Keynote Speakers

Friday Evening Keynote

Barbara Ericson, Senior Research Scientist and PhD Candidate, Georgia Tech


As a research scientist Barbara has tried to improve the quality and quantity of secondary computing teachers and the quantity and diversity of secondary computing students. The number of students taking the AP CS A exam in Georgia increased from 427 in 2006 to over 2,033 in 2016. She created financially self-sustaining computing summer camps and has grown them across Georgia as well as to other states. Additionally, Barbara created Project Rise Up 4 CS and Sisters Rise UP 4 CS to help underrepresented students pass the Advanced Placement Computer Science A exam. Her PhD research involves working on ebooks to make it easier for teachers and students to learn programming. In particular, Barbara has been researching Parsons problems and plans to make them adaptive with discourse rule feedback.

Saturday Morning Keynote

Dr. Ferosh Jacob, Senior Software Engineer, Home Depot


The search uses an ontology based knowledge store named OrangeGraph to understand the customer intent and serve the customers with relevant search results. In this talk, Ferosh gives an overview of the OrangeGraph and explains how several improvement/retail domain concepts and their relationships were extracted from various external and internal sources and added to the OrangeGraph. Ferosh holds a doctorate degree in Computer Science from The University of Alabama, AL and a master’s degree in Computer Science from Clarkson University, NY.