Guest speakers

Event schedule

Please see the event agenda below and explore workshops specific to certain sessions and grades to the right.

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Room : Engineering Building, room 1101
Facilitator: Liza Durant

Description: There are more than 30 different engineering disciplines. Universities and colleges offer so many different engineering majors, it can be a challenge to decide the best fit for your interests. In this session you will learn about the different engineering disciplines, types of specialized courses you might study, the employment opportunities associated with different engineering disciplines and strategies to help you decide which engineering major might be the best for you.

Room : Johnson Center 333, meeting room D
Facilitator: Alex Cooley, MPA - Labor Market Analyst
Company: Northern Virginia Community College

Description: : This session will provide parents, educators, and school counselors information on the labor market in northern Virginia. Trends in technology employment, projected employment growth rates, and the northern Virginia economy will be discussed. The session will also provide valuable resources you can access at home to learn more about career exploration and economic trends for your student.

Room : Johnson Center 337, meeting room G
Facilitator: Kimberly Fields
Company: Fairfax County Public Schools – Department of IT

Description: In today’s society, Project Management benefits a variety of industries such as information technology, engineering, medicine, aviation, construction, and education. This session will provide insight into Project Management methodologies and challenges that may occur throughout a project. Students will have the opportunity to manage a project that will aid in developing team building, leadership, and resource management skills.

Room : Innovation Hall,room 233
Facilitator: Kirthi Kumar, SheSoft Founder and CEO
Company: SheSoft (non-profit) and Sophomore at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (

Description: : Looking for inspiration for a SheSoft project? This is the right session for parents to inspire their children to get them engaged in ever growing Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields. Have an idea? SheSoft can guide students on how to convert an idea into a computer science project. Students can learn step-by-step building blocks for SheSoft projects. Students can get their questions answered on how to explore projects in Scratch, JAVA, Python, Aurdrio UNO, App Inventor, MATLAB, and others. After submitting their projects, participants can attend all-day hands-on conference at George Mason University inspired by speakers and industry experts in technology.
Room : Johnson Center 325, room A
Facilitator: Dr. David A. Lattanzi

Description: Engineers don’t just design new structures, we also maintain them for as long as they last. Building a new structure is a commitment that lasts a lifetime, and usually more! Buildings are a lot like medical patients (only without the hospital gowns, and slightly larger). And, just like in medicine, we have all sorts of cool new ways to virtually visualize our patients. In this lab, I will show you some of the ways we visualize infrastructure. We’ll talk about (and use) robots, lasers, and artificial intelligence. And I’ll teach you how to build your own virtual models using only your phone.
Room : Engineering Building, room 1110
Facilitator: Shanjiang Zhu

Description: In this session, we run a traffic simulation model to simulate three signalized intersections around Mason campus. Students will have the opportunity to play with different signal plans and see the impact of signal coordination and optimization.
Room : Johnson Center 334, meeting room E
Facilitator: Frank Jenkins
Company: VIKA

Description: While land surveying is among one of the oldest professions, new technologies are bringing exciting opportunities to the profession. Surveyors practicing today must have the interest and skills to master new technologies. Since the students of today are more technology oriented, they are as a generation the best equipped to adapt to the constantly emerging technologies in surveying.From high-tech total stations and smart GPS solutions to sophisticated laser scanners and increasingly automated software, today’s surveying professionals have access to an increasing array of tools to help them solve complex problems and boost the value of their services. This presentation will provide a brief overview of the history of surveying and why it is important to have land surveyed. We will discuss the emerging technologies that is being utilized by today’s surveyor such as 3D LIDAR scanning, drones, BIM, robotic total stations, and other equipment.
Room : Engineering Building Atrium

Description: The hexayurt is a simplified disaster relief shelter design. It is based on a geodesic geometry adapted to construction from standard 4×8 foot sheets of factory made construction material. It resembles a panel yurt, hence the name. It can be assembled in the field with only tape, box cutters and tie downs. More information is at: There are thousands of hexayurts in use in austere environments around the world.
Room : Innovation Hall 333
Facilitator: Peter Cohen
Company: Netflix

Description: A brief overview of the control plane (software) and data plane (hardware) and how they work together to deliver Netflix titles to consumers all over the world. Participants will learn through an on-hands query into a public route server and interpret the results.

Room : Johnson Center 327, Meeting room C
Facilitator: Yue Hao
Company: George Washington University

Description: Origami is an ancient art of paper crafting that finds many new applications in robotics, manufacturing, and architectures. Researchers have recently explored several exciting frontiers in origami engineering, including self-folding robots that can transform between shapes, super-compact deployable satellite solar panels, and green buildings with foldable facade. Topics of this session will include a presentation and hand-on activities in folding and unfolding three-dimensional polyhedra, and the motion planning of the self-folding robots.
Room : Engineering building, room 1107
Facilitator: Dan Lafaro

Description: Prof. Daniel M. Lofaro will discuss robots in the real-world with a focus on humanoid and legged robots.  Specific points will include developing software infrastructures to create ubiquitous "skills" for the creation of a sustainable robot software eco system and how these "skills" are/will effect our social and political climate. Included will be an update on "robots in the wild" including autonomous cars, UAVs, and HitchBOT.
Facilitator: Dr. Sean Luke
Company: George Mason University

Description: Prof. Sean Luke will present some work on how to get robots to work together in small teams or large swarms. He will demonstrate humanoid and wheeled robots and talk about future developments in robotics.
Room : Johnson Center, Georges
Facilitator: Katelyn Mecca

Description: The session will be used to investigate behaviors of complex circuits. Students will learn how to build an electric circuit, identify relationships between electrical components, predict how to construct a circuit to meet a set objective, and then try it out for themselves.
Room : Innovation Hall 327
Facilitator: Jason Parker

Description: The session will be used to investigate behaviors of complex circuits. Students will learn how to build an electric circuit, identify relationships between electrical components, predict how to construct a circuit to meet a set objective, and then try it out for themselves.
Room : Engineering Building, room 4457
Facilitator: Marty Rothwell

Description: Robots are complex systems that can interact with their environment through sensors.When a sensor indicates a condition has been met, the robot makes a decision about what to do.In this session, we will make a simple sensor-driven decision making program.
Room : Johnson Center, room B 326
Facilitator: DeAnthony Heart & Marshai Heart
Company: Accenture

Description: Come start your own business but remember the competition is stiff and you have to stretch your science and engineering muscles for your team to be victorious. Do you have what it takes to compete in today’s start up industry? Come find out. The winning teams may win an awesome prize!
Room : Innovation Hall , 134
Facilitator: Shani Ross, Qi Wei

Description: Bioengineering is an exciting interdisciplinary field involving the application of engineering concepts and tools to solve problems in biology and in medicine. The mission of the Bioengineering Department at Mason is to create new knowledge and technology at the interface between engineering and bioscience to improve human health through research and education. During this session, you will learn about our department, the field of Bioengineering, including sub-disciplines from nanotechnology to prosthetics. Topics include Biomaterials, Biomechanics, Computational neuroscience, Medical Imaging, Neuroengineering and Tissue Engineering.
Room : Engineering Building, room 1103
Facilitator: Vivian Motti

Description: Wearable computers are versatile, with applications that range from entertainment to healthcare. Although numerous form factors exist, wrist-worn devices (such as smartwatches and fitness trackers) and head-mounted displays used for virtual reality games stand out as the most popular wearable technologies in use nowadays. Wearable devices are used continuously, in close contact to the user body and they are able to collect a lot of information about the users. Therefore it is essential to carefully consider human factors as well as privacy aspects when designing novel applications. This talk will provide you an overview on wearable technologies, focusing on the users’ perspectives and privacy aspects. Then, you will learn how smartwatch applications can be used as assistive technologies for students in inclusive classrooms. We will conclude with a discussion about future trends in the domain.
Room : Johnson Center 336, meeting room F
Facilitator: Pilgyu Kang

Description: In this activity, students complete an electrical circuit with graphite (pencil “lead”), which is a mineral made of many stacked carbon layers. This activity introduces nano-sized materials and devices that scientists and engineers make in the field of nanotechnology.
Room : Engineering building,room 1110
Facilitator: Jeff Moran

Description: Oobleck (corn starch dissolved in water) is strange stuff indeed. It’s an example of a non-Newtonian fluid: a fluid whose viscosity changes depending on what you do to it. Join us as we explore the baffling properties of oobleck, which is never quite completely liquid or completely solid. You may be surprised to learn how common non-Newtonian fluids are in daily life.
Room : Engineering Building 1101
Facilitator: Dr. Robert Gallo

Description: Following a classroom-based introduction to the field of aeronautical engineering and aerodynamics, students will assemble and fly in competition balsa wood gliders. The intent is to briefly cover fundamental aerodynamic principles with some "fun" application.
Room : Engineering Building, room 2608
Facilitator: Ali Beheshti

Description: Nano- and Micro-electromechanical systems (NEMS/MEMS) are the technologies of miniaturized mechanical and electro-mechanical elements. They have revolutionized lots of advanced industries and in particular sensor technology. Pressure sensors are designed to measure pressures under water, in cars engines and tires, pipes and even our blood. In the biomedical field, blood MEMS pressure sensors have been developed in very small sales for blood pressure monitoring by providing electrical output representative of the blood pressure. In this activity using hands-on approach students can build their own contacting pressure sensor in macro scale (mimicking microscale sensor) and learn about how mechanical force/pressure signal can be converted to electrical signal with simple piezoresistive material (graphite composite) using a special circuit. The experiment and accompanying poster show students how basic principles of mechanical, material and electrical engineering can be utilized in measuring mechanical force/pressure.
Room : TBD
Facilitator: Dr. Diane Murphy
Company: Marymount University

Description: The talk is designed for parents to encourage them to look at what their middle school high students are doing on their computers, many for hours. The workshop will look at several cases where hackers began their hacking exploits as teenagers as cautionary tales. The workshop will also provide information on the lingo and cybersecurity resources and how they can be used for these types of activities at little or no cost. The session will finish with some advice and guidance for promoting cybersecurity as a white hat without encouraging black hat behavior.
Room : Engineering Building, room 1505
Facilitator: Dr. Jim Jones
Company: George Mason University

Description: Deleted digital files don't usually go away immediately. Instead, some or all of the original file persists over time, and the file "decays" over time, much like an ancient artifact in traditional archaeology. In this workshop, you'll see how digital files are stored and deleted on computers and flash drives, and you'll recover and interpret the remnants of previously deleted files.
Room : Johnson Center , 337 room G
Facilitator: Dr. Haya Shajaiah
Company: Virginia Tech

Description: The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical objects that are embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity that enable these objects to exchange data and automatically transfer data over a network. The problem is that security has not always been taken into consideration when designing these products and these devices are often sold with old operating systems. In addition, purchasers of IoT devices often fail to change default passwords or fail to select strong passwords making their devices more vulnerable to security threats. In order to improve security of IoT devices that need to access the internet, it is essential that each of these devices should be restricted to access its own network and should be monitored to identify possible security threats and take required security actions.
Room : Innovation Hall 223
Facilitator: Dr. David Loveall
Company: FBI

Description: One of the first things that people learn about digital forensics is that files "recycled" on a computer aren't necessarily gone. This hands on workshop teaches what happens when a file is deleted and demonstrates a few methods for recovery.
Room : Innovation Hall, 333
Facilitator: Dr. Scott White
Company: George Washington University

Description: Risk Assessment can be defined as a structured and systematic procedure for identifying hazards and evaluating risks in order to prioritize decisions to reduce risks to an acceptable level. The overall objective of this workshop is to demonstrate and layout approaches for risk management related as they relate to information technology.
Room : Innovation Hall 222
Facilitator: Alex Farrell , Hamza Sirag
Company: Northrop Grumman

Description: In cyberspace, passwords are the keys to the kingdom. Strong passwords is one important strategy to defending computers and systems connected to the internet. Join this session to test your password creation skills and see how fast it can be cracked using publically available password cracking software. You will also be part of a short forensic evaluation of a system to see what a bad guy did after he figured out the password to get into someone’s computer. Finally, you’ll walk away with some tools and tips to help you protect the keys to your kingdom of internet systems and online accounts.
Room : Innovation Hall 223
Facilitator: Mark Nagurney
Company: Fairfax County Public Schools

Description: The Virginia Cyber Range is a new initiative of the state of Virginia to provide 7-12 and college classes the opportunity to practice cyber security skills in a virtualized, highly accessible  environment. All skill levels are available, beginner, intermediate and advanced. It is managed by Virginia Tech university and hosted in Amazon Cloud. Today we will demonstrate one of the many cyber exercises.
Room: Innovation Hall, 317
Facilitator: Emanuela Marasco
Company: George Mason university

Description: Fingerprint identification is one of the most well-known biometrics. Because of their uniqueness and consistency over time, use of fingerprints is established in many law enforcement and immigration applications. Recent research has shown that commercial fingerprint scanners can be deceived by presenting well-duplicated fingerprints. Join us to know how to reduce the threat of these presentation attacks and learn from a hands-on demonstration the cross-sensor matching issues.
Room: Johnson Center , 239A
Facilitator: Prakruthi Karuna

Description: Cyber attackers are targeting large organizations to steal their data. However, existing techniques of cyber security are insufficient to protect against these attackers. In this session, we focus on the latest research domain of cyber deception and the role of fake documents in protecting an organization’s data. We explain the design and use of fake documents to mislead and divert the attacker from the organization’s data repository. Students will have an opportunity to learn and experience the use of deception in cyber defense and to identify a real from a fake document.
Room: Innovation Hall , 134
Facilitator: Chola Chhetri

Description: The adoption of smart home technologies continues to grow. According to Gartner, about ten percent of households currently have smart devices. In this talk, we will discuss smart home technologies, their benefits and concerns. We will also discuss potential implications of smart home devices on users' privacy.
Room : Engineering Building, room 1101
Facilitator: Dr. Sean Luke
Company: George Mason University

Description: Prof. Sean Luke will present some work on how to get robots to work together in small teams or large swarms. He will demonstrate humanoid and wheeled robots and talk about future developments in robotics.

Room : TBD
Facilitator: Kai Zeng
Company: George Mason University

Description: In the drone demo, we will show and explain how a drone can be controlled by a smartphone, and how it can be subverted by a wireless attacker. The purpose of this demo is to raise the awareness of cybersecurity risks of drones and provide suggestions on how to improve the cybersecurity of drones.
Room : Booth
Facilitator: Tawnya Azar
Company: AoPS Academy

Description: Come show us how BEAST you are at advanced math with Art of Problem Solving. At our table, we will have math problems, puzzles, and contest questions designed to test your problem-solving skills and teach you how knowing the fundamentals can help you solve even the most challenging mathematical problems. 
Room : TBD
Facilitator: Craig Gray

Description: Steel Bridge Design Build: Meet George Mason's National Steel Bridge Competition Team and watch them construct their First Place winning Stiffest Bridge in the USA in 30 minutes or less! George Mason's Steel Bridge Team designed, and fabricated a steel bridge which can hold more than 2000 pounds without deflection to win the first place in STIFFNESS at the American Society of Civil Engineers National Steel Bridge competition. What is deflection? Join the Steel Bridge team and find out! The competition requires that the students construct their bridge in under 30 minutes. Watch the team construct their bridge in record time. The team will answer questions about the national competition and what makes a bridge endure a variety of stress and strain. 
Room : TBD
Facilitator: Anoushka
Company: XBOTS

Description: Come drive our FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Robots to shoot balls or stack blocks. The game playing robots are built for FIRST Tech Challenge competitions by our team of high-schools students. Students are introduced to skills in Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, CAD design. 
Room : Research Hall, room 163
Facilitator: Jon Brown (game programmer), Orin Adcox (game artist),
Evan Smith (game 3D artist), Tyler VanVierssen (game programmer)
Company: George Mason University

Description: Students will learn about careers in game design, and the roles that programming and the arts play in the creation of serious and entertainment games. They will have the opportunity to test drive portable VR gear, and explore the Unity game engine as they learn what it takes to make a 2D and 3D game. Our instructors will also challenge students to imagine the games of the future, and how games can impact our world in surprising ways.

Room : Innovation Hall, room 203
Facilitator: Ed Water

Description: Learn at this workshop, how to create a highly engaging and powerful Alexa Skill. Also learn about the key resources needed for using BigParser APIs for building powerful voice, web and mobile experiences. All attendees will get a chance to apply for the BigParser Voice AI Training course and Voice Skill Creator certification.

Room : Johnson Center, room 239A
Facilitator: JIlhan Izmirli

Description: What is Statistics? We will start this presentation by a brief historical overview of statistics. We will then talk about some major points of interest in statistics such as data collection, experimental and observational studies, and rudiments of inferential statistics. We will conclude the presentation by mentioning potential misuses of statistics. No prior knowledge of statistics is needed.

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