Speakers and Presenters

Francine Berman

Fran BermanGot Data?  Building a sustainable ecosystem for data-driven innovation

Digital data drives innovation in all areas. Yet for data to be useful to us, it must exist in a technical and social ecosystem that enables us to find it efficiently, utilize it effectively, preserve it for future work, and ensure its integrity. How do we develop a data ecosystem that ensures that we get the most out of data?  What are the challenges as boundaries between technology, biology, and the natural world become blurred  and applications become more complex? In this talk, Fran Berman will discuss the data ecosystem and its challenges and opportunities now and for the future.  

Francine Berman is the Edward P. Hamilton Distinguished Professor in Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She is a Fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM), a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). In 2009, Dr. Berman was the inaugural recipient of the ACM/IEEE-CS Ken Kennedy Award for "influential leadership in the design, development, and deployment of national-scale cyberinfrastructure." In 2015, Dr. Berman was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to become a member of the National Council on the Humanities.

Dr. Berman is U.S. lead of the Research Data Alliance (RDA), a community-driven international organization created to accelerate research data sharing world-wide, through the development and adoption of technical, organizational and social infrastructure needed to support data-driven innovation. Since 2012, she has served as Chair of RDA/US (all U.S. members of RDA) and Co-Chair of RDA's international leadership Council. She currently also co-leads the Stewardship Gap Project with Myron Gutmann. Previously, Dr. Berman served as Director of the San Diego Supercomputer Center from 2001 to 2009 and as Vice President for Research at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute from 2009-2012.


Daniel Sui

Dan SuiDivision Director, Social and Economic Sciences, Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE)


Panel: Is GIScience up to the challenges of a smart and connected world?

Budhendra L. Bhaduri

Budhendra BhaduriBudhendra Bhaduri is the Director of the Urban Dynamics Institute at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he also leads the Geographic Information Science and Technology (GIST) group within the Computing and Computational Sciences directorate.  He is a founding member of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Geospatial Sciences Steering Committee. His primary responsibilities include conceiving, designing, and implementing innovative geocomputational methods and algorithms to solve a wide variety of national and global problems involving population dynamics modeling, natural resource studies, transportation modeling, critical infrastructure protection, and disaster management. 


Mark Dowd

 Mark Dowd




Vanessa Frias-Martinez

Vanessa Frias-Martinez

Vanessa Frias-Martinez is an assistant professor in the iSchool at the University of Maryland. She is interested in urban computing, with a focus on the intersection between big data and social development. She combines data mining and machine learning techniques to extract socially significant information from the digital traces of mobile and ubiquitous technologies.  Vanessa received her M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from Columbia University. From 2009 to 2013, she was a researcher in the Data Mining and User Modeling Group at Telefonica Research in Madrid, Spain.


David Wollman

David Wollman Dr. David Wollman is Deputy Director of the Smart Grid and Cyber- Physical Systems Program Office of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Dr. Wollman is expanding NIST’s coordination and research activities in cyber-physical systems (CPS) and the Internet of Things (IoT), including through the NIST CPS Public Working Group and development of the NIST CPS Framework. Dr. Wollman also leads efforts to coordinate and accelerate the private-sector development of smart grid interoperability standards, including as part of the leadership team advancing the White House Green Button Initiative on energy usage information. Previously at NIST, he managed efforts to maintain and advance the U.S. electrical standards and metrology supporting the electric power industry, in addition to serving as scientific advisor, program analyst and bench-level scientist. Before joining NIST, Dr. Wollman received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a B.S. in physics from Michigan State University. He has received many awards, including two U.S. Department of Commerce Gold Medals, and the NIST Applied Research Award, and he has received three U.S. patents.


Panel: Industry & Government: Partnerships with Academia

  • Amy Walton, Program Director, Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Division, National Science Foundation
  • George Percivall, Chief Technology Officer & Chief Engineer, Open Geospatial Consortium
  • Michael Tischler, Director, National Geospatial Program, USGS
  • Steven Ward, Director of Geospatial Sciences, The Climate Corporation
  • Gene Whitney, Chair of the Board on Earth Sciences and Resources at the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, National Academy of Sciences