2016 Big Data Summit


The fourth annual Big Data Summit will take place on November 10, 2016 at the I-Hotel and Conference Center in Champaign.

Our lunch keynote speaker will be Jaime AdamsSenior Advisor for International Affairs, Office of the Chief Scientist, Office of the Secretary, United States Department of Agriculture
BIO: Jaime Adams joined the Office of the Chief Scientist in 2011 as the Senior Advisor for International Affairs. In this capacity, Ms. Adams engages in cross-functional international agricultural science and technology collaboration with all levels of staff and leadership from government and non-governmental organizations. Ms. Adams' portfolio includes management of a multi-million dollar project and management and negotiation of numerous international bilateral and multilateral agricultural science and technology relationships. Ms. Adams manages the U.S. Government (USG) participation in the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) initiative. Ms. Adams has worked on international agricultural issues for over 10 years, having traveled extensively including serving in Afghanistan for over a year, and has supported high-level USG leadership including members of Congress, U.S. Ambassadors, and U.S. Cabinet officials. Ms. Adams earned a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her Bachelor of Science degree in International, Resource, and Consumer Economics was also from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Our morning keynote speaker will be Adam Hecktman, Director of Technology & Civic Innovation for Chicago, Microsoft Corporation

Adam Hecktman, Microsoft CorporationMeeting of the Minds

BIO: Adam J. Hecktman is Microsoft’s Director of Technology & Civic Innovation for Chicago. In this capacity, Adam helps civic leaders – and the communities they serve – apply technology to the city’s key issues and opportunities facing Chicago today and in the future. Prior to this role, Adam was the Director of the Microsoft Technology Center – Chicago, helping organizations maximize business value and ensure long-term success when facing their toughest business challenges and opportunities. He has been with Microsoft in Chicago since 1991. Adam received a Bachelor of Science in commerce and business administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is pursuing his Masters of Data Science at the Illinois Institute of Technology. He regularly appears on television, print, and radio, and has authored numerous articles. 







Chancellor Ballroom

Alma Mater Room

Technology Room

Quad Room


Registration +Breakfast



Networking space


Welcome: Laura Frerichs, UIRP



Networking space


Morning Keynote: Adam Hecktman, Director of Technology and Civic Innovation, Microsoft



Networking space


Panel: The Value of Visualization

Moderator: Deana McDonagh, UIUC



Manny Najera, Jump Trading

Jakub Slomczynski, Yahoo!

Jim Kofron, AbbVie




Networking space





Networking space



Panel: Natural Language Processing


Moderator: Jana Diesner, UIUC


Dan Shalmon, Cline Center for Democracy

Peter Ghavami, CEB

Allen Murvine, IMO

AB InBev

TJ Tang, AbbVie

Panel: Civic Tech Innovations



Alan Joyce, Wolfram

Adam Hecktman, Microsoft







Networking space


Lunch Keynote:

Jamie Adams, USDA



Networking space







Panel: Deep Learning


Moderator: Robert Brunner


Alex Schwing Thomas Paine Tanmay Gupta Prajit Ramachandran

Jump Labs








Networking space


 Closed for setup

Panel: Cloud Computing

Matt Ahrens, Yahoo!

Matthew Turk, UIUC

Capital One

Beth Ladd, Caterpillar Data Innovation Lab

Panel: Personal Data

Jeff Ramhole, State Farm

Capital One

Closed for setup


Closed for setup



Closed for setup


 Closed for setup

Panel: Startup Pitches

Moderator: Jed Taylor, TEC

Panel: Internet of Things

Moderator: Jen Bernhardt


Mark Moran, John Deere

Rich Sowers, UIUC

Closed for setup


Career Event




Thought leaders from the University of Illinois Research Park, industry, and academia will come together for the fourth annual Big Data Summit on Thursday, November 10, 2016 to learn and share knowledge about key aspects of big data and its business applications through dynamic panels, inspiring keynote presentations, and networking opportunities. Register here.

In addition to the engaging topics, we will conclude the Summit with a Big Data Career Networking Event where companies can set up booths to showcase the jobs and internships available  in the realm of Big Data.  Research Park companies can set up a booth at no charge. There will be a small fee for outside companies who want to participate; contact Dana Cohen (dfcohen2@illinois.edu) for more information.

Subscribe to our Big Data 2016 mailing list to stay up to date on speakers, panel subjects and more. 

More than 350 people attended the 2015 Big Data Summit, including 70 different companies and 20 University of Illinois departments representing six different colleges. In addition to students from our home university, the Summit drew students from the University of Illinois at Springfield; UIC; and University of Chicago.

If you are interested in speaking at the next Big Data Summit, please contact Laura Bleill at lwbleill@illinois.edu.

Highlights from Big Data 2015:

View the various slide decks from some of our 2015 presentations. 

Big Data 2015 Agenda