AUGUST 2020

Peter Bastian :: Keeping Up With The Tech Revolution: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Coding
Peter will discuss his experiences as a self-taught coder over the last 35+ years of the tech revolution, and discuss examples of data analytics/data science as used in the oil and gas industry, and with public COVID-19 datasets.
Peter Bastian is a career reservoir engineer with over 35 years of oil and gas industry experience, and is currently President of Mosaic Petroleum Analytics LLC, where he is focused on the development of workflows and evaluation methodologies to support MPA’s initiatives.
Since 2001, Mr. Bastian has worked for several companies focused on developing unconventional assets such as the Horseshoe Canyon CBM play in Alberta and the Montney in NE BC.
Prior to this, Mr. Bastian was a reservoir engineering consultant and manager for Schlumberger’s Data and Consulting Services, and at S. A. Holditch and Associates, Inc., where his duties included development of Holditch’s reservoir simulation software.

Mr. Bastian is also a Professor of Engineering Practice in the Department of Petroleum Engineering at Texas A&M University, where he teaches the Capstone Design course and Reservoir Simulation and hosts a Petroleum Engineering Excel Users Group.


JULY 2020
Dave Jones :: Julia
Local software developer extraordinaire, Dave Jones, will evaluate the Julia programming language against Python for use in numerical computing.  Julia is an exciting new programming language for numerical work and general programming that has garnered much attention.  At this month’s software developers cartel, Dave will discuss how he evaluates programming languages.  Along the way, we’ll learn a bit about the Julia language, and, as an added bonus, we will run some simple epidemiology models in both Julia and Python/NumPy and discuss some things the general public should know about epidemiology models during the COVID-19 crisis.  There should be something for everyone in this presentation — Julia, Python, software performance evaluations and COVID-19 modeling.
Dave has more than twenty-five years of professional experience in programming, software design and general consulting – working with languages ranging from 4GLs to “ones and zeros”, and working with machines ranging from mainframes to embedded systems. Dave presently works as a software developer, researcher and consultant at Knowledge Based Systems, a nationwide consulting firm headquartered in College Station, Texas.

MAY 2020
Chris Zimmerman :: Crystal
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Chris Zimmerman will be speaking about Crystal, an up-and-coming programming language with syntax inspired by Ruby, but with an LLVM backend that allows for efficient compilation to native code.  Crystal provides static type checking and an advanced macro system, yet has the feel of a higher-level scripting language.  With Python currently dominating data science and machine learning, often at the cost of performance, Crystal provides an alternative that offers the same ease of use, with easier to achieve speed.

Chris is a software engineer with Premiere Digital Services who specializes in high performance numerical computing and machine learning.  After developing a passion for data science while working for a startup researching high accuracy presence detection, Chris continues to further this interest by actively contributing to the open source data science stack, as well as maintaining several numerical libraries written in Crystal.


APRIL 2020
Dan Goldberg :: GIS in support of COVID-19 tracking and prevention.
Dan Goldberg is the Director of the TAMU GeoInnovation Service Center. He will talk about the use of geocoding in public health and how GIS can support COVID-19 tracking and prevention.

JANUARY 2020

This month, Pecha Kucha is teaming up with the Software Developer’s Cartel to host a special event featuring presentations about technology!
We will be hearing from the following speakers:
– Brett Cornwell
– Caleb Holt
– Shelly Tornquist
– Jeremy Pennington
– Trevor Williams


SEPTEMBER 2019

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 (https://repair.org/stand-up ) 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.


AUGUST 2019

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.

https://www.stemvrse.org

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 Scrum.org.

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