Dr. Lea Shanley is a founding co-Executive Director of the South Big Data Innovation Hub at the Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Prior to joining the Hub, she served as a Presidential Innovation Fellow at NASA Headquarters, designing and guiding open innovation and open source research strategies for planetary and Earth science.
Lea Shanley (Co-chair)
Dr. Priestley is the Associate Dean of The Graduate College and the Director of the Analytics and Data Science Institute at Kennesaw State University. In 2012, the SAS Institute recognized Dr. Priestley as the 2012 Distinguished Statistics Professor of the Year. She served as the 2012 and 2015 Co-Chair of the National Analytics Conference. Datanami recognized Dr. Priestley as one of the top 12 “Data Scientists to Watch in 2016.”
She has authored dozens of articles on Binary Classification, Risk Modeling, Sampling, Statistical Methodologies for Problem Solving and Applications of Big Data Analytics as well as several textbook manuals for Excel, SAS, JMP and Minitab.
Prior to receiving a Ph.D. in Statistics, Dr. Priestley worked in the Financial Services industry for 11 years. Her positions included Vice President of Business Development for VISA EU in London, where she was responsible for developing the consumer credit markets for Irish and Scottish banks. She also worked for MasterCard International as a Vice President for Business Development, where she was responsible for banking relationships in the Southeastern US. She also held positions with AT&T Universal Card and with Andersen Consulting.
Dr. Priestley received an MBA from The Pennsylvania State University, where she was president of the graduate student body, and a BS from Georgia Tech. She also received a certification from the ABA Bankcard School in Norman, OK, and a Certification in Base SAS Programming, and a Business Analyst Certification from the SAS Institute.
Dr. Yusen Xia is a professor and the director of the MSA (Master of Science in Analytics) program at the Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University. Dr. Xia’s expertise includes optimization, econometrics and machine learning for both structured and unstructured data such as text and images. His research is mainly focused on big data analytics with applications to areas such as operations, marketing, risk management, and supply chains, and has been supported by both NSF and industries such as Amazon.com, Ryerson Inc., and Closets and More.
Dr. Ramnath K. Chellappa is Associate Dean and Academic Director of the Master of Science in Business
Analytics program. He is also a Goizueta Foundation Term Professor and Associate Professor of Information
Systems & Operations Management at the Goizueta Business School, Emory University. He was previously a
Caldwell Research Fellow at Goizueta, Emory and SRITNE Distinguished Academic Fellow and Visiting
Professor at the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad. Prior to joining Emory University, Prof. Chellappa
served on the faculty of Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California from and was the
founding director of the Electronic Economy Research Lab (eBizLab) at USC.
Prof. Chellappa's expertise is in the fields of electronic markets, pricing, digital goods piracy and economics of
information security and privacy. His research in these areas has been widely published/presented in leading
journals and conferences. His work on information privacy, research on music digitization and study of
software pricing have received best paper awards in premier conferences. His research methods include
analytical modeling, empirical modeling and social network analysis. He also serves/has served on the editorial
boards of Information Systems Research and MIS Quarterly. He is currently the president of INFORMS
Information Systems Society.
Mohammed holds Ph.D. in computer science from Indiana University (IU). His research focuses on deep learning, semantic search and recommendation systems, mining social media, and computer vision. Currently, he is a data scientist in the search data science team at CareerBuilder.
Khalifeh AlJadda holds Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Georgia (UGA), with a specialization in machine learning. He has experience implementing large-scale, distributed machine learning algorithms to solve challenging problems in domains ranging from Bioinformatics to search and recommendation engines. He is a Sr. Manager Data Science at Home Depot, which is the largest home improvement company in the world. Before joining Home Depot he was in charge of the data science effort to design and implement the backend of CareerBuilder’s language-agnostic semantic search engine leveraging Apache Spark and the Hadoop ecosystem. He also led the team on building a new AI-based recommendation engine using cutting-edge technologies in data science and Big Data. Khalifeh is the founder and organizer of the Southern Data Science Conference () which is the major data science conference in Atlanta that aims to promote data science to the Southern companies and schools. He also co-founded a non-profit organization ATLytiCS (www.atlytics.org) Also, Khalifeh is a frequent public speaker on topics related to data science, machine learning, semantic search, and big data analytics. For more information, please visit his website ().