conclusion that there is no piece of business data that does not have a relevant spatial component.  He will discuss current technology disruption in the geospatial industry and important trends in the application of spatial data to social and business problems.  The presentation will provide an overview of recent history in the industry and move on to discuss current and emerging trends in software and solutions architectures to solve spatial problems and will include information on relevant code libraries and components to include the “where” in software engineering initiatives. Watch Online

Tim Scott

Tim Scott
Interviewing Users
Tim discussed a way to gain design insights from the most important people in the software world: our users. By interviewing our users on their terms and in their “natural environment,” we can begin to understand more about their day-to-day life, current needs, and existing workflows. These insights are important if we want to design software that helps our users and doesn’t get in their way.

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Schaefer Mitchell

Procedural Surface Weathering

Schaefer presented an intro to Houdini’s node-based programming system and go into depth on his research related to Houdini software. 

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Doug Watkins

World’s First Open Source Television Network

Doug presented the SpeedStream.TV framework, a cloud-based video broadcasting system, and provide an overview of the future of on-line broadcasting .

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Josh Masterson and Patrick Zeinert

Software Development as a Craft: Apprenticeship Patterns and Getting Organized

Over the past few years, the apprenticeship model in software development has been gaining steam. In this approach to career development, both master craftsman and apprentice benefit. First, this presentation keys in on several “design patterns” for your career, how you can identify them, and specific ways you can apply them. Second, the presenters will suggest several ways to help implement these patterns in our local development communities.

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JULY 2015


Paul Koola
Knowledge Scientist, Knowledge Based Systems, Inc.

A Methodology for Capturing and Fusing Unconscious Cognition with Computation

Based on the potential power of human-computer symbiosis, a methodology to capture and fuse unconscious cognition with high-powered computer analysis to improve the solution to complex computational problems will be presented. Unconscious cognition can be captured using non-intrusive sensors such as eye trackers when stimuli are controlled, and the system’s response signal has the resolution to differentiate between conscious deliberate response from the unconscious.


David Malawey
Masters Student at Texas A&M University

Multidisciplinary Optimization of a Small Satellite

As part of his Engineering research at A&M, David is working on the design of a small earth-orbiting satellite.  Multidisciplinary Optimization (MDO) and modern computers have the power to improve designs of complex systems like satellites or cars.  His project features a program that automatically generates an “optimal” satellite design using a genetic algorithm and other MDO strategies.
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JUNE 2015

Tom1Tom Peck
Chief Architect,  AppEngines

Amazon Web Services
Tom Peck will talk about Amazon Web Services, showing how you can use AWS to host large scale web sites and process huge amounts of data.

Watch Online

FIP_PhotoProf. Frederic I. Parke
Department of Visualization, Texas A&M University

Tiled Immersive Visualization Systems
A discussion of some issues associated with the design, implementation and application of tiled immersive visualization systems.  These include the architecture of these multi-process, muiti-processor systems, tile geometries, intra-tile seams, calibration and projection distortions, image synchronization, approaches to stereo display, example applications, and functionality.

Watch Online

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MAY 2015



In our first presentation, Doctor Yurttas will give an overview of Z^3 -, a soon to be released set-based and function-oriented programing language created himself and his colleague,  Joseph Pally.

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Ross McDonald will give a ross_mcdonaldsummary of highly technical things most developers end up doing, and pointers for how to do them well.

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 APRIL 2015


Nils Kannengießer

Nils Kannengießer and his students from the Technical University of Munich present two capstone projects they are currently working on for both Texas A&M and NASA.

Watch Online


Matt Kendall

Back from the UK, Matt Kendall presents an update on NoFolder.

Watch Online

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Cole Levine
Cole Levine 
“College Survivor”
Cole will present an app specifically built for college students. This app aims to make cooking college food and taking care of yourself easy and more efficient. The implementation of the app will save college kids money, time and problems with the freshman 15 and anorexia.
Charlie Lindahl
Google Cardboard: VR Kit for Everybody”
This presentation will discuss the low-cost, Virtual Reality  Google Cardboard, which utilizes smartphones  for the “brains” and display creating realistic, head-motion-tracked 3D environments. Charlie will bring  Google Cardboard as well as other examples to demonstrate. Additionally, he will  discuss how to develop for the platform using the application (SDK) sources for Android and IOS.
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 DAVE JONES – Senior Research Analyst, KSBI

Working with the Java 8 Parallel Streaming APIs

This talk will cover programming with the new Java 8 Parallel Streaming APIs, including other related Java 8 features, such as Java’s implementation of higher order functions for streams and a bit of functional programming.  It will also include comparisons with alternative approaches, demonstrating the ability of the recent Oracle JVMs to fully utilize modern multi-core processors.  Finally, if time permits, a comparison will be made between the performance of the Oracle JVM and the performance of the Erlang VM in parallel processing

Watch Online

sauravprofile SARAUV  AGARWAL – PhD Candidate, Texas A&M Aerospace

“The Decade of the Drone”

This talk will focus on the recent history of the drones – How they work, applications in industry and for personal use, the “next frontier” for drones, and finally how to go about building one for yourself.

Watch Online


Elevated Robotics Team Photo (1)

Elevated Robotics

Students at
Texas A&M Electronic Systems Engineering Technology

Aerial Surveillance Vehicle Project

ER Team will present a conceptual block diagram and give an overview of their project, then they will speak about the functional requirements of the system, and finally, will briefly present the components the subsystems.

PhotoWayne Adams

Artist at
Wayne Adams Artist

Getting Started with Stencyl Game Development

Introduction to basic game design and project setup and organization in Stencyl. Beginning a new project and the process of importing initial assets including tilesheets, sprite animations. Quick level design work up and testing.

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ProfileDamon Printz

“DaFolding” Quad

Damon will be providing a basic explanation of the design process and the components of his scratch-built quad. The quadcopter is an example of how a 3D printer, OpenSCAD, Standardized Hobby Equipment, and Carbon Fiber can come together to make a nice little package of fun.

 Watch Online


Commercializing NASA Technology Through Ki…

Modu Tec is a company of four Texas A&M ESET students looking to take the MISL Stack to the market through Kickstarter. The MISL Stack is a “rack and stack” microcontroller platform for different logical layers to bring different functionality to any electronic system. We are aspiring to use Kickstarter to form a base of revenue to help manufacturing the stack.

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Carol Lafayette

Professor, Department of Visualization at
Texas A&M Department of Visualization

Xbee API Pal

Carol is Principal Investigator of an NSF supported project to form SEAD, a national network for transdisciplinary engagement among the sciences, engineering, arts, and design. Carol collaborates with individuals from the sciences to invent unique ways to experience flora, fauna, and phenomena in a rural landscape.


Vern Williams

Chief Security Officer at
Cyber Defenses, Inc.

Secured Database Connectivity

Vern Williams is an experienced leader and consultant with 17 years of naval nuclear propulsion plant experience and over 16 years in the IT and security consulting arena.

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Charlie Lindahl

Senior Systems Analyst at
Texas A&M Health Science Center

Past and Future of 3D printing

A talk about the history, technologies, applications, and future of 3D printing. Will be showing videos and will have some examples of 3D printed models. We may have a working 3D printer for demonstration as well.

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August 12th, 2014

Marc Lainez

Software Ninja at

The Road to Software Development

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JoseprofilepicagxJose Quintana

President at
Advent GX


NoFolder is a new open source file storage solution compliant with Enterprise and HIPAA requirements – a UK/USA open source alternative to DropBox.

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JULY 2014

Enrique Gonzales

T/AV Director at
The Barracks Townhomes

Unity3D and Blender3D Active Design

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1c4627aMarc Lainez

Software Ninja at

Messing around with littlebits and makey-m…

Littlebits is the new electronics teaching tool out there. It’s basically lego for electronic components. During this talk, we’re going to see the possibilities of Littlebits as well as some examples of what you can do with it. We will show their new arduino at heart module and the korg synth kit in action and you’ll get a change to play with them. We will conclude by a small electronic concert…

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JUNE 2014

Pablo Leon
Student President
Pablo will give an overview of Tiger Robotics a give a live demo of their current bot.

Dave Jones

Senior Research Analyst at

Why estimates underestimate risk

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3c16d80Nash Porter

Electrical Engineering Major at
Texas A&M University

In the Brains of a Maker

In this talk, I’m going to show some examples of what a maker does in his spare time. I’m going to give a brief introduction of TI’s SensorTag Module and it’s capabilities and then move to building DIY robotic arms powered by simple syringes and arduino controlled cranes. I’m going to show you that anybody can become a maker.

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MAY 2014
Ross mcdonald

Ross MacDonald

Senior Developer at
Frogslayer LLC

An introduction to WebGL

In this talk, we will be using WebGL to give a brief introduction to 3D programming on the OpenGL platform. We will cover the basics of the OpenGL platform, the programmable pipeline, some very light 3D math, and will highlight the advantages of WebGL over traditional OpenGL as a learning tool.


Joseph Morgan

Director at
Mobile Integrated Solutions Laboratory

ASEP Robot & Hand Gesture Robotic Control

The Mobile Integrated Solutions Laboratory at Texas A&M will be presenting two of its robot technologies. The Modular Integrated Stackable Layers is a new technology for rack and stack hardware that is space qualified by NASA. The new RM48-based embedded intelligence layer has been integrated with a NASA-developed power layer and wireless communications layer to control the ASEP Robot which has…

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APRIL, 2014

Marc Lainez

Software Ninja at

Leap Motion in action

The Leap Motion controller is a small USB peripheral device which is designed to be placed on a physical desktop, facing upward. Using two monochromatic IR cameras and three infrared LEDs, the device observes a roughly hemispherical area, to a distance of about 1 meter (3 feet). It supports hand and finger motions as input, analogous to a mouse, but requiring no hand contact or touching.

Screen Shot 2015-01-16 at 10.48.01 AMJames Moughon

Software Developer at Astonish Design

Themes and web frontend frameworks

How do you get popular frameworks such as Foundation or Bootstrap to work with your app or site? What about features that don’t work right away? How do you handle dependencies? In this session we will cover an opinionated and tested approach to implementing themes with front-end frameworks. The talk will use Foundation as an example, but the principle can be applied to other frameworks such as …

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MARCH 2014
Photo+on+1 31 13+at+4.45+pm+%25232Tim Scott

Software Developer at HTRI

Programming ARDrones


Mickie Byrd

Founder at Miniolabs

Krisys and Sense

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Mike Abney

VP Consulting at Improving Enterprises

SOLID Development

How do you tell whether one design is better than another? This talk provides the answer. By walking through a simple example business problem and its software solution, we examine a few key principles that can be applied to make designs simpler, easier to maintain and change, and overall better.

02:04:14Manoj Prasad

Doctoral Candidate at
Sketch Recognition Lab, TAMU

Programming Arduino devices

HaptiGo/HaptiMoto is a jacket that guides pedestrians or motorcyclists in their navigation. It is developed with Arduino Lilypad, Bluesmirf bluetooth chip and an Android phone app. In this talk, we will see a demo of the vest, an introduction to programming with arduino, configuring bluesmirf and setting up communication channel between arduino and android using a library called Amarino.