Keynote speakers

Co-founder and Chief Scientist

Jeff Hammerbacher is a founder and the chief scientist of Cloudera and an assistant professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Before co-founding Cloudera, Hammerbacher conceived, built, and led the data team at Facebook. The data team was responsible for inventing and building powerful data analysis applications on Hadoop. That system is the core data platform at Facebook for improving the user experience and driving revenue. Before he joined Facebook, Hammerbacher worked as a quantitative analyst on Wall Street. He earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Harvard University.

Forbes Magazine named Hammerbacher one of the world’s seven most powerful data scientists, and Technology Review named him one of its 35 Innovators under 35 in 2011. Along with DJ Patil , Hammerbacher coined the term “data scientist,” and he has been key to driving the success of Hadoop as a standard tool for processing large, unstructured data sets with a network of commodity computers.

“The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads,” Hammerbacher told Businessweek in 2011.“That sucks.”


Deputy Technology Editor
The New York Times

Quentin Hardy is a Silicon Valley insider with vast global experience drawn from years of high-level business reporting around the globe. Hardy is the deputy technology editor for The New York Times and is a frequent television guest on CNBC’s Kudlow & Company. He recently joined The New York Times after serving as an executive editor for Forbes Media; before that, he spent over eight years writing global business stories for The Wall Street Journal. He has written cover stories on such diverse topics as the internet, Africa, finance, enterprise hardware and software, management, satellites, energy, and even the marijuana industry.

Hardy began his career as an international publisher and has lived and worked in a dozen countries, including Japan, Singapore and the United Kingdom. A recipient of a Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Business Journalism and an Overseas Press Club award, he also lectures on technology and social change at the UC Berkeley School of Information.


CEO and Co-Founder

Joshua Bloom is CEO and co-founder of wise.io, the machine intelligence company. He is also an astronomy professor at UC Berkeley, where he teaches Python for data science. He has been a Sloan Fellow, Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society, and Hertz Foundation Fellow. In 2010, he was awarded the Pierce Prize from the American Astronomical Society. Josh holds a Ph.D. from Caltech and degrees from Harvard and Cambridge. He serves on the Berkeley Startup Cluster Advisory Committee.

General Partner
XSeed Capital

Michael Borrus is the founding general partner of XSeed Capital. An entrepreneur and former academic, he has authored three books and over 70 chapters, articles and monographs on topics including the internet and data networking, management of technology, competition in information technology industries, international trade and investment, and financial strategies for technology companies. The common thread in his varied careers has been a focus on emerging new technologies, and the business models and strategies necessary to exploit new market opportunities. Before founding XSeed in 2006, Borrus was an entrepreneur-in-residence at Mohr Davidow Ventures. He also spent five years leading the technology practice at the Petkevich Group, a financial services and investment start-up. Prior to that, Borrus was adjunct professor in UC Berkeley’s College of Engineering and a partner in the business consulting firm Industry and Trade Strategies. While at UC Berkeley, he co-founded the Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy.

Chief Technology Officer

Stephen Brobst is the chief technology officer of Teradata Corporation, where he helps companies use business intelligence technology in competitive business environments. Regarded as a leading expert in data warehousing, he successfully launched three start-up companies related to high-end database management products and services in the data warehousing and e-business marketplaces: Tanning Technology Corporation (IPO on NASDAQ), NexTek Solutions (acquired by IBM) and Strategic Technologies & Systems (acquired by NCR). Brobst has also taught graduate courses at Boston University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and continues as a frequent guest lecturer at MIT and the Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

Brobst has served as an advisor to the National Academy of Sciences in the area of IT workforce development and also served in Barack Obama’s first term as a member of the President’s Innovation and Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC), a working group of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). He co-authored Building a Data Warehouse for Decision Support (Prentice Hall) and is working on a book on active data warehousing for the real-time enterprise.


The idea for Captricity came from Kuang Chen’s Ph.D. dissertation. His research focused on data-centric approaches to increase the efficiency of low-resource organizations, so they can better serve their disadvantaged clients.

While doing research in Tanzania and Uganda, Chen experienced firsthand the importance and difficulty of transforming data from paper forms to computable formats. He holds a Ph.D. in computer science from UC Berkeley, a B.S. in computer science, and a B.A. in the comparative history of ideas from the University of Washington.

Senior Fellow
McKinsey Global Institute

Michael Chui is a senior fellow of the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), where he leads research on the impact of information technologies on business, the economy, and society. Chui has led McKinsey research in such areas as long-term technology-enabled business trends, Web 2.0 and collaboration technologies, emerging markets innovators, and data-driven management. His research has been cited globally in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Fast Company, Forbes, The Times of London, and Les Échos.

As a McKinsey consultant, Chui served clients in the high-tech, media, and telecom industries on strategy, innovation and product development, IT, sales and marketing, M&A, and organization.

Senior Data Scientist

A senior data scientist at LinkedIn, Michael Conover develops machine-learning infrastructure that leverages the relationships and behavior of hundreds of millions of individuals. He has a Ph.D. from Indiana University in complex systems analysis with a focus on information propagation in large-scale social networks. His research interests run towards understanding the political process and the structure of economic opportunity, and his work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Science, and MIT Technology Review and on National Public Radio.

Senior Solutions Consultant

Michael Ernest has twenty years of experience in distributed systems, including training, field services, systems integration, and software development. He has written numerous expert-oriented courses for Sun Microsystems, Oracle, and Yahoo! on Java programming, systems administration, enterprise software architecture, and performance tuning. Ernest lives in Berkeley where he lobbies his wife daily to get a dog.

Venture Capitalist
Accel Partners

Jake Flomenberg has over a decade of experience building innovative software products. He focuses on early stage investments in next generation infrastructure and data-driven services and is part of the team responsible for Accel’s Big Data Fund. Flomenberg currently sits on the board of Origami Logic, provider of a visual big data analytics platform for marketers, Trifacta, creator of radical productivity software for data preparation and analysis, and Sumo Logic, a cloud-based log management and analytics solution.

Prior to Accel, Flomenberg was director of product management at Splunk, where he was responsible for Splunk’s user interface and big data strategy. Previously, he worked at Cloudera, where he helped the founding team tackle a broad array of sales, marketing, and product issues. Flomenberg holds a B.S.E. in computer science, electrical computer engineering, and economics from Duke University, an M.S.E in systems engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Chief Data Scientist

John Foreman is the chief data scientist for MailChimp.com. He’s also a recovering management consultant who’s done a lot of analytics work for large businesses (Coke, Royal Caribbean, Intercontinental Hotels) and the government. 

These days Foreman does all sorts of awesome data science for MailChimp and blogs for fun about analytics through narrative fiction at Analytics Made Skeezy. Spoiler alert: the characters who do meth are frequently confused or in peril. Foreman does not do meth.

Foreman’s book on data science, Data Smart: Using Data Science to Transform Information into Insight, is now out from Wiley. Subscribe to Foreman’s email list for updates and book tour information.

Engineering Partner
Google Ventures

Adam Ghobarah focuses on data technologies and machine learning. He looks for disruptive startups and guides Google Ventures’ portfolio companies in these areas. Over the past fifteen years, he has applied statistics, machine learning, and new data technologies to solve problems in public health, engineering, finance, and online advertising.

Prior to joining Google Ventures in 2012, Ghobarah was at Google for six years, leading a team of statisticians focused on building models for predicting advertiser behavior and on automated model building and validation. Prior to joining Google, Ghobarah worked at Mathsoft, which developed mathematical software tools for mechanical and civil engineers. Ghobarah received his Ph.D. in government statistics from the University of Texas at Austin and was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University, where he focused on the application of statistics to public health and authored several highly-cited papers.

UC Berkeley

Nils Gilman is executive director of UC Berkeley’s Social Science Matrix. He holds a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in history from UC Berkeley. Nils is the author of Mandarins of the Future: Modernization Theory in Cold War America and the founding co-editor of  Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development. Prior to joining Social Science Matrix in September 2013, Gilman was research director at Monitor 360, a San Francisco consultancy that addresses complex and emerging global strategic challenges for governments, multinational businesses, and NGOs. He has also worked at a variety of enterprise software companies, including Salesforce.com, BEA Systems, and Plumtree Software. Gilman has taught and lectured at a wide variety of venues, from Harvard University, Columbia University, and National Defense University to PopTech, the European Futurists Conference, and the Long Now Foundation.


Jesse Goldhammer is a principal at Deloitte who develops transformational innovation programs that help clients to solve vexing public and private sector challenges. Trained in political theory, Goldhammer has a longstanding interest in the genealogy of social, economic, and political power; he has taught in several universities and worked in the information technology sector. His first book, The Headless Republic, examined the role of violence and sacrifice in French intellectual and political life. His most recent book, Deviant Globalization, explores the underlying forces that enable a wide variety of illicit global flows, including drugs, weapons, and toxic waste.

The Social+Capital Partnership

Mamoon Hamid is a general partner at The Social+Capital Partnership, a venture capital firm based in Palo Alto. Hamid has invested in and served on the boards of some of the most disruptive software companies of recent times including Act-On Software, Box, Castlight Health, Clearslide, and Yammer (acquired by Microsoft). Prior to starting Social+Capital, Hamid was a partner at US Venture Partners (USVP), where he spent six years. Hamid started his Silicon Valley career at Xilinx, where he spent six years in various engineering and marketing roles. Mamoon holds a B.S. in electrical engineering from Purdue University, an M.S. from Stanford University, and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School.

Co-Founder and CEO

Joseph M. Hellerstein is a Chancellor’s Professor of Computer Science at UC Berkeley whose work focuses on data-centric systems and the way they drive computing. He is an ACM Fellow, an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow and the recipient of two ACM-SIGMOD “Test of Time” awards for his research. In 2010, Fortune Magazine included him in their list of 50 smartest people in technology, and MIT’s Technology Review magazine included his Bloom language for cloud computing on their TR10 list of the 10 technologies “most likely to change our world.” In 2012, Hellerstein joined with Jeff Heer and Sean Kandel to found Trifacta, a company developing intuitive, powerful, and remarkably useful technologies for data analysis.

Senior Analyst, Public Policy & Government Relations

A former research editor and manager at Palo Alto’s Institute for the Future, Jess Hemerly is currently senior analyst on the public policy and government relations team at Google. As a freelance writer and cultural critic, Hemerly’s writing has appeared in MAKE, The Onion, 7x7, and on Boing Boing, AlterNet, and several Bay Area music blogs. In 2009, Hemerly was nominated for a Webby award in the “Website: Weird” category for a blog she co-created, Sad Guys on Trading Floors. In 2002 she served as an intern in President Clinton’s post-presidential office in Harlem. Hemerly received her B.A. in politics from NYU and her master’s in information management and systems from UC Berkeley’s School of Information. In 2011, she earned the I School’s James R. Chen award for outstanding final project in information research for her master’s thesis, “Making Metadata: The Case of MusicBrainz.”

Professor of Computer Science
UC Berkeley

Ion Stoica is a professor in the department of electrical engineering and computer science at UC Berkeley. He received his Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University in 2000. He does research on cloud computing and networked computer systems. Past work includes the Dynamic Packet State (DPS), Chord DHT, Internet Indirection Infrastructure (i3), declarative networks, replay-debugging, and multi-layer tracing in distributed systems. His current research focuses on resource management and scheduling for data centers, cluster computing frameworks, and network architectures. He is an ACM fellow and has received numerous awards, including the SIGCOMM Test of Time Award (2011) and the ACM doctoral dissertation award (2001). In 2006, he co-founded Conviva, a startup to commercialize technologies for large scale video distribution.

Executive Director
Geospatial Innovation Facility, UC Berkeley

Kevin Koy, executive director of the Geospatial Innovation Facility, has over fourteen years of experience working with geospatial technology. Koy leads research projects and applications, develops and teaches technical workshops, provides organizational support to the facility, and promotes geospatial solutions throughout the Bay Area community. Prior to joining the GIF, Koy was the remote sensing and GIS specialist for the American Museum of Natural History’s Center for Biodiversity and Conservation. His experience at AMNH included mapping land cover change and developing capacity building initiatives in Vietnam and Lao PDR. Koy’s experience in geospatial technology began as a remote sensing and GIS analyst for the Smithsonian Institution’s Conservation Biology Institute where he mapped Eld’s deer habitat in Myanmar’s dry dipterocarp forests.

Operations Vice President
The Climate Corporation

Tjarko Leifer leads The Climate Corporation’s operations and new markets groups. Prior to joining The Climate Corporation, Leifer was a managing director at Aon Corporation, the world’s leading risk advisor and insurance broker. Previously, Leifer helped successfully commercialize a new-to-the-world consumer financial product at FirstRex (formerly REX & Co.). He began his career at McKinsey & Company where he primarily served financial services clients. Leifer has a B.S. in industrial engineering from Brown University and an M.S. in management science and engineering from Stanford University.

Alsop Louie Partners

Gilman Louie is a partner of Alsop Louie Partners, a venture capital fund focused on helping entrepreneurs start companies. He is also the founder and former CEO of In-Q-Tel, a strategic venture fund created to help enhance national security by connecting the Central Intelligence Agency and U.S. intelligence community with venture-backed entrepreneurial companies. Previously Louie built a career as a pioneer in the interactive entertainment industry; he designed and developed the Falcon F-16 flight simulator, and licensed Tetris, the world’s most popular computer game, from its developers in the Soviet Union. Louie founded and ran Spectrum HoloByte which was acquired by Hasbro Corporation; he served as chief creative officer of Hasbro Interactive and general manager of the Games.com group before founding In-Q-Tel.

Author, Data Just Right

Michael Manoochehri is the author of Data Just Right: Introduction to Large-Scale Data & Analytics. With many years of experience working with enterprise, research, and non-profit organizations, his goal is to help make scalable data analytics more affordable and accessible. Manoochehri has been a member of Google’s Cloud Platform developer relations team, focusing on cloud computing and data developer products such as Google BigQuery. In addition, Manoochehri has written for the tech blog ProgrammableWeb.com, has spent time in rural Uganda researching mobile phone use, and holds a master’s degree in information management and systems from UC Berkeley’s School of Information.

Design Technologist
Stamen Design

Alan McConchie works at the intersection of cartography, software, and data science. He has an undergraduate degree in computer science and mathematics, and studied geographic information systems at Hunter College in New York. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in geography at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. His dissertation research uses OpenStreetMap as a case study to understand the social dynamics of crowdsourced mapmaking online.

He loves making cartographic visualizations that reveal new ways of seeing the world, and is passionate about creating tools that help people create their own maps and tell their own spatial stories. He is on twitter at @mappingmashups, where he hosts a biweekly twitter discussion called #geowebchat. His first and (so far) most famous programming project is the Pop vs Soda page.


Ejovi Nuwere is the founder of Kaori-san, a services platform that helps startups expand into in foreign markets. Prior to that, Nuwere had an extensive career as a security consultant throughout Asia with the world’s leading security consulting firms, including SecurityLab Technology, which he founded, @Stake, which was acquired by Symantec, and Core Security. In 2005, he was named one of Businessweek’s top 25 young entrepreneurs. Nuwere is the author of Practical Penetration Testing (O’Reilly) and Hacker Cracker (William Morrow/Harper Collins).

Research Scientist
Henry H. Wheeler Jr. Brain Imaging Center

Fernando Pérez is a research scientist at UC Berkeley’s Henry H. Wheeler Jr. Brain Imaging Center; he works at the interface between high-level scientific computing tools and the mathematical questions that arise in the analysis of neuroimaging data.

Pérez is committed to creating better tools for scientific computing based on the Python language. He created the IPython project while a graduate student in 2001 and continues to lead the project, now as a collaborative effort. He is also an active member of the community that creates freely available scientific computing tools around the SciPy stack, lectures regularly about scientific computing in Python, and is a founding board member of the NumFOCUS foundation. At UC Berkeley, Pérez is involved with a number of efforts to improve the quality of the computational practices of scientists and educators.

CTO & Co-founder
Premise Data Corporation

Joe Reisinger is an engineer and data hacker exploring the intersection of econometrics and machine learning. He holds a Ph.D. in computer science from UT Austin and spent his academic career building natural language understanding systems at Google Research and IBM T.J. Watson. Prior to co-founding Premise, he was chief scientist at Metamarkets.

Head of Optimization

Kyle Rush is the head of optimization at Optimizely. He is frequently speaks on topics related to web technology and conversion rate optimization. His work has been showcased at Velocity Conference, MozCon, and in A/B Testing: The Most Powerful Way to Turn Clicks Into Customers. Prior to joining Optimizely, Rush was the director of technology at the New Yorker and was responsible for the introduction of a site redesign and incorporation of a metered paywall. Previously, he served as the deputy director of frontend web development at Obama for America 2012, where he managed the technical and product aspects of online fundraising totaling $690 million in 20 months.

UC Berkeley School of Information

AnnaLee Saxenian (Anno) is professor and dean of UC Berkeley’s School of Information and has a joint faculty appointment with the Department of City and Regional Planning. Her latest book, The New Argonauts: Regional Advantage in a Global Economy (Harvard University Press, 2006) explores how and why immigrant engineers from Silicon Valley are transferring their technology entrepreneurship to emerging regions in their home countries — Taiwan, Israel, China and India in particular — and launching companies far from established centers of skill and technology. The “brain drain,” she argues, has now become “brain circulation” — a powerful economic force for the development of formerly peripheral regions that is sparking profound transformations in the global economy. Saxenian is also author of the widely acclaimed Regional Advantage: Culture and Competition in Silicon Valley and Route 128 (Harvard University Press, 1994). Other publications include Silicon Valley’s New Immigrant Entrepreneurs (Public Policy Institute of California, 1999), and Local and Global Networks of Immigrant Professionals in Silicon Valley (PPIC, 2002). She holds a Ph.D. in political science from MIT, a master’s in regional planning from UC Berkeley, and a B.A. in economics from Williams College.

CEO & Co-founder
Premise Data Corporation

David Soloff is co-founder & CEO of Premise, a San Francisco company building machinery to help the human race better understand its own economic activity. In addition, he serves on Columbia University’s Institute for Data Sciences and Engineering. The goal of the Institute is to deepen a culture of translational research and scholarship that can address the unprecedented challenges and opportunities posed by a data-rich society. Soloff was formerly the founding CEO of Metamarkets, a world leader in large-scale data analytics. Soloff has an undergraduate degree from Columbia University and graduate degree from UC Berkeley.

Professor of Statistics
UC Berkeley

Philip B. Stark is a professor of statistics who has done research on the Big Bang, causal inference, the U.S. census, earthquake prediction, election auditing, food web models, the geomagnetic field, geriatric hearing loss, information retrieval, Internet content filters, nonparametrics, the seismic structure of sun and earth, spectroscopy, spectrum estimation, and uncertainty quantification for computational models of complex systems.

Stark conducted the first risk-limiting post-election audits and the first scientific study of the effectiveness of Internet content filters. He developed UC Berkeley’s first official online course. He has testified to Congress regarding census adjustment and has served as an expert in litigation over the Child Online Protection Act, consumer protection, employment discrimination, environmental protection, equal protection, intellectual property, jury selection, import restrictions, insurance, natural resources, product liability, trade secrets, truth in advertising, and wage and hour issues. He received his A.B. in philosophy from Princeton University and his Ph.D. in earth sciences from UC San Diego.

Columbia University

Victoria Stodden is assistant professor of statistics at Columbia University and serves as a member of the National Science Foundation’s Advisory Committee on Cyberinfrastructure (ACCI), and on Columbia University’s Senate Information Technologies Committee. She is one of the creators of SparseLab, a collaborative platform for reproducible computational research and has developed an award winning licensing structure to facilitate open and reproducible computational research, called the Reproducible Research Standard. She is currently working on the NSF-funded project “Policy Design for Reproducibility and Data Sharing in Computational Science.”

Stodden co-chaired a working group on virtual organizations for the NSF’s Office of Cyberinfrastructure Task Force on Grand Challenge Communities in 2010. She is a Science Commons fellow and a nominated member of the Sigma Xi scientific research society. She also serves on the advisory board for hackNY.org, and on the joint advisory committee for the NSF’s EarthCube, the effort to build a geosciences-integrating cyberinfrastructure. She is an editorial board member for Open Research Computation and Open Network Biology. She completed her Ph.D. and law degrees at Stanford University.

Stern School of Business, NYU

Prasanna Tambe is an assistant professor of information, operations, and management sciences at New York University Stern School of Business. His research focuses on the economics of IT labor and on how the diffusion of technical skills and know-how affect firm and regional performance. In recent papers, Tambe has studied the effects of offshoring on the demand for technical skills and how the flow of technical skills within the US economy affects productivity and growth through the diffusion of new IT innovations. His research has been published or is forthcoming in a number of academic journals including Management Science, Information Systems Research, Communications of the ACM, and Information Economics and Policy.

Singularity University

Vivek Wadhwa is a fellow at the Arthur & Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance, Stanford University; director of research at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at the Pratt School of Engineering, Duke University; and distinguished fellow at Singularity University. He is author of The Immigrant Exodus: Why America Is Losing the Global Race to Capture Entrepreneurial Talent, which was named by The Economist as a book of the year of 2012. He was named by Foreign Policy magazine as Top 100 Global Thinker in 2012. In 2013, TIME Magazine listed him as one of The 40 Most Influential Minds in Tech. He is an advisor to several governments; mentors entrepreneurs; and is a regular columnist for The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal Accelerators, LinkedIn Influencers blog, Forbes, and the American Society of Engineering Education’s Prism magazine. Prior to joining academia in 2005, Wadhwa founded two software companies.

Founder and CEO

Growing up in the fens of Cambridge, Pete Warden naturally wanted to see the rest of the world. He started off by camping out in an Alaskan tree house for three months and fell in love with the American wilderness. Warden founded Open Heat Map and formerly worked as a senior engineer at Apple. He is a prolific blogger and the author of O’Reilly’s Big Data Glossary and Data Source Handbook.

Pivotal Software Inc.

Hugh E. Williams is the senior vice president of research and design at Pivotal Software Inc. He has spent twenty years researching and developing search engines, web services, and big data technologies.

From 2009 to 2013, Hugh was with eBay. He led a large cross-disciplinary team that turned-around the Marketplaces business. His teams conceived, designed, and built eBay’s user experiences, search engine, big data technologies, and platforms.

Prior to eBay, he spent 4+ years managing a search engine R&D team at Microsoft’s Bing, 10+ years researching and developing search technologies, and 5 years running his own startup and consultancy.

He has published over 100 works, mostly in the field of information retrieval, including two books, Web Database Applications with PHP and MySQL and Learning Mysql, for O’Reilly Media, Inc. He holds nineteen US patents and has many more pending. He has a Ph.D. from RMIT University in Australia.

Head of Business Intelligence

Kenneth Yu is the head of business intelligence at Kabam, the leader in the western world for free-to-play core games. Yu joined Kabam in December 2011 and oversees the analytics and data science teams, focusing on advancing data-driven approaches to improve the performance of key business drivers. Prior to Kabam, Yu was a product engineer in the Spansion unit at Advanced Micro Devices Inc., where he developed analytics solutions and innovated on data visualization and performance modeling techniques in the semiconductor R&D domain. He received a B.S. in electrical engineering and computer science from UC Berkeley.