CI Days 2015 Speaker Bio’s


Michele Casella, Education, Outreach and Diversity Administrator in STEM

Nevada System of Higher Education
System Sponsored Programs & EPSCoR Office

Michele Casella is the Education, Outreach and Diversity Administrator (EOD) for the Nevada System of Higher Education Special Sponsored Programs Office (NSHE SSPO). In this role, she is responsible for ensuring that EOD activities are integrated throughout the three NSF EPSCOR projects currently funded in Nevada. Ultimately, she would like to work collaboratively with other research-based projects to provide continuity in STEM education and research and to build a more diverse STEM workforce.In 2002, Michele received a Bachelors of Science degree in Education from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her formal education and professional experience working for state and federal agencies, as well as for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, has made Michele successful in planning, implementing and evaluating pathway programs for traditional and non-traditional students in a variety of different disciplines. As a native Nevadan, Michele takes pride in her community and is dedicated to fostering a nurturing environment for success in higher education and beyond into a strong economic workforce….AGAINST ALL ODDS!
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Fred Harris, PhD, Professor of Computer Science & Engineering

University of Nevada, Reno

Dr. Harris is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and the Director of the High Performance Computation and Visualization Lab and the Brain Computation Lab at the University of Nevada, Reno, USA. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mathematics and Educational Administration from Bob Jones University in 1986 and 1988 respectively, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from Clemson University in 1991 and 1994 respectively. He is a Senior Member of ACM and ISCA. His research interests are in parallel computation, computational neuroscience, computer graphics and virtual reality.
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Yingtao Jiang, PhD, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Dr. Jiang’s research interests are algorithms, VLSI architectures, and circuit level techniques for the design of DSP, networking, telecommunications, and biomedical systems; computer architectures; biomedical signal processing, instrumentation, and medical informatics; BioMEMS/BioNEMS; wireless communications and security; nuclear sensors and real time, portable analytical instrument development; and renewable energy.


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Shahram Latifi, PhD, PE, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Co-Director of Center for Information Technology and Algorithms

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Dr. Shahram Latifi, an IEEE Fellow, received the Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Fanni, Teheran University, Iran in 1980. He received the Master of Science and the PhD degrees both in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, in 1986 and 1989, respectively. He is currently a Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Dr. Latifi is the director of the Center for Information and Communication Technology (CICT) at UNLV. He has designed and taught  undergraduate and graduate courses in the broad spectrum of Computer Science and Engineering in the past three decades. He has given seminars on cyber-related topics all over the world. He has authored over 250 technical articles in the areas of networking, cybersecurity, image processing, biosurveillance, biometrics, document analysis, fault tolerant computing, parallel processing, and data compression. His research has been funded by NSF, NASA, DOE, DoD, Boeing, Lockheed and Cray Inc.  Dr. Latifi was an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Computers (1999-2006), an IEEE Distinguished Speaker (1997-2000), and Co-founder and General Chair of the IEEE Int’l Conf. on Information Technology (2004-2015). Dr. Latifi is the recipient of several research awards, the most recent being the Silver State Research Award (2014). He is also a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Nevada.
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Joseph Lombardo, Executive Director, National Supercomputing Center for Energy and the Environment, Division of Research and Economic Development

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Joseph Lombardo has been director of UNLV’s supercomputing center since 1997 and served as technical lead there from 1991 to 1996. He is a consultant to numerous industries, academia, and government laboratories with an expertise in 3-D modeling codes, massively parallel computing, data management, and data visualization. He has served as principal investigator on numerous grants totaling more than $10 million. Recently, Lombardo served as a witness for the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation’s Subcommittee on Technology, Innovation, and Competitiveness in Washington, D.C. The hearing offered an opportunity to inform the committee firsthand about some of the more important policy issues affecting high-performance computing as it relates to computational research and education.

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Mary Mehrnoosh Eshaghian-Wilner, PhD, Professor of Engineering Practice

University of Southern California

Mary Mehrnoosh Eshaghian-Wilner has over 26 years of research experience in various areas within the field of Computer Engineering. Additionally, she has worked in the area of patent law for several years. She has published numerous scientific papers, including two books, and has handled the prosecution and infringement analysis of many complex U.S. and international patents. Dr. Eshaghian-Wilner currently is a Professor of Engineering Practice at the Electrical Engineering-Systems Department at the University of Southern California (USC). Professor Eshaghian-Wilner is best known for her pioneering contributions to three areas of Optical Computing, Heterogeneous Computing, and Nanoscale Computing. Professor Eshaghian-Wilner’s most recent area of research is in Technology Law. She is investigating how various forms of emerging technologies may be impacted by, and come into conflict with, U.S. and international policies and laws.  Webpage for more information:

Haroon Stephen

Haroon Stephen, PhD, Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Director GIS and Remote Sensing Core Lab

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Dr. Haroon Stephen’s research is in areas of Remote Sensing, GIS, and GPS applications. Ongoing research interests include applications of remote sensing and GIS technologies to water resource mapping; drought study; and climate change study. Stephen is presently involved in several Federal and State sponsored research projects involving geospatial data research and applications. He is also developing a geovisualization facility at UNLV that will provide state-of-the-art visualization for the research and educational needs of UNLV and the region.

His research involves development of Remote Sensing and GIS technologies and their application to Natural Resource Mapping. This includes modeling of microwave remote sensing measurements of backscatter and radiometric temperature to understand spatial and temporal interconnections of geomorphology, vegetation, hydrology, ecology, and water resources.

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Scotty Strachan, Coordinator, Environmental Research, Department of Geography

University of Nevada, Reno

Mr. Strachan is an environmental scientist interested in past and present climate, water, and landscape processes. He specializes in the Great Basin geographical region and mountain systems. Tools that Scotty uses to observe and understand natural phenomena include modern electronic sensory systems, automated cameras, and long-distance digital wireless networking. He combines data from these high-tech methods with multi-century tree-ring records to increase knowledge of long-term changes in natural systems, with the goal of aiding people as they use resources today and plan for the future. Mr. Strachan also manages several remote climate/weather stations in mountains across Nevada that provide real-time information to local users as well as archived observations for scientists in many disciplines, including ecology, hydrology, snow processes, and meteorology.