Unmanned Aircraft Systems: Challenges in Navigation, Control and in Design for Autonomy

Friday, December 12
Dr. Kimon P. Valavanis, Fellow AAAS Prof. & Chair Elec. & Com. Engr. Editor-in-Chief

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) have seen unprecedented levels of growth during the last decade, with even more expectations for future utilization in a very wide spectrum of applications, both military and civilian. However, focusing on the civilian use of UAS, and before ‘our pizzas are delivered from the sky' and ‘our packages are dropped in our front door from quadrotors' it is essential that R&D at least in the areas of design for autonomy, navigation, robust and fault-tolerant control, sense-detect-and-avoid/see-and-avoid systems for mid-air collision avoidance, UAV safety and reliability, reaches levels that are ‘acceptable' by the civilian authorities (i.e., FAA, ICAO, etc.) before complete UAS integration into the national airspace system occurs.
This talk focuses at first on the design for autonomy, the transition from the ‘human-in-the-loop' to the ‘human-on-the-loop' concept that is coupled with the much needed reduced operator workload, followed by a comprehensive and modular UAS control architecture aiming at facilitating software developments regardless of specific hardware. This is followed by a generalized framework for (nonlinear, linearized and linear) controller design for unmanned rotorcraft - extendable to fixed wing UAVs - including a methodology to accommodate in real-time rotorcraft main/tail rotor failures resulting in helicopter safe landing.

A scalable sense-detect-and-avoid system (SDAA) is also presented based on a combination of long- / short- range radar sensors, which is capable of simultaneously detecting and identifying multiple threats. This is patented technology that has been licensed for evaluation purposes. Last, a Circulation Control Wing (CCW) based unmanned aircraft design is presented, aiming at producing increased lift and increased payload during cruise flight, thus, allowing for more complex missions. The presentation concludes with steps to integrate UAVs into the national airspace system.


Dr. Kimon P. Valavanis received the Diploma in Electrical and Electronic Engineering (Diplôme Ingénieur, 5 years of study) from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece, in 1981, and he completed the Professional Engineer (PE) exams in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering in February 1982. He has been a member of the Technical Chamber of Greece since 1982. He received the M.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering and the PhD degree in Computer and Systems Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in 1984 and 1986, respectively.

Dr. Valavanis joined the University of Denver (DU) on September 1, 2008, as Professor and Chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, and in June of 2013 he was named John Evans Professor, which is the highest award at DU. He also served as Interim/Acting Chair of the Computer Science Department for two years (7/2009 to 6/2011). He was the Founding Director of the DU Unmanned Systems Laboratory (DU2SL), which he established in early 2009. In November of 2012, he officially created the DU Unmanned Systems Research Institute (DU2SRI), in which he serves as Founding Director. One of the objectives of the Institute is to build the next generation of safe and reliable autonomous / semi-autonomous unmanned aircraft that will be integrated into the national airspace system. Research within the Institute has already resulted in patented technology that has been licensed to companies. More specifically, a patented sense-detect-and-avoid (SDAA) system for UAVs has been silenced to Integrated Robotics and Imaging Systems for testing.

AWARE (Advance Warning and Response Engine) and FAAR (Forensic Analysis and Advance Response) career and research opportunities in Cybersecurity

Saturday, December 6

Nitin Akarte, VP of System Engineering at TaaSera Inc.

The seminar is focused on the TaaSera Inc.’s NetTrust products which includes AWARE (Advance Warning and Response Engine) and FAAR (Forensic Analysis and Advance Response) Sight for Forensic to identify, respond & protect from cyber-attacks before it is too late. I would also cover the current cybersecurity challenges and opportunities it creates for careers in cybersecurity and research. In addition, this seminar will also include why this is a great time to consider a new career as a cybersecurity professional.


Mr. Akarte spent the majority of his career at Cisco Systems, which he joined in 1996. Prior to joining TaaSera, he was Director of Engineering – Security Access and Mobility Products at Cisco. He brings more than 19 years of experience in enterprise networking, security (Application & Network), and Mobility & Access (including BYOD, MDM/MAM, Secure Access, and Identity/Policy). He was previously Senior Software Manager at Cisco’s Security Management Product Group where he led engineering efforts to certify routers, switches and network management software. Prior to joining Cisco he was Software Manager at Make Systems, where he led the engineering efforts for NetMaker, a network design system which is widely used to simulate, design, optimize and perform network disaster recovery. Mr. Akarte resides in California. He received a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Nevada, a Master of Science in Computer Engineering from the University of Nevada.

Neural Networks and Selected Applications in the Automotive Industry

Friday, November 14
Dr. Mohmoud Abou-Nasr, Computational Intelligence Ford Motor Co.

Despite of the advances in computational speed and algorithms, computers are still no match to our brains in some tasks like hand-eye coordination; face recognition, handwriting recognition and natural speech recognition to name a few. Also, our brains are far better in handling uncertainty and noisy inputs and are remarkably adaptable to ever changing contexts.

With inspirations from nature, biology, cognition and computational theories, a set of computational paradigms were born to address these tasks that are challenging to our traditional computational paradigms yet seemingly done relatively at ease inside our brains. An umbrella term for this set of paradigms is computational intelligence (CI). Computational intelligence covers disciplines such as artificial neural networks, fuzzy logic evolutionary and evolving computation. It embraces nature inspired algorithms such as ant colony, swarm intelligence and artificial immune system. It has applications in many fields such as image and speech processing, natural language processing, computer vision and data mining.

In the automotive industry, embedded computers have long been employed within the complex vehicle architecture for various tasks like engine control, anti-lock braking, fault detection and diagnostics to name a few. Our automobiles have evolved over the years to be more powerful, easier to drive and control, safer and more connected than ever. Recently, computational intelligence paradigms have found their way to in our automobiles, helping us navigate, park, and intelligently control the cruising speeds of our cars. Intelligent drive assist and autonomous vehicles are becoming part of our current vocabulary. This talk will focus on neural networks as a paradigm of computational intelligence and some of their selected applications in the automotive industry.


Dr. Abou-Nasr is a Senior Member of the IEEE and Vice Chair of the Computational Intelligence & Systems Man and Cybernetics, Southeast Michigan Chapter. He has received the B.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering in 1977 from the University of Alexandria, Egypt, the M.S. and the Ph.D. degrees in 1984 and 1994 respectively from the University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, both in Electrical Engineering. Currently he is a Technical Expert with Ford Motor Company, Research and Advanced Engineering, Modern Control Methods and Computational Intelligence Group, where he leads research & development of neural network and advanced computational intelligence techniques for automotive applications.

His research interests are in the areas of neural networks, data mining, machine learning, pattern recognition, forecasting, optimization and control. He is an adjunct faculty member of the computer science department, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan and was an adjunct faculty member of the operations research department, University of Michigan Dearborn.

Prior to joining Ford, he held electronics and software engineering positions with the aerospace and robotics industries in the areas of real-time control and embedded communications protocols. He is an associate editor of the DMIN'09-DMIN'14 proceedings and a member of the program and technical committees of IJCNN, DMIN, WCCI, ISVC, CYBCONF and ECAI. He is also a reviewer for IJCNN, MSC, CDC, Neural Networks, Control & Engineering Practice and IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks & Learning Systems. Dr. Abou-Nasr is the chair of the IEEE symposium on Computational Intelligence in Vehicles and Intelligent Transportation Systems (CIVTS’14) in SSCI 2014, Orlando Florida. He has organized and chaired special sessions in DMIN and IJCNN conferences, as well as international classification competitions in WCCI 2008 in Hong Kong and IJCNN2011 in San Jose CA.

Coming out of the Shadows, New Paradigm of Distribution Network Monitoring

Friday, November 14
Dr. Reza Arghandeh, University of California, Berkeley

The smart grid revolution is mostly creating a paradigm shift in distribution networks that is marked by significant intermittency and uncertainty in power supply and demand. These developments dramatically increase adoption of distributed energy resources (DER), electric vehicles, energy storage, demand response (DR) and advanced control and monitoring systems. However, this transformation imposes different challenges on existing distribution infrastructure and system operation for stockholders, engineers, operators and customers. Moreover, distribution network historically are lagging behind transmission networks in terms of observability, measurement accuracy, and data granularity. These developments dramatically increase the need for tools to monitor, manage and protect distribution networks in a fast, reliable and accurate fashion. Monitoring tools such as phasor measurement units (PMUs) that have had success in the transmission system can be adapted for a variety of distribution applications. This lecture will address opportunities and challenges of developing and implementing advanced monitoring techniques to support distribution planning and operations. Specifically, it will explore the use of accurate and time synchronized PMU data for applications like topology detections in distribution networks.


Dr. Reza Arghandeh is postdoctoral scholar in University of California-Berkeley, the California Institute for Energy and Environment since 2013, as he completed his Ph.D. in electrical engineering-power systems at Virginia Tech. He also has two Master’s degrees, one in Industrial and Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech 2013 and the other one in Mechanical Engineering, Manchester 2008. His research interests include physical-based modeling of transmission and distribution (T&D) networks, power system control and optimization, smart grid cyber-physical resilience, and smart grid big data analytics. From 2011-13 he was a power engineer in the EDD Inc, Virginia, focusing on applications for the Distribution Engineering Workstation (DEW) software platform. Dr. Arghandeh is a recipient of the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) Scholarship, the UC Davis Green Tech Fellowship and best paper awards from the ASME Power Conference and the ASME Nuclear Engineering Conference. He is vice-chair of the IEEE Working Group on Electricity Transmission and Distribution Efficiency and chair of the ASME Renewable and Advanced Energy Committee. He also has been a volunteer for Engineers Without Borders, working on installation and operation of solar energy systems in rural schools in Uganda.

Symantic Global Intelligence Network

Friday, November 7
Javier Santoyo, Sr. Director  Global Security Intelligence Operations Symantec

 The topic of the talk will be focused on the Symantec Global Intelligence Network, threat information data collection and analysis techniques that result in targeted research papers on threat campaigns. I will be guiding the attendees throughout he broad aspect of data collection and analysis to the focused results based finished products that result in blog posting and or threat exposés.


Javier Santoyo serves as Sr Director for the Office of the CSO, overseeing Symantec’s Global Security Intelligence Operations in Culver City, California. As a senior director, the 20-year security veteran ensures that Symantec is on top of all the latest threats on the Internet. His team is responsible for hunting for adversaries, driving incident response operations, leading both cyber and non cyber investigations, and supporting litigation with eDiscovery services. Santoyo joined Symantec in December 2000, bringing with him tremendous experience from both the corporate and national security arenas. Santoyo started his career in security in 1990 when he enlisted in the military. His background in signals intelligence gives him a unique perspective. He has seen Internet exploitation, hacker groups, cyber terrorism and international threats from a nation security vantage point. Santoyo graduated from the University of Kansas in 1997, securing a bachelor's degree in physics and Russian and Eastern European Studies (REES). His passion for education also led him to teach high school math and coach soccer while in Texas City, TX in 1998. Santoyo is fluent in Russian and Spanish.

6-DOF Robot Pose Estimation by VR-Odometry and Feature Tracking

Saturday, November 8
Dr. Cang Ye, University of Arkansas

Flash LIDAR Camera (FLC) based autonomous navigation is a rapidly emerging area in robotics research. An FLC illuminates the environment in its field of view with a single laser pulse (or modulated infrared light) and focuses the image onto its focal plane array. Each pixel on the array also measures the time-of-flight and thus the object distance to generate a cloud of points. Being able to provide intensity and range images with precise pixel-to-pixel match at a high frame rate, FLC has drastically changed the way a robot perceives and interacts with its environments. The objective of our research is to develop autonomous navigation methods for small-sized robots. A Co-Robot Cane (CRC) for wayfinding for the visually impaired will be used as a case study in this talk. The CRC uses a single FLC for both 6-DOF pose estimation and object recognition to meet the compact size requirement. This talk will focus on the pose estimation problem. The proposed pose estimation method comprises an egomotion estimation algorithm, called Visual-Range Odometry (VR-Odometry), and an Extended Kalman Filter (EKF). The VR-Odometry simultaneously processes the FLC’s intensity and range data and estimates the camera’s egomotion, which is then used as the motion model by the EKF to estimate the camera’s pose by tracking a set of visual features maintained in a local map. The EKF integrates the camera’s egomotion into its pose in the world coordinate with a much smaller error than the dead reckoning approach. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed method results in accurate pose estimates for positioning the visually impaired in indoor environments. This talk will also discuss the application of the proposed method in small autonomous ground robots where a method for online evaluation of EKF consistency is devised to limit the pose drift for terrain navigation.


Cang Ye received the B.Eng. and M.Eng. degrees from the University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China, in 1988 and 1991, respectively, and the Ph.D. degree from the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, in 1999. He was a research faculty from 2003 to 2005 with the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. He was an Assistant Professor from 2005 to 2010 with the Department of Applied Science, and has been an Associate Professor since July 2010 with the Department of Systems Engineering, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Little Rock, AR. His research interests include vision-based navigation of autonomous systems, robotic assistive technology, fuzzy systems and reinforcement learning for robot navigation and control, and embedded systems. Dr. Ye is a senior member of IEEE and a member of the Technical Committee on Robotics and Intelligent Sensing of the IEEE Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society. His current research is funded by the NSF, NIH and NASA.

Flying Drones for Scientific Data Collection - The High and Lows

Thursday, October 23
Donna Delparte, Idaho State University

This presentation will highlight the ongoing activities of a UAS project lead by Idaho State University (ISU) with collaborating partners at the University of Idaho (UI), Boise State University (BSU) and Idaho National Laboratory (INL). Specific topics will include challenges in obtaining Federal Aviation Administration Certificates of Authorization for Universities, multispectral data collection methodologies with a small UAS multirotor platform, and image processing and analysis. The purpose of this research is to advance precision agriculture science by acquiring repeat imagery over a growing season. Detected areas can then be prioritized for measures to limit the impact of crop losses. This approach can provide early detection of stress and be used in a preventative manner for crop management strategies. Novel remote sensing techniques with high resolution multispectral data are under development and early results will be presented.


Dr. Delparte has an extensive background in the applications of GIS and remote sensing to the fields of geosciences, resource management and conservation/environmental planning. Dr. Delparte completed her PhD in Geography at the University of Calgary with an emphasis on using GIS/remote sensing. She worked as an Assistant Professor at the University of Hawaii at Hilo and recently moved to Idaho State University to the Geosciences department and has now been there for 2 years. Her professional experience also extends to government and industry sectors where she has worked in environmental consulting and as a public sector employee managed a GIS group addressing sustainable resource management across forestry, environment and mining divisions. Dr. Delparte's research focus relates to visualization, 3D modeling and analysis. She is using 3D platforms to visualize her research work with photogrammetry, Structure from Motion (SfM), LiDAR and point-cloud generation from gaming devices. Specific research applications relate to avalanche flow modeling and hazard mapping, terrain models, land cover change, precision agriculture and image analysis. Her current research focus is using UAS multispectral imagery to evaluate crop health.

Computing the Reliability of Complex Systems

Friday, October 17
Dr. Hoang Pham, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Rutgers University

Reliability computing, which consists of modeling and predicting, has become of great interest in recent years due to spacious arrays of complex systems and applications in our everyday safety, security and economic welfare. Modeling is hard but predicting is much harder due to the uncertainties of the system's operating environments and human will when it come to the know-how of to use the analysis of complex data and modeling results in order to make effective decisions. This talk discusses some recent reliability computing and approaches that focus on the modeling of complex systems, both hardware and software, subject to the uncertainties of operating environments and big data security. Reliability computing results and model selections based on various criteria are also discussed. An application of camera security systems is also discussed.


Dr. Hoang Pham is a Distinguished Professor and former Chairman (2007-2013) of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Rutgers University, New Jersey. Before joining Rutgers, he was a senior engineering specialist at the Boeing Company in Seattle and the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory in Idaho Falls. His research interests include software reliability, reliability engineering, fault-tolerant computing, and statistical inference. Dr. Pham is the author or coauthor of five books and has published over 130 journal articles. He has edited 10 books including Springer Handbook of Engineering Statistics and Handbook of Reliability Engineering and 30 conference proceedings. Dr. Pham currently serves as the editor-in-chief of several international journals including International Journal of Reliability, Quality and Safety Engineering, and an associate editor of five international journals. He is also the editor of Springer Series in Reliability Engineering, and World Scientific Series on Industrial and Systems Engineering. His numerous awards include the 2009 IEEE Reliability Society Engineer of the Year Award. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and IIE.

The Nevada Cyber Center: A discussion on the cyber security challenges and opportunities facing Nevada into the future

Friday, October 10

Christopher Ipsen, CISSP-ISSAP, CISM CISO State of Nevada

Technology is at the core of rapid changes in how live; how we access information, how we learn, how we work, and how we interact. This reliance on technology has created a human dependency that must be effectively addressed to ensure a reliable future. This presentation will highlight these critical dependencies and present some opportunities available to the Nevada Cyber Center.


As Chief Information Security Officer for the State of Nevada, Christopher Ipsen is responsible for the security oversight of the state's enterprise data and network infrastructure. Within Nevada, Chris is a member of the state Homeland Security Committee and chairs the Statewide Cyber Security Committee. His current projects include statewide initiatives to standardize security metrics, continuous monitoring and incident response.

Information Security Magazine named Chris winner of the" Security Seven Award" for government and GovInfoSec.Com recognized him as one of the" Top Ten Most Influential Government Information Security Leaders". Chris serves on numerous information security advisory boards including the RSA Conference Committee and the editorial panel for the Council on Cyber Security, Critical Security Controls.

Mining Science Data-Challenges and Opportunities

Friday, October 3

Chandrika Kamath, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Techniques from scientific data mining are increasingly being used to analyze and understand data from scientific observations, simulations, and experiments. These methods provide scientists the opportunity to automate the tedious manual processing of the data, control complex systems, and gain insights into the phenomena being modeled or observed. In this three-part talk, I will first introduce the multi-disciplinary process of scientific data mining. Then, I will discuss our work in two problem domains - the integration of wind energy on the power grid and additive manufacturing of metals. I will show how we are using techniques from signal processing, feature selection, classification, clustering, and design of experiments to gain insight into data. Finally, I will discuss the challenges and opportunities presented by data sets that are ever increasing in size and complexity.


Chandrika Kamath is a data scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where she is involved in the research, development, and application of scientific data mining techniques. Prior to LLNL, she was at Digital Equipment Corporation, where she developed optimized mathematical software for high-performance computing systems. She is the founding editor and editor-in-chief (2006-2009) of the Wiley Journal on Statistical Analysis and Data Mining. She chaired the Steering Committee for the SIAM International Conference on Data Mining (2007-2014) and was the chair of the SIAM Activity Group on Data Mining and Analytics (2011-2013). Chandrika holds six patents in data mining and received the 2006 R&D 100 award for the Sapphire scientific data mining software. Her book on Scientific Data Mining was published by SIAM in 2009.

Thursday, September 4

Charles A. Kamhoua, U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory

As cloud computing thrives, many organizations – both large and small – are joining a public cloud to take advantage of its multiple benefits. Especially public cloud based computing, is cost efficient, i.e., a cloud user can reduce spending on technology infrastructure and have easy access to their information without up-front or long-term commitment of resources. Despite those benefits, concern over cyber security is the main reason many large organizations with sensitive information such as the Department of Defense have been reluctant to join a public cloud. This is because different public cloud users share a common platform such as the hypervisor. An attacker can compromise a virtual machine (VM) to launch an attack on the hypervisor which, if compromised, can instantly yield the compromising of all the VMs running on top of that hypervisor. This work shows that there are multiple Nash equilibria of the public cloud security game. However, the players use a Nash equilibrium profile depending on the probability that the hypervisor is compromised given a successful attack on a user and the total expense required to invest in security. Finally, there is no Nash equilibrium in which all the users in a public cloud fully invest in security.


Charles A. Kamhoua received his B.S. in Electronic from the University of Douala (ENSET), Cameroon in 1999, and the M.S. in Telecommunication and Networking and PhD in Electrical Engineering from Florida International University in 2008 and 2011 respectively. In 2011, he joined the Cyber Assurance Branch of the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Rome, New York, as a National Academies Postdoctoral Fellow, became a Research Electronics Engineer in 2012 and a Science & Technology Program Manager in 2013.

Dr. Kamhoua is the principal investigator of the AFRL in-house basic research project, Survivability Through Optimizing Resilient Mechanisms (STORM) funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR). He is leading a team of more than 10 researchers including postdocs, summer faculties and graduate and undergraduate students from multiple universities across the United States. His technical expertise is sought from the highest levels within DoD as evidenced by multiple tech transition reviews of DARPA at the Pentagon. His current research interests cover the application of game theory and mechanism design to cyber security and survivability, with over 30 technical publications. He participated in multiple research visits in the United States and abroad to maintain technological excellence in cyber security research relevant to warfighter and civilian needs. His research was presented in multiple national and international conferences. He is a reviewer of multiple journals and serves on the technical program committees of several international conferences.

Dr. Kamhoua won some of the most prestigious awards including an Air Force Notable Achievement Award, an AFOSR basic research award of nearly a million dollars, the AFOSR Windows on the World Visiting Research Fellowship at Oxford University, UK, a Best Paper Award at the 2013 International Symposium on Foundations of Open Source Intelligence and Security Informatics (FOSINT-SI 2013), a National Academies Postdoctoral Fellowship award, and a National Science Foundation (NSF) PIRE award at Fluminense Federal University, Brazil. He is an advisor for the National Research Council, a member of the National Society of Black Engineer (NSBE) and a Senior Member of IEEE.

How Big Data is Changing Our Perceptions of Data

Friday, September 5

Jesse Anderson, Cloudera

This seminar will introduce you to Big Data and how it is changing our perceptions of data. We will talk about the many manifestations of Big Data and technologies that allow us to process Big Data like Hadoop and its ecosystem. Finally, we will talk about how students can learn more about Hadoop and the kinds of jobs available to those with Hadoop skills.


I am a Creative Engineer in Reno with many years of experience in creating products and helping companies improve their software engineering. I wrote, designed and did the voice over for a series of screencasts that cover The Cloud and Amazon Web Services and another one that covers Hadoop MapReduce. Both are published by Pragmatic Programmers. I do both professional and personal projects. Personal projects like the Million Monkeys project went viral and gained international notoriety. My interviews appeared in such prestigious places as the Wall Street Journal and Fox News with the full list on my resume. I was invited to submit a paper on the topic to Significance which was published. I strive to provide developers with the resources to learn new technologies and improve their skill sets.

I am a Curriculum Developer and Instructor at Cloudera. To help the local community, I volunteer my time as the President of the Northern Nevada Software Developers Group and I sit on the Technology Advisory Committee at Morrison University in which I advise the college on appropriate curriculum for technical degree programs. At the Northern Nevada Software Developers Group, I coordinate all meetings and speakers. Also, I give various presentations; a list of the topics, presentations and example code are on my online resume, my Slideshare page, and my YouTube channel.

Cyber 9-1-1: Who you gonna call?

Friday, April 25

Colonel Jon Brickey

Cyberspace is a complex, fragile, and ever-changing ecosystem. America is growing more dependent on it with each passing day, connecting more than two billion people around the globe to conduct business, share information and ideas, and socialize. At the same time, cyber threats continue to increase in sophistication and volume, putting the nation at risk. Adversaries ranging from foreign state actors to corporate spies continue to exploit vulnerabilities in U.S. networks, systems, and practices. Individual citizens and small organizations have limited resources for defending their information resources and while the majority of companies accept at least a degree of responsibility for the protection of their own networks, it is not clear that they are capable of providing themselves with robust security. Currently, there is no single Federal agency charged with protecting America’s interests in cyberspace and local law enforcement response capabilities are, in many cases, non-existent or incapable of responding to the plethora of cyber incidents. So the next time you experience a cyber attack, who you gonna call?


Colonel Jon Brickey is the Army Cyber Command Fellow at West Point, where he serves as Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Sciences and Associate in the Combating Terrorism Center and the Army Cyber Center. His previous military assignment was at Army Central Command from 2010 to 2011, where he served as the Mission Command and Enterprise Systems Division Chief (G6) at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. Commissioned through the United States Military Academy in 1991, Colonel Brickey has served in Army tactical and operational positions in the United States, Europe, and Southwest Asia, including company command in V Corps Artillery, Wiesbaden, Germany. He has held leadership positions in Cyber-related programs at the National Security Agency, USNORTHCOM, and USARCENT.

Cirrus Systems, an Adaptive Real-Time Control Solutions Provider

Friday, April 11

Carlos Cardillo, Cirrus Systems

Cirrus Systems is an adaptive real-time control solutions provider that offers clients an opportunity to objectively re-think and re-shape targeted areas of their operations by making data-driven decisions about the processes used and by providing real-time management tools that maximize productivity and safety. At the core of the Cirrus platform is the systems management technology or SIMATM , which is a secure, redundant adaptive control application that runs in the cloud, provides real-time remote system management and employs advanced communication to enables integration of electronic devices, software, diverse data, and off-the-shelf componentry to develop customized adaptive real-time control systems. As disruptive technologies influence company operations and global economic landscapes, operational scenarios across various industries require a narrow timeframe to collect data and update systems. Cirrus utilizes SIMATM, knowledge and experience to identify unrecognized needs and unexplored data and provide solutions for customers to become more productive and profitable. We will present some of the solutions Cirrus is developing for different industries, featuring the Haul Truck Priority System (HTPS) implementation and pilot program, a solution for the Mining and Metals industry. In addition, we will discuss some of the work in-progress for Unmanned Arial Systems, Semi-Conductors and Healthcare sectors.


Dr. Cardillo has over 20 years of experience in the scientific and business world in both private and military settings. He is an expert in scientific and human factor research design and implementation, and the validation of state-of-the-art technology development.

With degrees in Computer Programming and Systems Engineering, a Master's of Science in Biostatistics and a Ph.D.. in Health Science Research, Dr. Cardillo is currently responsible for partnering with R&D groups to identify, align, and develop the most appropriate research and analytical work for Cirrus Systems.

Situational Awareness Threat/Object Recognition

Friday, April 4

Rick Capps, Nevada Automotive Test Center

This informational presentation will describe the efforts by NATC in the areas of situational awareness, associated networks, real time threat recognition and post analysis techniques for target recognition. The evolution of real time processing techniques has increased the ability to recognize and respond to potential threats in or near real time. These techniques include analytics in the CCDcamera array, network based (satellite) processing and centralized real time processing. The advantages and limitations of each will be described through application examples. Additionally, a presentation of transport protocols will describe differing methods for compressing video and the associated performance advantages / limitations of each. These compression algorithms include MJPEG, JPEG2000, H264 and MPEG4 CODECs. A description of network issues associated with application of cameras in a vehicle based situational awareness system will outline experience with Ethernet, GIG-E, Gigabit Ethernet and wireless off-board systems. The presentation will conclude with an application developed to combine vehicle remote tracking, diagnostics and situational awareness feeds over a NSA approved, encrypted internet connection.


The presenter will be Mr. Rick Capps. Rick has been an engineer with Special Programs / NATC for 26 years and has led the department of engineers and software developers in efforts which include the Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR) technical demonstrator, the Logistics Vehicle System Replacement (LVSR) technical demonstrator, the Combat Tactical Vehicle (CTV) technical demonstrator ,the Marine Personnel Carrier (MPC) technical demonstrator, the Hybrid Electric Platform (HEP), the Capacitor Engine Starting System (CESS), the Solid State Logic Controller (SSLC) and the Solid State Vehicle Recorder (SSVR) electrical / electronics design. The special programs group has focused on situational awareness, vehicle diagnostics and prognostics in recent projects. In support of these projects, the special programs group have developed situational awareness video networks, processing algorithms, wireless vehicle access systems and open systems architecture design. Rick has multiple patents in the areas of power control, intelligent vehicle networks and racing support systems. Rick studied at the Missouri Institute of Technology and Fresno State College.

Innovation Trends in Gaming

Friday, March 14

Walt Eisele, Bally Technologies

Gaming has been widely viewed as behind other cutting edge technology verticals, however that is changing rapidly as the culture of Gaming technology providers has turned to one of Innovation to create and maintain a competitive advantage. The advent of new content delivery channels as well as the overall pace of technology adoption by the end consumer has forced Gaming companies to change at a similar pace. The future will continue to present new and exciting challenges for the engineering teams within Gaming as the industry focuses on entertaining the gamers of tomorrow.


As Vice President of Technology, Walt Eisele is responsible for all aspects of product development, quality and compliance for Bally Technologies' Game Platform and related systems. The product development responsibilities encompass hardware, operating system, firmware as well as peripheral support systems. Recently, the development division has delivered the first fully digital gaming platform which enables complete system control of content and configuration.

During his tenure with Bally, Eisele has been responsible for strategic technology which included the development of new technologies with an emphasis on the integration of games and systems, server-based gaming technology and overall product direction. Eisele has played a major role in the development of the Company's Download and Configuration management system based on game-to-system (G2S) protocol as well as directing the Company's high-speed networked slot floor technology based on the latest industry G2S and S2S standards. Eisele currently represents Bally on the Gaming Standards Association's Board of Directors and serves as its vice-chair.

Electronic Flight Vision Systems: Solutions and Technological Challenges in Development

Friday, March 7

Matt Wagner and Csaba Mezei, Sierra Nevada Corporation

In this presentation, we will provide a brief business history of Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) and the main electronics development areas at the CNS/ATM business unit. Furthermore, we will introduce the challenges faced by aircraft pilots in Degraded Visual Environments, and the most current solutions under development at SNC to augment human natural vision with fused sensory input, the approach that makes safe operations in DVE possible. Moreover, we will describe current technological challenges that involve Computational Geometry, Sensor Fusion and Embedded Digital Signal Processing, which all need to be solved before the product can undergo operational testing. Additionally, the presentation aims to illustrate the software development environment and constraints prescribed by the FAA certification process required for avionics development.


Matt Wagner is the Director of Technology for the Communications, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) business area of Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), in Sparks NV. He holds a MSEE degree in Image Processing and Digital Signal Processing. During the past 20 years at SNC, his main technical areas have been design, systems engineering and program management of DOD Radar based programs including Helicopter Autonomous Landing System (HALS), Sandblaster, AN/SPN-46 Automatic Carrier Landing System (ACLS), AN/APN-245 ACLS Beacon system, AN/SPN-35C Precision Approach Radar and CP-2358 Radar Doppler Video Processor.

Csaba Mezei is a Principal Systems Engineer at the Communications, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) business area of Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), in Sparks NV. He holds a MSEE degree in Process Control and Measurement Technology, and did his Ph.D.. research in Robotics. During the past 17 years at the ‘Skunk Works' division of SNC, his main technical areas of focused product development for avionics applications: automated landing systems for UAVs and manned aircraft, radar transceiver and pedestal control, networked data communications in military radar systems, and landing guidance for Electronic Flight Vision Systems. His other primary functions include supporting software process improvement for corporate CMMI and DO-178C certification, as well as mentoring junior engineers.

Towards Secure and Privacy-Preserving Location-Based Mobile Systems

Thursday, March 6

Ming Li, Mississippi State University

Security and privacy are two indispensable components for a safe and secure system. Although security and privacy are intricately entwined and one often follows the other, there could be a dilemma of attaining both goals in system designs under considerable circumstances. On the other hand, with the rapid evolution of mobile devices, mobile location-based services (MLBSs) have emerged as a prosperous branch of mobile systems.

This talk introduces an important class of MLBSs, called location-based check-in system. Noticing current location-based check-in systems have a lot of limitations and raise many concerns, especially about system security and users privacy, we propose a location-based rewarding system, called LocaWard, where mobile users can collect location-based tokens from token distributors, and then redeem their gathered tokens at token collectors for beneficial rewards. Tokens act as virtual currency. The token distributors and collectors can be any commercial entities or merchants that wish to attract customers through such a promotion system.

Based on this framework, we aim to guarantee both the system security and users privacy, which is not an easy job due to their complex relationship. We develop a set of protocols, including identity authentication, token audition, and to ken property validation, to ensure the system security while without leaking users privacy, and prove the completeness and soundness of the protocols.


Ming Li received the B.E. degree in Electrical Engineering from Sun Yat-sen University, China, in 2007, and the M.E. degree in Electrical Engineering from Beijing University of Posts and Communications, China, in 2010, respectively. She is currently working towards the Ph.D.. degree in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mississippi State University.

Her research interests include cybersecurity, privacy-preserving data analysis, resource management and network optimization in cyber-physical systems, mobile computing, and big data.

Real Time Wireless Sensor-Actuator Networks for Cyber-Physical Systems

Wednesday, March 5

Abusayeed Saifullah, Washington University in St. Louis

A cyber-physical system features a tight combination of and coordination between computational, networking, and physical elements. Wireless sensor-actuator networks (WSANs) represent a new frontier of communication technology for a large class of cyber-physical systems such as process control, smart manufacturing, and data center management. WSANs in these systems face significant challenges that stem from the stringent requirements on real-time communication between sensors and actuators. Moreover, the close coupling between control and communication motivates a cyber-physical co-design approach.

This talk will present my research on wireless cyber-physical systems to address these challenges. I will first present a new real-time wireless scheduling theory for fast real-time performance analysis of WSANs. I will also describe a scheduling-control co-design approach that integrates control, wireless networking, and real-time scheduling theory for wireless control systems.
I will then present the design and implementation of a real-time WSAN for power management in enterprise data centers. I will conclude my talk with the future directions of my research on new networking platforms, real-time embedded computing, and large-scale sensing and control for next generation cyber-physical systems.


Abusayeed Saifullah is a Ph.D.. candidate in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Washington University in St Louis. Advised by Chenyang Lu, he is a member of the Cyber-Physical Systems Laboratory at Washington University.

Abu's research primarily concerns cyber-physical systems with contributions spanning real-time systems, wireless sensor networks, embedded systems, and parallel and distributed computing.

He received the Best Student Paper Awards at the 32nd IEEE Real-Time Systems Symposium (RTSS) and at the 5th International Symposium on Parallel and Distributed Processing and Applications (ISPA), and Best Paper Nomination at the 18th IEEE Real-Time and Embedded Technology and Applications Symposium (RTAS).

Architecture, Modeling, and Optimization of Parallel and Distributed Embedded Systems

Tuesday, March 4

Dr. Arslan Munir, Rice University

Advancements in silicon technology, computer architecture, wireless communications, and computer networking have led to the proliferation of embedded systems in a plethora of application domains (e.g., industrial and home automation, automotive, space, medical, defense, etc.). To meet the diverse requirements of these application domains as well as to permit sophisticated applications of greater value as compared to an isolated embedded system, embedded systems are often networked together and processing is done in parallel within an embedded system to form parallel and distributed embedded systems. A crucial enabler for these parallel and distributed embedded systems is burgeoning multi-core revolution in computing industry.

This seminar discusses architecture, modeling, and optimization of parallel and distributed embedded systems with an emphasis on multi-core. There has been an increasing proliferation of diverse multi-core architectures to keep up the Moore's law, which necessitates evaluation of these architectures to determine the most befitting architecture for an application. The seminar elaborates the evaluation of multi-core architectures with two of the speaker's research contributions in this domain. The first contribution proposes a queueing theoretic approach for modeling multi-core architectures that provides a quick and inexpensive performance evaluation both in terms of time and resources. The second contribution evaluates two embedded multi-core architectural paradigms: symmetric multiprocessors (SMPs) and tiled multi-core architectures (TMAs), based on parallelized benchmarks.

The seminar then discusses three application domains for parallel and distributed embedded systems: embedded wireless sensor networks, cyber-transportation systems, and IP multimedia subsystem outlining the speaker's key contributions in each application domain. The contributions aim at the architecture, modeling and optimization for embedded systems' design metrics, viz., performance, power, dependability, and security for these application domains. In particular, the seminar elaborates a multi-core-based approach for the design of secure and dependable Cybercars (next generation of automobiles) with steer-by-wire as a case study. The seminar culminates with the speaker's future research agenda in parallel and distributed embedded computing domain.


Arslan Munir received his M.A.Sc. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) from the University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver, Canada, in 2007 and his Ph.D.. degree in ECE from the University of Florida (UF), Gainesville, Florida, USA, in 2012.

He is currently a postdoctoral research associate in the ECE department at Rice University, Houston, Texas, USA. From 2007 to 2008, he worked as a software development engineer at Mentor Graphics in the Embedded Systems Division.

He was the recipient of many academic awards including the Gold Medals for the best performance in Electrical Engineering, academic Roll of Honor, and doctoral fellowship from Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). He received a Best Paper award at the IARIA International Conference on Mobile Ubiquitous Computing, Systems, Services and Technologies (UBICOMM) in 2010.

His current research interests include embedded systems, computer architecture, parallel computing, fault-tolerance, and big data analytics.

Self Driving Cars: The Path Forward

Friday, February 28

Jonathan Dowdall, Google

Our current relationship with vehicles is incredibly suboptimal: over a million people die in accidents each year, hundreds of billions of hours are wasted commuting, vehicles are much too heavy, and our roads, parking lots, and vehicle infrastructure take up far too much precious land.


Driverless vehicles could be safer, lighter, and greener than our current vehicles returning time, space, and other valuable resources back to society.

Dr. Dowdall attended UNR for his undergrad and masters degrees and received his Ph.D.. in Computer Science from UH. His research background includes medical imaging, thermography, and object tracking. He is currently part of the perception team on Google's autonomous car project. When not working he enjoys playing soccer and messing around with robots.

Intensity-Based Camera Pose Estimation in Presence of Depth

Friday, February 14

Maha El Choubassi, Intel

The widespread success of Kinect enables users to acquire both image and depth information with satisfying accuracy at relatively low cost. We leverage the Kinect output to efficiently and accurately estimate the camera pose in presence of rotation, translation, or both. The applications of our algorithm are vast ranging from camera tracking, to 3D points clouds registration, and video stabilization. The state-of-the-art approach uses point correspondences for estimating the pose. More explicitly, it extracts point features from images, e.g., SURF or SIFT, and builds their descriptors, and matches features from different images to obtain point correspondences. However, while features-based approaches are widely used, they perform poorly in scenes lacking texture due to scarcity of features or in scenes with repetitive structure due to false correspondences. Our algorithm is intensity-based and requires neither point features' extraction, nor descriptors' generation /matching. Due to absence of depth, the intensity-based approach alone cannot handle camera translation. With Kinect capturing both image and depth frames, we extend the intensity-based algorithm to estimate the camera pose in case of both 3D rotation and translation.


Maha El Choubassi got her M.Sc. and Ph.D... in electrical engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2005 and 2008 respectively. Her areas of interests are signal/image processing, computer vision, pattern recognition, and watermarking. Maha has rejoined the image processing and computer vision group at Intel In September 2013. Earlier, she was an Intel research scientist from February 2009 to March 2011.

After working at Intel, Maha joined the computer science department at the American University of Beirut (AUB) for the last two years. In her academic job, Maha taught various courses on computer architecture, image processing, and pattern recognition. Additionally, she has worked with graduate students and colleagues on image processing and computer vision research projects.

Parallel Computing for High-Performance Sensor Systems

Friday, February 7 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Lee Barford, Agilent Technologies Measurement Research Laboratory

Increasingly, a wide range of computer applications, from phone apps through robots, behavior prediction for marketing, and scientific computations, operate on data from sensors. At the same time, all recent increases in computer performance has been coming through increasing parallelism. Sensor data is usually to be in the form of time series, where the ordering of values and their temporal and spatial locations are significant. This fact imposes sequential dependencies on algorithms used to process sensor data.

This talk will describe new and emerging features of processors, including wider vector instructions and on-chip graphics processors and field programmable gate array (FPGA) fabric, that provide additional opportunities for parallel speedup beyond that of traditional multicore CPUs. I will discuss research into several approaches to handling the serial data dependencies in sensor data to yield effective parallel algorithms that take advantage of these new processor features.


Lee Barford is Master Scientist at the Agilent Technologies Measurement Research Laboratory and Adjunct Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno. After earning a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Cornell University he joined Hewlett-Packard Laboratories and then Agilent Laboratories. At both of those companies his research has focused on creating innovative software to make engineers in other disciplines---electronics engineering, mechanical engineering, and manufacturing engineering---more effective.

His work has been used to improve R&D productivity and reduce manufacturing cost in the leading companies in the technology and transportation industries, including Apple, Boeing, Cisco, Ford, HP, Microsoft, and NASA. He is the inventor or co-inventor of more than 60 patents. His application for improving automatic diagnosis of faults in very large electronic systems, Fault Detective Test Analyzer, won Electronic Design News' award for Best Software of the Year.

Choosing Carefully in Technology & Business, the Key to Success How to Tilt the Odds on Successful Outcomes

Friday, January 31 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Joe Salesky - Executive Chairman - ustyme

With a blend of technical and business skills, Joe has been an intrapreneur and entrepreneur, creating products that have become part of the enterprise infrastructure and peoples daily lives globally. As the founder and CEO of several platform oriented companies, Joe is passionate believer in simple-solutions-to-hard-problems, and the creation of successful products, companies and founders.

In his interactive presentation, Joe intends to outline the decision making process around picking technology products to invest oneself in, and deciding when these products can become companies. He will outline the design thinking process around product, team and financing that leads to both successful products, exits and intelligent use of the most precious resource - time in your life.

Students and faculty planning to build technology products or companies that build technology based products will find the presentation informative and actionable. A framework for making product, team and business decisions will be presented, as will practical approaches for internal innovation and start-up financing. The presentation will make efforts to create a dialogue with participants and answer questions during the presentation. The ustyme engineering Team is housed in the Reno Collective downtown, and Joe splits his time between this office and the ustyme office in Sausalito CA. and plans additional time on-campus to work with faculty and students over the coming year.

Previously Joe was the Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of FreeMonee Network, the world's first gift network built on bank card data. Prior to founding FreeMonee, Joe was the Founder and CEO of ClairMail, the leading global provider of mobile banking and payments infrastructure. Previously he was CEO and founder of Skytron Corporation & PictureTalk, Inc.; as well as, the CTO of AppStream and held key executive positions at nCUBE and Oracle. Joe contributed to the development and received 21 patents on technologies now broadly in use by consumers and as part of enterprise infrastructure, including the original patent for web-conferencing.

Joe is recognized as a leading voice in web collaboration, mobile payments and banking innovation, and has been both published and quoted in a number of National, International and Industry publications. In addition to his roles in industry and the media, under the Clinton Administration Joe was a benchmarked leader and member of the Council for Excellence in Government's inter-governmental technology leadership consortium.

In addition for his passion for business and technology, Joe is a father of 4 daughters from 14 to 28, has a grandson and loves the water, waterskiing, sailing, fishing and scuba diving.