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January 25 2013- Conference on Big Data Applications

Note: All interested attendees MUST

preregister here



2013 CASA Conference

Big Data Applications

Date: Friday, January 25, 2013

Time: 9:00am – 5:00pm

Location: 35 West Wacker DR, Chicago, IL

Conference Program


9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Registration and continental breakfast

9:30 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.

Conference Welcome by John VanderPloeg, Conference VP

9:45 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

Session One: Global Development Initiatives

Speaker: John D. Corbett

Co-Founder, CEO, aWhere

10:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Morning break

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Session Two: Large Scale Social Media Analytics

Speaker: Dr. Yun Raymond Fu

College of Computer and Information Science, Northeastern University

12:00 p.m.- 1:00 p.m.


1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Session Three: Business and Marketing Data Integration

Speaker:John Johnson

Wells Fargo

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Session Four: Exoplanet Science from NASA's Kepler Mission

Speaker:Jason Steffen


3:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

Afternoon break

3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.

Session Five: Advances in High-Performance Computing with R

Speaker : John W. Emerson

Yale University


Conference Fee:

Member $75

Non-Member $95

Student $45

Link to Register

Link for More Information


About the Speakers:

John Corbett

Co-Founder, President & Chief Executive Officer

Presentation: Location Intelligence and Big Data Applied to Global Development


Location Intelligence (LI) transforms how public health and agriculture initiatives are managed and monitored by translating big complex data from multiple sources and varying temporal and spatial scales into local, actionable insight. Innovative tools and data techniques are utilized for comprehensive data collection, integration, and analysis to dynamically visualize information crucial for local to national logistical and strategic insight. This empowers national governments and global development organizations to focus on saving lives and building healthy, sustainable communities.


Dr. John Corbett, agricultural climatologist and aWhere, Inc. CEO, is an expert in geo-spatial (location-intelligence or “LI”) applications. Working closely with national and international organizations in the US, Kenya, Switzerland, and Mexico, John built and managed systems to utilize geo-analytics to increase positive outcomes. John’s career began in a CGIAR center (CIMMYT Mexico) as a Rockefeller post-doctoral staff. Three years later, he returned to Kenya to join ICRAF’s staff as the Head of the GIS laboratory. Leveraging his expertise with GIS, John identified a major need in the marketplace (the gap between specialized GIS and LI) that became the framework for aWhere’s scalable, enterprise platform. John’s work is focused on applications for agri-business (including data and web portals for Monsanto AG; RiceTec, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) and public health, particularly mosquito control (with partner DigitalGlobe) and the efforts to eradicate malaria. The aWhere platform delivers location based M&E – or ‘command and control’ - integrating on-the-ground observations with contextual, geographic data. aWhere is spatial intelligence with an emphasis on ease of use, ease of sharing, ease of presentation creation. Prior to aWhere, John’s commercial experience also includes Head of Global GIS for Syngenta AG, based in Switzerland.

Dr. Yun Raymond Fu

College of Computer and Information Science

Northeastern University

Presentation: Large Scale Social Media Analytics


Social media analytics is an emerging research area involving multi-interdisciplinary fields, such as computer vision, machine learning, and social network analysis. In this talk, Dr. Fu will mainly present their recent research and envision future trend in this area especially for large scale analytics and robust inference. In particular, a manifold learning based framework with low-rank formulations will be presented.


Dr. Fu is an interdisciplinary faculty member affiliated with College of Engineering and the College of Computer and Information Science at Northeastern University. He received the B.Eng. degree in information engineering and the M.Eng. degree in pattern recognition and intelligence systems from Xi'an Jiaotong University, China, respectively, and the M.S. degree in statistics and the Ph.D. degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, respectively. Prior to joining the Northeastern faculty, he was a Scientist working at BBN Technologies, Cambridge, MA, during 2008-2010. He holds a Part-Time Lecturer position in the Department of Computer Science, Tufts University, Medford, MA, since 2009. He was a tenure-track Assistant Professor of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, State University of New York, Buffalo, during 2010-2012.

Dr. Fu’s research interests are Interdisciplinary research in Machine Learning, Social Media Analytics, Human-Computer Interaction, and Cyber-Physical Systems. He has extensive publications in leading journals, books/book chapters and international conferences/workshops. He serves as associate editor, chairs, PC member and reviewer of many top journals and international conferences/workshops. Dr. Fu is the recipient of the 2002 Rockwell Automation Master of Science Award, Edison Cups of the 2002 GE Fund Edison Cup Technology Innovation Competition, the 2003 Hewlett-Packard Silver Medal and Science Scholarship, the 2007 Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-Financed Students Abroad, the IEEE International Conference on Image Processing 2007 Best Paper Award, the[masked] Beckman Graduate Fellowship, the 2008 M. E. Van Valkenburg Graduate Research Award, the ITESOFT Best Paper Award of 2010 IAPR International Conferences on the Frontiers of Handwriting Recognition, the 2010 Google Faculty Research Award, the IEEE International Conference on Multimedia and Expo 2011 Quality Reviewer, the IEEE ICDM 2011 Workshop on Large Scale Visual Analytics Best Paper Award, and the 2011 IC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Award. His research is broadly supported by NSF, DOD, DARPA, IARPA, ONR, AFOSR, ARL/ARO, NGA, IC, Google, and FutureWei. He is an Associate Editor of the IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON CIRCUITS AND SYSTEMS FORVIDEO TECHNOLOGY. He is a Senior Member of IEEE, Member of AAAI, Lifetime Member of ACM, SPIE, and Institute of Mathematical Statistics, and Beckman Graduate Fellow during 2007-2008.

John Johnson

Wells Fargo


John is a Senior Marketing Executive with proven expertise Loyalty, CRM, and Analytics. John has significant experience at both the consulting side of actionable segmentation in CRM as a senior manager with the Accenture Global CRM Service Line and the technology side of Big Data CRM at Teradata where John was a partner in the Teradata CRM Center of Excellence. John is also a recognized practitioner in this space. He was a Divisional Vice President at Sears Holdings and was responsible for The Shop Your Way Rewards program. Examples of John’s experience in Segmentation include deploying an enterprise wide, 100-million member real time loyalty system at over 4,000 stores (in 7 months) that provided the foundation for actionable member level segmentation. That segmentation combined both behavioral and attitudinal indicators and generated a demonstrable ROI of over 200%. John also has transformed existing individual level brand segmentation to enterprise level all-brand customer centric cross sell segmentation strategies focusing on retaining customers. John as has won awards from COLLOQUY: Master of Enterprise Loyalty (International): Shop Your Way Rewards, from Teradata: Best OEM solution for Meijer CRM, from Target Marketing Magazine: 3rd place for “Guerilla Marketing”, from Washburn Direct: Best B2B solution for American Banker and is the author of “The Art and Science of Relationship Marketing” that appeared in The Bank Marketing Magazine. Presently John is responsible for the outbound email channel at Wells Fargo in Charlotte, NC. John is a graduate of Barton College and of The BMA School of Bank Marketing.

Jason Steffen

Fermi Lab

Presentation: Exoplanet Science from NASA's Kepler Mission


NASA's Kepler mission is a census of planetary systems orbiting Sun-like stars. Kepler monitors roughly 150,000 stars to look for small dips in brightness that occur when an orbiting planet transits across the line of sight. Now, with over three years of continuous data we know much more about planets generally and our solar system specifically. The planets in our solar system constitute less than 1% of known planets and most of the known planets have no direct solar system analog. I present the recent results from the Kepler mission and discuss its implications for our understanding of our solar system, how it formed and evolved, and the life that it holds.


Jason received his BS in math and physics from Weber State University in Ogden, UT and his PhD in physics from the University of Washington where he worked on transiting exoplanets. He has been a Brinson Postdoctral Fellow at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory near Chicago and is now a CIERA Fellow at Northwestern University. He has worked in the fields of exoplanets, experimental particle physics, gravitation, and airplane passenger boarding. Jason has been a member of the Kepler Science Team since 2008.

John W. Emerson

Yale University

Presentation: Advances in High-Performance Computing with R

This talk is expected to coincide (approximately) with the
release of R-devel as R[masked]; because of the importance of
this release, it wouldn't surprise me if it becomes R 3.0.0.
As a result, I will cover a few topics in high-performance
computing with R that relate to elements of this release. The
motivating example is the processing of hundreds of gigabytes of
financial Trade and Quote (TAQ) data. Code will be provided.


John W. Emerson ("Jay") lives in the Department of Statistics at Yale
University. Jay teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses and
often includes timely real-world problems and examples in his lectures,
an intersection of teaching and research. For example, he collaborated
with the Wall Street Journal in uncovering the infamous stock option
backdating scandal, and he demonstrated a design flaw in the new scoring
system used for international figure skating competitions. He has worked
on Bayesian change point analyses and created the "generalized pairs plot"
for the R Statistical Programming Environment. He has worked towards a
scalable solution for statistical computing with massive data, extending
support for the management, analysis, and exploration of massive data
sets in R. He continues to work on the Yale/Columbia Environmental
Performance Index (EPI), which he presented at the 2010 and 2012
World Economic Forums in Davos.

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