Dave Shepley | 10.23.18 | Community Insights

Meet Your Machine Learning Meetup Panelists


  • ai
  • artificial intelligence
  • community
  • data science
  • durham
  • Innovation
  • machine learning
  • meetups
  • next matters most
  • startups
  • thought leadership
  • triangle tech

As you may know by now, Smashing Boxes is passionate that Next Matters Most, and have created a quarterly content series to take a deep dive into one relevant topic. Each quarter we will create focused content, host a meetup, involve the community, and produce workshops around one big idea that we are interested in learning more about or sharing with the Triangle community. This quarter we are focused on the idea that Machine Learning Matters Most.

Our CEO, Nick Jordan, recently shared some thoughts on the topic. On Wednesday Smashing Boxes is hosting a panel discussion Meetup with five local experts in the field. We hope you can join us for this amazing opportunity to hear from their experience the opportunities and challenges with Machine Learning, and to interact and ask questions of your community and these experts.

Meet the Panelists

Brooks Adcock is Director of Innovation at Dude Solutions. From powering brain-computer interfaces to finding nearby clean restrooms to predicting client success/failure, Brooks has been leveraging machine learning to accomplish the strange and “impossible” since 2006. Brooks’ current endeavors focus on developing and executing data-driven business strategies. Brooks is a graduate of NC State University, with Bachelors of Science degrees in Electrical and Electronics Engineering and Computer Engineering, and a Masters of Science in Biomedical/Medical Engineering.

Richard Boyd is an entrepreneur, author and speaker on a range of topics from education to healthcare to virtual worlds, computer gaming, machine learning and human / computer interfaces. Over three decades, Richard has led or helped create some of the most innovative technology companies and services across several industries, including starting and serving as chief executive officer of four companies in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park region. He led two companies to successful “exits” and is working on two more. He has served as a technology consultant for a wide variety of industries including energy, healthcare, education and motion pictures. Richard is co-founder and CEO of artificial intelligence and machine learning company Tanjo Inc., based in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park region. He is also co-founder and CEO of Ultisim Inc., a simulation learning company in RTP combining experience in gaming technology, AI and simulation. Ultisim creates environments for learning in industries including healthcare, energy and infrastructure and education gaming for 3-D, real-time data visualization, analytics and simulation learning. Richard also serves as executive director of technology and innovation at Choiceflows, a decision intelligence company with two of the world’s renowned academic experts on modeling decision making. Choiceflows helps Tanjo make simulated models (personas) that react in real time in ways that are more authentic than similar services from other companies.

Dawn Code is Co-Founder of Unspecified, LLC, a software company providing insights to software development firms using machine learning algorithms applied to the software delivery cycle over time. The company has also developed a machine learning application to predict the price of bitcoin using global data, including financial data, political data, news headlines, and more. Her prior experience includes working at IBM Watson Health as a Quality Engineering Manager in clinical trials applications. Her passion for machine learning started before then, with dreams of applying ML to large and complex patterns, instead of humans relying on their own instincts and “gut”.

Eric Reifsnider uses data science including statistical methods and machine learning to analyze wearable and other patient generated data, with the goal of improving health for Validic, a company that provides healthcare organizations one mobile health API connection to access data from the best mHealth apps and devices. Eric worked in a machine learning laboratory at Stanford and co-authored an article in Psychobiology before graduating with a B.S. in Computer Science in 1988. He authored further publications on neural network models for classical conditioning, including co-authoring a book chapter, and later graduated with a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from NYU. In 2015 he joined Validic and created a convolutional neural network product for reading home health care devices. In 2017, Eric took a brief hiatus into augmented reality at a friend’s startup before rejoining Validic as Data Science Manager, where he is now working on data science and machine learning products, leveraging Validic’s enormous pool of personally generated health data.

Finally, our moderator for the evening is Ken Wood, a machine learning practitioner who applies supervised and unsupervised learning algorithms to solve complex marketing strategy problems. Typical ML applications for Ken include customer segmentation, revenue forecasting, calculating customer lifetime value, customer behavior predictive analytics and determining optimal spends for customer acquisition vs. retention. In early 2015, Ken founded ROAR Marketing Concepts LLC, a data-driven marketing strategy consultancy serving small- to mid-size technology innovation firms. Through ROAR, Ken has been able to deliver solutions to clients in software (enterprise and SaaS), IT/networking, and energy/electric power/renewables.  Ken holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University, a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In addition, Ken has successfully completed the following ML-related certifications

  • Machine Learning (taught by Prof. Andrew Ng) – Stanford University
  • Excel to MySQL: Analytic Techniques for Business Specialization – Duke University
  • Foundations of Marketing Analytics Specialization – Emory University
  • Google Analytics Individual Qualification

We hope you can join us for this exciting panel discussion, and will follow along as we produce more content, a white paper, and several workshops throughout the quarter.

David Shepley is the Director of Sales & Marketing at Smashing Boxes, overseeing client success and helping craft our marketing strategy. 

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