Faisal Akkawi is the faculty director of the Master of Science in Information Systems Program. His area of specialization is software architecture for concurrent systems, and his research interests also include reactive/adaptive intelligent systems and design issues of concurrent programming languages. Selected for the NASA Faculty Fellowship Program in 2003, Akkawi designed and implemented a framework that was used in the advanced diagnostic and caution and warning system for the International Space Station. He has an MS in electrical engineering and a PhD in computer science from Illinois Institute of Technology.
Shaddy Abado has instructed a number of undergraduate and graduate classes and has presented research at national conferences and published papers in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings. He has a PhD in aerospace and mechanical engineering from the University of Notre Dame, researching light-fluid interactions and developing sensors and numerical methods to study and analyze them.
Gunther Branham is a seasoned senior level IT executive. His experience includes CIO level responsibility for several global corporate functions for a Fortune 100 company. His responsibilities included systems planning, budgeting, software delivery and systems operations for Global Engineering and Quality and Regulatory Systems. Additional experience includes IT leadership for commercial, manufacturing and distribution, research and development, medical, regulatory and sales and marketing systems. Other significant accomplishments include initiating corporate-wide offshore IT services sourcing, starting an enterprise applications integration technology center, launching and managing key e-commerce activities and integration and startup of manufacturing facility systems. Branham earned a BA in physics from the Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina, and an MS in Business Management from the University of Northern Colorado.
Benjamin Dalgaard is a software engineer with experience in several industries including projects in finance, transportation and security. His current projects are focused on developing architectures to accommodate a growing need for data storage and data processing. His interests include mobile computing, software development and big-data technologies. Dalgaard has an MS in computer information systems from Northwestern University and since graduating has since taught a variety of graduate and undergraduate courses in software and database development. He is also on the technology committee for The Escape big data conference which is hosted in part by Northwestern University.
Christopher Hield is the director of software development and system testing at the Chicago Board Options Exchange. As director of CBOEdirect, CBOE’s state-of-the-art electronic financial trading system, he is responsible for the design, development and maintenance of multitiered, service-based software. Before joining CBOE, Hield worked as a senior software engineer and business consultant with Hitachi Computer Products America, developing object-based data mining and data exploration tools for the healthcare industry. Before then he spent 13 years in the decision and information sciences division at Argonne National Laboratory as senior software engineer and technical lead in the information systems section; his duties included developing object-based information systems as well as object-oriented frameworks to support distributed multidisciplinary modeling, simulation and visualization applications. Since 2001 he has been an instructor at Illinois Institute of Technology and DePaul University as well as Northwestern, teaching courses in software design, development and testing. Hield holds an MS in computer science.
Sunil Kakade has over 18 years' experience in various technical and leadership roles focused on lT transformation initiatives, analytics driven software development and big data technologies. Sunil is a big data and data science evangelist with hands-on expertise in implementing Hadoop and NoSQL technologies. Sunil leads the architecture and delivery of business systems for a fortune 100 company. His areas of interests include machine learning, data science, legacy systems modernization and open source technologies. His research papers have been presented at multiple international conferences and published in technical journals. He has patents pending in areas of IT and retail processes. Kakade has a MS in information technology and management from the Illinois Institute of Technology at Chicago and a MS in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, researching applications of artificial intelligence to manufacturing processes.
Thomas W. Miller is faculty director of the Predictive Analytics program. He has helped to design courses for the program, including Marketing Analytics, Advanced Modeling Techniques, Data Visualization, Database Systems and Data Preparation, Web and Network Data Science, Sports Management Analytics, and the capstone course. He has taught extensively in the program, offering courses in modeling methods, machine learning, and web analytics. Before joining the faculty at Northwestern, Miller spent fifteen years in business IT in the computer and transportation industries. He also directed the A. C. Nielsen Center for Marketing Research and taught market research and business strategy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Miller is consulting editor to Pearson Education in practical data science. His books with Pearson include Data and Text Mining, Modeling Methods in Predictive Analytics with Python and R, Web and Network Data Science, Marketing Data Science, and Sports Analytics and Data Science. Miller is also owner of Research Publishers LLC and its ToutBay division, a technical publisher and provider of data science services. He has consulted widely in the areas of retail site selection, product positioning, segmentation, and pricing in competitive markets, and has worked with predictive models for more than thirty years. Miller holds a PhD in psychology (psychometrics) and a master's degree in statistics from the University of Minnesota, and an MBA and master's degree in economics from the University of Oregon.
Charles Pak has taught information systems courses for over 25 years as an IS practitioner and professor. Professionally, he has managed U.S. Federal Government data centers, and has designed, tested, implemented, and maintained many of these enterprise network sites that encompass distributed sites across the U.S. and internationally. He has managed state-of-the art systems for military and federal government missions for which he was deployed. His research topics include cyber security, critical infrastructure protection (CIP), PKI, cyber counter terrorism, and risk assessment and management. His recent publications include;Near Real-time Risk Assessment Using Hidden Markov Models. Nova Southeastern University, ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, Risk Forecast Using Hidden Markov Models. Research in Information Technology (RIT), ACM, SIGITE, 7(2), 4-15, Asset Priority Risk Assessment Using Hidden Markov Models. Proceedings of the 10th ACM SIGITE, Fairfax, Virginia, 2009, 65-73, The near real time statistical asset priority driven (nrtsapd) risk assessment. Proceedings of the 9th ACM SIGITE, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2008, 105-112. Pak holds several industry certifications: CISM, CRISC, CISSP, ITIL, SSCP, MCSE, MCT, and CCNA. He earned his PhD in information security from Nova Southeastern University, a MS in network security from Capitol College, and a BS in electrical engineering from Penn State University.
Sana Samawi is a program manager at IBM, leading global and cross-functional teams and developments to deliver value to customers and business partners. She has more than 23 years in business transformation and information technology services in industries ranging from banking and finance to e-commerce and in the government sector. She was selected to attend IBM Leadership Exchange, which recognizes the contributions of IBM leaders across the globe and facilitates cross-cultural interchange. Samawi earned both BS and MS in computer science from DePaul University and a master’s certificate in project management from George Washington University. She has PMI (Project Management Institute), IBM senior project manager and IBM executive project manager certifications.
Gabriel Schofield is director of application development at Symphony Asset Management LLC. With over 15 years of experience as a financial services technology professional, he combines strong leadership skills with a passion for applying technology to solve complex business problems. Schofield has led project teams that have delivered industry-leading solutions for a variety of front and back-office financial applications. Schofield has coauthored a book, MCSA Guide to Microsoft SQL Server 2012 and is a proactive member of several industry groups that define and maintain financial messaging and data standards. Schofield has an MBA from Durham University, an MS in information systems from Northwestern University, and is a CFA charterholder.
William Waas is the founder and CEO of the Information Technology Executive Exchange, an industry association for IT executives. His previous experience was as executive vice president of ValCom, a $135 million systems integrator, where he was responsible for operations and marketing; senior vice president of service and support at Vanstar Corporation, a $2.5 billion dollar system integrator, where he headed the $250 million service organization, with responsibility for field service, help desk and logistics and helped the organization grow from $15 million in 1990 to over $250 million in 1997; vice president of value-added services at Dell Computer Corporation, responsible for the sale and delivery of software, peripherals and system integration services in a $750 million division of Dell; as a manager in strategic planning, finance and service management at Grumman Data Systems Corporation. Active in the industry, Waas is chairman of the Illinois Technology Foundation, cofounded the Service Section of CompTIA and was a member of its board and chairman from 1995 to 1997. He also served on the board of the Association for Service Management International from 1997 to 2000. Wass holds a BBA in accounting and an MBA in finance from Hofstra University.