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June 4, 2022

UMBC Performing Arts & Humanities Building

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About DAX

The inaugural DAX 2022 Conference was held at UMBC on June 6th and focused on data science, analytics, and general data exploration. Engineers, data scientists, analytic developers, system architects, and business leaders shared their experiences and presented topics of interest to the local data community. Attendees included engineers, thought leaders, business leaders, and professionals from local government, government defense and intelligence agencies, start-up companies, large data analytic and data science companies, and local universities.

Industry Leading Speakers

Networking, Vendors, Swag

Representatives from City, State, and Federal


8:00 AM - 8:55 AM
Check-in, Breakfast, and Networking
9:00 AM - 9:15 AM
Opening Remarks
Jason Barbour & Dan Hood
9:20 AM - 10:05 AM
Kirk Borne - The Future of AI - Creating Value at the Convergence of Emerging Technologies
10:10 AM - 10:55 AM
Data Science Track - Session 1
Cynthia Matuszek - Human-Robot Interaction Using Language
11:00 AM - 11:45 AM
Analytic Track - Session 1
Justin Elszasz & Patrick McLoughlin - Data Governance in State and Local Government
11:55 AM - 1:00 PM
Lunch and Birds of a Feather

Birds of a Feather tables will be setup to bring together members for an informal discussion on certain topics led by a community thought leader in the field.

  • Nick Saccente - Confessions of a Data Scientist - It's no secret that there is a LOT of hype surrounding the data science profession, but how do we navigate all that hype to deliver? How do we communicate the importance of bias management, the dangers of building SkyNet 2.0, or the limitations of the magic we can conjure with a small amount of dirty data? All are welcome to join our roundtable and discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly!
  • Jeremy Lawson - Democratizing AI: The Rise of Low-Code and No-Code Solutions - The Democratization of AI means bringing the Leading Machine Learning Solutions to Technical, Business, and Social Science Degree Programs. According to a recent McKinsey report, artificial intelligence could contribute an additional 1.2% to annual gross domestic product growth over the next decade. The report also predicts that about 70% of companies will adopt at least one form of AI by 2030. Join us as we explore Democratizing AI across any degree program and shaping the future of higher education and industry.
  • Jason Schaum - Cybersecurity, Big Data, Analytics - How is DHS CISA using these technologies to protect U.S. Critical Infrastructure and what new approaches should be considered? This discussion will be about the some of the hard problems DHS CISA has been chartered to solve to secure the nations critical infrastructure and will highlight the technologies and techniques being investigated and applied by the federal government to; manage large datasets, enable the sharing of actionable information, and facilitate Operational Collaboration.
  • Brian Sacash - Practical Natural Language Processing - Natural Language Processing (NLP) has been undergoing a seismic shift over the last 5+ years. It can be easy to get lost in the latest advancements and research. We will focus our discussion on the practical applications of NLP that prioritize usefulness over model size.
1:05 PM - 1:50 PM
Exploration Track - Session 1
Pramod Raheja - Trust in UAS AI/Autonomy
1:55 PM - 2:40 PM
Data Science Track - Session 2
Laura Congleton - I am a Data Influencer. And so are you.
2:45 PM - 3:00 PM
Afternoon Break and Snacks
3:05 PM - 3:50 PM
Analytic Track - Session 2
Zach Casper, Leon Worthen & Sammy Hamilton - AI/ML Innovation within the Defense Industry
3:55 PM - 4:40 PM
Exploration Track - Session 2
Tianle Yuan - Insights Obtained From Mining Ship-tracks within NASA Data
4:45 PM - 5:00 PM
Closing Remarks
Jason Barbour
5:00 PM - 7:OO PM
Cocktails and Networking


Kirk Borne
Kirk Borne - Keynote
Data Prime Inc. / Architect

Dr. Kirk Borne is Chief Science Officer at startup Data Prime Inc. since April 2021, and founder of his own freelance influencer marketing business Data Leadership Group LLC. He is a career data professional, data science leader, and research astrophysicist. From 2015 to 2021, he was Principal Data Scientist, Data Science Fellow, and Executive Advisor at Booz Allen Hamilton. Previously, Kirk was professor of Astrophysics and Computational Science at George Mason University for 12 years where he taught data science at the graduate and undergraduate levels. He has been an Adjunct Professor at the University of Maryland Global Campus and at the University of Texas in Arlington. Before that, he spent 20 years supporting data systems activities for NASA space science missions, including the Hubble Telescope and at NASA's Space Science Data Operations Office. He has a Ph.D. in astronomy from Caltech. Since 2013, he has been identified as a top worldwide influencer on social media, promoting data science, machine learning, AI, IoT strategy, and data literacy for all.

Cynthia Matuszek
Cynthia Matuszek - Bringing Together Robotics and Language
University of Maryland, Baltimore County / Assistant Professor

Cynthia Matuszek is an assistant professor of computer science and electrical engineering at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and the director of UMBC’s Interactive Robotics and Language lab. After working as a researcher on the Cyc project, she received her Ph.D. in computer science and engineering from the University of Washington in 2014. Her research is focused on how robots can learn grounded language from interactions with non-specialists, which includes work in not only robotics, but human-robot interactions, natural language, machine learning, machine bias, and collaborative robot learning, informed by a background in common-sense reasoning and classical artificial intelligence. Dr Matuszek has published in machine learning, artificial intelligence, robotics, and human-robot interaction venues.

Justin Elszasz
Justin Elszasz - Data Goverance in the City
City of Baltimore / Chief Data Officer

Justin has served as the data scientist for the Bloomberg Philanthropies-funded Innovation Team in the Mayor’s Office, the CitiStat program lead, and is currently the Chief Data Officer for the City of Baltimore. With his previous organization, Navigant Consulting, Justin supported the U.S. Department of Energy’s appliance standards program – the unsung hero of the Obama administration’s climate change efforts – through analysis and developing Federal regulations. He also used data science to improve utility energy efficiency programs. Justin holds an M.S. in mechanical engineering from Columbia University, where he researched applied data science in the energy sector and was a National Science Foundation fellow in the “Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship”, with a program focus of “Solving Urbanization Challenges by Design”. He has prior experience as a design engineer in the aerospace and medical device industries.

Patrick McLoughlin
Patrick McLoughlin - Data Goverance in the State
State of Maryland / Chief Data Officer

Patrick McLoughlin, GISP, is a data and analytics professional with extensive experience helping organizations maximize the value of their data by aligning data management strategies with business strategies. He has 17 years of experience working with large data programs in the commercial and government sectors, including most recently, as a data and analytics consultant and Director of Data Solutions at Johnson, Mirmiran, & Thompson (JMT), leading data strategies, data management, and governance processes, as well as business intelligence and analytics initiatives for both internal and external customers. Prior to working at JMT, he was the Director of Business Intelligence for DoIT and led the state’s Open Data Program.

Pramod Raheja
Pramod Raheja - AI/Autonomy for Unmanned Aerial Robotics
Airgility, Inc. / CEO & Co-Founder

Veteran serial entrepreneur active for over 25 years, with extensive sales/marketing/business development experience from startups to Enterprise in a wide range of B2B industries. Pramod, previously acquired and grew an office/telecommunications solutions franchise. Consulted with clients on interim executive management, marketing, sales, business development, virtual office, and business process outsourcing (BPO) services. Founder’s Institute graduate and mentor 2013 to 2015 of the Founder's Institute, the world's largest technology company accelerator, and serves as Mentor/Coach for many organizations and individuals, some of which include the FedTech Accelerator Program, The Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship and the Entrepreneur’s Organization with an emphasis on leadership, business development and sales. Former President of the Entrepreneur's Organization (‘18), Washington DC Chapter. Pramod is also a United Airlines Captain with over 30 years of Aviation Operations experience, having approximately 14,000 flight hours where he has been a Line Check Airman and Leadership Facilitator. Education: B.S. in Aerospace Engineering; University of Maryland in College Park & MIT Entrepreneurial Master's Program Graduate.

Laura Congleton
Laura Congleton - I Am A Data Influencer. And So Are You.
Fearless / Innovation Lab Manager

Laura Congleton (née Dress) runs the Innovation Lab in Business Development at Fearless. She has spent the last 20+ years working in technology related industries, including synthetic biology, finance, academic publishing, SaaS development and government digital services. She is a published author in the Industrial Biotechnology and Molecular Systems Biology, a National Academics of Science Keck Futures researcher, and an MIT iGEM Human Policies and Practices judge. Laura holds a B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Maryland with a focus on the biological, social, and ethical dimensions of health care. When Laura isn't running the Innovation Lab or contributing to data science disciplines, she's running a wine and vineyard startup with her husband in Woodbine, MD.

Zach Casper
Zach Casper - AI/ML Innovation within the Defense Industry
BigBear.ai / Sr. Director of Cyber & Engineering

Zach Casper is the Sr. Director of Cyber & Engineering here at BigBear.ai. He has spent the past 21-years supporting U.S. intelligence missions. Zach is a multi-disciplined engineer with the ability to seamlessly bond together multiple technologies providing functional and desirable end-user products satisfying challenging, and often continuously varying requirements. Over the course of his career, he has gained specialties within fields supporting microelectronics, hardware & software reverse engineering and software & firmware development. He has a B.S. in Computer Engineering from the University of Akron and a M.S. in Computer Science from Johns Hopkins University. Zach looks for impactful ways to apply BigBear’s AI/ML expertise to challenging cyber problems across both DoD and the IC.

Leon Worthen
Leon Worthen - AI/ML Innovation within the Defense Industry
BigBear.ai / Director of Maritime

Leon Worthen is the Director of Maritime at BigBear.ai where he works closely with company leadership and external customers managing requirements and projects for maritime solutions. He is an intelligence professional with 22 years in the Defense Intelligence Enterprise—spending most of his career with Special Operations Forces and focusing on intelligence collection, analysis, and production. Before arriving at BigBear last Fall, Leon was with Naval Special Warfare (NSW) in Coronado, CA, for 14 years. He led highly effective, multi-disciplinary intelligence teams providing reach-back mission planning support to deployed Navy SEALs and other NSW operational elements deployed around the globe. Leon stood up NSW’s OSINT Program and has created other innovative solutions to solve unprecedented problems in NSW and the USSOCOM Enterprise. Leon held many roles at the NSW Mission Support Center (MSC). The most recent include: Innovation Lead, Director of Operations, and Deputy Director of Intelligence. Leon also volunteers for the National Child Protection Task Force (NCPTF) as their Director of Operations. Leon is married with three kids and resides in sunny San Diego, California.

Sammy Hamilton
Sammy Hamilton - AI/ML Innovation within the Defense Industry
BigBear.ai / Data Scientist

Sammy Hamilton is a Data Scientist here at BigBear.ai, currently embedded as the technical lead of one of BigBear.ai's leading predictive analytics solutions. She has spent the past 6 years supporting the U.S. Intelligence Community and Department of Defense missions by developing cutting-edge data architectures, employing innovative machine learning techniques, and helping to push the envelope on the art of the possible in the mission space. Sammy holds a B.S. in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and an M.S. in Data Analytics from University of Maryland, University College.

Sean Mussenden
Tianle Yuan - Mining Satellite Data for Ship Tracks
NASA / Associate Research Scientist

Dr. Tianle Yuan is an associate research scientist at NASA GSFC and GESTAR-II UMBC. He specializes in applying deep learning and machine learning to remote sensing data and climate science. He has led several NASA projects in developing deep learning models to obtain high-level insights from data pools. He has a BS from Peking University and a PhD from Univ. Of Maryland, College Park.

Nick Saccente
Nick Saccente
Fearless / Data Engineer

Nick Saccente has worked as a machine learning engineer, a solutions architect, and a big data engineer for both the Department of Defense, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. When Nick isn't building data driven systems (or breaking them), he's writing in Golang, tending to his home automation server, or woodworking.

Jeremy Lawson
Jeremy Lawson - Democratizing AI: The Rise of Low-Code and No-Code Solutions
Salynt Inc. / Co-Founder and CEO

Jeremy is the Chief Executive Officer of Salynt. Jeremy has been in the tech industry for over ten years. He has engaged with the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Intelligence Community (IC) to provide and coordinate signature reduction strategies for multiple platforms and domains using machine learning and artificial intelligence as a Principal Data Scientist. He's also committed to non-profit work in his spare time. Jeremy sits on the Board of the International Black Fire-fighters Museum, is a member of The National Alliance for Doctoral Studies in Mathematical Sciences, and was the previous President of the Maryland Black Caucus Foundation.

Jason Schaum
Jason Schaum - Cybersecurity, Big Data, Analytics
CISA / Cyber Advisor

Jason Schaum is a Cybersecurity Professional with over 18 years of experience in the field. Mr. Schaum is currently the Cybersecurity Advisor and Maryland State Cyber Coordinator with DHS CISA, responsible for proactively engaging with members of the private and public sector to ensure the nations critical infrastructure is resilient and protected from cyber-attack. Previously Mr. Schaum was a consultant in private industry responsible for a portfolio of defensive cybersecurity programs supporting the Department of Defense, DHS and commercial clients. In his career he has served as a subject matter expert on cybersecurity topics related to intrusion detection, incident response, cybersecurity analysis, and cyber policy. For over 10 years Mr. Schaum worked at a world-class research laboratory running a 24x7 cyber defensive operations team with a mission to monitor, analyze, detect, report, and respond to network security incidents and events impacting some of the nations most critical networks. In addition to performing operational functions, Mr. Schaum has supported various cutting edge research initiatives and software development projects related to cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, big data, cloud, and advanced analytics. Mr. Schaum currently holds a Bachelors in Management Information Systems, Master Certificate in Strategic Leadership, and possesses the following professional industry certifications: Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP), Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), Security+, Network+, and A+

Brian Sacash
Brian Sacash - Natural Language Processing
Accenture Federal Services / Manager, Data Science

Brian Sacash is a Lead Data Scientist and Manager at Accenture Federal. His focus in on helping organizations find new ways to extract value from data. His interests are in the areas of Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning, and MLOps. Previously, as a Data Scientist at Deloitte, he focused on scalable graph analytics and rapid prototyping of machine learning. Brian holds a Master of Science in Quantitative Analysis from the University of Cincinnati and a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Ohio Northern University.


We are proudly supported by the following partners.


Silver Sponsors

Copper Sponsors

Swag Sponsors


We will have represenatives from the following organizations in attendance for discussion.


General questions

DAX is the annual premier event that serves as a focal meeting point for the data engineering community. The event is hosted and organized by the Data Works MD community. Attendees will include both newcomers and experts.
Data Works MD is a community of professionals, students, and enthusiasts living and working in the Maryland area that are interested in topics related to data science, data analytics, data products, software engineering, machine learning, and other data engineering topics.
DAX 2022 is scheduled for Saturday, June 4, 2022.
DAX 2022 will be held at the UMBC Performing Arts & Humanties Building at UMBC. Food and drinks will be served in the Music Hall.
Please email info@daxconf.org with your questions or suggestions.

Registration questions

Newcomers to data engineering will learn the basics from some of the most experienced practitioners. Professionals will be able to network with their peers and learn about cutting-edge data projects.
Registration is available through EventBrite.
We offer discounted student tickets for $24.99 and early-bird discounted tickets for $74.99. Regular priced tickets are $99.99.
The early-bird discount will end March 4, 2022.
Yes, but we would prefer if you didn't.

Event questions

The speaker schedule is available on the conference website.
Yes, DAX 2022 talks were recorded and uploaded to the DAX 2022 playlist on the Data Works MD YouTube channel
Yes, we will be providing lunch to all attendees.
DAX is dedicated to providing a harassment-free conference experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), or technology choices. We do not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any conference venue, including talks, workshops, parties, Twitter, and other online media. Conference participants violating these rules will be sanctioned or expelled from the conference at the discretion of the conference organizers.

COVID-19 questions

We are adhering to the venue policy which, as of February 2022, requires each attendee to complete a COVID-19 self-assessment checklist before arriving at the event. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms you are asked to stay home.
  • A fever greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
  • A cough
  • Any shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Any repeated shaking with chills
  • Any muscle pain that differs from any chronic pain
  • A persistent headache
  • A sore throat
  • A new loss of taste or smell
  • Fatigue
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
As of February 2022, the venue requests face coverings to be work by attendees at all time except when eating or drinking.
All attendees are asked to maintain 3 feet of distance between guests. Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the venue.

Venue questions

The conference will be held at the UMBC Performing Arts & Humanities Building. The building is located at 1000 Hilltop Cir, Baltimore, MD 21250.
Parking for DAX 2022 is available at UMBC Lot 8.

Sponsor questions

Yes! Please reach out to the team at info@daxconf.org for more information.