May 21-23, 2019 | Anaheim Convention Center | Anaheim, CA

2019 Keynote Presentations

MARS HELICOPTER — Adding Autonomous Aerial Mobility to Open Doors to New Classes of Planetary Exploration

MiMi Aung, Project Manager for Mars Helicopter, NASA

NASA is sending a helicopter to Mars. The Mars Helicopter, a small, autonomous rotorcraft, will travel with the agency’s Mars 2020 rover mission, currently scheduled to launch in July 2020, to demonstrate the viability and potential of heavier-than-air vehicles on the Red Planet.  MiMi Aung, Project Manager for Mars Helicopter, will present an overview.

MIMI’s BIO: MiMi Aung is the Project Manager for Mars Helicopter at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology.  Mars Helicopter is a project currently developing a Helicopter to perform the first time ever demonstration of aerial flight at Mars.  The Helicopter is planned for launch onboard NASA’s Mars 2020 Rover in July of 2020. 

Ms. Aung has a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  At JPL, she has applied her Engineering background in multiple areas of space exploration, including Deep Space Autonomous Systems; Spacecraft Guidance, Navigation & Control; multiple-spacecraft Formation Flying; Optical Communications; and Deep Space Signal Processing & Communications.  She has worked on space flight projects, Deep Space Network, technology development for autonomous systems, and line management of technical organizations.  She is passionate about space exploration, especially to advance the autonomous capability of spacecraft exploring deep space.

Dr. Bob Sutor

Vice President, IBM Q Strategy and Ecosystem, IBM Research 

Quantum Computing: A View to the Future

Bob Sutor has been a technical executive in the IT industry for over 30 years. More than two decades of that have been spent in IBM Research. Bob also spent time on the software side of the business and looked after open source and standards. A mathematician by training, he earned a Ph.D. from Princeton University and his undergraduate degree from Harvard College. Bob been coding since he was 15 and has used most of the programming languages that have come along. His current favorite is Python 3.

A primary goal throughout his career has been to drive technology that has a positive impact on society. In addition to internal IBM leadership, executive positions and the occasional external activity mostly during Bob’s standards days, he doesn’t believe we can change the industry with technology unless we explain it and its value in understandable terms. That’s why he has spent so much time talking about tech: what is it, how does it relate to things we already do, how and when will it affect us, and what are the pros and cons.

Bob does not like hype but does love passion. The two are easily confused unless you can back up what you say with real results. Sure, talk about your roadmap but don’t make promises you can’t keep.

Bob is currently working on a book about quantum computing in addition to my leadership role within the IBM Q quantum computing program.

Areas in which Bob has worked: quantum computing, AI, blockchain, mathematics and mathematical software, Linux, open source, standards management, product management and marketing, computer algebra, web standards.

Collaborative Design

Jon Snoddy, R&D Studio Executive, Walt Disney Imagineering

Jon explains how working collaboratively with scientists, artists and engineers, they are inventing the future of entertainment at Disneyland. His teams work across robotics, AI, displays, visual computing, materials and interactive storytelling to create the next generation of Disney characters, rides, experiences and more.

Jon’s Bio: Jon is currently the SVP of Disney Research Los Angeles and the Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development Studio Executive. He oversees a cross-disciplinary group of scientists, artists and engineers inventing the future of entertainment. His teams work across robotics, AI, displays, visual computing, materials and interactive storytelling to create the next generation of Disney characters, rides, experiences and more.

Jon Snoddy has lived on the leading edge of entertainment technology his entire career. Prior to heading up Research & Development for Walt Disney Imagineering, Jon worked at NPR and Lucasfilm, started his own companies, and pulled a previous stint at Imagineering. There he developed ride concepts such as the Indiana Jones™ Adventure and founded the original Disney VR Studio.

Jon’s work spans industries as well as continents. Starting off as a recording engineer for NPR, he went on to help launch the THX system at Lucasfilm, and installed Captain EO at Disneyland. As an entrepreneur, Jon spearheaded GameWorks LLC with DreamWorks, Sega, and Universal Studios. Additionally, he’s led redevelopment projects like Centum City in Pusan, Korea; created a movie theater game business with TimePlay Entertainment; and enabled personalized video sharing with Big Stage Entertainment.

Kathryn Keane

Vice President, Public Programming & Director, National Geographic Museum

Fredrik Heibert

Archaeologist & Explorer, National Geographic

Virtual 3D Technologies for Immersive Archeological Experiences

Fredrik Hiebert, archaeologist and explorer, has traced ancient trade routes overland and across the seas for more than 20 years. Hiebert has led excavations at ancient Silk Road sites across Asia, from Egypt to Mongolia. His excavations at a 4,000-year-old Silk Road city in Turkmenistan made headlines around the world. He also conducts underwater archaeology projects in the Black Sea and in South America’s highest lake, Lake Titicaca, in search of submerged settlements.

Hiebert completed his doctoral dissertation at Harvard University in 1992 and held the Robert H. Dyson chair of archaeology at the University of Pennsylvania before joining the National Geographic Society in 2003. He rediscovered the lost Bactrian gold in Afghanistan in 2004 and was the curator of National Geographic’s exhibition Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul which toured major museums in the United States and internationally.

As National Geographic’s archaeology fellow, he extends the enthusiasm for archaeology to the public in lectures, presentations, films, and museum exhibits. Hiebert also holds positions with the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, the Institute for Nautical Archaeology, and Robert Ballard’s Institute for Exploration. Among other honors, Hiebert received the Chairman’s Award from the National Geographic Committee for Research and Exploration in 1998.

KATHRYN’s BIOGRAPHY: Kathryn Keane is Vice President of Public Programming at the National Geographic Society as well as Director of the National Geographic Museum. She manages a creative team of designers, curators and producers who develop unique and award-winning live programming, events and exhibitions that have become popular experience-based platforms for storytelling, audience engagement and educational outreach to millions of visitors each year.

As Director of the National Geographic Museum, Keane manages the museum and its visitor programs as well as overseeing and directing all aspects of National Geographic exhibitions, including exhibition development and partnerships. In addition, Keane oversees the development and implementation of original traveling exhibitions, which are designed to travel to museums, science centers, zoos and aquariums in the United States and around the world.

Keane joined the Society in 2006 as Director of Traveling Exhibitions and was responsible for overseeing the development of museum exhibitions that featured National Geographic photography and content. 

The National Geographic Museum is a popular destination for tourists, residents and school groups in Washington, D.C. The exhibitions regularly feature the best of National Geographic history, talent, content, multimedia and photography and showcase the Society’s impact-driven nonprofit work in experiential and interactive ways. In the last decade, more than 40 million people have visited a National Geographic exhibition in over 40 countries.  

Prior to joining National Geographic, Keane served as deputy to Director David Levy at the Corcoran Gallery of Art for more than a decade, overseeing the development of exhibitions and initiatives during a particularly dynamic time in that museum’s history.

Keane graduated with a B.A. in English from Georgetown University.  

FREDRICK’s BIOGRAPHY: Fredrik Hiebert, archaeologist and explorer, has traced ancient trade routes overland and across the seas for more than 20 years. Hiebert has led excavations at ancient Silk Road sites across Asia, from Egypt to Mongolia. His excavations at a 4,000-year-old Silk Road city in Turkmenistan made headlines around the world. He also conducts underwater archaeology projects in the Black Sea and in South America’s highest lake, Lake Titicaca, in search of submerged settlements.

Hiebert completed his doctoral dissertation at Harvard University in 1992 and held the Robert H. Dyson chair of archaeology at the University of Pennsylvania before joining the National Geographic Society in 2003. He rediscovered the lost Bactrian gold in Afghanistan in 2004 and was the curator of National Geographic’s exhibition Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul which toured major museums in the United States and internationally.

As National Geographic’s archaeology fellow, he extends the enthusiasm for archaeology to the public in lectures, presentations, films, and museum exhibits. Hiebert also holds positions with the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, the Institute for Nautical Archaeology, and Robert Ballard’s Institute for Exploration. Among other honors, Hiebert received the Chairman’s Award from the National Geographic Committee for Research and Exploration in 1998.

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