Invited Speakers

Kwan-Liu Ma

Dr. Ma an IEEE Fellow, is a professor of computer science at the University of California, Davis, where he leads VIDi Labs and the UC Davis Center for Visualization. Professor Ma received his PhD degree in computer science from the University of Utah in 1993. His research interests include visualization, computer graphics, high-performance computing, and user interface design. Professor Ma was a recipient of the NSF Presidential Early-Career Research Award (PECASE) in 2000, and the 2013 IEEE VGTC Visualization Technical Achievement Award. He has served as a Papers Chair for SciVis, InfoVis, EuroVis, and PacificVis, and also as an Associate Editor of IEEE TVCG (2007-2011) and the Journal of Computational Science and Discoveries (2009-2014). He is a founder of PacificVis, Ultravis, and LDAV.  Professor Ma presently serves on the editorial boards of the IEEE CG&A, the Journal of Visual Informatics, the Journal of Computational Visual Media, and the Journal of Visualization.

Source: Dr. Kwan-Liu Ma

Josh Clark

Josh Clark is a design leader who helps organizations build products for what's next. He is founder of Big Medium  a New York design studio specializing in future-friendly interfaces for artificial intelligence, connected devices, and responsive websites. His clients include Samsung, Time Inc, ExxonMobil,, TechCrunch, Entertainment Weekly, eBay, O’Reilly Media, and many others. Josh has written several books, including Designing for Touch and Tapworthy: Designing Great iPhone Apps. He speaks around the world about what’s next for digital interfaces. Before the internet swallowed him up, Josh was a producer of national PBS programs at Boston’s WGBH. He shared his three words of Russian with Mikhail Gorbachev, strolled the ranch with Nancy Reagan, hobnobbed with Rockefellers, and wrote trivia questions for a primetime game show. In 1996, he created the popular “Couch-to-5K” (C25K) running schedule, which has helped millions of skeptical would-be exercisers take up jogging. (His motto is the same for fitness as it is for software user experience: no pain, no pain.)
Source: Big Medium

Parag Chitnis

Dr. Chitnis is the Deputy Director at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) of USDA. He leads NIFA’s Institute of Food Production and Sustainability (IFPS), which invests ~$700M for research and extension activities in plant, animal, and agricultural systems. Prior to joining NIFA, he was the Director for the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences at the National Science Foundation (NSF). At both NIFA and NSF, Dr. Chitnis led initiatives at the interface of different disciplines, including biological sciences, agricultural sciences, physical sciences, computer science, engineering, and social sciences. In his academic career, Dr. Chitnis was a professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Molecular Biology at Iowa State University, and was an assistant professor in the Division of Biology at Kansas State University.  He has authored over 110 peer-reviewed or invited publications in the areas of plant biochemistry, photosynthesis, computational biology, and proteomics. Dr. Chitnis has a B.S. in botany/plant breeding from the Konkan Agricultural University in India, an M.S. in genetics/biochemistry from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, and Ph.D. in biology from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Source: NIFA

Sunil Khanna

Dr. Khanna is the Robert & Sara Rothschild Endowed Chair and Professor in the School of Biological and Population Health Sciences, at  Oregon State University. His research interests include the complex interrelations of biology, culture, gender, ethnicity and health in South Asia and the United States. He uses diverse yet complementary field techniques such as ethnographic research and qualitative methods, microdemographic survey and nutritional anthropometry in his research studies. He is the co-author of the book The Cultural Politics of Reproduction which provides insight into experiences of human migrant communities and their social transformation through the dynamic relationship between movement, reproduction and health and how they are influenced by the history, policy and politics of the wider state systems.

Source: OSU

Carolyn Lawrence-Dill

Dr. Lawrence-Dill has devoted the last 20 years to developing computational systems/solutions that support the plant research community. Her work enables the use of existing and emerging knowledge to establish common standards and  methods for data collection, integration, and sharing. Such efforts help to eliminate redundancy, improve the efficiency of current and future projects, and increase the availability of data and data analysis tools for plant biologists working in diverse crops across the world. Recent efforts have focused on building the area of predictive plant phenomics. Example efforts include service as a founding member of the North American Plant Phenotyping Network and creation of a NSF-funded research traineeship (NRT) program that combines principles of plant biology, engineering, and computer science.

Source: Lawrence-Dill Lab

Niklaus J. Grünwald

Dr.Grünwald is a Research Plant Pathologist with the Horticultural Crops Research Laboratory, USDA Agricultural Research Service, in Corvallis, Oregon. His principal research interests include the ecology, genetics and management of emerging and re-emerging Phytophthora diseases affecting ornamental and nursery crops with a special emphasis on the Sudden Oak Death pathogen Phytophthora ramorum. More recently, he has started working on projects involving oomycete forest biodiversity in Douglas fir old growth, whole genome sequencing of the genus Phytophthora, and development of computational and bioinformatics tools for comparative genomics, genotyping-by-sequencing, population genomics and metabarcoding.

Source: Grunwald Lab

David LeBauer

Dr.LeBauer, a fellow of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, is a Research Scientist at Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology. His scientific interests are focused on biogeochemistry and nutrient cycling in agricultural and other managed ecosystems. He utilizes field observations and experimental results to develop and evaluate ecophysiological models. he also uses models to predict how carbon, nitrogen, and water cycles will be affected by global change and agriculture. he is applying knowledge of these interactions to support development and management of efficient and sustainable ecosystems. He is also developing the computing pipeline for the TERRA-REF project on high-throughput phenotyping.

Source: Dr. LeBauer